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Getting intricate

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Leftybass12, May 10, 2010.

  1. Leftybass12


    Nov 14, 2008
    Hello. I am a big Dream Theater fan and I have always been fascinated about how they can play intricate passages. I know they've done a lot of finger exercises with both the left and right hand. My problem is my right hand (I play lefty, so it's my fretboard hand). It always seems to lag behind my left hand, which my plucking fingers are decently fast. Can anyone help me with a exercise/technique that involves intricate fingering with the fretboard hand? I know what exercises to do with the plucking hand so I'm not as concerned about that hand, it's really the fretboard hand.
  2. Join a progressive metal band.

    If Dream Theater stuff is what you want to play, take some of their pieces and slow them down a bit to practice with. Focus on keeping optimal technique on your right hand (thumb in the middle of all four fingers behind the fretboard). If it just can't "keep up," that means you need to bring it up to speed in the woodshed :]

    Other popular ones I've seen,

    The "spider": Play tritones as follows


    You can also reverse it to be major thirds instead, and transpose. Try moving it up, changing between tritones and major thirds, string skipping, whatever.

    Playing scales (major, minor, whatever) up and down, repeating notes as you go up. So let's say you were going through G major, you could play the first four notes, then start on the A and go up another four, etc. To get more into the dream theater-y stuff, you could also try changing the amount of notes you repeat (alternating between 4 eighth notes and 3, for instance).

    I'm not sure what to say...it seems like something that will get better with patience. Best of luck, my friend.
  3. Li Shenron

    Li Shenron Guest

    Mar 17, 2010
    I'm still a total beginner with the bass, but I've played guitar for many years and I think it should be the same here. Do you still practice the good old chromatic permutations? Try spend 10-15 minutes a day on the various permutations of 1-2-3-4, stay very relaxed throughout the exercise. These exercises improve your LH fingers indipendence.

    After a couple of weeks, start practicing the same patterns, but this time "spread" the patterns over 2 consecutive strings.

    Two more weeks, and then do the same patterns but over 2 non-consecutive strings, skipping the one between.

    Check you progress after 5-6 weeks :bassist:
  4. Elrend


    Feb 24, 2008
    If your fretting hand is lagging behind you are obviously not on that level yet. So spend all your time working on coordination.

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