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Essential Secrets 41: Work Only on Rhythms

29 January 2018

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 41:
Work Only on Rhythms

--

Controlling the Placement of Every Note

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Sometimes there’s just too much to think about. If you're learning a new section of music, you may feel overwhelmed with finding the notes, counting difficult rhythms, and phrasing the line. You’ve got to work on all these individual details while simultaneously overcoming the technical challenges needed to play everything together. Given these complexities, many bassists find themselves getting nowhere quickly.

In order to make forward progress, an essential strategy is to work on rhythms all by themselves. When you focus on a particularly challenging rhythm, you can completely forget the high notes, your fingerings, and which frets to play. Leaving these pitch worries behind, you’ll be much more efficient in making the rhythm perfect.

Once you’ve zeroed in on a particular rhythm that needs your attention, there are several techniques to quickly master the rhythm. Try each of these at a slow tempo:

· Don’t play your bass. Clap the rhythm or snap your fingers.

· While clapping or snapping, count out loud.

· Count every subdivision of every beat. Subdivide your count to match the shortest note in the pattern. For instance, if the shortest note is a sixteenth note, subdivide every beat into sixteenth notes.

· Once you have the rhythm under control while counting out loud, keep the count silently and continue practicing the rhythm.

· Play the rhythm on your bass—but only on a single pitch. Continue counting no matter what!

· Going very slowly with your metronome on, play the rhythm with all the correct pitches. Keep counting!

· Using your metronome, work up the rhythm to performance speed.

You can use all of these strategies or choose the ones that make the most sense for the bass line you’re currently learning. No matter which technique you use, the important thing is to stay in control and play the rhythms accurately.



Books by David Motto:



THE TEN MINUTE BASS VIRTUOSO
THE TEN MINUTE
BASS VIRTUOSO
-EBOOK/PDF-
ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR ELECTRIC BASS -- COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING STUDIES
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-



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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR BASS, 3 Vol. set
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING
STUDIES FOR BASS
3-VOLUME SET
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
These three books from David Motto make up one of the great sightreading resources of all time. Available singly or as a set, in print or ebook form, with accompanying audio.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

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PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

JOSQUIN DES PRES

JOSQUIN DES PRES
Bass player, record producer, songwriter, and TV composer Josquin Des Pres has also found time to write many instructive books for bass. His work includes everything from funk and hip hop and R&B to classical music, sight reading, fretless and even music-career advice.

Click here to see all Josquin's books.

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