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Technique Improving !

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Hookha, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Hookha


    Nov 6, 2005
    I want to improving my technique!
    what you recommend to do? (except practice al the day)
    i dont know what i need to practice on
    i want to improve my speed on the neck and the finger speed and more things like that.
    so i want to know
    do you have good exercise to improve my technique?
    i need some exercise!
    on tabs or note it doesnt matter!

    (sorry about my spelling)
  2. Oberg


    Apr 10, 2005
    scales whit mentronome
  3. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005

    That's the answer.

    The metronome keeps your time solid (not a bad thing for bass players!). Practice slow and make sure you get it right, then up the speed. Don't be in a hurry to get the job done in a day or a week. Good technique and speed (different things really) take some time to get together... its a process.

    When I was in typing class (way back) we didn't have electric typewriters, all manual (I like to think of those old things as acoustic typewriters). Anyway, our typing teacher had a huge metronome, one that had a arm that swung back and forth and was REALLY loud. She would set that thing on a table in the front of room and get it crankin' at about 60bpm and we had to stay with the metronome EVEN IF WE COULD TYPE FASTER. Through the year she upped the tempo and in the end we all could type really well. It's one of the few skills I learned in HS that I still use (no one would have guessed that we'd all be typing like idiots all day on computers).

    Stick with it... you'll be glad you did.
  4. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    You can improve your technique by practicing slowly and perfectly. The best way to do that is to play with a metronome. Try this to work with your metronome in a more real-world situation, as it simulates the common snare beat:

    Set your metronome to a low rate, 40BPM is OK, try lower if you can.

    There are 4 beats to a common measure, and the metronome will be clicking on beats 2 and 4. Since the metronome is clicking on only half of the beats, you're playing at 80BPM.

    Start by counting '1' directly between clicks, and then '2' will fall on the next click, '3' in between the clicks, and so on.. You count--


    The important thing is landing the '1' right between the '4' and '2' with your bass so that it feels good. This is a primary duty of the bass. Try counting this 4 beat out loud or in your head until you can feel it, and then try to make that '1' happen on your bass.

    Play whatever you want, scales are ok, but don't just play them up and down. You can read about other ways to play scales on the Talkbass forums with a search. Try to play a varied set of music, with different accents and feels. Good Luck!
  5. all great ideas - **especially** the 2 and 4 metronome beat approach. Can't recommend this enough to give you a really organic feel of time and groove.

    I remember when I started doing this and it initially felt quite strange - like when you are in the air while jumping on a trampoline. There's no comforting support for your beat and you kind of hang there by yourself, but then you hit the 2 beat and you are supported again.

    Even trying to get the mental 1 beat to start playing feels weird. For this, the technique that Ed Friedland talks about is a good one - tap your hand on your thigh with the beat and when your hand is in the air that's the 1. Start counting at that time and keep it up as you stop tapping and start playing.

    Start by playing quarter notes only and do scales and arpeggios. Make sure you do multi-octave scales and watch your timing as you change position - that's the spot where micro-lags in timing will happen and this beat technique will amplify them and show them up. Also focus on giving the notes their full value - this is also harder with this technique but your chops will go through the roof.

    Record yourself too - I use GuitarTracks to record via computer and I set up two beats in a drum machine - one with a standard back beat, and the basic 2-4 kick beat. I recorded myself using the basic 2-4 and then dropped it out and played back with the full backbeat. Ouch!! :)

    Once you are happy with your sound using quarter notes, start to mess round with:
    - speeding up the beat
    - playing eighths/sixteenths/triplets
    - playing syncopated rhythms (a nice starting one is SRV's Couldn't Stand The Weather)
    - adding various rests etc.
    - adding some swing or shuffle
    - slapping

    I found that I really quickly got used to the feel and it became easy to count myself in without tapping my hand. I also found that once I locked my timing it got easier to get more adventurous, but that funk riffs were the most testing to play and to stay in time. I just kept playing the same riff over and over for 5 minutes, just trying to feel the beat in the song and absorb it. I knew I was on the way when I stopped frowning, started grinning and bopping to the groove. Since I play with headphones, my wife thought this was very funny.

    Good luck!