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Jazz Bass Lessons: Rhythmic Independence Exercises

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Most of the great musicians that I admire
have spent some time
with the drums to create
a more deep connection with the beat
in their body in a visceral way.
And, one of the things we
can do is I make all my bass
students that I ever
taught in university and
in all kinds of places work with
the ride cymbal first of all.
To just get a basic feel, the feeling of
a quarter note in the swing rhythm with
a cymbal pattern,
the ding dinga ding shall we say.
So we're gonna put the metronome on, and
I'm just going to play a little time,
first just with the ride cymbal only,
Here we go.
One, two, a one, two, three.
Now I'm gonna
play the Abakua
against it too.
Remember the six eight rhythm we
talked about?
Ok now that's the first thing is
just to get that feeling of the swing how
it connects to African six-eight.
When I play the abakua Even we go,
we're having ding-ding-da-ding-ding,
it's quarter note, two, three, four,
ta-teca-ta-teca-te six eight,
Okay, so that's part of it,
now we're gonna slow it down we're
gonna slow the metronome down, and
we're gonna work on getting
the independents of the triplets.
So we're gonna go down to lets say,
let's go back down to
quarter note equals about 54.
And we're gonna incorporate the hi-hat,
and the snare drum so
we have all the three
elements of the triplet here.
We have the ride cymbal,
the snare drum, and the hi-hat.
So, the trick is to alternate,
try to get the triplet going around our
body between the three instruments.
So let me hear the metronome.
[SOUND] Actually, [SOUND] let's
see if I can do it at this speed.
First we'll do it with the snare.
We might have to slow it
down to do all three, but
I can do it with the ride cymbal,
and the snare drum at this tempo.
I'm playing
different parts
of the triplet.
Now for the second part of the triplet.
see, it's
a challenge
to play on
the upbeat
like that.
So then,
we're gonna slow it way down to 50, and
I'm going to show you how
you can do all three.
So you can alternate between
the hi-hat, the snare drum, and
the ride cymbal.
[SOUND] Now,
we're going to get the feeling of
the triplet between these instruments.
So maybe we'll go.
That's a
So we're
trying to get
equal parts of
the triplets.
So it's,
As you can tell, the coordination between
the limbs is very, very challenging.
But I think the more you do it, the more
it helps your bass playing, actually.
Because the more you can feel
all the parts of the triplet,
even at this slow speed, even at this
slow speed this is a little difficult.
But the coordination that you get from
having to coordinate your limbs as
opposed to just thinking in your head and
in your fingers, its really beneficial.
A lot of the great players that I
played with actually were pretty
darn good drummers.
[LAUGH] I'm not, but I use it for
my coordination studies.
Let's hear that click one more time.
So we have.
the thing is to try to get the foot.
to do?
Basically, what I'm trying to do is have
the downbeat on the ride cymbal, and then
switch the second and third part of the
triplet, with the other parts of my body.
It's really good for you.
So you can get that
It shows you how the six-eight
hooks up with the four-four.
So that if you start to do that little by
little, and you get that feeling
in your body where you can
actually get a little independence going,
that's gonna really help you a lot.
So, start off with those exercises and
I think it'll help internalize your time.