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Please dont tell me this was for nothing!!1

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by xXxJQVxXx, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. well earlier today i grew frustrated because of the lack of speed in my picking fingers, so i finger picked the E string for an hour. im thinking about doing this every day do you think it will help? any suggestions are appreciated.

    also, it was at my fastest and i did it at a steady tempo
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    This can help, but remember that there is more than the E-string. Then you also have to coordinate it with the other hand. Practice with changins strings without losing notes, and also, use scales to practice the coordination.
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's another good reason to get a teacher, so you don't waste time on stuff that doesn't really have anything to do with music.

    Playing fast isn't about moving your fingers faster, it's about being able to conceptualize lines that are fast moving and then having the wherewithal to play what you are hearing on your instrument. Which is about shifting and being able to start an idea on any finger on either hand and emphasize any note with any finger and knowing where everything is in relation to everything else on the fingerboard and being able to hear with enough clarity that you can identify what you are hearing and play it without the instrument being an impediment.

    Unfortunately, "finger pick(ing) the E string for an hour...at my fastest and ...at a steady tempo" doesn't really work on any of that stuff.
  4. damn oh well thanks for the advice
  5. It does take some dexterity to play quickly, since it's hard to get your fingers in place for the next pluck really quickly, but you'll get that dexterity best by playing scales, arpeggios, and songs. Just plucking one note will only waste time.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I disagree. While it may not be the very most helpful thing you can do, playing one string for an hour will help you build stamina, and it also doesn't hurt speed at all. I wouldn't spend any more than a couple minutes at a time on it, but it's far from wasted time.
  7. You did WHAT? You played nothing but the E-string for an hour without changing strings?

    Ohhhh the monotany! How could you STAND it?

    I work on my speed by taking patterns that I know very well and without thinking just try and rip them out at warp speed and then gradually back off the speed until I can get good note definition and hold it there...then I pick up the pace again....then I choose another pattern or two...and then...I have a cup of coffee...
  8. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Its far better to do 15 minutes of this kind of practice, on several different strings, and with several different patterns, every single day.

    Do this at very low speeds, to a metronome and strive to make every single note perfect. If you can't acheive 100% perfection slow down. Do this daily and gradually push the speed up on your metronome.

    This will build muscle memory and coordination and with time you'll have very good speed at high tempos.
  9. What he said. Its one thing to play one note really fast, what takes years is to fly around the fretboard and do so musically. The other thing is that, in my opinion, speed comes naturally with better technique. I myself have never worked on speed, yet I can contend with just about anyone (in a sense) except speed metal/punk crazies, who just play one note really fast or play scales up and down.
  10. That's true; it will build stamina, which isn't bad, but I still call it a waste of time, since it doesn't build your actual playing speed. It just teaches you to play one note fast for a really long time, which isn't so useful in most genres. The challenge presented by playing fast with string skipping and fret work won't be mitigated much at all. It's not a waste of time compared to whittling a toothpick out of a tree using only your toenails, but it's a huge waste of time compared to more productive practice strategies.
  11. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
  12. Aerolithe


    Jan 23, 2005
    Columbia, MO
    Bass Fitness is a book that might make that time a little more productive, buy it and a metronome and get practicing.
  13. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    That's true; it will build stamina, which isn't bad, but I still call it a waste of time, since it doesn't build your actual playing speed.

    I agree. Sure you may derive something from playing the E string for a long time but it isn't practical. That's what Ed Fuqua was getting at. To play fast you have to think ahead. Yes you have to be able to physically move the digits but your time would be better spent practicing scales and arpeggios across the strings because across the string movement is what you'll be doing a large part of the time.
  14. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    my left hand is faster than myt right hand so i can play scales at the same speed as i can play one note..