Smoothing out Bass Runs/Solos

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mjl422, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. mjl422


    Jul 3, 2002
    Any advise on how to smooth out bass runs and solos? I've been playing for about 6 yrs. now and can't seem to smooth out my runs. I seem to play my notes very stacatto(sp). sort of like Jaco or Rocco. I'm trying to get my runs a little more fluid. I hear some bass players whose phrasing and fluidity almost sound like the human voice. What do I need to work on to get more fluid?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    lighter touch and legato perhaps?
  3. JMX pretty much naild it. More legato. Use slides, pull-offs and hammerons.

  4. What is legato? and what is strataco?
  5. lgato=Play smoth. Use lots of hammer ons, pull offs and slides.

    Staccato=Play "stiff".
  6. While the above is true, the technical definition for each of these terms is slightly different.

    To play legato means to play each note as long as possible and to have the smallest about of a break in between each note. To do this keep each note fretted until you play the next note.

    To play staccato means to make each note very short, basically once the note makes a sound you pick up your fretting finger.
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    to get an idea of legato vs stacato try this...

    set a click at 80bpm

    play a 1/4 note per click (i.e let each note ring note until you pluck the next one)

    now play an 8th note per click, count "one and two and three and four and...". So now you let each note ring until until you count the "and" following each beat.

    now play a 16th note per beat, count "one ee and uh two ee and uh..." and only let each note ring until you count "ee" - i.e hardly letit ring at all so it just covers the click.

    now combine the two in as many different combinations as you can think of :)
  8. lowerclef


    Nov 10, 2003
    Practice everything slowly. Take some of your lines and slow them way down. Let every note ring until you play the next one (no breaks in between). Do this a lot until your hands get used to playing this way. And never force yourself to play faster than what is comfortable (and don't use a metronome, at least not at first). If any part of the lick is sloppy, slow it down more. Play every note perfectly. If this means slowing it down so that you're only playing one note every five seconds, that's okay. You're developing muscle memory here. It's like learning to type - you only go for accuracy in the beginning. Big, long notes. Once you have that, the speed will automatically follow. It's boring to do, but I promise you'll get results this way. Try this every day for a couple of weeks and you should start to see improvement.

    BTW, Jaco did use a lot of staccato in his funk lines, but if you listen to some of his classic recordings, there were lots of long, smooth notes in there. Having a variety of articulations in your arsenal will make you a more musical player.
  9. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Bingo. Persistance is they key. start playing slow, and then get faster and faster. say the solo is at 120 BPM, start off at 20, then after about 10 minutes playing at that speed, move up to 40 BPM for 15 mins, then 60BPM for 20 mins, ect ect.... It may seem monotinous at first, but your soloing will just flowwwwwwww......
  10. Thats a good idea...but if you find that you get bored playing for that long over and over again try at the start of practise sessions say at 40bps for 5-10mins then at the end do it again at 60bps same time...then leave it for the rest of the day..come back the next day do 60bps at the start and 80 at the end....but dont move up to a faster speed until its perfect sounding at that speed.
    Im learning chromatic fantasy at the moment and although it takes a very long im learning only 1 bar a week and adding it to what i know...but i make sure i get the one bar absoutly perfect and keep building up the speed
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