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What speed is average?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by charic, May 6, 2006.

  1. charic


    Apr 17, 2006
    Im wondering what sort of speed is considered "average" for both finger picking and using a pick. I did time myself but ive kinda forgotten... my bad. I can play muse citizen erased with both methods fairly relaxed if that helps. I believe its just about 95bpm and is written (in some parts) as continuous 16th's.

    Also are their excercises to help build up speed with both?
  2. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    That's an interesting question. No matter how you look at, the answer is going to be whatever the average tempo is, if you took every song ever written. I think the average speed or tempo of a song is interestingly about the same as your heart beat - about 120 beats per minute. This is what feels the most comfortable to people. I don't know if you think words like "speed" and "average" have anything to do with talent or ability - I'm not saying they do or don't, but I personally don't think the measure of a good bass player has very much to do with how fast they can play. BTW - if you can play 16th notes to a 95 bpm tempo, I would say you can play very fast.
  3. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I think it's time you saw a doctor.
  4. charic


    Apr 17, 2006
    Im just wondering, as i have found some songs i like but its slightly above my threshold for speed which is annoying. Im obviously going to keep trying to improve but im interested as I dont want to be playing along and some1 turn round and say can u play faster, and me have to say no (i dont like to be limited) im a perfectionist when it comes to instruments. Which is why ive been playing bass so much as im not at the standard id like to be. BTW ive been playing a month and a half lol
  5. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    Haha! I was just thinking that.

    Man, you're doing some serious rocking there ;)
  6. I'd say people average about 15-20km/h over the limit.
  7. Skeletomania


    Oct 25, 2005
    hong kong
    You're a really REALLY fast learner. I've been playing nearly a year, and I can only do 16th at 88 bpm. Whenever I take lessons, my instructor tends to dial down the speed. I always have a tendency to play ahead of time. For me, being able to play on time is more important than speed. If anyone ask if you can play faster, just tell them driving 200mph on the Autobahn is exillirating, but you won't be able to enjoy the scenery or take a sip out of your BIG Gulp w/out crashing. Beside you've been only playing a month and a half, that's a jaw dropping feit by itself.
  8. charic


    Apr 17, 2006
    its probably got something to do with the fact that ive been playing keyboard since i was 5 or 6 (13-14 years now) which means my muscles are well developed. But its still annoying as i cant play a muse song i want 2 coz its too fast :( some1 slap that bassist for me?
  9. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    Play it hard for an hour non stop, take a 15 mins break, try it again. Should be much easier then.
  10. I think the most used tempo is 120bpm
  11. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    What's it matter? There are players who don't play fast but play great lines. Players speeding away saying nothing. Then players who physically aren't fast but have developed techniques to play fast. And the opidside fast player who are just sloppy. Its the music that counts and what a player is saying in their playing.
  12. I think 120 bpms it the "normal" tempo. I have been playing for about 2 years now and can play 16ths at 150bpms, hopefully I'l reach 170 after a few weeks/monhts of practice
  13. bassist4life: Are you sure about those numbers? cause 16th's at 150bpm is 10 notes a second. (11.33 at 170)
  14. That's not too hard to do with three fingers, and shred guitarists go that fast with picks all the time.
  15. ya ok. my bad. he has been playing for two years though. and with two fingers it is tricky
  16. Nico3535


    Mar 8, 2006
    I'm not a fast finger picker at all, never really timed myself. The most notes i ever throw out at once is when i play come on come over, and that took me a while to get down. But I’ve found that i compromise with adding some voice to my notes. I like to bend allot, and make my bass speak for say. I can slap kind of fast but I’ve just realized that after 9 years of playing bass I’m not going to be teen towning anytime soon. I choose not to use a pick cause i think it steals the soul out of my bass, but i did for one song (Achilles Last Stand) when my old band covered it, for some reason it sounded right in that tune. I Also play guitar, and I play a lot of new wave American metal a la lamb of god, god forbid, so with a pick I’m pretty freaking fast but that’s also with distortion (I think it adds to the illusion ,making it seem even faster covering up mistakes) and a fast ass little schecter guitar, oh and the 5150 helps too. Anyways just keep at it and reach your full potential, but remember it’s the notes you choose and the way you deliver them that will really stand out!
  17. Yeah man, its tricky, but with practice, you can nail it :bassist: .
  18. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    I can play faster than 16th at 200bpm using 3fingers... another guy (kiwi kid) on this board does 16th at 260bpm uising 2fingers... that's fast..
  19. zackattack

    zackattack Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    San Francisco
    Can you play melodically at that speed? Or just the same note over and over again.
  20. Ibanezzer


    Aug 12, 2004
    Dayton, Ohio

    ....was just thinking of that. I have been playing for a while but I wouldn't say i'm extremely fast, I try to be accurate more than anything. Like right now as a challenge I am learning Hysteria by the Muse. It is really fast. I can play it at at about 2/3 speed with it sounding good right now but when I try to keep pace it just sounds awful. So I guess what i'm trying to say is that speed isn't always that important its more in how it sounds and do you like what you are hearing?

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