Hey guys, how are you doing? It’s Scott Devine again, from Scott’s Bass
Lessons. I hope you’re well. Make sure you check out scottsbasslessons.com.
If you haven’t already there’s a link below this video. And there you can
check out, I think there’s nearly 100 videos on there now. They’re all for
free, ranging from beginner stuff, to advanced turn your brain to jelly
kind of lessons.
In this lesson I’m going to be talking about a metronome exercise that I’ve
been using for a long time, and it really, really got my subdivisions
together. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but timing, well, for any
musician but particularly for bass players, timing is everything. It’s more
important than notes. Your groove is so important. Without any groove
you’ve lost the gig. There’s a zillion bass players out there that can play
a million notes an hour, but there’s some guy there playing, grooving on
two notes and he’s playing some of the biggest gigs in the world. The proof
is in the pudding. Okay? Groove is everything. To be able to play great
solos you’ve got to have great timing. To play great grooves you’ve got to
have great timing. So, always be aware that the foundation of your playing
is your groove playing. It’s your time. It’s your internal time.
I want to take you through this exercise today. It’s an exercise that I’ve
done for years and years. It really got my subdivisions together, and I
think it’s going to do you wonders as well.
So, the exercise, we’re just going to use a C major scale. C major scale.
Just a simple major scale, you can play it right down to the G string if
you want. It doesn’t matter. The subdivision is what’s important. Now, what
I’m going to do is, there’s a backing track that’s available for download.
If you hit the link below it’ll take you to a page. You’ll see this video.
Right below it there’ll be a download link for this backing track. All this
backing track is, is a C major chord held on a keyboard and some hi-hats
Let’s have a listen to it. So, listen to those hi-hats. Two, three, four.
All I want you to do is play C major scale with each note landing on one of
those hi-hats, and I want you to really, really concentrate on it landing
bang on that hi-hat. Two, three, four. Once again. Really concentrate.
Now I want you to play two notes per click. So, two notes per hi-hat. One,
two, three, four. Now I’m going to go between the two, so… Next one, two.
You can kind of play all over the scale like this as long as you’re keeping
it to the subdivision.
This next subdivision is three notes per click, so let’s hear it on its own
first. One two three, two two three, three two three, four two three.
Now we’re going to start with the first exercise, then the second exercise,
then the third exercise. One, two, three, four. Second exercise. Third
exercise coming up. Three notes per click. Back to two. Back to one.
Now you can guess that four’s going to be the next one. So, right from the
beginning. No, actually I’ll show you what four sounds like first. One two
three four, one two three four, one two three four, one two three four, one
two three four, one two three four.
Now let’s go through the cycle. So, first of all, we’ll start with one
note, then two notes per click, then three notes per click, then four notes
per click. Here we go. One, two, three, four. Two notes per click. Three
notes per click. Four notes per click.
What do you think’s coming next? Five notes per click. Let’s hear that on
its own. Let’s hear it in the cycle. Starting with one. One note per click.
Two. Three. Four. Five. I’m going out of the to C major scale there.
Now let’s try and shorten it down. So, we’re only going to do a few of one,
a few of two, a few of three, a few of four, and a few of five. One, two,
three, four. Back down. One two three four. One two three four. One, two,
three. One, two, three. One two three. One two. One two, One two, one two.
And you can even go up to six as well. So, we’ve gone from one right up to
six. Let’s see if I can do that. Put my head on the line here. One, two,
three, four. Always in the C major scale. One note. Two notes. Three notes.
Four notes. Five notes. Six notes. Five notes. Four notes. Three notes. Two
So by doing this, you are… Hang on, I’ll just switch this off. By doing
this you’re freeing yourself of all of the barriers that are kind of
constricting you at the minute. You’ll be really used to playing in certain
subdivisions. And what happened when I started using this exercise, is I
noticed – I played with a lot of drummers, and when I first started using
this exercise, suddenly, with over a few weeks, I’d got a few stares, like,
‘Whoa what’s this guy doing?’ I’d hear them doing subdivisions, and I’d
instantly be able to drop by it with them because I’d been practicing these
subdivisions in my own time. It’s something you should really, really get
into your practice routine.
Always think about this: groove is the foundation of your playing. The
harmony is just laid on top of it. The actual foundation of it is your
groove. You know, something can groove without melody. Think of when was
the last time you heard some of that African drummers or something like
that. Did it groove? Yes. Did it have any melody? No. It was just
percussion. So, if you think about it like that it’s the percussive side of
your playing. The groove is the foundation. The percussive side of your
playing is the foundation. Then you lay the harmony on top.
So, it’s really worth stripping it back and working on this thing every
day. Maybe not just this exercise. Maybe other metronome – well, definitely
other metronome and rhythmical exercises. It’s worth putting this practice
into your routine every day and making sure that your foundation, your
groove, is the strong detail holding your playing together as it should do.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this lesson. I will see you soon. I’ve got
something really exciting coming up. I’m not going to tell you about it,
but all I want to say is keep an eye out for it. It’s coming soon. So, take
it easy, and get in the shed.