#1
Hi all

I'm teaching someone bass at the moment (I'm a guitarist). He's having some trouble with rhythm independence..... When I teach him a part to a song he can play it fine on his own. But then when i play the guitar part he either loses his way completely. or he ends up changing to the rhythm of the guitar rather than holding and playing his own rhythm.

I've had a look for lessons on line which help with this problem but have not found any. That could be because I'm putting in the wrong words; it's one of those things that's heard to put a good search together for.

So it's over to you guys to see if you can help and whether you have or know of any exercises to help with this.....

Many thanks

Max
#2
Is he inconsistent with rhythm, or he just chooses a too fast/slow pace? Is it only when you start playing too? If he is speeding up and slowing down, try having him tap his foot as he plays. I found that this helped me when practicing different time signatures.

If it's only when you're playing too, you try tapping your foot or nodding your head along with the rhythm so he has something to follow other than your playing.
#3
It's more a case of him changing is rhythm.

So for example, we have been doing La Grange by ZZ Top:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vppbdf-qtGU

He can play it fine on his own. But if we play it together he sometimes changes his bass line to the same rhythm as the guitar part rather than keeping the rhythm of the bass part going.....

Hope that makes sense!

Cheers
#4
Well, have him practice that part a bunch, then explain it to him or her. Record yourselves playing the song, then have the bass player listen to it.
#5
have him play along to the records/songs he's learning. it's just something you need to learn through practice that lots of beginners have with any instrument.
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#6
You could try strum a chord at the start of the bar and let him get used to hearing that, and then add another strum or note, and introduce it bit by bit. I guess he gets confused and starts to listen to the guitar only, instead of the combination
#8
Is there a drummer? The bassist should be playing with him. Following the guitar is a recipe for disaster.

If not get him to tap his foot, figure out how the beat works around that and play with it.
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#9
Quote by Max Dread
It's more a case of him changing is rhythm.

So for example, we have been doing La Grange by ZZ Top:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vppbdf-qtGU

He can play it fine on his own. But if we play it together he sometimes changes his bass line to the same rhythm as the guitar part rather than keeping the rhythm of the bass part going.....

Hope that makes sense!

Cheers

He's probably struggling cuz the chordal stabs for the guitar part are all syncopated on this tune.

He needs to lock in on the strong part of the beat (the beat itself - get him to tap his foot to feel), rather than the weak part, which is the part you're doing.

I can see where it's going wrong.
#10
Make him count all his lines while he plays. If you can't count a rhythm, you probably can't play it.
#11
First show him your part with a metronome. Then tell him to practice his part with metronome. It might be that he doesn't hear where the beat is when you play your part because the guitar part has a syncopated rhythm.

Oh, and what the guy above me said.
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#12
^ I kind of like this idea. The metronome can take the place of the drummer. But it might be as simple as him not having enough confidence yet, and practicing alone with the metronome might help build some confidence.

EDIT --> it is good to know he is listening to your part though... I wouldn't be too discouraged by him just yet. Listening to the whole band is a very important aspect to playing with others.

EDIT ---> also just clapping/patting the rhythm of the song down to a metronome might also be helpful
Last edited by Erc at May 22, 2013,
#14
The metronome is a good place to start, but make sure that your student doesn't develop a dependence on it. I think his issue is probably one with pulse. He needs to pulse the beat to himself and know how his bassline fits into the pulse. A metronome can make you aware of pulse but it will not remove the need to pulse for yourself.

I'd recommend starting him working with a metronome and then as soon as he grasps the concept, move him away from it. If it were an issue with tempo I would say o use the metronome more intensely, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
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#15
Quote by will42
The metronome is a good place to start, but make sure that your student doesn't develop a dependence on it. I think his issue is probably one with pulse. He needs to pulse the beat to himself and know how his bassline fits into the pulse. A metronome can make you aware of pulse but it will not remove the need to pulse for yourself.

I'd recommend starting him working with a metronome and then as soon as he grasps the concept, move him away from it. If it were an issue with tempo I would say o use the metronome more intensely, but that doesn't seem to be the case.


Metronomes are for rhythm, not tempo. You should use one no matter how good or bad you are at your instrument. Obviously you need to be able to keep time with or without one, but as long as you learn how to count, you'll never become dependent on it.
#16
Quote by Max Dread
Hi all

I'm teaching someone bass at the moment (I'm a guitarist). He's having some trouble with rhythm independence..... When I teach him a part to a song he can play it fine on his own. But then when i play the guitar part he either loses his way completely. or he ends up changing to the rhythm of the guitar rather than holding and playing his own rhythm.

I've had a look for lessons on line which help with this problem but have not found any. That could be because I'm putting in the wrong words; it's one of those things that's heard to put a good search together for.

So it's over to you guys to see if you can help and whether you have or know of any exercises to help with this.....

Many thanks

Max

Have you taught him how to read and count rhythm?
Does he know about time signatures, quarter notes and eighth notes, triplets, the concept of syncopation etc?
Have you taught him how to do it in time with a steady pulse (eg metronome)?

How well do you know this stuff?
Last edited by BoogieShinbones at May 26, 2013,