1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Having trouble playing different strings fast

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Redneck5, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Redneck5


    Jun 18, 2012
    I'm a relatively new bass player and i have trouble playing different strings. Like going from E to A or E to D. Should i just practice more or should i do it a different way. To clarify, whenever i go to another string and hit it, i play the next lower string(pitch wise). This is mostly when i'm playing 8th or 16th notes
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Practice playing at a tempo that is comfortable, then increase the tempo gradually. When you have nailed it at that tempo, then up it again, and so on.
  3. BritFunk

    BritFunk Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    My Friend,

    Start slow and go from there - play it no faster than you can play it flawlessly. Slowly increase the speed as you progress. One of the very first things I tell bass students is, "you can't do it good fast until you can do it good slow."

    Additionally, remember that speed is an illusion created by solid technique and minimal wasted motion - greater speed will come as you pare away excess movement and play more efficiently. The only way to do this is to concentrate on building your technique slowly, meanwhile paying close attention to how much movement your hands require to play the notes. Don't try to play fast - try to play well. The fast part will come with practice.

  4. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    In addition to the previous comments:

    Are you playing fingerstyle or with a pick? Either way, you should practice strict alternation, so even if you're jumping strings you are always alternating fingers (or up/down strokes). When you get a bit farther along, you can work raking into your technique, but for now, make sure you are always alternating with each stroke.

    Additionally, work on moving between adjacent strings (say, E and A) smoothly and cleanly before you start skipping strings (say, E and D).

    An exercise that's good to play octaves or fifths alternating, so...


    Alternating each note with your index finger on the E string and your middle finger on the D. Once you get comfortable with that, alternate playing pairs of roots and the octave, like this:


    ..where the 1 and 2 indicate index/middle fingers or down/up strikes with a pick.

    As always, play slowly and in time to metronome until it's perfect before speeding up.
  5. Nomadskills


    Dec 27, 2010
    All good comments. And just to reiterate, start slow and gradually speed up. Practice, practice, practice.
  6. Redneck5


    Jun 18, 2012
    Ok, that's what i thought, thanks for the suggestions
  7. 2nded. I'm a total noob, but I already notice that I have a bad habit of trying to play as fast as possible (Victor Wooten fantasies, lol)...my "theory" of playing fast until I get it fast AND correct doesn't seem to work for me.

    But when I do it slow and steady, I get through my exercises much more nicely. And eventually faster.

    I do seem to have string dyslexia though. lol I end up fretting one string and plucking another, if I don't look to see what I'm doing.
  8. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    And when people say slowly, they mean practice at the 'comfortable tempo' for a week, don't try to rush it up in one day. Even if it feels too easy, stick to it.

    I regret not sticking to it, now I've progressed a lot with some bad habits which I can't get rid of.
  9. Good points. I've done the same. :(

    Full of Open strings rhythm studies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.