Building up skill

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by matteo6dmb, Oct 2, 2001.

  1. matteo6dmb


    Sep 27, 2001
    Champaign, IL
    I just got my first bass; an Ibanez GSR200. After trying and failing to learn acoustic guitar where my nylon strings pressed down on the--compared to bass--tiny frets incredibly easily, I switched to the bass world. These frets are gigantic and the strings are so thick that they take a ton of pressure to press down. Yeah I'm not afraid to be a newbie. How do I build up speed and finger strength the most effectively?
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Practice practice practice! Finger strength can only come through constant playing. Well, maybe you can fiddle your fingers during class or something... people might start to talk, though.:eek:
  3. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Make sure the bass is set up for you properly. It shouldn't take "a ton of pressure" for you to fret a note. Go to the bass shop you bought the bass from, and get them to set it up with low action - fretting notes should really only take minimal pressure. Playing bass is about dexterity, not strength.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    What the Duck says is all there is. The bass is incredibly easy to play..............poorly

    Having played guitar, I found it rather easy to play passably well. But playing the bass decently is difficult.

    Dexterity, fluidity, and economy of motion, are much more important than strength to playing the bass well.
  5. Practice? Ha! What a crock! What you need is the special bass player's drink. It's 1 part guitar pick,1 part pickguard, and 2 parts bass strings. Throw that into a blender, add a little orange juice and voila! Drink that and you will be as good as, if not better, Les Claypool, Flea, AND Jaco. Just send me $20 and I'll get you the "Bass Player's Recipes for Greatness"

    Practice....HA! :p :D
  6. matteo6dmb


    Sep 27, 2001
    Champaign, IL
    okay maybe I exaggerated. the strings aren't THAT hard to press down. I'm just comparing it to my 20 year old Yamaha acoustic. but yeah; what do I practice? I'm getting lessons soon, but until then...?
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I understand what you're saying, I've played nylon string acoustics and there is practically NO string tension.

    You'll probably learn things like scales and whatnot with the lessons, so for now you might want to work on your finger dexterity. Even if you plan on using a pick, I would recommend taking up fingerstyle playing, for flexibility's sake. Practice alternating the two plucking fingers (index and middle) at an even tempo. It may seem boring, but you have to get the muscles used to that action.

    As for your fretting hand, you probably have some dexterity from playing guitar, but you might want to work on your individual fingers, especially if you're used to chords. Try working with one pattern at a time, like 1-2-3-4, then switch to 1-3-2-4 and so on.

    Of course, I don't know how much YOU know, so this might be old hat. :D
  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    chromatic scales and scales in general are good dexterity builders.