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how to play faster?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ollielangfan, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. ollielangfan


    Apr 3, 2005
    Nampa, ID
    I'm trying to play B.Y.O.B. and I know all the tabs and everything but I can't play that fast with my pick. How do I improve my playing speed? And why is it so much harder on the big string (newbie)?
  2. Lots and lots and LOTS of practice. Just play. Day in and day out. From sun set to sun rise. Sun rise to sun set. When the tide comes in til the tide goes out. And then play some more.

    Speed comes with practice. Precision comes with practice. Talent comes with practice. Fame comes with practice. Everything comes with practice. Just keep playing.

    It gets frustrating at first, I used to be frustrated as hell. But then after a certain point, when you've put in the time and effort and your fingers finally start to do what you want when you want, and then it becomes really REALLY *fun* to just play.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You should also practice.
  4. Andy On Bass

    Andy On Bass

    Sep 10, 2005
    The key to being able to play faster is actually to slow down. Practice simple single string exercises with your pick, start with something slow like 8th notes at 80bpm (if you have a metronome or similar). Once you get this down (meaning you never miss a note, all volumes/tones are consistent, and your naturally alternating between up and downstrokes) you just keep bumping the tempo up (perhaps in increments of 20bpm) and you start to really gain speed. There's not point throwing yourself into a fast peice and trying to play it up to speed if you haven't already got the accuracy to play it a little slower! Keep at it mate!
  5. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Practice, i can play that track with my fingers...

    it's something like 16th notes at 168bpm?
  6. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    Do chromatic scales from slow to fast. That's what I did for a LONG time... and I burn the strings :smug:
  7. xxajr8xx


    Aug 31, 2005
    PRACTICE!!! :bassist: :D
  8. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    It may sound boring, but some of the best ways to practice that kind of right hand stuff is to do the same thing over and over for about 30min-1hr.
  9. first listen to the song and get it in your brain. then learn to play it slow. next while continueing to play slow, sqweeze the neck hard as you can. play this way as long as you can humanly stand it while speeding up your play.

    then rest for about 30 minutes.

    then play soft and fast. and you'll find that you can play the song..

    good luck!

    when you start poppin and funkin on those strings, they will know that YOU CAME TO PLAY.
  10. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Whoa! I'm not sure its a good idea to tell anyone to intentionally play with as much stress as they can. That sounds like a recipe for an injury. Perhaps it works for you but I wouldn't ever tell anyone to do that. Maybe I misunderstood your comment.

    Speed, especially anything more than a quick burst, requires you to be relaxed. If anything you need to practice with as little stress as possible. The above sounds like bad advice to me.

  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    +1 for Chad. Why not tell him to bang his hand against a wall really hard? That'll toughen him up!
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    This may sound a little strange, but listen to music with fast bass playing in it, oh and practice :)

    As has been said on TB before, probably numerous times; speed is a by product of good technique. Efficiency of movement is very important in playing any instrument, but especially long scale stringed instrument like bass.
    'One finger per fret' is essential as well as a consistant right hand plucking technique. A good teacher will help with this area of playing - it helps to actually watch someone up close and have them help you correct any bad habits that may form.
  13. SeanE


    Sep 20, 2005
    practice with a metronome and work your way up. Nothing has served me better than the work I put in when I was younger doing chromatics and arps to a metronome.

  14. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I'll echo the advice of "practice!".. there's no substitute for it...

    but I think you should also seriously examine your picking technique to make sure you're not doing anything inefficient that'll slow you down...

    different people have different picking styles but the best ones are usually the most economical...

    I would suggest moving the pick with a combination of wrist, forearm and finger/thumb.. i.e. dont do it all from the wrist, dont do it all from the forearm and definitely dont do it all from your finger/thumb... try and get them all moving and working :)

    (but picking styles vary enormously.. James Hetfield seems to pick with mostly wrist movement and he's done some fast work in the past... I can't use that kind of movement on the bass)

    I find it very useful to anchor my ring finger and little finger (pinky) on the strings as I play.. this helps mute unused strings too and I feel it allows me to gauge the pick movement across the string better.. might be worth a try

    get a metronome, and play alternate 16ths, evenly and cleanly... no cheating now! first start at 70bpm and go up 5 bpm every 5 minutes... do this on single strings and then introduce cross-string movement...

    just remember that music isn't a sport, and it's still more important to think fast than play fast :)
  15. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Practice, but warm up slowly, stay relaxed and remember to take breaks. You don't want to injure yourself. (No joke.)
  16. I'm currently working on Matt Garrison's 4 finger technique. It ain't coming easy! Similar to above posts, I'm slowing it way down with a metronome. This may take hours to achieve, but I'm not giving up.
  17. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    well sed, i totally agree, listen to this guy and do what basicly he just sed and in time u will get what ur looking for
  18. byob? pick or fingers?
  19. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR

    bring your own beer?
  20. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Actually, if you want to play faster, give me $5 and I'll send you a copy of my secret method, it'll make you AWESOME.