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Rhythm Archives - Page 3

Understanding Rhythm: Mental and Physical Approaches for Bass Players
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Understanding Rhythm: Mental and Physical Approaches for Bass Players

Rhythm is both mental and physical. Mental The mental aspect of rhythm is the intellectual understanding of how musical time is organized. For any given piece, passage, or note, this includes things such as: Understanding how many beats are in the measure. How each beat is subdivided. Is it by two, three, five, seven? Perhaps they alternate subdivisions? How long...

Developing Timing and Feel: Rhythmic Studies for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Developing Timing and Feel: Rhythmic Studies for Bass Players

Q: My question is about timing. I realize that the choice of notes make a line hip, but the rhythm and the timing make the groove! How do you practice timing, Damian? A: Truer words have never been spoken! It’s all about the groove and time-feel (fancy words for “pocket”). Here are some goals for developing your timing and groove:...

Rhythmic Bass Playing: Making it Fit the Musical Setting
Ask Damian Erskine

Rhythmic Bass Playing: Making it Fit the Musical Setting

Q: For a while, I’ve been focusing on developing a percussive finger style bass technique, in a similar style to yours. I have great fun with it when playing on my or own or looping, but whenever I try it in a band situation, it just never sounds as good. All the detail – and most of the groove –...

PercussionTutor: A Look at the Rhythm Reference App
Apps

PercussionTutor: A Look at the Rhythm Reference App

PercussionTutor is an app I am really excited about. While it is actually designed for percussionists, the app and free ebook combine to offer a huge reference for any musician wishing to better understand rhythms and learning how the different percussion parts fit together to produce the groove. In other words, this will help you – as a bassist –...

Controlling Rhythm and Expressing it Musically
Ask Damian Erskine

Controlling Rhythm and Expressing it Musically

Q: This week’s column was written in part from a response to a FaceBook question I had about controlling rhythm and expressing it musically. I was also asked about my approach with my right hand, and where it came from with regard to rhythm and how I use it in my lines. I took that response and expanded on it...

Rhythm Calculator: A Look at the Rhythm Helper App for iOS
Apps

Rhythm Calculator: A Look at the Rhythm Helper App for iOS

I just discovered JET Powered Apps’s Rhythm Calculator app, a gem of an app I guarantee will live on my phone for quite some time, and I suspect that’ll be true for you other iOS device-carrying folks as well. Rhythm Calculator is exactly what the name suggests: an interface that allows you to enter rhythms of most any type, in...

Exploring Polyrhythms: A Practice Guide
Ask Damian Erskine

Exploring Polyrhythms: A Practice Guide

Q: What is a “polyrhythm”, and how can I use them? A: Technically speaking, a polyrhythm is exactly what it says… more than one rhythm happening at the same time. This could be a Cascara rhythm combined with a Clave, or even just a swing pattern on the ride along with the hi-hat on 2 and 4. I find African,...

Rhythms and Transcriptions: A How To Guide to Notating Rhythmic Patterns
Ask Damian Erskine

Rhythms and Transcriptions: A How To Guide to Notating Rhythmic Patterns

Q: I have a question about transcribing. I’m a pretty skilled player and can read, but I have a lot of problems writing down the rhythms that I hear either in my head or from a particular song. Any suggestions on how I should go about learning to notate more difficult rhythms? A: Rhythms can be tricky when you’re first...

Rhythm Series: Improving Your Time
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Series: Improving Your Time

Having good “time,” or sense of pulse, is an essential skill for all musicians and bassists in particular. So much of what we do is reliant upon having a solid, steady and accurate pulse. In fact, I find a highly developed sense of time to be as important as a highly developed sense of pitch, perhaps more so. Ideally, of...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Series: Improving Rhythmic Accuracy by Subdividing

Rhythmic Accuracy Last time we talked about one of the major physical components rhythm: feeling the beat internally. However, for the performer there are two components to rhythm, physical and mental. Accurate execution of musical rhythm requires the cultivation of both aspects. One important mental element needed to precisely perform rhythms is active subdivision. Subdividing Most of us understand that...

Rhythm Series: Keeping Time
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Series: Keeping Time

Keeping a steady pulse is a fundamental skill for any musician, and it is especially important to any one who is part of the rhythm section. Even in styles of music that encourage flexible rhythmic expression (i.e. rubato, etc.), the ability to maintain an accurate pulse is essential for a musician. No matter what style of music we play, or...