Right Hand Speed

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Anti-Cult Bass, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. Anti-Cult Bass

    Anti-Cult Bass

    May 23, 2007
    I was wondering if anyone out there had any advice on how to improve the speed of my right hand. i can play 16th notes, but i want to play faster. dont ask why, cuz im not really to sure either but i know that i want to be fast. yeah........ i kinda like showing off, and i dont normally get to do it because i play bass(you all feel my pain!) i like playing fast, but i dont like using a pick. i prefer to finger it. lol. yeah i cant quite play three finger technique, cuz it sounds like a gallop, and i want it to be a smooth, evenly spaced type of sound. so if you have any exercises, or tricks/tips on how to play faster with 2 fingers or how to smooth out the sound of using 3 fingers, they would be much appreciated. just please dont just post some song name that has a lot of fast playing in it. plz dont. i know a bunch of songs, so i dont need anymore.

    :bassist: im a Bassist......... so help me out.
  2. Sarbecue Boss

    Sarbecue Boss

    Jul 9, 2006
    play with a metronome every day

    pick an excersise, and start it out around 90 bpm, or a very slow speed at which you can play the excersise perfect. Then bump the bpm up 2-5 and repeat. once you reach a speed at which you cannot play the excersisie perfectly anymore, lower the metronome about 10 bpm and play the exersise until it become very easy, then continue slowly bumping up speed. do this every day. do not cheat
  3. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    Saying you can play 16th notes doesn't mean anything unless you say what tempo they're being played at. Hell, I can play 64th notes if the tempo is slow enough.

    There's only one way to achieve blazing speed, and that's to use a metronome and start slow and gradually work up to faster and faster speeds.
  4. Anti-Cult Bass

    Anti-Cult Bass

    May 23, 2007
    i dont own a metronome............. lol i'll go buy one. i always just play along to my foot lol. not too good. thanks for the help though guys. really. does anyone have any good exercises for scales or anything? i only know like major pentatonic and kanoi....... i havent been much into scales, but i want to become a much better player, and scales seem like the way to go. hurray for being an educated bassist.
  5. Here's a free online metronome that I use:


    that site has some good exercises too. I would recommend doing some steady 8th and 16th notes using three fingers to a metronome to develop some consistent rhythm with those fingers. Once you get steady and speed it up you'll find you have no problem blazing out some tremolo picked speed stuff... :bassist: Also, chromatics up and down the neck using three finger picking to a metronome pretty much brings it all together.
  6. Lammikkovalas


    Nov 21, 2006
    Speak for yourself, but I never have done such exercises to achieve my current playing speeds. I can play even 16th notes at 180 bpm with just two fingers (Yes I really can do that) and I NEVER HAVE DONE SPEED EXERCISES. I have been playing like this for almost two years and during this time my stamina has increased a lot, sot I can play a whole set of songs like this if I have to.
  7. +10000000000 and +100000000000000 to all others that mentioned a metronome and starting of slow
  8. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    So are you going to share any wisdom or insight you may have gained in the process, or are you just trying to prove how amazing you think you are? I believe there was a legitimate question that started this thread, your method of learning might be what the person needs if you have time to get off yourself a little.
  9. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    My one tip for all things right-hand related is to RELAX. Your muscles have a tendency to tighten up when you play fast, which is completely counterproductive. In addition to working with a metronome, make sure the muscles in your hand and wrist are relaxed and nothing is moving that doesn't need to be moving.

  10. He did come off a little cocky, but I understand him completely. you don't need a metronome to help you with gaining speed. I'm pretty quick now (don't ask me how fast, but I can post a clip if you like). I'm sure using a metronome could help, but you don't need it.
  11. Lammikkovalas


    Nov 21, 2006
    My previous post does seem a bit too cocky, my apologies if I did hurt someone´s feelings. But all I was trying to say was that those methods presented before my first post aren´t the only ways of begoming a (too) fast a player. A few things that come in mind are of course moving your fingers as little as possible and keeping your hands relaxed. Starting slow wasn´t the big secret in achieving these speeds. Instead I started fast, as I noticed that it was really easy and natural way of playing for me. This is why I can´t share any wisdom of insight because I never had any. Just my fingers that could move fast without problems.

    P.S. In my case, this thread should be LEFT HAND speed.
  12. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    I'm (extremely) left handed but I play right handed basses, and I have always felt limited when it comes to right hand speed. The metronome practices mentioned above, together with other exercises focusing on economy of motion really helped me playing tighter and faster. Still lammikkovalas is about 50-100% faster than me... I believe I'm physically unable to play at those speeds with my right hand.

    The reason why he is fast is probably because he is right handed and playing a lot of music requiring that speed from him. He seems to be slower with the left hand, whereas I never have had problems with that... Lammikkovalas, correct me if I'm wrong in my assumptions.
  13. Lammikkovalas


    Nov 21, 2006
    As I stated before, I am lefthanded and I play lefthanded basses. It is true that I play a lot of fast metal songs, but not in order to practise. I just happen to like metal and tremolo is the way to go. ;) Playing like a righthanded person is almost impossible for me, and I can´t play even the simplest of songs like that.

    If you want to become fast, play fast. You will never become a sprinter by just jogging.
  14. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Ok "Pondwhale" :D it was the other way around, I misunderstood your last post...

    I've always believed I'd be much faster if I played lefthanded basses. If I just tap my fingers on the table, my left hand is much faster and tighter than the right. However, I would never switch anymore, but it would be cool to know how to do both! ;)
  15. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Perhaps I was a little harsh too. Your statement is true, some of the finest player started out never playing to a metronome or click track, but few stay that way once they hit a studio. The one thing I have noticed is that occasional brush-up timing practice with a metronome or click track does wonders not only to lock speed, but to also increase playing speed. The old saying "Perfect practice makes perfect" comes to mind. Granted some are more gifted with rock solid timing than others (drummers often being the "others" right? :)

    I must say that those speeds you posted show a natural dexterity that is commendable.
  16. AdlerAugen


    Aug 9, 2006
    +1 up to the nothing moving...using extra body parts to make up the slack is a major benefit from being loose. If you concentrate on making them not move you'll just end up being tense. Mark my words.

    The same goes for pretty much any instrument. You have more than fingers available to you to help move to places you need to be, use those extra body parts. You can move your wrist and arm to help your fingers out, doesn't have to be constant finger motion while everything else stays still. If there's nothing else my piano teacher hasn't tried to drill in my head, it's that I need to be relaxed when playing, especially in fast passages, like all of Bach's prelude in D major from the well-tempered clavier...

    Also, it doesn't hurt to start practicing it slow...take the metronome, set it slow and practice getting a steady beat with 3 fingers on whatever exercise or piece, then once you have it steady, and keep the volume controlled between each finger (some are stronger than others), and can still be loose, speed it up. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
  17. Ya know, I never see the subject of all four or 5 fingers being used for picking. I've been working on my I-M-R-P technique for quite a while for tremolo stuff, and use my thumb for a lot of string skipping. Why does it tend to be overlooked? Is there a chance I'm hurting my pinky?
  18. cumquott


    Jul 6, 2007
    York, PA
    In regards to playing fast, for the player who could do it rather easily or naturally, some people can set up in their muscles a "twitch" phenomenon that allows speed. It's pretty essential for fast anything. For example, I've watched many people try to gain speed on the drums over the years, and some people can do it, some cannot, no matter how hard they try. The same, I would think, applies to playing the bass using alternating fingers. At the same time, there's nothing like steady, consistent, disciplined exercises to help build speed - but there will be a different speed limit for everyone.

  19. This is a very important and powerful statement. Just want to make sure it wasnt overlooked.