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Finger speed??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bassplaying, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. bassplaying


    Oct 2, 2005
    Ok, kinda lame question, i was wondering how to play with fingers fast enough to match tremelo picking with a pick, is there a certain technique to use or is it just pure speed? Any info will be greatly apreciated!!!
  2. It might not be necessarily what you are looking for, but I will use my index finger in a back and forth motion across the string. Basically using it like a pick. But, at the same time, there is a difference in volume, and it takes a while to build up speed and stamina. Good luck.
  3. bassplaying


    Oct 2, 2005
    ive tried that before i didnt know if it was a good way to do things or not though...thanks for the info man!
  4. nick g.

    nick g. Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Chandler, Arizona
    If you haven't already, try incorporating your ring finger.

    If you want to increase two-finger speed, start playing some thrash, even if it's a little out of your league speed-wise. Play the song out until your hand gets tired. Day by day, it'll become easier. Galloping/triplet rhythms will build up endurance quickly.

    Some recommended speed-training songs:

    Metallica - Master of Puppets/ The Four Horsemen (intermediate)
    Iron Maiden - The Trooper (intermediate - hard)
    Metallica - Disposable Heroes (hard)
    Slayer - Raining Blood (really hard)
    Metallica - Fight Fire With Fire (insanity)

    Right now, I can hack Raining Blood with minimal use of my third finger at a bit less than full speed, but, mind you - I've been playing straight speed metal, and nothing but, for more than a year now.

    Pushing yourself is the easiest way to achieve the speed you want, but make sure you don't hurt yourself in the process.
  5. AND!:

    Coroner- Masked Jackal (incredibly hard)
    Atheist- On They Slay (intermediate-hard)

  6. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    To get fast play like a pick or even faster I use both of my fingers index and middle going up and down and then it's like using two picks.
    The problem is when you go down with the fingers you'll most hit the string with your nails and gives you a different tone from the fingers going upwards so if you are looking for a stable decent tone this technique is not for you.
    The second problem is that it take a lot of practice to control this technique if you play slower. (at least for me).
  7. bassplaying


    Oct 2, 2005
    Sweet, i already play metal with a pick, so i guess ill just start workign the fingers hard and build up speed, thanks to everyone for the help!
  8. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    my $.02
    I've found using the 1st and 3rd fingers,because they are the closest two fingers in length, and are the fastest. Use your thumb to pivot and just try to go as fast as you can,lightly at first.once you get speed going ,you can add intensity and even tap ultra fast(check out solo#1 at
    http://garrygoodman.com/Music.htm).This example is world music but it's 32nd notes.Just keep it relaxed at all times.
  9. Good Point
  10. chilipepperflea

    chilipepperflea Guest

    Apr 13, 2005
    East Anglia

    I'm pretty fast at finger speed, i wouldn't say ultra fast but slowly getting even better even better at it. Would you say theres a real need to try and introduced a third finger in the equation? I play with my first and second and seem to be doing ok...or would it be best just concentrating on my 2 finger practice?

  11. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Personally i decided to add the thumb to my technique instead of adding the ring finger.
    I'm working on the Double thumb technique and i got much faster with my play.
    I think the advantage of Thumb on ring is when you play octave stuff it's easier to use the thumb middle and index.
    On the other hand it still very hard for me to get used to play with no thumb as an anchor, also you got to use to the float technique with the thumb.
  12. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I'd just like to interject real fast, there's almost no way you'll match tremolo picking with fingers. But you can get pretty fast. Play scales. Get a book of scales, play one each time you practice until you remember it and have it down fast. Then move on. You work on speed while learning valuble information to boot.
  13. I disagree; you can match tremelo picking speed with two fingers, and exceed it with more.
  14. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    I surpass tremelo picking with finger speed.Picking can't compare to fingers when playing 32nd note arpeggios at mm 88 or higher.
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The only thing I would add here. Do not sacrifice consistency of attack for speed!!!

    It's *easy* to play fast, it really is. The challenge, is playing fast and articulately with the same consistency on all your fingers to where they sound uniform and like one. So how do you improve that?


    Ultimately, the best way to improve your playing at fast tempos, is to improve your playing at slow tempos.

    There is a certain amount of physical limitation that you need to overcome to physically move your fingers at a certain speed, but that's easy, and once you get passed that you should always look slower to play faster.

    As far as 2 fingers, that's really all you need to play super fast. Some guys insist that 3 fingers makes you faster, in some cases maybe a little, but by and large the difference is negligible.
  16. +1

    I'd like to add that it's hard to play fast and not get wimpy with your plucking. You need to be able to play just as strongly at high speeds as you can at low ones.
  17. +1! I found that as I increase my speed, my strokes tend to lighten up. You lose all the attack and distinction from note to note. What's the point of playing fast if you can't tell there's more than one note.

    - Andrew
  18. basscase528


    Oct 24, 2005
    London UK
    I'm working with the same issue right now. Some suggestions my bass instructor had were isolating the movement in my fingers by trying to eliminate as much wrist/arm movement as humanely possible. Also try shaking out your left hand before you try to build speed to eliminate tension and try an exercise of touching your picking fingers to your thumb as if you were plucking the string as fast as possible before you attempt it on your bass.
  19. I disagree twice. You can exceed tremelo picking and fingers with your thumb...in a consistent, even manner. IMHO, I think the thumb makes a better plectra than a pick does because its part of you. You have to focus on just holding on to your pick. :rollno:
  20. Wow....haha...I don't know what to think anymore. I just listened to that garry goodman song. :eek: