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The Beat

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mixmasta J, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Mixmasta J

    Mixmasta J

    Dec 4, 2004
    My bass teacher shared this with me while I was playing an piece on my double bass, in which my point was to keep time, or palying mainly on beats 1 and 3. This applies to all instruments so I thought Id share here:

    A beat is divided into 3 sections....the beginning, the middle, and the end. duh right, heres the diagram me bass teacher gave me:


    Each section is as important of as the next, and how we play each not is important. So lets divide it up

    Beginning: This is the part of the beat that is most commonly done correctly for most musicians look at this as the most important part. We anticipate it and use the markings (Sticcato, fp, ect.) the most accurately here. It is important to play well because it sets the tone for the rest of the beat.

    Middle: This part is the part where we decide how to approach the rest of the beat. As musicians it is easy to play long notes with expression, but it is the short notes in which the middle section is hard to express. It is important to maintain all markings and make this section interesting, althoughit may be either short or long.

    End: this is the most commonly overlooked part of the beat, and is the most important. As musicians, we are prone to look ahead and focus on the next note before we even get there. It is important to focus on each note seperately and to help keep a solid groove. this makes the ending part of the beat very important.

    when playing with an orchestra or band, when one must hold a beat, it is important to play each part of the beat evenly. This will help form a pocket with the "Rythm Section", and hold it together. The begininng and end (front and back) of the beats can be stressed as well to help build the music. If the rythm needs to quicken, one would stress the front of the beat and vice versa.

    The KEY her is to play on the front or back, not on a different beat! it is important to maintain the pocket, and always be counting. He said that when counting, every musician must be like a drummer in a jazz band: it helps if people (and I do this) try toput fills on different beats that you dont play on, almost like a drummer does. This will help you count tough rythms, and stay on the part of the beat that you want to.

    SO in the end, this helped me and I hope it helps you too. People often overlook the beat, and if one takes time and focuses on the beat (with a metronome) they will groove much better. try it and see, it certainly helped me :)

    I hope this helped, cause it sure helped me!

    Joe Goal

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