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Tied Rythms

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 6-stringjazz, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. 6-stringjazz


    Jun 1, 2001
    Abq NM
    I just bought Oscar Stagnaro's Latin Bass book, and the tied rythms are whoopin' my ass!! Does anybody have any advice on how to get through these?? - Thanks.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I don't know that particular book, but the best way I know of to deal with a lot of syncopation is to find a way to activate the rests (or held tones) in some part of your body that won't make a sound on your instrument. Lotsa guys I know breathe during rests & held tones. One guy I play with inhales through his nose so loud that it sounds like he's crying during highly syncopated tunes.
  3. 6-stringjazz -

    I feel ya pain!

    I'm playing a lot of latin stuff (check my profile :D), and let me tell you, when it gets hairy, I'm shaking everything I can, and doing the breathing thing Chris mentioned at the same time! :eek:

    The best thing to do to help get these rhythms in your head is to LISTEN to a LOT of the stuff, whether it's what you're reading or not (hopefully, there's a CD or tape with examples of the written exercises included). It will eventually become second nature if you hear it all the time. You need to translate the written symbols into sounds inside your head. It's good to know the technical terms and phrases to describe it, but you eventually need to just FEEL it to make it happen. Have fun, that's the most important thing to do when you're playing this stuff, it's supposed to make people move! :D
  4. 6-stringjazz


    Jun 1, 2001
    Abq NM
    Well, thanks once again to you Chris, and also to you Gard!
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    One thing that helps me to read tied rhythms is to play the line through a couple of times *ignoring* the ties, just so that I know where the one is. Once I've got it locked in my head, I tie the notes.
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    You probably need to attempt playing them at half of the speed that your currently playing them or slower.
  7. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Ditto for me. The good news is that the more you read, the better you get at it. After a while, you just kinda look at it and say, "Yeah, I know how that one goes."

    And like Gard sez, try to FEEL it, especially with ethnic music (although I guess all music is ethnic to somebody ;)). A lot of times, the notation is really just an approximation, and doesn't always convey the true feel. I have to deal with a piano player who can read everything verbatim, but getting her to play with the right FEEL is often a struggle. We're going to try reggae tonight, and I can't WAIT to hear how she interprets that. :eek:
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have had a lot of difficulty with the tumbao basslines which are tied across the bar line. It does take a long time to get it into your head and I asked Dave Barnard a local bassplayer who was in the group - Cubana Bop who play a lot of this music - he said to me that it was just a different culture and that Cubans grow up with and dance to it from an early age.

    I think that to really get inside this music takes years rather than weeks and I couldn't get it at all for about a year. The thing that has helped me is playing with good percussionists - often the bassline is doubling the Congas and playing "off" the hand percussion. If you have a good steady percussionist laying down the beats then it helps to know where you are in the bar and you can then play across it more easily.

    The only other advice I've been given on this, is something that is really essential to being a bass player in all music really. Which is to develop your own internal sense of time which continues no matter what else is happening - so you are counting or tapping with your foot if necessary, as the beats in the bar go past and then overlaying your bassline on this "framework" which must be continuous and completely solid.

    As I say, if you have a good percussion section, then this helps a lot and you can "feel" it more; but my experience has been that you can't rely on other people and if you do, there will be occasions when you are left with egg on your face, when they speed up, drop out etc. :rolleyes:
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ....good advice by all.
    I had the same problems when I bought the Goines/Ammeen book.

    At that time, the amount of space involved & playing on a lot of the upbeats was not too relatable; it will take some effort, time, & listening...FME, it didn't magically appear overnight.
    Personally, I think what you're attempting is great 'cause it's gonna open up your rhythmic vocabulary. Hopefully, you'll soon be able to hear/see a rhythm & know exactly what's goin' on)like seeing a word in a book & knowing how it sounds when spoken).

    ...can you tap out some of the claves while keeping the pulse(with your foot or other hand)?
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Yeah, Lump, I think you're hitting on the essence of Groove. Feel is so touchy to try to define, but you've definately taken a bite of it there.

    I was in Hawaii when I started playing Salsa. I'd never really listened to it before, but since I could read anything, I got the gig. At the first rehearsal, I was like..."arrrghhh, I don't get it!!!" So I had the bandleader make me a 90 minute tape of salsa tunes. Not necessarily what we were playing, just stuff that he like and listened to. And I listened to it - and nothing else - for a week. I'm talking 7 hours a day. It worked. I've found if you immerse yourself in the groove, you'll get it. I've been complimented on my ability to 'groove' in latin music, and music in general, and I think immersion is a big key to that. On my way to a gig, I'll still listen to whatever kind of music I'm going to be playing. It's all about feel.

    Except that time I did an Iranian music gig.....
  11. Oh, I forgot one thing that gave me a bit of an advantage, heh. :)

    Growing up in New Orleans and listening to a lot of second-line music and stuff like the Meters/Neville Bros. or Professor Longhair. If you think about it, that whole feel is just a clave, with the whole band playing it:

    ONE and two AND three FOUR and
    one and TWO and THREE and four and

    Also known as the "Bo Diddley" beat.

    Hearing that constantly helped me "internalize" the clave, which makes playing the sideways country that is Salsa ;) a bit more comfortable.
  12. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    well, i have the luck to have a teacher who has a special interest in latin music and odd times, so i was forced to do that stuff alot.
    what i found quite hard to do but what helped me a lot was to learn to tap the clave with my feet during playing the bass line or tapping another rythm with my hands... that also helps in developing better independence of the limbs.

    learning new bass lines - especially tied ones -became easier to me after i was able to do that, course you develop an understanding for the rhythmic relationship and overall meaning of a certain phrase/line.

    of course, you don't need to get that complicated...
    (it took me very, very long to be able to do it)

    so what i do usually when playing is similar to Gard's advice:

    subdivide and count internally the eights or - depending on the smallest unit in a given rythm - sixteenths (what's the term for them?), stressing the different beats.

    also after a while, associating syllables with rhythmic phrases may help. you'll often find me running around mumbling things like: "a-zoot dab-n-da-bap-da-bap."


    well i just re-read my post, and i hope it made any sense at all (I am afraid, not!)
  13. 6-stringjazz


    Jun 1, 2001
    Abq NM
    Thanks to everyone!! Iwill try all suggestions there're some very good ones.
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...man, I can't do that! :D
    In fact, that's how I weed out who rides with me to the gig; ya don't like Cecil Taylor? Get out! ;)
    (Truthfully, no one in this band is playing New Country on the ride to gigs-ville, even the two DJs who front the band & work for this particular New Country radio station/company...damn, did I say that out loud?). :D

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