Building up speed

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by smeghead02, Apr 29, 2001.

  1. smeghead02

    smeghead02 Guest

    Apr 29, 2001
    I'm a bass player who is interested mostly in playing metal. I play finger style, cos i basically hate playing with a pick. Has anyone any tips about how to increase speed to play the really fast riffs which are common in metal.

    An example of what im talking about is in Metallica's "Leper Messiah", after the interlude, i.e from about 3:35 in the song until the guitar solo.
  2. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Do you mean finger speed or how fast you fret the song?
  3. smeghead02

    smeghead02 Guest

    Apr 29, 2001
    Its one of those riffs where the guitar is playing up-and-down strokes of palm-muted open E, and the bass is doubling (minus the palm-mute of course).
  4. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    id learn to play with 3 or 4 fingers on your right hand (or left if your left handed) i use 3 fingers, sometimes 4 and it helps. also play using the finger pattern 1-2-3-2-1 or with 4 fingers 1-2-3-4-3-2-1. 1 being your first finger 2 being your middle finger etc
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    In general, just practice your fanny off to songs with really fast plucking speed and lots of fret hopping, Stupid in its simplicity, but it's the only way I've found in many years of playing.

    If you find that you're getting worse the harder you try, put the bass down, take a break, and get back to it when you've had time to clear your head.
  6. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Well, I use 2 or 3 Fingers when plucking really fast.
    When I begun playing bass, I learned some Iron Maiden songs and practiced Steve Harris technique..
    This allowed me to increase speed sequentially...
    So i think that could helm
  7. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    I'm not sure how fast you're , but to get you started you can check out
    Black Sabbath - Paranoid
    Led Zeppelin - Communication Breakdown

    I don't really think it's neccecary to play with more than your 1st and 2nd fingers of your plucking hand.. but that's just me.

  8. smeghead02

    smeghead02 Guest

    Apr 29, 2001
    hmmm.....i had a wee go at "Paranoid" aint that thinkin more of the thrashy type stuff. But thanks anyway.
  9. Yeah, although Communication Breakdown is a great song, it really isnt that fast. My favorite warmup riff is from Jaco's dedut album, Come on Over.
  10. Mudvayne4ever

    Mudvayne4ever Guest

    May 2, 2001
    Try Metallica's "Master Of Puppets",great speed riff. Or "Fight Fire With Fire" off of Ride The Lightning. Luke
  11. There are tips I took from "shredder" guitarists which are useful for building up speed for both right and left hand. Try playing along to a metronome, and gradually increase the speed until you feel you can't keep up. Then increase the tempo considerably higher and try your best to keep up with it. You won't be able to, but the idea is that when you slow it down to the desired tempo, you will be able to play it more consistently and faster.

    I applied this to a RHCP song called "Parallel Universe." Flea plays those 16th notes really fast and more importantly very consistently. When I tried to play it at that speed, I felt my right forearm muscles burning from fatigue. So I tried the exercise I mentioned above, and it became dramatically easier very quickly. Try it out. I can almost guarantee that you will see a difference within a couple of days.

    Good luck!
  12. i read through quick but i don't know if anyone said this, do you know the story of the turtle vs. the hare? get the parts down slow and perfect and then slowly get them up to speed. speed is no good if the groove and tone blow. :D
  13. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Try playing with your thumb, not slapping mind you, but plucking with your thumb. If you economize on the thumb's movement you'll be amazed at how fast you can work it. This will take practice and you will have to build up the callous on your thumb but it's a good technique to use, for fast single string stuff and for getting a phatter sound.

  14. Mudvayne4ever

    Mudvayne4ever Guest

    May 2, 2001
    I started playing fast riff's at first with my thumb and index finger,after a while,you'll be surprised just how fast they will take you. Give it a try. Luke
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    once again, Gruff, your wisdom seems to be unnoticed. It deserves to be said again.

    speed is no good if the groove and tone blow.
  16. Berme


    May 11, 2001
    you have to hear John Myung of Dream Theater (who also plays some Metallica songs, as One or Damage, inc.), the bassists who have played wiyh Symphony X (can't remember their names) and of course Cliff Burton (I'd love to see him playing Fight fire with fire or Metal Militia).
  17. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    using the pattern 1-2-3-2-1 is not a very good way to get a great deal of speed - you're still limited by how fast your middle finger can pick - look at the center of the pattern, "2" plucks again after only a single other pluck - "3" - this is just as fast as using just 2 fingers...

    the best way to get faster than 2 fingers is to use the pattern 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3, or 3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1 - this way every finger has 2 plucks between each of it's plucks, so that, given good timing, you will be able to increase the speed of the notes you play without increasing the speed of each individual finger.

    another trick that i use, depending on the passage that i am playing, is to use my thumb along with my first 3 fingers, sorta like classical guitar style plucking. i usually use my thumb on a lower string or to pluck out pedal tones - you can get really motoring speed that way.
  18. Berme


    May 11, 2001
    i also use three fingers to play my bass. i've played lots of Metallica and Pantera songs, and i have to recognize that i only use two fingers where a fast riff comes in. i don't know why i started playing with three fingers, maybe to impress, maybe hoping it was going to be useful later. i have talked with friends of mine who play guitar, flamenco style. they also use three fingers, but only two when speed is needed, as their teacher tells them. "This way you don´t get confused with so many fingers", he says. In any case i usually do play with three fingers, not at fast riffs. i guess speed comes with relaxation and hours of practice. now i am able to play songs like One with my fingers, something that seemed impossible to me a few months ago.
  19. duff_hodges


    May 15, 2000
    Suffolk, UK
    I was always told that if you want to play fast then practice slowly! Figure out what plucking pattern you're going to use then practice slowly then gradually get faster when you are confident that you can keep the same rythm constant. It works for me, but everyone is different.
  20. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    another good song to learn for fast playing is "Crash course in brain surgery" by metallica

    is it just me or is it only metallica that play fast songs.......?
    well its probably just me but yeah......