Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by rashbeep, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. rashbeep


    Jul 15, 2005
    Toronto, ON
    anyone got any advice for building up speed??
  2. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
  3. rashbeep


    Jul 15, 2005
    Toronto, ON
    (of course practice) i meant what should i practice
  4. *sigh*

    ...This is probably the 5th time just for me saying it...

    ...practice slowly and accurately.

    End of discussion.
  5. chardin


    Sep 18, 2000
    Speed kills. Just say no.

  6. myrockinbass


    Jun 10, 2005
    use a metronome, do fret runs and increase your speed
  7. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Play a line that you dig, maybe something that is 4 bars long and made up of 1/8 note. "I wish" by Stevie Wonder is coming to mind, but use what ever you like. Start a metronome at a reasonable speed. Play the line with precision and acuracy but keep it musical, then speed it up a notch and try it again. Keep doing this untill you can't play the line clean anymore. Back the metronome down a notch and keep it there till you get comfortable. Now try to speed it up again.

    Speed only comes from one thing. Hard work.

    It takes lost of practice, but 30 minutes a day, for a few weeks and you'll see huge improvments. Try recording your practice to listen to your improvement over time.
  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    The best way to increase your speed IMO/IME is to take a metronome set it to a moderate tempo that you already have a firm grasp with then start playing all your scales and arpeggios, also play them in 3rds. When you get through them all without any wavering in your timing, increase the speed of your metronome to something a little faster.

    If you cant play it slow you sure as hell wont be able to play it fast. Its very ironic that the only way to actually build up speed to the point of having lightning bolt fingers is to start at slower tempos and gradually increaset them.

    If you wanna just start out really fast then you can always do that to, but all you'll be asking for is frustration and a lot of mistakes.

    A lil hindsight. I just bought a 6 string bass, never owned one before in my life. I had good speed and accuracy on my 5 string that I had before this bass. But I cant play the thing anywhere near the tempo's I could on my 5 string. So you got it, starting out slow again. Patience young padiwan, patience. You'll eventually be blazing if you keep diligent about it.
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I really don't think raw speed is all that hard to accomplish, you can move your fingers quickly off the bass, it's not too hard to move them quickly on the bass too, and given the nature of the subject, the faster you're playing the harder it is for people to tell if you're playing solid or not, so, it's pretty easy to play really fast as a kind of cop out to actually playing fast well.

    That said,
    The only way to be able to play fast immaculately is to be able to play slowly immaculately first.

    I've never had a problem with speed, but I'm sure my technique and playing and time can always use work(whose doesn't?) Interestingly enough, when I was younger and more rambunctious with trying to do flashy stuff, I played super fast an everyone thought I was hot ****(including myself), but ultimately, while I did play very fast, I didn't necessarily play very fast WELL.

    What it came to for me, I studied how to play slowly. I started playing things half time instead of double time, and once I had that perspective, suddenly playing fast not only a) lost a lot of its appeal but b) made a lot more sense at the same time

    I stated in another thread that Time is the most difficult thing about our instrument, since it's what we're required to do and since it is infinitely subtle and infinitely varied. Try not to think of speed as just playing fast, but try to think of it in relation to the metronome and to time. That way you're not just playing fast, you'll be playing fast... in time. Which is more important.
  10. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Play faster
  11. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand

    I'm in the process of revising my thought on "speed"

    A couple of things I would like to ask is -

    1. What do you mean by speed? Is it to look cool?

    2. Or do you mean how to play a sixteenth note phase at 100 bpm?

    This is extremely important thing to understand, because for each question, you're communicating a completely different ideas.

    i have been in this situation myself!

    To put it this way, one is music, one is not music (some other art form, dance maybe?)
  12. run 15 40m sprints a day and get somebody to time you. Before you know it, you'll be running a 4.3 sec 40 in no time! :)
  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The metronome drills at gradually increasing tempos are very helpful. I'd add a couple more things. One: Know your fretboard every which way (every note on every fret on every string.) Why do I say that? I say it because any micro-second hesitation to quickly figure out where your fingers are to move will mess with both your timing and speed.

    Two: Make sure your right hand fingering or picking is up to pace, not just your fretboard fingering. I learned this the hard way. I was having a hard time getting the right tempo on a musical passage. My teacher observed that it was my RIGHT hand plucking not my fretboard fingering that was dragging.

    Three: Know your music. If you are having trouble playing a musical passage fast enough, it may be because you don't really, really know it. Then you may have to take a micro-second to think what to play next and that tiny hesitation slows you down.

    Four: Know music theory. If you are inventing basslines on the fly, a micro-second's hesitation while you decide what note to head for next will slow you down.

    Five: Make sure your technique is not slowing you down. For example, many beginners tend to lift their fingers too far away from the fretboard...a sure-fire slow down. Some beginners have trouble using the pinky finger of their left hand. Trying to play with just three fingers can slow you down.

    If you are reading music while you play, constant practice and drills will help you speed up your reading skills.