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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Paolo, Feb 18, 2001.

  1. Hi

    Anyone have execises for increase speed ?

  2. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Play with a metronome.Relax your hands as much as possible and start playing,increasing speed a bit at the metronome every day.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...playing "fast" = thinking fast.
    That said, there are some things you can do physically to "increase" one's speed.
    BASS PLAYER mag had, IMO, a pretty decent exercise for the FRETTING hand; the whole concept to that one was to achieve/gain independence among the 4 fingers of the fretting hand. That lesson is simple enough & has been posted here at TalkBass a couple times(I'll try to search for it & resurrect it).

    As far as the PLUCKING hand, both Dave Larue & Mark Egan have, in the past, published exercises in BASS PLAYER mag. Both players stress strict alternation between the TWO main plucking fingers(Unless you're going for a "rake"). It does take constant vigilance, care, & discipline to maintain the 1-2-1-2-etc(or 2-1-2-1-etc)goin'...the fingers will seemingly always gravitate to what's been "the most easy" thus far in our playing.
    Bad habits CAN be broken...I've been there & am still THERE! ;) Basically, these exercises entail MUTING the strings with your fretting hand & then begin by playing 1/4 notes on 1 string, going to 1/8s, then triplets, & finally 1/16ths. Then multi-string, both ascending & descending, string-crossing, etc while MIXING UP the 1/4s, 1/8s/triplets. & 1/16s. This kinda stuff is what I usually "practice" in front of the tube while watching the NFL/NHL. Sorry, Ed...
    Also, as always, economy of motion is the desired end-product...look at the really great players; you may HEAR a flurry of notes & may only SEE a minimal amount of movement from their hands. THAT's what you want to aspire to...
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ..."OK", I couldn't find it. Here goes(again)-

    Fretting Hand-
    1)Index finger="E"/G-string(9th fret)
    2)Middle finger="F"/G-string(10th fret)
    3)Ring finger="C#"/D-string(11th fret)
    4)Pinky="D"/D-string(12th fret)

    Now, move only the ring & pinky fingers. Lift them only as far as needed...back & forth, slowly at first...USE YOUR PLUCKING HAND IF NEEDED(to hold the index & middle fingers stationary!). It's tough, I know! ;)

    Now, put the pinky on the "G"/G-string(12th fret)
    ...move the index finger to the "B"/D-string(9th fret)
    Alternate between the index & ring, KEEP THE MIDDLE & PINKY STATIONARY! Again, lift off the string only as far as needed(economy of motion).

    You should also practice the middle & ring together(while keeping the index & pinky stationary)...and ALL the combinations available. BTW, don't hurt yourself ;) Be patient, it's gonna be hard & hurt for about a week or so. Stick with it...

    Hopefully, someone else will chime in with some plucking hand exercises(actually, those are my favorites...my plucking hand, when "in-shape" is "OK"; my fretting hand kinda sucks!).

    ...and we'll get around to "thinking faster", too(some day, whenever I figure it out!). Hasta...
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    "Hanging Ten on Bass" in the list at www.harmony-central.com/Bass/#instruction (third link from top). It involves taping your weaker plucking fingers to your stronger ones. I've got two months in.

    If you invest the time and keep it musical, you can be a stone monster!!!
  6. My Metronome only goes up to 200. it seems quite slow.....

    Oh Well

  7. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    You know,no-one forces you to play ONE note per beat!Try playing 8ths (2 notes/beat) or 16ths (4 notes/beat).I guarantee that you will no longer think that "200 is slow"...;)
  8. I was forced i TELL YA!!! *shakes fist* :D

  9. "I'm built for comfort, I ain't built for speed"
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I forgot to mention- If you try that "Hanging Ten" instruction I suggested, don't do it the same day you have to play anywhere. It wears the beejeesus out of your fingers.

    Doing the walks with my index and middle fingers taped together is really rough for a while. And having my third finger taped to my pinkie is pretty streesful on the tendons.
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I was always hesitant to apply this exercise - too extreme and potentially hazardous IMO...
    Try to optimize and minimize finger motions and not use excessive force/strength for fingering and plucking. I've found that watching myself in a mirror helps to check for bad technique
  12. I was talking to a fellow bass player who had finger weights and he said that they work really well. As for me, I don't have $50 to spend on them. So I rely on the ol' metronome. One exercise I do that isn't necessarily linked with speed, but is good for coordination is a right hand pattern. If you play with fingers then play a 'C' on the A string. Play it at quarter notes with the right hand going:
    1212 1212 1212 1212

    Then move to eighth notes, then 16th notes doing the same thing.

    After that, change the right hand pattern to possibly:

    1211 1211 1211 1211

    2121 2121 2121 2121

    2122 2122 2122 2122, etc.

    It works well and gets you concentrated and may even speed you up. Who knows? Anyway, that's just me.
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I just want to emphasise again that speed isn't about strength but about efficiency and dexterity (which isn't the same as strength, right? I'm not a native speaker). You'll still tend to overplay strengthwise live at high speeds anyway, so why add to that?
  14. Phee


    Jan 2, 2001
    there's a really good book that my teacher makes me use...it's called "Bass Fitness - An Excercise Handbook" by Josquion des Pres it's a really good book, it's helped increase my speed and dexterity a whole lot
  15. Hi

    Sometimes I try the exercice for piano of Hanon's book. Do you think is good ?
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    My guess would be that a piano Hanon book would have some excellent drills you could apply to bass. Somewhere I saw that there is now a bass Hanon book, but I do not remeber where or when I saw it.

    However, even without the specific bass Hanon, I still tend to think a piano Hanon book would be very beneficial for finger dexterity, plus you will learn about theory at the same time.

  17. What theory I can learn with Hanon book for piano ? I think is only for the dexterity on piano.
  18. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Repitition is the mother of all skill. You must be able to play slow before you can play fast.

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