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how do i play fast?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by eric234, May 5, 2005.

  1. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    hey i'm just learning bass and i've been playing for about a month and can do the two finger walk across the strings wih ease but i can't play fast like what's needed for funk so i was just wondering how you guys do it
  2. SCALES, SCALES, SCALES, and MORE SCALES. And when your finished with those,play a song, THEN MORE SCALES!!!! Your going to hate me for this. Everyone goes through the big "Scale Phase" I guarrentee you, you will hate it with a passion, but you have to be motivated. Don't stop playing them. I know their boring, and you'd rather jam, but you have to pound em out. Trust me when I say this 5 months later you'll be happy you did.
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Master exercises at a SLOWER tempo first, and then gradually speed them up, over a period of days, weeks, whatever. I know you want to get finger speed, but don't be in a hurry to get there.

    You have to play slow to play fast.
  4. Good point Duck :bassist:
  5. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    cool i'm already doing scales so i guess i've just got to do it for a few more months thanks for the advice guys
  6. Eric, I'd recomend playing a scale untill you cant feel your hands anymore. If you are trying to improve handstrengh. It might hurt, and you'll think you will never make it, but in the longrun it will help considerably.
  7. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Don't play to the point of pain, you could risk long-term damage. If it hurts, you're either doing it wrong or overworking yourself. What kind of funk are you talking about wanting to play?
  8. Eskimo, you know what I mean. I was exagerating. I meant play to your hand is really tired.
  9. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    Another thing is... Just play.. Well I guess it helped me alot more considering my name on talkbass. But really though.. Just playing will get you speed up. Just that.. scales will help alot more.
  10. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Speed comes with time. Over time you will feel comfortable playing certain patterns. But most importantly, you will have the coordination to move quickly through these patterns (left and right hands together). You do not need strength to play faster; however, some players do believe this. Speed will come from a light touch and excellent coordination. Stay loose, relaxed, and let it come naturally.

  11. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I hope you have a metronome. If not, you should get one. I like to spend about a half hour to an hour with a real slow click. Right now its at around 45 bpm, but it gets faster every week, and play 16th and 32nd notes. It helps your time, cuz you have such a long space between clicks, and speed. Oh I'm playing scales and arpeggios, by the way: major, minor, all the major and melodic minor modes. Best of luck.
  12. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
  13. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    The one technic I teach is to alternate the index and major while you are practicing scales and arpeggios. Be careful when you come down to alternate properly and don't use raking. Master that and you'll gain speed, endurance,precision and a control tone and dynamic level.
    But when you play syncopated rythm you just forget about it. When you'll need speed, just go with the alternate fingers.
    Good luck,
  14. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    WOW, I love that!!
  15. chilipepperflea

    chilipepperflea Guest

    Apr 13, 2005
    East Anglia
    just wondering why is a metronome any good? i've never used one, is it just to keep the rhythm going?

    cheers ryan
  16. tifa

    tifa Padawan Bassist

    Mar 8, 2005
    Blackburn, UK
    I've been playing for a month now, and i'm battling through the 'scale phase'! At the minute it doesn't seem to make much sense but I'm sticking at it regardless.

    I know one day it will pay off and assist in my playing - its already helping me when I try and jam along to songs by ear, now and again I'll know what note to hit and its very satisfying!

    Speed will just come through practice :) hey, that's what I'm hoping at least :D

    good luck with it and remember I share your pain Eric!
  17. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    Are you serious? You really don't know what a metronome is for?
  18. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    what's fast for you?

    I can stay on root and play way over 200bpm
    and i can play scales over 150bpm...

    and i still dont consider myself fast...

    maybe when i do scales over 200bpm..
  19. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    Eric, one of the biggest mistakes a new bassist can make is plucking the strings too hard. If you want to play louder, turn up your amp.

    If you want to play fast, work on a light touch with your picking hand.

    If there was away around learning and practicing scales, I'd tell you. Sadly, music is based around scales so the more you practice them, the better the musician you will become.

    Once you have your light touch down pact and can play scales take the advice on practicing with a metronome to work on your timing.

    If you can play lightening fast and have poor timing you will be useless. If you can play at moderate speed, know your scales and have impeccable timing you will be a great bassist!

    Once you have the scales, tempo, touch foundation down pact, turn up the tempo!

    While you are working on your speed, start listening to bass players who exemplifying fast playing and keep the groove going. Off the top of my head Rocco Prestia, Marcus Miller, and Jaco come to mind.
  20. the practicing regimen laid out here are good. Work your way up speed-wise. Don't just do scales though. Pick a song you like that goes faster than you can currently play, and learn to play it.

    The #1 most important thing you could do to play faster is buy a bigger amp. I'm only half-kidding. This will let you play with less force. The less effort you are putting into volume, the less your finger has to actually move, and the quicker in can get back in position for the next time it is needed.

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