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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by teenagebass69, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. hey...i was wondering if theres any way i could get my fingers faster. Ive been playin for a while but every time i see jaco i fill with envy. any tips on getting fingers faster?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Speed comes as a By-product to good technique, practice with a metronome, practice well, pay attention to your technique, and then speeding up won't be an issue.

    Once you can play slow you can play fast
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    ...and WR can indeed play fast.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    To elaborate on the good technique thingy, optimize and minimize your finger motions, excess or ineffective motions cost time and therefore slow you down.

    A lighter touch also helps IME.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Also, make sure you're not tense. Relaxation is the other key to speed.
  6. Yes,like what Mr.Pacman and JMX said...

    Look at victor wooten,my instructor saw him live(was really close to him) and noticed he lightly touched the strings...don't be agressive with it...use enough pressure :)
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Victor wooten has incredibly low action, when I played some of his basses, I was amazed at how they virtually played themselves in a sense.

    he plays with a very light touch most of the time, and he is ALWAYS relaxed, but he knows how to dig in if necessary.

    Speak softly and carry a big stick and all that :D it's okay to let your amp do most of the work in letting your sound out.

    another thing about playing fast, just food for thought, playing closer to the bridge the strings are tighter and it's easier to brush on them and get a stronger sound, and they also don't bend as much making it easier for you to alternate very fast, now, ultimately I can play just as fast on top of the neck as I can on top of the bridge, but it's a little easier to do it near the bridge, and requires less work.

    just food for thought, bridge playing also changes your tone a lot, so you'll probably want to work with what you like.
  8. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    My experience has been (particularly with the double bass) that technique-wise, what you can play fluently at a slow speed you can also play fluently a lot faster. Same thing goes for something that isn't happening at a slow speed DEFINATELY wont work faster.

    In other words, don't practice playing fast until you know something really well slowly.

    Knowing something really well means it's smooth, in time, and in tune.

  9. funkyfraz


    Dec 14, 2003
    i disagree with the idea of lettin ur amp do the work... my phylosphy is, is to toughen ur fingers up enough to be able play fast, not just play lighter to get speed. espacially when it comes to pinched harmonics n'stuff like that. they might sound good in ur bedroom, but its when ur on stage and u really need ur fingers to dig in, thts when u need to make alot of the sound manually!

    no soubt aot of folk will disagree, but i dont care...its just my way of doin it, and its worked for me.

  10. rob_d


    Jun 14, 2001
    As others have mentioned, the key to playing fast is practicing slow. I know that sounds weird, but if you work on things slowly in your practice sessions...concentrating on the aforementioned good technique...the speed will come out. For example, if you're running a scale take the tempo all the way down to mm=50. No joke..slow as mollases. Concentrate on alternating your two right hand fingers all the way up and down. Concentrate on your fretting hand position(thumb behind the neck, not curled over the top of it etc..). Make sure you're playing with a light relaxed touch and you're not trying to squeeze water out of your neck. Next day bring it up to mm=60. Increment in 10's each day. However cap it out at about 120 or so. All the while check on your technique. Maybe once a week you can dedicate a practice day to solely blazing speed. However as a rule slow and low is the way to go. I think you'll be surprised at how much more quick you become when you're on gigs or jamming.

    It's the main problem I've seen in many of my students...they practice the stuff I give them too fast. The end result is they play it fast and sloppy. The notes aren't even...they aren't muting properly, causing other strings to ring out...just general clunkiness(is that a word?).
  11. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Thanks Rob. I'll give it a try.

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