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Right hand endurance in fast walkings !

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by bob denard, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. bob denard

    bob denard

    Jul 11, 2003
    Paris, France
    Hi everyone,
    I searched in old threads but i couldn't find any information on that specific matter.
    How can you increase endurance in one-finger high tempo walking lines ? Right now i practice daily open string exercises, trying to rise the comfort tempo on each string, but i'm not really getting any better at being relaxed. It seems i can't find the right finger/arm gesture that won't tire me in two minutes.

    Anyone has any tip on this ?

    Thanks in advance for your input..
  2. TomSauter


    Dec 22, 2004
    Kennesaw, GA
    I don't know if I can tell you anything you don't alreay know, but here's some things that have helped me get comfortable on up tempo tunes. First try to stay relaxed as much as possible--you don't have to tug too hard. Another thing that I think keeps people from relaxing is worrying too much about what they are playing in the left hand. The more comfortable you are improvising lines (or playing some memorized lines) quickly, the easier it is to relax. I also know that I play some total garbage sometimes on fast tunes, but that's better than letting the tune fall apart. Ray Brown repeats a lot of notes and uses lots of open strings when he plays fast tunes.

    If you start to get tired, then you should attack the string differently. If you're trying to use one finger, then maybe you could switch to another finger, use both fingers at once, or alternate for a little while. I don't know what kind of motion you use with your right hand, but I tend to use more wrist on high tempos. It's kind of an elliptical motion with my finger coming up out of the string instead of across it. It feels like my hand is rocking back and forth.

    Probably the thing that has helped me the most is just doing it a lot. Doing open string exercises is good, but why not just practice playing tunes fast? You're going to have to coordinate both hands anyway. Practice playing fast with the metronome and always try to do a few burning tunes on each gig.

    Oh yeah--make sure that you are always plenty warmed up before you start some tune at warp speed.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Why just one finger?
  4. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski Supporting Member

    May 13, 2005
    Ray Parker is back!! yay!!
  5. bob denard

    bob denard

    Jul 11, 2003
    Paris, France
    Thanks Tom for your comments, they are of great help.

    Ray, i use two fingers for fast tempos right now, but the sound and feel are not the same to me, and though i know i must strive to have equal tone and volume with two fingers, i guess it'd be easier with one. Besides most good players can play that way, i want to be a better player than i am, so why not try to achieve that ?
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'd propose getting the sound and the feel and not to rely on such things as restricting yourself physically to enforce the desired result. It's similar to guys that raise their strings a mile in the air to get a thick sound and cluncky articulation. Control is a double edged sword, for sure, but gaining control opens up so many more doors than crippling yourself. In short, if the sound and feel is in your ears and you take the time and attention to detail necessary to get what you want, not only will you have that, but many more choices to boot.

    Also, string crossings can be a great friend at fast tempos.
  7. Cairobill


    Dec 15, 2003
    A good tip I received was to be very dynamic when playing faster walking lines i.e. accent the first note and play the second softer so you have DAH dum DAH dum, or DAH dum dum dum DAH dum dum dum (depending on how fast you are playing...and relax of course...