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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SabilTheBassist, May 24, 2021.
+1 to pretty much what everyone has said. This will only come by wood shedding it.
Hammer ons and pull offs might help depending upon what you're trying to play. I have to admit that I'm often guilting of trying to pick every note and sometimes that's not the thing to do.
Once you can do it relaxed, slow, speed it up a bit til you can't do it relaxed and back off but faster than before. Wash rinse repeat.
2 steps forward, one step back.
I played with a pick for decades but got sick of dropping and losing them, and when I took up upright pretty much switched to fingers.
You can use a pick and play as fast as you want but it probably won’t sound very good.
When “practicing from slow to fast“ are you ramping up to playing beyond your ability? IOW are you speeding up before you’re ready? When you’re playing slowly are you nailing it with both left and right hands? WRT LH are your fingers landing just behind the frets with light pressure? WRT RH Is the pick angle consistent and the pick location on the strings the same every time you pluck? IOW, not moving back and forth along the string? If you’re going to get fast you have to play perfectly at slow tempo first, otherwise speeding up will only amplify the small errors in your technique making them big errors.
Work slowly, checking out every aspect of your playing as you go. Shoulder relaxed? Light hold on the neck. Arm moving minimally? Easy grip on the pick? Bass at a comfortable height [for playing, not for posing]? Patience for learning comes more easily when you keep your mind busy with all the parts of playing. Just a thought: are you plucking consistently down-up-down-up? For now you should be.
Your jazz bass is just fine. The instrument you use has mighty little to do with playing speed. Necks ranging from toothpicks (J bass) to war clubs (some 6-string basses) have been played blindingly fast by players who’ve knuckled down.
Don't use a heavy pick. I've found a 60 (usually the orange ones) is the way to go. Otherwise you have too much resistance as it's a thick string fighting a thick pick. Which means you have to play harder than necessary and your hand will be fatigued quicker.
With fretting, best just slow the song down. Work with the root notes and the rest will come. I've found the better I know the song the more comfortable I become.
So... the consensus here is to "Start slow to go fast". Plus, just spending a ton of time working with the pick- takes a while to get used to if you haven't done it too much.
Punk is a lot of smooth, consistent 8th and 16th notes. It seems counter-intuitive, but a light guage (.60-.73) pick plucked fairly lightly is going to give you a nice clanky sound that's also round and bassy. It's also the best way to sustain all of those 8th and 16th notes without killing your wrist or tiring out.
But don't take my word for it, here's Fat Mike!
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