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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CrazyJ224, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. CrazyJ224


    Mar 17, 2008
    The basic question i have is that i've been playing with a pick for quite a while and now i use my fingers how can i play faster with my fingers? any suggestions would help.
  2. practise a lot, when you play with your band, play the songs fingerstyle till you can't take it anymore. It is really all about stamina, there is no shortcuts, you need to develop your muscles.
  3. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    The answer may seem paradoxical: practice with a metronome slowly

    speed is a by-product of accuracy. Accuracy comes form doing the above.

    With practice, your finger speed will creep up to your pick speed.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Stay relaxed. Tension in your hand or wrist will slow you down. Plucking a note requires very little force. Imagine that your two fingers are legs (like the "let your fingers do the walking" telephone ad) and you are going for a long, relaxed stroll...
  5. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    If you can work the ring finger in do it - IMO that's the key to being able to play a lot of notes for longer durations without fatigue.

    It did for me, anyway.
  6. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Im doing the same thing...I am a pick player that is teaching myself to play with my fingers. A couple of years ago I would not even thought about playing solely with my fingers. Since I picked up my Jazz bass, and the stings are further apart than what I was used to, it made it harder to play clean across strings with the pick. I find I can do it much easier with fingers and mute at the same time which I have trouble doing with the pick.

    It really is like the others here have said about practice. I have made some nice progress but still have a long way to go. Good luck.
  7. davec

    davec Commercial User

    May 4, 2006
    bartlett illinois
    Owner; Cody Electric Basses
    turn up your amp, keep your wrist straight and work with a lighter touch. I've found that its fairly common for a pick player switch to fingerstyle to dig in a little heavier... try not to
  8. Kennethfaria

    Kennethfaria Banned

    Mar 12, 2008
    Yeah Plus ONE for the the lighter touch said in the previous post.

    If you want to play fast riffs, a light touch helps you play a lot faster for a lot longer.
    I've always found playing with my fingers to be faster anyway.
  9. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    Since you're already used to a pick, you might try using your thumb in a picking motion to obtain the speed you have with a pick. I played pickstyle for awhile also, and it's not uncommon for me to hold my thumb and index as though I'm holding a pick, while only using thumb strokes. Another variation on this is to use your index and thumb as one "pick" ala Steve Harris.

    For fingerspeed, go with what's been said already: practice with the ring finger, use a lighter touch, more volume on the amp, stay relaxed, practice slowly, and gradually push yourself in baby steps. Most importantly, practice and persistence will pay off in the long run. Good luck!
  10. Building muscles to play bass is a bit of a myth. Check this video out:

    Also, check out some technique videos that show some more advanced finger techniques, like double thumbing with finger plucking etc. Victor Wooten and John Entwistle (sp?) are 2 bassists I know of that generate a lot of speed using these kinds of techniques.

    Just start out slow and increase your speed as your accuracy and efficiency improves, and you will progressively play faster.

    It just takes time.
  11. tyggis


    Mar 11, 2008
    Start practicing slowly and speed up just a little bit every other day. After 2 months go back to the original speed and you will be surprised how much faster you can play.
  12. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    As other fellow TB'ers have said, practice alot. But I can recommend something else too, when you are at work, walking outside to the shop/whatever, basically you dont have access to your bass, be sure to have your MP3 player with you and with your favorite music and start to move your fingers about, I do that all the time, I just kinda play air-righthand-bass, moving my fingers with the bass playing in the song and along the bass drums. This works execellent for me.

  13. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    and it looks cool too, kinda like you have a nervous tick.
  14. 180bpm 2 months ago is still 180bpm today! If you go back to the original speed, you won't have sped up at all actually! Best to actually speed up as you progress :p :bag:
  15. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    Screw that! Nervous tick is cool. :p

    Well, people like to clap their hands to their laps when listening to music.
  16. Tobbo


    Feb 20, 2008
    Rauma, Finland
    This takes time, so the difficult part is to keep going and just having the patience to practise. Try to find songs that almost take you to the maxium speed atm, but just below it so you can play for example straight eights for an hour or two straight. That will increase stamina and muscles in your hand and eventually you will be able to play faster for longer also.

    and the air-right-hand bassing works too.. good to do if you are bored in classes if you are still in education of somekind.
  17. That`s the way I`ve learnt slapping, actually. So, yes, it works.
  18. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Ok guys here is a question...when I play with my fingers instead of the pick, I REALLY miss the tone (and speed...but that is just a matter of keeping at it)

    Like, there is not alot of definition. How, if at all, do you guys compensate? Do you EQ differently? I tried boosting upper mids and highs, but it started getting too "clanky". When I play with the pick, I get the cutting growl and clean definition that works for most of the songs I play, but with the fingers it mellows out too much for me. I just want to have another technique in my arsenal, I dont plan on ditching the pick entirely.
  19. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    I find a thumb/pluck on the same string gives a bit more speed than alternating index & middle finger + the phrasing sound more pick-like. It's left over from the folk guitar I played a long time ago.

    Is thumb/pluck part of you right hand bag of tricks?

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