My bassist came over to my house today for one of the first time, and I found out he has no sense of rhythm.

I told him to play an simple rhythm for one of my songs, and it was totally off.

All he had to play was this.


He would play move to some notes too early and some notes too late, and he only had to play each note 8 times.

I don't want to find a new bassist because we are just starting out and he is a beginner, but he should at least have a sense of rhythm.

What can I do to help him get a better sense of rhythm? I said he should buy a metronome and should count the amount of notes he is playing in his head, but I feel like that wouldn't work.

What should I teach him or tell him that can help him out?
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Last edited by tmfiore at Feb 28, 2009,
Teach him to count the notes he's playing
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send in the metro-gnomes!
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get a black bassist... I'm sorry. it's the only solution.

ye he just needs to practice rythmics and stuff. playing along to a metronome would be great for him.
Tell him to count in his head.
And if he doesn't want to get a metronome tell him to get Guitar Pro. That way he'll be able to practice it at different speeds and use GPs speed trainer.
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well, why dont you be honest, and tell him he has no rhythm. then say, if you want to be in this band, learn this, it will help your rhythm. and give him something similar to what you got him to do, (blink 182 perhaps?)"

this way, you are totally honest, get a bassist with the concept of rythm hopefully and he learns!
I did tell him to get a metronome and count the notes in his head, he improved a little bit but he should have been able to play that first try.

Hopefully the metronome will fix his problem, but if it doesn't, then I don't know what I can do.
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give him different exercises. have him play A (5th fret) 8 times and then G (3rd fret) 8 times. Have him repeat it several times, you could play with him if he needs help.
then try something a little more difficult
A 8x - G 4x - E (open) 4x. and repeat

next add some string skipping

A (open) 8x- G 4x- D (open) 4x. and repeat.

Everybody has a sense of rythm. It just takes a little more effort for some people to realize it.
Dude just give him some time. Now with that said, if you are playing a gig then it's something different. Were u perfect when u started? No, so just have a heart man.

Also, I got into this band with a drummer who had no sense of rhythm, and I was like "Why am I doing this?", but now he's an amazing drummer with a great sense of time (now we just gotta work on the singer :p). So just let him grow out of his bad timing.
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Last edited by pengiunman at Mar 1, 2009,
Bass is heard to keep rythem with nothing else, im sure when theres a drummer to keep in time with, it'll make things easier.

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a little bit of patience man. Sit down with him and show him the riff over and over and play it with him over and over and finally offer him a lot of encouragement and positive feedback to give him the confidence he needs
Tell him to practice with a metronome, or count his notes, sounds like hes got premature modulation to me, and thats pretty easy to fix.
Like everyone else said: Metronome. The bass is a part of the rhythm section, so if he cant keep time he cant play bass. Bass is more than playing notes really fast or cleanly, and more than being really creative. Bass is keeping the band together. They are the cornerstone.

practice with a click track, everytime, all the time.
What you need:

What to do?:
He is suppose to sit down and learn the riffs slowly, using the metronome and counting the notes.

It is really basic.
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metronome definately,
also get him to jsut practice tapping in time to songs he listens to
and then build up to more complex rhythms
how i built up mine