This week I’m going to show you how you can work on your rhythmic accuracy and feel using offbeat 8th notes.

What Is The ‘Offbeat’?

The offbeat is the rhythm that falls in between the pulse of a piece of music and you can think of it as playing a note exactly halfway between the beats.

Today, we are going to focus on nailing your offbeat accuracy – this is a common problem for bass players as a large part of our job includes playing on the beat.

For a simple exercise to being with, set a metronome to a comfortable tempo and alternate bars of onbeat crotchets and offbeat crotchets.

If we add notes to this rhythm, we can create an offbeat riff using the notes of the C dominant chord:

Once you have nailed the first riff, you can start to move it around. Here is an example progression:


We can alter the previous riff slightly to add more emphasis to beat 1. This may make it a bit easier to keep grooving on the offbeat for the rest of the bar.

In a progression:

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