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Playing Fast: Legato

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Hey guys,

    I've never been a big fan of super fast bass playing, but I've recently found it to be a bit of a necessary thing to learn. I was wondering if anyone had some killer patterns or exercises to help me practice playing more legato styled leads and lines.

  2. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    If you can get a copy of Roy Vogt's dvd's, I know he's got at least a couple of exercises in there that are just stupid fast.
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Anyone else have anything to add? :)
  4. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    Building up your left hand strength is important so start doing trills. Start with your first and second finger, then do first and third, first and fourth. Then do second and third and second and fourth, and finally third and fourth. All hammers and pulls. Then start running through scales all hammers and pulls. And then listen to Allan Holdsworth. ;)
  5. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    That being said, I really don't think legato-style is the best style for playing fast on a bass, I think picking every note on fast runs sounds better. So, you know, work on your picking technique.
  6. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    Is not about sounding better or worse,or fast.
    Legato is another device you must learn,is a must know for every musician.
    It just mean the sound has no breaks between the notes written this way.

    To the OP : try to learn "donna lee",it can be a good exercise of legato.( meaning you can play it that way for exercise purposes)
  7. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Try to figure out 3 notes per strings fingerings "à la Jaco" for fast legato with one attack per string. That will do it. ;)
  8. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Sorry that's all I had and I was trying to help you get your thread rolling. FWIW, those exercises are pretty challenging for sheer speed. Only problem is you'd have to get the whole set to get them. It's a good course though, I enjoyed it. Happy shedding. :)
  9. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Came in to post ^^^this!
  10. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    Yep I think on a plucked string instrument it has to be that way but on a wind instrument it is playing a serie of notes in one blow or if your instrument is played with a bow you play a serie of notes in one bow attack.

    On electric bass and electric guitar ... they called that hammer-on/off which is in fact legato play but you are limited to 3 or 4 notes if you don't use tapping.
  11. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    Of course,Clef de fa.
    I was only restricting the answer for the instrument in question,bass guitar.
  12. Rick Robins

    Rick Robins

    Jan 13, 2010
    I took a quick listen to your band track. So I assume you are trying to do this in that context. As suggested above The head of Donna Lee is a nice part to work the technique out on. From our "getar brothers" like suggested above, some Holdsworth material is key but also something along the lines of Yngwie Malmsteen. IE the intro to Trilogy Opus 5 is very similar to the head of Donna Lee without the passing tones/altered chromatic stuff. Billy Sheehan has massive amounts of material out there were he does this along with raking & tapping as Clef Da Fa suggests. His tone & stereo high/low outputs helps it sound more proficient by burring the slop of it under compression & gobs of overdrive. This is the biggest difference between the finger style of picking all the notes as Jaco Taco mentioned, I think that's why guys like Jeff Berlin pick or pluck all the notes most of the time but Berlin & others will run through a chorus pedal or other to smooth it out. I would suggest trying a Lydian shape from the C on the 8th fret on the low E up to the 12 fret G of the G sting & back down to start working it out under your fingers.