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Tips on improving basic rhythm

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JohnLovesRush, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Hi,, I've been playing about 7-8 months and I'm self thought,, so basically I've not really focused on the basic rhythm stuff and instead played the harder more interesting riff based stuff.

    But I've found that my basic rhythm and stuff because of this hasn't really improved along with everything else. So when for example I'm playing a simple 55555555555, 555555555,7777777777 etc I might get lost when other instruments come in etc.. like during guitar solos etc etc.

    Basically I was wondering if there are any particularly good exercises/songs and just general tips for improving this.

    Thanks a million!
  2. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Playing with a real band or a backing track consisting of drums might be a good idea. I've never had problems dividing time and developping a good rythmn with a click (simple metronome), but I know some people do and getting cues from the bass drum is their way of being sure they chug the 1/8 at the right pace/moment.
  3. ahh ok.. problem is don't have a band to play with.. basically I think it really needs practice.. but like how to practice effectively is what I'd like to know.. yeah metronome is probably a good idea
  4. BNiedz13


    Mar 6, 2008
    Cumberland, RI
    I would also suggest a metronome, start slow and steadily increase the tempo as you feel comfortable. It's kind of a boring thing to practice, but the results are well worth it.
  5. kk thanks a lot:)
  6. This was just announced, Line 6 JM4 looper:


    In case you don't have access to a real drummer, it would be a very nice tool for practices. --Kent
  7. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    There is more to using a metronome that is immediately obvious to most. In addition to the obvious 4 clicks for a 4/4 measure, try setting it to half speed and regarding the clicks as marking 2 and 4 (e.g. the backbeat) You may find this more interesting and musical, especially if the music you like is big on backbeats (like funk for instance).
  8. ahh thanks well music I like mostly is prog.. which isn't the simplist beat music lol
  9. it's basically like I can play along to more difficult stuff.. but it's keeping backing I find the hard part.. just playing in the background
  10. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    Metronome. Get one of the little credit card types for $20, stick it in your baseball cap by your ear, and play scales, intervals, root-pumping lines, etc. There is metronome software you can buy, and coupled with plugging your bass into your computer sound card it's relatively easy to record such things. Listen to yourself. Generally players tend to rush sudden eighths, easy fast licks, etc and tend to drag walking lines, hard fast licks, etc. If you can get a metronome that will subdivide (play the eighth notes or even sixteenths at different pitches), that's a worthwhile upgrade.

    Adopt the percussionist mentality of always subdividing in your head. Even if you note is walking quarter note beats, count the eights and sixteenths in your head. If it's 6/8 or 12/8 time (swing, some acoustic rock and metal), count the triplets. Instead of one, two, one, two, count it as one-to-three-four-five-six (there are many monosyllabic mnemonics you can use, like one-lol-ly two-lol-ly for six-eight, or one-ti-te-ta for subdividing a quarter note.

    Know where "two" is. Most musicians can find "one" pretty easily, but beat two of a 4/4 measure is less defined. Subdividing helps, as well as simply working against the natural tendency to hold "one".
  11. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    metronome time for you!

    If you're loosing count (you're keeping count, right?) a metronome regimen will help.

    If you've been playing music for less than a year, your timing will be understandably imperfect.

    during my prog phase I used to enjoy counting along with yes/ crimson/ et al and trying to figure out what the time signature was.
    Its a good exercise.
    As a rhythm instrument it is vitally important that you know where the 1 is. It is more important to hit the 1 accurately than to play a riff accuratelty-but late.
  12. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    Maso :rollno: :D

    Seriously that's good exercise, but not necessary to develop good time unless you plan on playing that song or something like it. Disturbed's "Remember" is another rather irregular one (some of the measures have to be counted as odd numbers of eighths; I bet it was never written in music notation until they came out with the TAB book for the Believe album)
  13. thanks a lot..I'll keep all that in mind.. rhythm is something I'm just going to have to focus fully on until I find it improving considerably.I'll probs invest in a metronome too

    And yeah Yes,Crimson, Gabriel,ELP,Rush all that stuff... some crazy stuff there... excellent none the less
  14. shooter


    Mar 4, 2008
    Something that helps me a lot is my Alesis SR16 drum machine. (I am a learner BTW)

    Amazing what can be done and learnt even just playing around with one simple drum pattern and adjusting the tempo.

    I use a metronome if I am learning to "count" (easier)

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