getting a big sound while playing fast

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by perytojie, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. perytojie


    Dec 2, 2004
    Nancy, FRANCE
    I'm practicing one Chip Jackson's fast line on 'A' Train (Billy Taylor albums from the 'Live At Kennedy Center' series : Billy Taylor Trio & Maynard Ferguson...) Here's the question : I can get a good sound playing the line slow, usind perpendicular alternate two fingers technique. But as soon as i approach 220 i start losing the fulness
    of the sound. Any remedy to that?


    [I know i should get a teacher but the best (and only) bassist in the area wouldn't let me take lessons with him : he just doesn't do that. As I call him once a month to ask him, i guess he's gonna try and hit me one of these days!]
  2. Hey There, this probably isn't the answer your looking for, .... you've got to simply work your way up to it....for me it's as simple as that., the way I accomplished this in my first year of playing "sans teacher" I practiced frequently with a drummer with no amplification and because he's so goddamn loud it made me loud and many blisters later i'm able to play at rapidfire tempos with the same tone as on a ballad.

    Good Luck
  3. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    Try staying close to end of the fingerboard, and still try to use as much finger-meat as you can. In other words, keep your right-hand fingers as parallel to the string as possible without lapsing into perpendicular-to-the-string-bass-guitar technique.

    Also, while playing fast, still think about using the weight of your entire right arm all the way to your shoulder and back. Don’t “hover” over the strings.

    Peter Washington has solved the problem in a unique way. He always plays with one right-hand finger; actually with one finger laying over the other. While walking, he lays the middle finger over the index, and vice versa for soloing. He can play incredibly fast solo lines with a huge sound using this method.

    Of course, though, he's a god.
  4. dex68

    dex68 Guest

    May 5, 2005
    Mike is right on - you gotta pull with the whole arm. And work up to it slowly.
    Here's a trick that sometimes helps me: let's say you want to play at 300 bpm. First play at 320 or higher for a while, then set the metronome back to 300. It'll seem slow by comparison. I think there's a certain amount of brain washing to be done here. If you convince yourself that the tempo is a piece of cake, it will be, and the sound will be there, too, because you won't be uptight about 'playing fast'. Tell yourself how easy it is, and try to keep from contorting the face - stay calm and relaxed a much as possible.
  5. perytojie


    Dec 2, 2004
    Nancy, FRANCE
    I got the answers i guessed i would get...

    As usual there's no real mystery technique or shortcut. Play slow first then speed it up!
    It seems as well that none of you is the kind of perpendicular-bass guitar-like-right-hand-pulling man. Same for me, the sound is just not the same, not as big i mean.
    Though the parallel approach seems to have a limit as far as speed is concerned especially playing eighth notes at fast tempos. IMO it's a physical issue. When pulling perpendicular, one finger does not need to avoid getting in the way of the other and they both are at the same distance from the strings (and have the same "shape") which is not the case with the parallel way.

    And Dex86, i entirely agree with you on that brain-washing idea. It helps to relax when you know it's no big deal even if it actually is!!
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    If you're wasting movement and energy getting a good sound at a slow clip, you'll not be able to play quickly and get any kind of tone.
  7. Robert Kopec

    Robert Kopec Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2002
    Fair Oaks ,N.Y.
    DR String endorsee
    big tone at fast tempos?
    hard to do but the best advice there is.
  8. Do you clip your right thumb under the FB?
    Some of us just love sustain, but when you're playing time at a fast clip, the sustain can be a problem, especially when amped. You gotta learn to shorten the quarter notes.....