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This is going to be fun to answer

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Selta, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I've been following John Entwistle for quite some time now and trying to do alot of his solos. I can play his My generation one but some of his other ones he just goes wayyy to fast. How can I build up speed to catch up? The same thing happens when I try to play Steve Harris stuff. I've tried finger weights and everything but that didn't do enough! Help!
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    first up, finger-weights will do you way more harm than good - bass is not a 'strength' instrument. Stamina maybe, but unless you're playing a john-turner-esque double necked 7 string, strength isn't a huge issue (and even then, Mr Turner has a very efficient technique that's doesn't involve needing fingerweights to get up to speed...)

    It's doubly interesting that the two players you mention both use an incredibly light touch. legend has it that on the one occasion when Steve Harris wasn't able to sound check his rig, a roadie turned it all up to his settings, hit one note and blew the speakers! His secret is to play lighter, relying on agility not brute strength.

    For Entwistle, his technique is more like drumming with his fingers on the strings, like you might drum your fingers on your desk when bored, again a very light technique, and not one that requires a huge amount of strength.

    the key to speed is correct hand positioning and good technique, then just repetition til you're comfortable. but you've got to get those technical obstacles out of the way first - if you're bass is at the wrong height, your hand positioning is wrong or whatever, it'll slow you down. Find a good teacher and just get a couple of lessons to point you in the right direction...

    good luck, and have fun

  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Hey, thanks. I've always thought that they hit the strings kind of harder, not that I hit them lightly that helps!!! I can almost keep up with Entwistle now (lol) anyway, gonna go play some more. Later

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