Increase My Speed (DB Forum thread)

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by KyriacosKestas, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. KyriacosKestas


    Mar 20, 2012
    Hey guys..
    I practise a lot on scales and arpeggios... Although I need some advice on how to increase my speed.. specially in the right hand.. Do you have any suggestion for the way of practise? What are you doing on this subject?
    Thank You:)
  2. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Practice as slow and precise as you can. Speed is mainly a matter of precision. Alternate bowing and pizz.
    Start a figure very slow and speed up until you loose control, pull it back to original tempo, repeat. Also: get a good teacher who can play fast well.
  3. What helps me with speed on my right hand (I play righty), is an exercise I came up with. I call it the spider crawl. Start at the 12th fret and on your left hand only use 1 finger at a time (improves switching dexterity between fingers) and go down the frets in this order:
    12 11 10 9
    11 10 9 8
    10 9 8 7
    9 8 7 6
    etc etc etc all the way down to the 1st fret then work your way back up to the 12th fret. Do this as fast as you can without tripping over your fingers. On your left hand only use 1 fret per finger (12 fret pinky, 11th ring, 10th middle, 9th index, 11th pinky, 10th ring, 9th middle, 8th index, etc.)
    It's an odd exercise but it's helped me tremendously on being fast, precise, and dexterous.
    Good luck!
  4. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    (above post) wrong forum I guess?

    A teach that can play fast doesn't make YOU play fast.
    Sure he can give you tips but it's you who has to do it.
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Also, if you can't hear phrases fast in your head, all the physical speed training will be limited by your imagination.

    You can't play fast solos if you only hear phrases go slowly in your head.
  6. And what do you do for bowing speed?
  7. All the advices are useful (i agree with Damon, when you see someone else showing you some skills, it's easier for you to repeat it). As hhiddy said, you must be able to think your phrases at the good tempo...
    But to me, the most important thing is to work scales and arpeggios in all keys, in any position, transposing systems when it's possible, plus RETRANSCRIBE and play every solo you can pick up, especially extra-double bass solos for bowing bass (many violin solos are useful to pick up), to understand the melodic way and the fluidity of the others instruments.
    Work non usual bass intervals all across the stick (i mean 'intervals jumping') to be confident when you want to pursue an idea, without the risk of the 'fail syndrome' (i think everyone of us understand ;)
    Don't fear to play first really slowly the problematic phrases (if you are not comfortable with intonation, technique etc...)
    Hope it will be useful,
    Good work to you
  8. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Right on as always.

    OP, you can do a lot of "practicing" away from the bass. Walk around the block; think about some fast solo. Get home; play it.

    Another suggestion: draw your inspiration from other instruments. It may feel ike a sprint on DB but its a light jog on tenor horn. Let the music draw you faster -- and most of the music I'm listening to is not DB solos.

    Have fun & report back.
  9. I don't see where the OP is talking about soloing. Only speed. Michael Moore had me doing strictly mechanical exercises with no melodic qualities whatsoever. Speed is speed.
    After that is developed, OP can apply it to the Simandl exercises.
  10. Practice regularly and effectively. Work on any and all exercises at a slow speed until you have the perfect. Scales, arpeggios, melodic passages, lick, riffs, whatever it is you practice, practice it right - slowly, until it's perfect.

    Do that everyday, for as many minutes/hours as you can dedicate and not only will your speed improve - so will all the rest of your skills. There are no shortcuts and a good teacher will help you develop a GOOD practice routine filled with good practices.
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    The only effective way I've built up any physical speed is:
    1) Pick an etude/passage that needs work
    2) Use a metronome clicking on two and four (or just one), starting at an excruitatingly slow tempo
    3) Play the passage til you can do it without thinking about it
    4) Bump up the metronome by 3 bpm, rinse and repeat.

    At any point if you start making multiple mistakes in a row, you have to go back to a slower tempo til you get it correct. Slow and steady wins the race.
  12. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    This has been discussed in great detail. Do a search.

    A very significant point- speed isn't just a physical issue. If you can't hear it, you can't play it. Early on in your development, working on your ear is just as important as working on your hands. Are you working on transcriptions? Have you attempted transcribing a faster solo or bassline?

    Scales and arps are a good start, but in my book there's no discussion of jazz pedagogy without talking transcription.

    One final point that I made in the last discussion on this matter- speed is not a skillset that gets asked for often from a working jazz bassist. Work on playing melodic, harmonically intelligent lines with a good sound and good feel, and you'll be a happy, busy bassist.
  13. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    +1 my bass teacher has emphasized this as well. We were listening to Ray Brown, a recording of a transcription I was working on, we both remarked on how Ray had the chops to play circles around any player but chose to mostly play solid time and tasteful lines while supporting the band.