This week we’re working on syncopated 16th note rhythms and one of the most popular examples of consecutive, offbeat 16ths is the famous intro to Blame It On The Boogie by The Jacksons.
We’ll look at the 16th note rhythms in there and work on our rhythmic accuracy. We’ll also have a quick look at slapping and hybrid legato techniques. Enjoy!
Blame It On The Boogie – Tougher Than You Think!
This song is incredibly common as a standard in most cover bands so it pays to know it well. The intro is a very famous riff but many beginner to intermediate level players (and above tbh!) can find the 16th note syncopation tough to nail with any degree of accuracy.
I’ve included two different backing tracks. One at the original tempo of 112bpm and another at the slower tempo of 80bpm. The slower tempo is good for focusing on those 16th note subdivisions.
Drum Track 80bpm:
Drum Track 112bpm:
Slap Dat Riff!
This riff is completely slapped with the thumb. There are no pops or extra techniques to learn so it’s good for practicing your basic thumb technique.
If you need any help with the slap technique then just check out the Talkingbass Course HERE
To Hammer On or To Not Hammer On!
The final 3 notes of the riff can be played in 3 different ways:
- All Slapped (More Aggresive)
- Slap – Hammer On – Pull Off (Very Smooth)
- Slap – Hammer On – Slap (Combination of both)
Try practicing all three methods but I tend to use the Slap – Hammer On – Slap option. It’s pretty much the Goldilocks Zone!
16 Note Rhythms
The run up through the G – G# – A occurs on offbeat 16th notes. The timing starts on the ‘a’ of beat 2 as follows (all hits are bracketed):
2 e & (a) 3 (e) & (a)
To practice this rhythm follow the steps outlined in the video by playing a single note on each hit in turn. Use the following vocalizations to help:
- Ta Ka Ta (Ta)
- Ta Ka Ta (Ta) Ka (Ta)
- Ta Ka Ta (Ta) Ka (Ta) Ka (Ta)
After practicing these rhythms you should find your accuracy much improved while playing Blame It On The Boogie