TOO SLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by softballchickie87, Dec 27, 2000.

  1. softballchickie87


    Sep 3, 2000
    i've been playing the bass since august and i guess i'm pretty good but on some songs i'm just too slow does anyone know anyway to getting your fretting hand faster?????? i would really appreciate it!!!!!! thanks :)

  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Practice, practice, practice!

    Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to obtaining speed.

    The best way to learn a fast, difficult part is to get the sheet music for it and practice it at 1/2(or even 1/4 if it is way beyond your technical ability) until you can play it perfectly, and then keep increasing the speed gradually until you are at full tempo.

    Welcome to Talkbass:), and good luck!
  3. Embellisher is 100% correctomundo- if only there was an easier way eh? The only other thing I could add is not to get too frustrated while you practice or try fast lines.

    I found that playing scales chromatically up the neck was really useful for building the strength and flexibility my hands needed to progress. Starting ultra-slow with a metronomne and slowly building up the tempo is a must. Also take care not to get sloppy as you speed up - if that happens turn back the tempo a few notches and build up again.

    I hope this helps, and enjoy it!:)
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    There is in fact little in bass playing that is more boring than building up speed. But it's worth the time and effort. :)
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Chickie: your fretting hand progress (and speed) may be impeded if you're presently wrapping your thumb and palm around the neck and fretting notes with collapsed joints. Try keeping the pad of your thumb squarely behind the neck and fretting the strings with just your fingertips, so that your fretting hand fingers and thumb form a "C" when viewed from the side.

    If you have short arms, it also helps to angle the bass so that you can comfortably reach all the positions without bending the wrist of your fretting hand unnaturally.

    Lastly, if you shift positions frequently, it helps to arrange the music so that you shift from a note fretted by your index or middle finger to another note fretted by the same finger. Avoid shifting *and* changing the fretting finger, and avoid frequent shifts using your middle and ring fingers. (The Simandl method books for double bass do a good job of instilling these practices, but they're deadly dull.)
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    There's a couple other tecnique habits that can slow you down. One is if you remove your fingers too far from the fretboard between notes. I've seen beginners do that. Try to keep your fingers curled close to the fretboard to save the wasted motion.

    One time I was having difficulty with the speed of a certain passage and my instructor noticed it wasn't my fretting hand that was slowing me down. It was my picking hand! I was doing alterant picking with my fingers and they were actually lagging behind the freeting fingers slowing me down with the "disconnect" between the two speeds.

    If you manage to speed up your freting hand, the picking hand has to keep pace also, so you need to make a conscious effort on from both hands.

    Lastly, how well do you know your fretboard? Even a split second's hesitation as you search for the next note will slow you down. Do you really know the shortest route to your
    next note? Also, are you playing open notes when possible to speed up your playing? And do you really know the song or passage you are playing? If you hesitate even a nano- second while you try to think what comes next in the music, that will slow you down.

    Repetition, repetition, repetition will help you build spped. BUt to build speed, slow down and work on fundamentals of technique, fretboard familiarization and
    understanding music.

    Jason Oldsted
  7. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Softball --

    How long did it take from the time you first stood up until the time you could run as fast as you can now?

    You're using muscles (and brain cells) you've just begun to use in a new way. They need time and effort to develop.

    Stay with it. If the desire is there, you'll get there.
  8. softballchickie87


    Sep 3, 2000
    Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!! A lot of that stuff really helped:)

  9. how can you get your flexibility up? any little drills or whatever??/
  10. make sure you're not just using one finger on your left hand. I've seen people that just use their middle finger to fret all the notes.