Bumblefoot – Most Important Guitar Lesson



alright remember way back when I was about 14 years old and I was all fancy us all doing everything and I started taking jazz lessons and I remember walking into the first lesson think I don't really impress the teacher I was like ah watch this I'm doing all this crazy stuff and he just stops and turns on a metronome and sets it down as low it would go as low as it would go to about 40 BPM and said play quarter notes and I was like okay so it's just going and I'm just going and he stopped me and said no no you're doing it wrong it's thank you he had to teach me discipline I did not have discipline was able to do a lot of fancy stuff and do a lot of riffing a lot of shredding and all that stuff but I had no pocket and without that it doesn't matter what you do it's crap if it's not in the right place in the beat and you're better off playing the wrong notes with good groove than the right notes rushing the beat one of the most important lessons you could learn right now is that the drummer is your boss the drummer is the boss are they're going to hate hearing that right now all the drummer's in your band are smiling like a sea but the drummer is the boss the beat is the boss listen to the beat the beat is the leader and you have to follow the beat never ever jump in front of the bead it's the worst thing you could do it doesn't matter how well you're playing how accurate if it's in front of the beat in a bad place it's not good let's get a beat going here let's say a little a little off there as brutally slow as guitar players we just want to jump ahead we want to you know our heart is racing and we want to play double that speed and just to do this it's kind of a it's painful it's awkward it's not right and this is what we need to learn we need to become comfortable with it so what I want you all to do is listen to this bead this is 40 BPM m/s and I want you to play just one whole note to each one of those let's get some volume there we go and when you play it I want you to be behind the beat a little bit behind wait for the beat and then hit it even if you're way behind it's better than being way in front and you want to get in the practice of waiting for the beat to happen and not jumping ahead and rushing everything so just take a deep breath and just wait for it if it's too slow you may not feel the pulse and the groove at that speed so one trick you can do is take this slow rhythm that's going and divide it in your head into two and two four into something that you can latch onto that has a wave that you can ride so we got boom boom boom boom think of maybe boom boom boom bum bum bum buh 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 and as you're playing to this you're feeling pump pump you're dividing to something that you can grasp a little better so try it again and in your head think 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 and then lay back on it for 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 you just like that out of all the shredding and all the stuff you do this may be the toughest thing of all and this right here as simple as it is because it's about everything else it's not about your hands and what you need to remember is that music is not about your hands your hands is where the music ends not where it begins not where it's created it's where the music leaves you so don't think about your hands think about your body and your connection to the rhythm that's going on around you you got this external beat here you got to take it and don't Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom and don't rush that and just stay behind that groove this is the toughest thing to do out of all the crazy shred and stuff yeah so once you're doing this start doing scales and take a slow and what you're doing you're not practicing the scale now practicing hand techniques anything like that you're practicing staying behind the beep Hey developing that's sense that letting go it's all about letting go and not trying to control everything you gotta let go and let the beat happen don't try and be the beat that is probably the most difficult lesson I have ever taken on and getting that down it sounds like nothing but everything that's going on inside you as far as just releasing that urge that we guitar players have to jump in front and do everything quick and and just in the front we're not in the front the drums the beat whatever you're playing to is in the front and you have to respect that and you have to follow that very good so do that set your metronome your whatever you have that clicks as slow as it can go to the point that you almost can't even feel where it's happening and then divide the rhythm in your head so that you are syncing up to it and then just relax and play behind it

47 thoughts on “Bumblefoot – Most Important Guitar Lesson”

  1. โš ๏ธ ๐Ÿšจ ๐Ÿ‘€ ๐Ÿ›‘
    BE WARNED. Play with the beat in a recording so you can see where your notes are landing. For a long time Iโ€™ve played and despite thinking I was with the metronome my notes usually landed a tad late. When your hitting your first note your hand actually has to MOVE BEFORE that click comes in order for it to truly arrive the moment the sound actually projects from the metronome. The moment you go for that first note your hand should be going with the beat. Thatโ€™s the most natural and easy part because sometimes your picking hand is already developed and can keep time but it just doesnโ€™t know how to begin on time.

  2. There are some killer free metronome apps out there. I like Metronomerous. This is really crucial stuff folks so take it to heart.
    I got to hear Leland Sklar track one time. All the musicians were A list session players.
    They were so good that they were able to have album quality tracks in 2 takes.
    Time and Groove.
    This exercise is essential and I still use it when practicing. (Been playing for over 40 yrs)

  3. The simplest things are often the most difficult. And as an absolute Noob, I'm discovering this for myself. This is probably the best advice I have seen about guitar on YouTube.

  4. โ€˜Your hands are where the music ends.โ€™ That could be a great cut down if it werenโ€™t so true.

  5. Why would you want to be behind the beat? IMHO, behind the beat is just as bad as ahead of the beat..Its very noticeable.

  6. My guitar teacher tells me all the time about drummers that come into his studio to practice, and they canโ€™t stand it! I personally am developing the discipline to follow the pace of a metronome, no matter how slow it may be!

  7. I still don't understand the importance of playing behind the beat. Why would you not play ON the beat?

  8. Bumblefoot_ Watching your video,…… this is one of those ah-ha moments for me, thanks to your excellent and "zen" like explanation of how important playing to the beat is in music. Musicians can understand. Great video, thanks!

  9. Studying with a Metronome is MOST important…in every band I played in…I stressed this point til I was blue in the face….no one ever listens….and…they STILL don't LISTEN…..

  10. In music school that was the FIRST lesson my rhythm instructor imparted on us. Wrong note at right time is better than right note at wrong time.

  11. "From a tiny acorn a mighty oak tree grows."
    I get it , have to master the fundamentals , tether ones heart and mind to the guitar first and foremost.
    Timing is everything in life.
    Best lesson I've had yet.
    Thank you.

  12. I was always told it should be exactly on beat .. This confused me a bit, isn't this considered as a mistake ? Being late ..

  13. Yes MR.FOOT…….๐Ÿ˜……..2nd……..learn how to tune your guitar…..two of the most important lessons…๐Ÿ˜

  14. Jed K.
    I've never shredded anything except for coleslaw. But thanks to you I remember what every guitarist of stature has
    always told me: If you're not in synch with yourself, you'll never be in in synch with anyone else. It's an endless lesson
    I think

  15. zzzzzzzz…. . . if you can't stay in the pocket you will probably never be a decent guitarist. can't believe i just wasted my life on this.

  16. High end playing is 90% listening, 10% muscle memory ๐Ÿ‘‚ ๐Ÿ’ช.
    This guy's lesson actually IS the most important one you'll ever have. Heed well.

  17. Ok so I am 5 years too late for this video but darn it I am going to comment anyway! lol

    I could not agree more with just about everything you said! I think this is why I and others of "my" generation/style of guitar playing get so annoyed with all this shredding stuff. There are literally millions of guitar players out there that shred and do it great, but when you try to get them to play something slower with more feeling, they absolutely suck! They tend to focus on that all that fast playing thinking it makes them a great guitar player. Recently we lost one of the greatest shred guitar players in history, I would put him up against ANYONE and I think he would beat them! I am talking about the late great Roy Clark! That man was "shredding" before shredding was even a thing and he was doing it on guitars that shredders today couldn't do it on! At the same time, Roy Clark could play the most beautiful ballads, finger picking his way through the most relaxing wonderful song. Roy Clark was a guitarist, shredders (most) are not guitarists, they are shredders!

    I am not saying what I am to try and insult shred guitar players, I do admire some of them and their talent. But darn it let me hear you turn off that distortion or hear you playing an acoustic if you want me to consider you a great guitar player! I hear people like Yngvie Malmsteem and read the comments of how great he is but all I ever say is, yup he is fast. The guitar is like a woman to me, sometimes yeah she might like you just F**** her but to enjoy a full relationship and to express to her your love for her she wants you to also make love to her. I don't know of any woman who just wants to be F*** all the time. I think that is one reason why I am not a big Hendrix fan. Yes he could certainly play the guitar and for his time he was inventive but I would really liked to have seen him an acoustic just playing some ballads, some blues, some rock so we could see his full spectrum as a guitar player. Yes I know there are two videos of Hendrix playing an acoustic, but two songs makes a guitar not! That's why, for me anyway, I always say that the greatest rock guitar player is Jimmy Page. We have thousands of examples of his guitar playing fast, slow, intermediate. We see him playing electric as well as acoustic. His catalog of music and examples of what he can do on the guitar far exceeds that of Hendrix. Of course that is because we lost Hendrix much much too soon, but from what I hear from those who knew him, he never really sat around playing an acoustic and he was heading towards playing more jazz than rock and roll. That's just my opinion of course someone else has a different one, neither of us are wrong, just different.

  18. Wow !!! What he said is making more sense to me now as a player!!!๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽตโ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š I am going to try doing what he was saying!!! But instead of playing scales I will try playing chords instead!!!

  19. I couldn't agree with Ron more about playing "in the pocket." The story about his teacher making him play 1/4 notes at the slowest tempo reminds me of Mr. Myagi teaching Daniel how to hang up his jacket before teaching him how to fight. Real guitar & musical wisdom.

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