This week I’m giving a breakdown of the intro bass riff from the song Schism by Tool, played by the amazing Justin Chancellor!

‘Schism’ – Tool

Practice Track:

This bass riff can be counted in one of two ways. You can count it as a bar of 6/4 or a recurring sequence of 5/4 + 7/4. The phrasing gives the impression of hearing an odd time signature (5+7).

However, don’t worry too much about counting. Odd time and rhythmic phrases are usually better played from a feel perspective. Learn the notes and then learn how the rhythm is felt within those notes. Once you have the riff under your fingers it’s often easier to hear how the phrasing and accents work.

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