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How fast can you play 16th notes?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by IamGroot, Dec 14, 2019.

How fast can you play 16th notes?

Poll closed Dec 21, 2019.
  1. <40 BPM

    5 vote(s)
  2. 40 to 60 BPM

    7 vote(s)
  3. 60 to 80 BPM

    8 vote(s)
  4. 80 to 100 BPM

    31 vote(s)
  5. 100-120 BPM

    44 vote(s)
  6. 120 to 140 BPM

    35 vote(s)
  7. >140 BPM

    55 vote(s)
  1. How fast can you pluck and how do you do it.

    For example, i can play sustained 16th notes at 95 BPM, with bursts to 120. Doesnt matter if its single note or scale. My plucking hand is my constraint in playing fast.
    I use index and middle finger.
    HolmeBass and dr doofie like this.
  2. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I have never measured my exact speed.
    I can use a 3 finger playing style but it isn't completely even over long stretches. In quick bursts I like to think my plucking hand is pretty fast.
    red_rhino, The Rage and dr doofie like this.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Chillin' n Grillin' on the Best Coast
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    With my pick, how fast do you need me to go? Save your fingers.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  4. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I’m with Stumbo.
  5. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    My fastest for a few bars before breaking down is the mid section of Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes” approx 220, using three fingers; Alternating two fingers cleanly and accurately no faster than 105 or so. I think;)
  6. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    That’s pretty awesome that moving around the fretboard doesn’t decrease your speed.
    instrumentalist and Ekulati like this.
  7. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Fast enough that it’s not the limiting factor in me executing lines or solos that I want to execute.
    Manticore, MVE, mikezimmerman and 8 others like this.
  8. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    My three finger 16ths quickly becomes sloppy triplet-like nonsense... like a galloping bassline on a lame horse...
  9. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    About 120 bpm is about my limit for playing 16ths finger style using only fingers 1 and 2. Probably much faster with a pick but I've maybe used a pick like twice with bass since picking it up years ago.

    I could probably go faster but there's nothing I'm playing that really calls for having all that speed.
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Speed kills. I can't imagine where I'd ever be playing 16ths at 100+ bpm. In my world, I let the drummer do it. ;)
  11. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    It is hard to keep even if you have very different length fingers. My middle and ring are closer in length than my middle and index. The trick is to bend your middle finger more to shorten it. The count is also weird. I tend not to think too hard about my plucking hand. It knows what to do. It is my fretting hand that makes a mess of things.
    TerenceE and dr doofie like this.
  12. Too fast for love.
  13. Twice as fast as I can play eighth notes.
    Shanannigan, dfp, TerenceE and 33 others like this.
  14. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Assuming what time signature? What’s a beat?
    Potomuss, Russell L and Stevorebob like this.
  15. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    USA, Phoenix, AZ
    At my age I can barely play at all.
  16. IDC
    NeckPickup, DrMole, dalahorse and 3 others like this.
  17. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    I draw the line at 8th notes. If the band wants 16th notes we've either gotta find another bassist or another singer :)
    Mili, ivorytower, Playbyear and 7 others like this.
  18. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    You certainly are right about not thinking about it and letting it ride out...
    The second I think, “I’m going fast and the fingers are all uniform!!”... Psssst...:sour:
  19. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I can play 16th note at any bpm, as long as I only have to play one
  20. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    I'm pretty consistent at 4 per beat.
    dfp, Old P Bass Guy, jmac and 5 others like this.

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