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Steve Bryant Lessons | Metronomes and Timing

Steve Bryant

Steve Bryant is a Nashville session bass player. He has played several musical styles over his long career including R&B, big band, jazz, country, rock and Top 40. He first worked professionally as a musician in Lexington, Kentucky in the early 1970s. He made the move to Nashville in 1975. He was a member of the legendary bluegrass band Boone Creek. Members of that band also included Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas. In 1978, he joined J.D. Crowe’s band which included members Keith Whitley, who later became a solo artist on RCA, and Gene Johnson, who became a member of Diamond Rio. Steve was a member of Jerry Reed’s band for five years at the height of his popularity. He has toured with many other artists including Linda Davis, Dobie Grey and Buffy St. Marie. He has worked exclusively as a Nashville session musician since 1992. He has played on master recordings and demos for numerous artists, bands and songwriters.

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  1. Steve, thanks!!This is very educational and very helpful!! I’ll be watching and learning.I like the way you teach and break things down.I’m looking forward to the upcoming video’s/lessons!!God Bless!!

  2. Thank you Tim, I’m glad you are finding the metronome studies useful! there will be more to come…..

  3. very informative video. i agree with tim, i like the teaching skills and how you break things down. i recently started playing bass again after 7 years, and have noticed my skills have diminished. (obviously). i will definitely be watching, and following along with your videos!

    • Kristopher, It is doing a little on the instrument each day on the instrument that will do the trick. 15 -30 min per day on the right stuff will do so much more than ” cramming” several hours for one day then not touching the instrument for several days afterward.. yes- good practice habits make a better player—be consistent and find the time of day when you are mentally alert and attentive to what you are doing…many beginners and remedial players do too much ” wandering fingers” that do not really build musical skills and leave the player feeling a little self defeated…….Good luck, and thanks for your positive comments!

  4. Steve, great stuff. Dr. Beat brings back memories. My high school jazz band used that. Can’t tell you how many ways I pictured killing that box!

    Anyway. Never would have thought to practice with the metronome on 2 and 4, but makes sense. Another thing I notice you have a very controlled attack. I’ve been trying to tame mine a bit. (Dang rock n rollers)

    • Thanks Billy, and appreciate the feedback. That’s right, the metronome on 2 and 4 is the way to go because it replicates live playing like a drummer’s snare and demands that you supply the ” one”…best that way ’cause you can hear if you are with the click and you can’t fake it…No drum machine will do that for your time sense— OK for writing and work situations but not for your internal clock that all superior musicians have developed to a high degree.
      As to a controlled attack— Playing your notes long ( like whole notes etc) will help you develop that…. What style you play has nothing to do with this– again, an internal thing– play the notes long ( legato) and shorten them with letting up on the string off the fretboard while still maintaining contact with the flesh of your fingers…..and of course do this with ” 2 and 4” with a BPM around 90 to 100… Spend a little time on this everyday and you will see your notes have a much more robust ” bloom”
      In my private Tutoring- My students always spend time with this and they really get excited when others talk about how improved their tone,groove and attack are…..I’m adamant with them on this, but as they do the work, they see the light:-)

      Thanks for your post………good questions and good luck with all of your practicing!

  5. i have yet to be able to see this video. i just bought a metronome and i want to be able to use it properly so could someone send it to my face book JOHN FRICKE its the one of a picture of a bass

  6. Thanks again! Both things are now in the practice routine. I blame Jaco for everyone wanting to play those cool, funky staccato lines. Not putting Jaco down, just saying no one ever called me for a gig and said “Play some Jaco lines!”

    To get me “in the zone” I built a simple drum loop with Guitar Pro (plenty of metronomes and programs can also do this) 8th note hi hat, snare on 2 and 4 and a comically LOUD kick from on 1 and 3. I remove the kick once I start practicing, but leave it on for a minute or so before I start.

  7. Steve, I want to express my sincere gratitude for these wonderful lessons..and a big bunch of roses go out to bassfrontiers also for stepping up and providing such an informative site. DeeDee gave me a BossDB-90 some time ago and I have been working around beats two and four but mostly when Iam practicing on right hand technique(three finger,slap)however Iam wanting to approach more complex lines using 2-4 method but get really uptight(frustrated) after of doing this for some time..Is this frustration just a bad habit that is in the throes of being eliminated or do I need to go back to all fours and start with a very slow tempo…

    • Keith, don’t do so much complicated stuff at first — concentrate on the length of the note and play good chordal stuff – not just fast licks– you can always concentrate on a specialty later—–there are TONS of bassists that do incredible technical stuff — but do not spend enough time developing musicianship and really listening to what they or the other players are doing…….Some times one note well placed can tell the whole story—Learn some of the basics of reading too— that way, you will always have stuff to work on.
      don’t spend a lot of time on tab— tab is not used in the pro world and will not provide the correct musical info that you need to grow and be your own person in your expression of craft and art…
      Take Care,

  8. I’m going to be doing instruction via Skype soon! contact me sadtyler@comcast.net

  9. Please check out my site bassmentoring.com for more info and lessons in person or via Skype

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