Watch the Rhythm 101 online guitar lesson by Brad Carlton from Jump Start Bass Guitar

This lesson explains some basic rhythmic concepts which are crucial for your success as a bass player. Your job is to lock up with the drums and create a foundation for whatever music you are playing.





The pulse of the music in terms of what makes you want to tap your foot is established with quarter notes. These are the notes that establish the tempo because they receive one beat each. They are counted: one, two, three, four. Many bass lines consist of these quarter notes and you will get practice playing these types of lines.





The next level in rhythm are eighth notes which receive half a beat each. This means they are twice as fast as the quarter notes and can frequently be located in what the drummer is playing on the hi hat and/or ride cymbal. These are counted one and two and three and four and. When you're tapping your foot the numbers occur when your foot is down and the -ands- occur when your foot is up.





It is very important you practice counting while you are tapping your foot so you thoroughly understand what's going on rhythmically. These eighth notes can be played in two different ways: either as straight eighths which are even in rhythm or as swing (shuffle) eighths which are uneven.





These two rhythmic feels define music and you will get a clear definition and demonstration in the video of the these two grooves.