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Lack of skill in playing bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by sevortz, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. sevortz


    Mar 10, 2010
    hey guys, i've been playing bass for 2 years, but i can only play pop songs. i want to play metal songs like lamb of god or arch enemy, instead in metal i can only play trivium or aild, i cant do triplets and my left fingers sucks, i cant play fast, do anyone know how to improve my skill :D?

    sorry im a noob and my english sucks
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
  3. kr0n


    Feb 4, 2009
    Repetition in practice, economy of motion. Use a metronome and speed it up gradually. Takes a few years of woodshedding to play fast...
  4. sevortz


    Mar 10, 2010
    yeah i practice much but it doesnt increase much, i play with two fingers, is it faster if i play with pick?
  5. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    if you are serious about improving, you'll invest in regular lessons with a good teacher.

    to keep on shredding will not get you any further, but reinforce all the bad habits you have picked up... IMHO.
  6. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    My advice would be to find a good teacher.
  7. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Playing with a pick isn't necessarily faster than fingers.
  8. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Not necessarily. Pick or fingers, depending on what tone you want, and what you are comfortable with. No harm in mastering both.

    I agree with the others about getting a teacher. If you cant afford one, then check out right and left hand bass technique on You Tube. The general golden rule is to practice something slowly, then gradually increase the speed. A good all round bass site is : www.studybass.com

    Here is a clip that shows L/H technique :

  9. sevortz


    Mar 10, 2010
    thanks dude you really help
  10. the day I hear trivium or as I lay dying on the radio is the day I will let a comment like them being called pop pass.

    That being said I dont listen to either.
  11. Guz2


    Apr 18, 2009
    Lamb Of God and Arch Enemy songs are difficult to play...Try starting with some easier metal I.E. Black Sabbath, Candlemass and quite a lot of Amon Amarth's stuff. Then work up until you can play something like Necrophagist...Which may take a while :p

    As for triplets, listen to and learn a few songs of some bands that have a lot of "galloping" riffs. Probably the best example is Iron Maiden. I was fanatic about Maiden when I first started bass and I learned loads of their songs and it really helped my triplets.
  12. sevortz


    Mar 10, 2010
    oh great, i like iron maiden, btw how many fingers do u use or triplets?
  13. quigg


    Jul 27, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    I use 3 fingers for triplets, I taught myself how to do it through repetition. I learned by plugging my bass into my practice amp or my headphone amp and turning it down to where I would be able to hear every note, but I was still able to do other things. So I would sit there practicing triplets while I was watching t.v. or talking on the phone or something for hours. I did that every day for a few weeks and I was able to play my first maiden song. For long periods of sustained speed I use 4 fingers, that's a little harder to do than use 3 fingers because your pinky is shorter than your other fingers, I move my wrist closer to the string that I am playing on so that I can still skip strings easily. You should start out slow first and build speed gradually, economy of motion is the most important thing about playing fast, otherwise you'll just wear yourself out within a few minutes. So when you first start, you should find a position for your hand so that all of your fingers are relatively the same distance from the string that you want to play on, play the string open and pay close attention to your right hand. You want to move your fingers as little as possible to get the string to move, because the less your finger has to move, the quicker it will be for you to be able to use that finger again to pluck the string. The reason you want to be plugged in while you are doing this is to make sure that your fingers are all hitting the string with the same strength so that all of the notes sound uniform.
  14. sevortz


    Mar 10, 2010
    oh okay thanks for the information, i'll try that later
  15. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It's not easy, but as all have said, practice makes perfect. Oldschool Metallica songs are overly difficult on bass, but are mostly fast...Seek & Destroy is mad fun, and the fast riff in the middle takes awhile to master
  16. bassy7


    Jan 29, 2010
    This may not be true for you--- but I think it is for a lot of us, and it is for me. My 2 right hand plucking fingers can "outrun" my fretting finger speed no problem. IN order to get your left hand up to par with your right, if thats a problem for you, you should really work on exercises that help your fretting fingers help develope indepenence from each other. Should be using your left fingers to move around the fretboard, not so much sliding your hand up and down the neck to reach the proper notes.
  17. bass1967


    Feb 28, 2010
    Practice certainly. But what you practice matter as well.

    Before you start, warm-up by stretching your fingers.

    Find some drills to help you coordinate you hands so they work more smoothly together.

    Practice keeping your fingers close to the strings. Stay loose and relaxed.

    Your bass may need to be set up with a lighter action.

    Find time every day to pick up your bass. Even if you do not plug in, you can practice.
  18. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    1) Get a good teacher. (even if he doesn't like metal. I play metal among other genres too but my instructor was a fusion jazz player and that helped me a LOT)

    2)Don't have high speed as a goal. Have effortless precision as one. Speed will come when you don't aim for it.

    3) 2-finger technique is enough for playing most of the music out there.
  19. Guz2


    Apr 18, 2009
    It's all personal preference really. I'm working on improving my 3 finger triplets but it takes quite a lot of practice.
  20. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    These are all good suggestions but let me ask you this. Do you play music with other musicians who play the type of music that you want to play? Do you know personally know any bassists who play the type of music that you want to play really well. Hook up with them. Offer one of them some cash to give you a few lessons. I'm not where I want to be as a bassist but I'm no slouch either because when I started playing 10 years ago I started off playing with musicians that were much better than me. Don't worry about making a fool of yourself in front of other players. The only way to keep that from happening is to stay inside and never come out of your house with your bass. Get out there and play the music that you want to play with people that play it. Get involved with them. I guarantee you that you'll get better by doing this if you have even an ounce of talent and I'm sure you do. Have fun.
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