Motown Groove Etude

Motown Groove Etude PDF

Motown Groove Etude…get your muting together and this exercise will sound right on!

With bass

W/o bass

Download the notation of the exercise here, and the mp3 here.

7 responses to “Motown Groove Etude”

  1. D Mo says:

    Hi this is D Mo.
    When working on your time concept, it helps to use subdivisions.

    Take the Motown Groove Etude.

    Listen to the first four bars.
    Count 1 2 3 4 (like me during the count off) in each bar. This defines the quarter note pulse of the groove.

    Listen again and count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. This defines the 8th note pulse of the groove.
    The 8th’s give you more to grab on to. This forms a grid, a framework which helps you to play accurately.

    Compare the difference between subdividing in
    quarters (1 2 3 4) and 8ths (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).
    Try it.

    Let me know if this affects the way you play along with the etude.
    Thanks, D Mo

  2. D Mo says:

    Let’s add 16th note subdivisions by counting like this;
    1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

    Try using quarter note subdivisions on bar 1.

    Then 8th note subdivisions on bar 2.

    Then 16th note subdivisions on bars 3 and 4.

    So your concept of subdivisions sounds like this for the first 4 bars;

    1 2 3 4
    1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
    1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a
    1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

    Practice singing the above subdivisions along with the track.

    Next try playing along with the track while thinking these subdivisions.

    Practicing subdivivions will get your bass playing grooving!

  3. D Mo says:

    The 4 bar phrase beginning at bar 9 has the classic octave fifth root bassline. This line will work! It’s ubiquitous in so many styles of music.
    We also have a shift in the root motion on bar 11 (the 3rd bar of this 4 bar phrase). The music moves up to the IV chord. In the key of G, C is the IV. (G A B C)

  4. D Mo says:

    Chromatic motion (involving half steps) is the concept of choice when transitioning from the I chord to the IV chord setting up the chord change. This begins with the pickup into bar 17 and continues for the next 8 bars at the point of chord change.

  5. D Mo says:

    A good drummer sets the band up with a fill, a phrase in the rhythmic language/shape of the upcoming groove. As bass players we are constantly preparing mentally in a similar fashion. The concept of preparation using subdivisions will make your bass playing more defined rhythmically. You will play with more confidence and accuracy as you are first thinking mentally of the upcoming rhythmic shape. Your playing will be more confident and groove heavy! Subdivisions work. Use em!!

  6. D Mo says:

    Preparation is a healthy concept. In performance you use preparation to set up a particular rhythmic language. A conductor of an orchestra gestures this concept with his hands and arms. As you prepare to play an 8th note rhythmic figure like the one predominantly used during the last 12 bars of Motown Groove Etude, you get yourself ready by thinking subdivisions of 8th’s.
    At bar 25, on beat 1 start counting (preparing) using the subdivisions
    1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
    Now your playing will be “in the groove”.

  7. D Mo says:

    Modulation is a wonderful compositional device taking the listener’s ear to various key centers. At bar 25, a 4 bar figure begins . At bar 29, the figure is moved (modulates) up a half step. Same thing again at measure 33, up another half step. Recognizing the modulation taking place, your hands should gravitate correctly to the proper position on the fretboard.The last bar of the etude has a syncopation on the “and” of beat 4. Count like this; 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 “and”!

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