So I play bass and pretty much me and my drummer just jam ( no guitarist ) and I've been tryin to spice it up a little so I've been practicing 5/4 time. I've got my drum machine playing and I looped the main baseline to take 5 and I'm trying to jam over it but I still can't find the 1 beat unless I play the same rythm the whole time

So what else can I do to get this down
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literally practice. what i do is count it like this..12 123 12 123..
if any of that makes sense..its all about how good you are at counting..
Hey man, i play bass in a jazz band and that's a fun song , i understand what you mean with finding the extra beat, are you playing the rhythm as crochet, eighth rest, quaver, full rest and then two crochets with staccato?
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It's not a simple time signature, so comparing it to one makes it confusing - finding the extra beat compares it to 4/4, which is fair enough for 5/4, but for more complicated time signatures that'd just get confusing. it's better to break it down into 3 and then 2 (or 2 and then 3 (although mixing both wouldn't sound as good and would be terribly confusing). So treating it as two bars, 3/4 then 2/4 would be a lot easier. It's difficult at first, but you soon find a groove once you get used to less regularity in your counting.
if you wanna make it real interesting (once you finally get accustomed to 5/4) id suggest alternating between 3/4 and 5/4...give a real nice off balance kinda groove!
I have problems with 5/4 as well, it's just an awkward time signature I'd say. Just keep practicing and keep a metronome with an accent on the first beat going to help you stay on track.
Lock your foot in with the crotchet beats, keep it going without paying attention to it, it will naturally help you keep in time. Also with your foot, it will also indicate where the quavers are as you make two movements with your foot for every crotchet.

It makes sense in my head
Record yourself playing the rhythm part from the solo section of Paul Desmond's Take 5. Then loop it and play on that.

If you don't know the tune, its probably the best example of 5/4. And one of the coolest jazz numbers ever. Anyway, getting used to playing on those changes in 5/4 will get you a little more used to playing over that sort of time in general.
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Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Jan 26, 2009,
check out what george benson can do with "take five"

play well

I used to have trouble with 5/8, so I wrote a song in that time signature and I used to go around tapping out the beat as much as possible, just really dig it into my head, and after about a month i found it quite hard to go back to writing in 4/4. You just gotta internalise the groove, just like you've probably already internalised 4/4, 3/4 and 6/8.