Desperately need help!!!!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Leftybass12, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Leftybass12


    Nov 14, 2008
    Okay, so I've been playing bass for 3 years basically and I have a real problem. My plucking fingers can be super fast because I've been practicing speed exercises for the past month and half like crazy. My problem is that I failed to get my fretboard hand in sync with these exercises. If there are any suggestions on how to help me get my two hands in sync that would be great!
    The reason I ask this is because A: I really need it
    and B: I'm covering the bassline to the Dream Theater song Home. I have the bass intro down, but when it gets to the heavy part I have a big problem 'cause my plucking fingers are fast enough for the song, but my fretboard hand is not.

    If you have covered this song please offer any help as to how you covered the song.

    Here is my speed exercise in case any of you were confused by my earlier statement.

    My exercise is me usually playing a D major scale. I get out my metronome and start around 80 BPM and play 16th notes and work my way up to a little over 100 BPM. When I play these 16th notes though I play "1 e and a" on the D then "2 e and a" on the E and so on.
  2. Ahh, great song. Massive Dream Theater fan myself. Met them in June of this year. Was amazing :)

    It's one song that i haven't tried to learn. I haven't tried learning anything of the Scenes album except for Spirit Carries On, which is actually disgraceful now that i think of it, because some of Myung's best work is in that album, like the Dance of Eternity bass solo.

    Just wanted to say good luck. I know how hard it is to cover Dream Theater as a band. Takes an awful lot of work.
  3. IdealWay


    Oct 18, 2006
    Asheville, NC
    SLOW DOWN! You'll never gain speed in your fretting hand, and be accurate, unless you start slowly at first and gradually increase your speed! Also try using all 4 fingers when playing in any given position and slide around as little as possible. Jaco offers some exercises in his "Modern Electric Bass" video, you can find clips on YouTube. Hope this helps and good luck!
  4. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    A fantastic dual-purpose exercise is simply working on scales and arpeggios.
  5. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    +1 to slow down.

    Speed comes form accuracy.

    IMHO any practice drills that leave out one hand or the other are not worth spending much time on.
  6. I would agree with the slow down.

    Another exercise that I use, using 1 finger per fret, is with the number indicating the finger 1234, 4321, 234, 432, 324, 423, 34 and 43 going and up and down the fretboard one string at a time and then skipping strings. This would all be using 16th notes.

    That way both hands are moving building accuracy and coordination.
  7. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    Aternate plucking fingers with every note you play on the fret hand, this will help you with your coordination.
  8. I have made some bass covers of this song and I can tell you, it's a wonderful song that made me a huge fan of Dream Theater.

    So, as a hint, I can honestly say that you won't get this song just in a month or two. You'll need much more than that. Plus, if you can't play this song's bass line, try playing other Dream Theater song wich lines are similars like "Take the Time". Play it just to practice. But be sure to start slowly and then speed up from chord to chord.

    John Myung has some video exercises posted on websites so that you can really nail that song and much more!

    Cheers and don't stop practicing, DT fan!
  9. Leftybass12


    Nov 14, 2008

    Thank you very much. And thank you to everyone else who has posted in this, it's has helped very much! Also, john bass, thanks for the input about how long it would take to probably successfully cover the song.
  10. RyRob813


    Jun 7, 2007
    St. Paul, MN
    Don't play the scale like that. If you're going to do it that way, (I also agree with slowing down at first...) play 1-e-&-a as D-E-F#-G. By playing it the way you are, you're actually still moving your left hand fingers on the quarter notes, since you're spending each beat on one note of the scale. Your right hand's playing straight 16ths, however- hence the difference in speed.

    Also, assuming you're playing the D Major scale starting on your middle finger on the 5th fret of the A string, you're staying in one postion. Play that scale everywhere! Play it through the circle of fourths (C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-B-E-A-D-G), and finger it differently also.

    For the D scale, try: Starting on the E string: 10-12-9-10-12-9-11-12, or...

    open D-2-4-5-2-4-6-7.

    Descend the scale a different fingering pattern than you're acending.

    Not only will this help you're speed, (take up the metronome as you can, but WITHOUT STRAINING), but you'll become more familiar with the finger board and different fingerings for similar patterns. That way when you get to stuff like Dream Theater, you won't have to think when you're going to grab a scale run or whatever it may be.

    Good luck, and one word of caution: Be very careful when practicing speed exercises. DO NOT FORCE IT!!!!! When playing fast, your fingers should be loose as can be. Don't muscle it- just let your fingers fly! DO NOT do any "finger strength" exercises like squeezing a tennis ball or anything like that- you will ruin your tendons, and end up getting painful surguries with long rehab times, and possibly end your playing altogether.

    So be careful, and have fun! :bassist:
  11. Leftybass12


    Nov 14, 2008
    Wow, that helps a lot. Thank you!!