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good ways to develope better stamina and speed.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bongo499, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. bongo499


    Jan 10, 2005
    the past 2 weeks i have been concentrating on my speed and stamina.. but i dont think i have been progressing that much. The noly thing i really do it play fast lines to songs that have fast bass lines with not alot of space but is theyre a better way? leave your thoughts :bassist:
  2. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    A good way to develope better stamina and speed?

    Practice. Practice, and more practice. Don't expect overnight results. It's a combination of dexterity, muscle development, control and synchronicity between the fingers on both hands.

    It just takes time and...practice.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Sundogue's answer is quite complete. I'll just throw in a few other considerations, too, that contribute to speed.

    Knowing your fretboard, knowing your music, having well developed fretting technique so you are not wasting time with extra or inefficient fretting behavior, knowing music theory well enough so you don't have to think out each and every note choice prior to fretting, and having well developed string crossing technique both with the right and left hands will increase speed.

    Much of the above comes with practice and time, but not all. You can practice until you are blue in the face and your fingertips are blistered and fingernails black, but if you are still inefficient in your fretting, if you still aren't really sure of your fretboard, if you still don't know the song, so you are hesitating however little to choose the next note, you will be slowed down.

    But time is a great helper in the above matters. I remember when I first started palying it took me six weeks to learn Iron Maiden's "Fear of the Dark." I was so frustrated and really lost confidence., but kept at it. Now a similar song could be learned in a matter of hours or faster. Why? Because with time, I "learned how to learn" a song.

    I also became much more familiar with the fretboard, I learned about chords and chord charts. I didn't have to painstakingly learn the song note-for-note. I learned how to break a song down into parts and understand how those parts are connected.

    As for stamina, again that comes with time and practice. But I'm not sure how much stamina you feel you need. Are you referring to the stamina required to play one song, an entire concert or pratice hour-after-hour or what? Again, though--I know I keep coming back to this--but if you have good fretting and plucking technique you will not be wasting time and finger muscle with inefficient movements that both tire and slow you down.

    One thing it took me a while to learn was that I fretted and plucked TOO HARD. It wasn't until I learned to lighten my touch and let the amp carry the sound, that I was able to play without getting tired and sore.

    Good luck. Keep on trying. Becoming a musician takes time...a lot of time. You spoke of two weeks of trying to build speed. Two weeks is nothing in the life of a musician.
  4. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I agree completely. I wasn't saying practice as only running over the same things again and again.

    By practice, I meant the very things you said (and said very well, I might add).
  5. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    GIG A LOT!!!!!!, seriously, if you gig 4/5 nights a week with 2/3 hour sets (with no break), trust me your stamina will shoot up.
  6. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    First, as a side note, you should always stretch out and warm up. That should help a little and is just smart prep.....you'll decrease the liklihood of doing damage to your hands, wrists, and fingers. Secondly, as was mentioned above, you really can't expect to see results in a matter of days.

    When I was first starting out and wanted to increase dexterity, accuracy, and speed, I practiced scales. This was good practice on two levels. First, playing scales over and over will help you to learn them better (to where playing them is more automatic and requires less thought), and it will also help you learn the neck better. Secondly, by not trying to practice on difficult and/or new passages, you can focus less on what you're actually playing and concentrate more on speed and accuracy. Just start slow and play the same scale or passave over and over. Then gradually increase the tempo and repeat. Gradually increase the tempo and repeat again, etc. Just be careful not to overdue it. Pain does not necessarily mean "gain". Push yourself and challenge yourself, but be careful not to cause injury or unnecessary stress or fatigue to your hands and wrists. Have fun and practice away! :smug:
  7. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    yes, learn to relax and let it flow while you're playing. If I think about it too much, I tend to get all bound up. If I just let go and feel it, the speed and stuff take care of themselves. YMMV
  8. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    Everything that was suggested above is great, and you would be well advised to listen. The only thing I have to add is that buying or borrowing a super cheap bass with high action and heavy strings may help too. I used to practice with a P.O.S. Squier, and played shows with my ESP, which is the total opposite. This is the same theory that baseball players adapt: practice with a softball, which is bigger and heavier, (harder to throw and catch), and play with a baseball. The transition between two basses will also make you feel like your main bass is fantastic.
  9. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Right-on, Bass-shy! While I love my '62 Reissue, it has horrible action, and for the first few years I owned it, the action was way outta' wack. It was the bass that I learned on, and I may as well have been playing on an upright. When I think about how low the action comes on some high-end, modern basses, it amazes me how easy it is to just flutter around, barely fretting notes. The only downside to this is that you don't want to develop a heavy hand that would be detrimental to tone or technique. Still yet, it's another method to improve speed and accuracy.
  10. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    A bit extreme but, I recently had to use a 6 stringer for a few gigs (loved it btw) and I found when I went back to my regular 4 string it was like playing a toy (never thought I'd hear myself saying that), the whole fretboard opened up to me and I found my speed on the fretboard had increased enormously.