This video lesson deals with developing a better time feel in your bass playing and using smaller and smaller subdivisions in dealing with very slow tempos.

Practising Time Awareness

This lesson will help you develop your internal clock and sense of timing with the assistance of a simple metronome. The aim is to feel, establish and express a consistent musical pulse and be able to hold time without slowing down or speeding up.

Exercise #1: Take a basic metronome at 100bpm and let it play for a while to get a feel for the pulse.

Exercise #2: With the metronome still at 100bpm, play a note every four beats and really focus on landing exactly on the beat.

Exercise #3: Try the same thing again but this time, play a note on every beat.

Note: Start off by picking with just one finger on the right hand and introduce alternate picking once you are ready.

Subdividing The Beat

Cutting the beat up into smaller divisions can help you break grooves down and really understand the rhythm. To start, we are going to divide each beat by two to create quavers or eighth notes. It should sound like this:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

If we take this rhythm and divide it in half again then we get semiquavers or sixteenth notes.

1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a

Some beats contain rhythms in groups of three to give a triplet feel. If we divide our original metronome click we will get:

1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a

Applying Subdivisions

Now you have the feel of the pulse and tempo in your head, go back to playing just one note every four beats and count the subdivisions in your head. You should find it easier to hit the beat accurately now you have filled the empty space between notes.

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