Timing Issues...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by x_FireInside_x, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. x_FireInside_x


    Dec 13, 2001
    Ok. First off I have been playing bass since I was 15 and Im 20 now so this is very embarassing. I have mostly played in punk bands that were very basic. Mostly the bass fallowed the guitar and occasionally a few fills here and there. But now I am in a more hardcore band where I slap more do more fills and play with the drums mostly. This is all fine while my guitarist plays but once he goes into a lead we screw it all up. I cant keep the timing worth crap. After palying for 5 years you figure I would know some thing as important as that especially being a bassist. I recently got a metronome but I dont underdstand how to play along with it. Someone please help me before I kill myself


    Sep 26, 2001
    in the sun
    I don't know too much, but I'll try to help. In my opinion the bass and the drums are tied together. If your drummer isn't putting down a good consistant groove then your not going to be able to follow, follow the kick drum, that is your metronome in the song. Keep it simple, most popular bands usually don't have a bass line that supersieds the amount of notes of the guitar:rolleyes: (I know that was hard for me to get used to) This should get you started and keep you busy. As for the metronome, this is a good Idea, most people cringe at the thought of using one including me, but it is an essential tool to polish your timing. It will take some time to get used to, start off at a slower tempo and work your way up. And don't get frustrated like me.

    When my band was recording our albulm he told me that in the order of inportance in a band, Drums and Bass are first, Lead singer second, and Guitars and other instruments third. The reason, we are the foundation, and no one can build a house on sand. ;)
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If you want to become really depressed AND learn a lot at the same time, record yourself WITH your metronome. It will be an eye opening experience! I know when I did it I cringed and couldn't bear to listen to it. I think Ed Friedland said "Never say your time is 'good enough'." I found out I have a tendency to play behind the beat, and it was a hard hard thing to do to get it on the beat. My teacher told me that when you're using the metronome, you should aim to not be able to hear it. That is, you'll be playing on the beat so accurately it drowns out the click.

    And remember, it's easy to play fast. Start slow, like, REALLY slow, 50 bpm slow, and work up from there. If you can play that slow, in time, you can do just about anything.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA

    This is a very common problem. Sometimes, beginning bass players become really interested in learning licks and forget the funadamentals. It doesn't get more fundamental for a bass player than rhythm, and there's no quick fix to this. You will have to spend time working on this, but you will really be able to tell the difference.

    You've got a metronome. Excellent. That's the first step. Now you need to get yourself something to practice. It may seem dry and boring but it's time to get yourself some sort of book. There are several good basic reading books with etudes. Here is one suggestion:


    If not some book, you need something specific and basic to start practicing. Take it slow, and work on things as simple as quarter note rhythms with the 'nome going. So, set the 'nome to something like 60bpm. Then count the rhythm in your head, tap your foot. Sometimes it can even help to put your instrument down, count the beat and tap your foot for each quarter note, and clap the notes that you would be reading.

    Also, do you know how to count notes? (1-2-3-4 for straight quarter notes; 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and for eighth notes; 1-e-and-a-2-e-and-a-3-e-and-a-4-e-and-a for sixteenth notes; and trip-u-let trip-u-let trip-u-let for triplets).
  5. x_FireInside_x


    Dec 13, 2001
    Thanx alot to everyone that posted. I'm still having some trouble but it is getting easier.
    Can someone play along with a metronome and make an mp3 of it so I can hear what i should be doing???
    Thanx alot.
  6. high hats, listen to the high hats.
    I think its cool if you can lock in with the kick, but if you can't lock in with the hats, you're doomed.
  7. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    When working with a metronome (after you've become somewhat comfortable with interacting with this mechanical soul-less beast) set it to beat only on 2 and 4 (for 4/4). Then you can find that it feels like you are "leading" the metronome and you'll become more confident in your timing.
  8. x_FireInside_x


    Dec 13, 2001
    I originally did play along with it as the snare drum. That helped alot. I am starting to understand this alot better, but can someone please make an mp3 of them jamming with there metronome?
    thnx alot guys.

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