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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JonnyLentilbean, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. hello. i have a bit of a problem. i tend to be a speed freak when i play. i'm very fast with my fingers, and rarely use a pick. last year when i was in jazz band at my school, i had problems slowing down. i found it hard to keep a beat while playing slowly, which is really the essence of playing bass-keeping a beat. any suggestions? if you're going to tell me to practice at it, i'm already doing that. thanks.
  2. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    ...but are you practicing with a metronome? Here's an idea: To work up my speed I start at a slow speed of, say 70bpm, and keep working my way up. Maybe you might want to try the opposite. If you're playing a fast speed of, say 120-180 bpm, try starting there and then keep changing the speed on the metronome slower and slower and slower.

    Your internal rhythm is probably accustomed to the faster speeds. That's what it seems like. You should be able to play at any speed.

    Hope this helps!

    Good luck,
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Try cutting your internal pulse.
    For example, if the song's pulse is in 8ths, try counting in 4ths for yourself. Don't change the bass line, just your counting.
    This will help you to prevent speeding up.

    Hope it expressed it right.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, I think you discover when you start playing Jazz that it is actually much harder to play a slow ballad convincingly than a fast bebop tune, for example and most of the pro musicians I meet, will give more respect to someone who can play well on a slow ballad.

    So - you are much more "exposed" and any flaws in technique will stand out more and you have to be rock-solid about time as there are more spaces - it's easier to "put your foot in it"! ;)

    I think the metronome suggestions are probably right, but you could also try just playing with one finger or really concentrate on getting a great tone for every note - but I'm probably not the person to ask, as I know I still have problems with this.

    I think there is something to the fact that the natural decay of Double Bass, lends itself to playing slow ballads, where the electric bass just doesn't work so well..... bass guitar just sustains too long and too consistently to get the right "envelope" for a Jazz ballad and my only answer is to get a DB!! ;)
  5. thanks for the suggestions. i'm going to try keeping a slow beat going in the background until i can play slow.
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