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Improving speed?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RoyQBiv, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. RoyQBiv


    Nov 8, 2002
    Bellingam, WA
    I've been playing bass for a bit under 6 months, and I think that generally I'm advancing pretty well. However, when I'm playing higher tempo songs, I find that my right hand has trouble keeping up. Do you guys have any ideas for improving my finger speed, or is that just something that comes with time and practice? Does the Gripmaster (is that what it's called?) really help? Please advise.
  2. Play scales and arpeggios. Lots of them. Every day.

    Mix things up a little, of course. Something I did this summer that really increased my one-string finger speed was play arps on the maj7, dom7, and min7 chords, in all 12 keys, playing either a triplet or four sixteenth notes on each chord tone of the arpeggio. Playing arpeggios with a single sixteenth note on each chord tone increases string crossing speed.

    There are some drills out there--John Patitucci's is the most famous--that will make you a better string crosser/skipper in three weeks.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    • practice
    • use a lighter touch
    • minimize excess finger movement
    • use raking (playing two adjacent strings with one pluck) when appropriate
    • don't use a gripmaster or finger weights (see no. 2)
  4. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
  5. RoyQBiv


    Nov 8, 2002
    Bellingam, WA
    I already try to spend some time on scales everyday...I'll start doing the arpeggios along with the scales. Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'll keep at it.
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    One other thing worth mentioning, particularly at your stage of playing, is that a lot of speed comes from muscle memory. At 6 months of playing, your hands aren't accustomed to playing a fast line, particularly without thinking about it. That gets better over time.
  7. This has been said many times but needs to be said again............play a riff, scale, arp slowly and acurately then speed it up without screwing up. Once you can play it cleanly, speed it up a small amount. Don't make the mistake of speeding it up too fast just because you might be bored. Take your time and work on it every day. Take pride in playing the line cleanly then gradually speed it up. Soon you'll be playing clean quick lines (Jaco?).
  8. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    sorry to spam, but heres a small collection of 'improve your speed' basslines here

    also, go to activebass.com and search through their lessons, im sure there'll be something handy :)
  9. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Use a metronome, start slow, and then gradually build up your speed as you get more comfortable.
  10. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    What is this drill you speak of?
  11. Practice your scales, arpeggios, triads, all of these major and minor. Once you have all of this under your finger you will be doing alright. (remember this will take you a few months) jsut practice practice practice.
    Good luck
  12. Practice.
    Do scales.
    Use a metronome.
    Practice some more.
  13. vanselus

    vanselus Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    And most important?

    RELAX YOUR HANDS! It doesn't take much pressure to push down a string - a lot less pressure than most of us use.

    Another thing that contributes to speed is making sure your wrists are not bent while you play - keep those babies straight as possible.
  14. a men Stright wrest, and relaxed hands very true

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