Using Anticipation in Your Music

Aug 4, 2014 00:00 · 273 words · 2 minute read Music

One way I like to build grooves when I’m making music is by using anticipation. The best definition I’ve found to explain anticipation is a rhythmic shift of melody and/or harmony where notes which are normally played “on the beat“, are played either a half beat early or a quarter beat early. I think anticipation isn’t simply limited to quarter or eigth notes but this gets the gist of what I mean. If you checked my last blog post Groove Practice: Moving Notes I was setting up anticipation by playing with different note values. See the MP3 file to see what I’m talking about. I started off with quarter note anticipation and simply went closer to the 1st beat a 16th note value each time. Not only does this help open doors when it building bass lines but it’s also a really good exercise to help you build up internal timing. If you are a bass player who is interested in learning either Funk or Hip Hop then learning a bit of anticipation will probably useful, as these genres tend to use it quite often. Take your time when you practice with anticipation because the feel and timing is very important to execute, especially making sure that your hit on the 1st beat is precisely on time. People will feel the big beats “harder” than the anticipated notes so make sure that you are practicing with a metronome and not getting ahead of yourself. I’ve posted an example to show how using anticipation can make a bass line really groove. Listen for anticipation in the bassline but also in the kick drum patterns.