The Most Common Rhythms & How To Make Bass Lines With Them (Also How To Play In Time)

One of the big areas to grasp if you want to be a great bass player is your command of rhythm. Groove, feel, and timing are the elements that combine to make your playing sound in time and in the pocket. This lesson goes through the most common rhythms you're going to find and how you can create some bass lines to bring them to life.

List Of Common Bass Guitar Rhythms

  • Whole Notes
  • Half Notes
  • Quarter Notes
  • 1/8th Notes
  • 1/16th Notes
  • Dotted Quarter - 1/8th Note

Here's a diagram of all but the dotted quarter note (it's all in the video above).

Common Bass Guitar Rhythms


The real key to mastering this is to understand beats and how they are organised into bars (or 'measures').

This is a great lesson to master counting:

Reading Music On The Bass Guitar: The Very Basics – Counting

And here's another good one:

Tighten Up Your GROOVE: Rhythms, Time Signatures, Metronomes & Counting

Spend lots of time on this. If you can master your rhythms you are a long way towards being able to play bass guitar really well. Knowing scales and harmony will ramp your progress up even more.

Here are some related lessons:

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