Bass Players: How to get better groove / rhythm / timing!?

I've been playing bass for a year now and I personally think I'm quite decent for only playing a year. Like I can make bass lines on the spot, I can solo, I made a few covers on YouTube. But I have one problem:

apparently I'm fine when I'm playing with the band, but when I play along to a song or try to make a cover, I'm off most of the time.

I started practicing with a metronome about a week ago, but I can't seem to match up with the metronome all the time either. Anyone have any tips?

I Think this video is a perfect example if you look at my hands and listen with headphones.

Youtube thumbnail


I'm a little bit worst now btw compared to the video because of busy studying and lack of practice.

I really want rock solid grooves and timing. I love music too much to stay like this or to give up :P

need tips please ><

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The key to getting your time down is to start off slow. I know that you've heard that a million times, but it's true. You have to start off slow and build up. Tap your foot and really concentrate on the beat and feel of the song you're playing (or the metronome... even with one on, always move your body/tap your foot along to it).

    Also, it's for the best to keep things simple at first, then when you start to feel comfortable with the line you're playing at a particular speed, you can get busier and add your flavor or fills or whatever. I've seen a TON of bassists (and guitarists/drummers/musicians in general) that feel like they have to be doing 100% of their ability 100% of the time. In my (humble) opinion, a great bass player will recognize that the health of the groove comes before showing off your chops.

    But really, all of that is secondary, because you will eventually accomplish all of your musical goals (seriously, you will. this is no pep-talk) if you keep at it. It may take some time, and it always takes a TON of practice, but you will succeed: the only thing in your way is your own inhibitions, so throw them out the window. Be persistent and above all else, play your instrument as much as you can.

    PS I watched your video, and although I could not understand anything that was said in the song (japanese?) I did see your bass playing. Pick versus fingers is a preference thing, but your fretting hand technique looks pretty solid for a year. I can tell though that you're going to have to take a step back in (re-)learning the groove thing: when you do any sort of fill you push right through it back to the regular line. This might be where you're having your problems; a lot of musicians have that problem where they feel like they (unconsciously) have to finish their little "two cents" and get back to the song as fast as they can, so they rush it. My advice is the same as written above: play along to songs with just the bare-bones bass line until you get it up to speed, then add the busy parts and fills later when you've got the rest down perfectly.

    I hope this helps, and good luck on your musical journey!

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