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increasing right(plucking) hand speed

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ludwig109, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. title says it. my fretting hand is a good bit faster than my right. anyone know any exercises to increase the right hand speed quickly.
  2. Sloooow practice.

    There are three parts to plucking fast:
    1) the stamina needed to make the motions,
    2) enough coordination to get your finger on the string and pluck it in just the right way,
    3) coordination between your two hands to keep the plucks in time with note changes.

    The second two can only be learned by slowing it down and learning it right. The first will come on its own as you gradually increase the tempo you practice at.
  3. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    Well, what I would do do increase my RH speed is to set a pattern across the strings. Like A string twice then E string once then G string 3 times or something. The get that in to muscle memory with the metronome slow. When that becomes second nature, sit infront of the TV with the metronome and increase the speed when comfortable and so that it sounds good too.
    When you get that to the speed you want, find another pattern that you can't play at that speed and then do the same thing with that.
    If you want to increase hand coordination then with that RH pattern create a line and play that with your left.
    It's a good way to practice because you can do something else while increasing your playing level.
    But the Metronome is the biggest part of this equation.
  4. MIght I throw out a tip that I picked up somewhere on this forum that has helped me tremendously. Point the tips of your fingers slightly toward the tail of the bass instead of pointing them straight down toward your feet. IMHO this causes a lesser amount of friction between the tips of the fingers and the strings and has increased my speed on triplets etc. a great deal.
  5. thephilosopher


    Dec 22, 2004
    speed is a byproduct of accuracy. get it right, and it'll start getting faster. once you've got licks as clean as you can get them, you'll gradually be able to speed them up.
  6. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    All good suggestions, but I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned that limiting the movement of your plucking fingers is also important.

    Practicing slowly won't help a lot if there is extraneous motion in your plucking strokes.

    Pluck with the very tips of your fingers (as mickey stated, angling the hand slightly toward the bridge is a good idea) and use rest strokes in such a way that only the tip of each finger sort of grazes the string below (you want only a very short interruption to your circular motion).

    Eliminating extra movement should help. Good help.
  7. thanks everyone
    good stuff
    i can speed up riffs ect that ive learned but i can feel the right hand lagging behind.
  8. If you're willing to do some three-finger stuff (that is, if you're not already..) then may I suggest this: http://stevedigiorgio.com/tablature.html and click on the pdf of "Beginning Bass- Column." He shows some simple but incredibly helpful stuff. helped my speed....good luck.
  9. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    The most important thing to build up speed, as many people on this board have said thousands of times, is regular, consistent practice to a metronome. You cannot play fast if you don't play precisely. You can't play precisely if you don't have the muscle memory for what you are playing programmed into your very sinews. You can't program your sinews without regular practice, done at a slow tempo to ensure perfect accuracy. The metronome is there to make sure you are staying perfectly in time.

    I would say start with 5-10 minutes per day, each and every day, increasing to 30-45 minutes (in 15 minute increments) as your endurance builds. Vary the patterns you use periodically so you don't get bored, but always play slow, and always perfectly in time. After a few days at a given tempo you can bump the metronome up a single notch (roughly 3bpm). No more than that. Stay relaxed and never practice if you develop soreness or pain.

    I managed to force myself to do this for an entire summer. The difference in my speed, endurance and precision were incredible. Now I only practice like this a few times a week, just to keep in condition. I've been slipping though, some of the technical deathmetal I've been playing recently has been getting the better of me. It may be time to ramp up my practice routine.
  10. rotren


    Dec 18, 2005
    Camrose, AB Canada
    Hi, I'm new here. I am a guitar player but I'm also trying to become a decent bass player. My main problem is my right hand. Thanks for all these suggestions. I was wondering if most of you guys use 2 fingers or 3 fingers for plucking? I have a hard enough time playing with 2 fingers. Another question - do you always practice through an amp?This looks like a great bass forum! Sorry for coming in late to this thread with a bunch of questions.


  11. I use two, however I primarily play country , old rock and roll and play at church, and find two fingers adequate for what I play. I would stick with two until you feel you are ready for a third and then work in the third finger if you feel you need to use it. I always use my amp, but am wanting a five string acoustic so I can pick it up and not have to be limited to the downstairs room. There is nothing wrong with using a pick if you prefer and can get the sound you want. I played bass full time for a living (to use the term loosely) for 15 years and always used a pick. I didn't pick up a bass for a 20 years time span, and when I did I decided I was going to use the fingers. I like the sound better.
    Hope this helps.

  12. J Q F

    J Q F Guest

    Dec 23, 2005
    Victoria, Australia
    3 finger styles are good but you can have the plectrum speed with two. I used to out of frustration play with all three till one day I took the middle finger away and still had the same speed with more clarity. I use index and ring because they are the same size. I'll occasionally use the middle to climb up strings or if the ring gets tired. Try tapping your index and ring on your thumb limiting your height and of course start slow. I do this out of habit now every day and it's a good exercise that can be done anywhere.
    You can listen to some of my stuff at www.mp3.com.au/jimmyquickfingers particually Nuas, it was a hardcore riff I did 2 years back before i knew the meaning of jazz. I used a plec back then but now I don't.
    Keep up the playing!

    J Q F