what's your plucking speed?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Dragonlord, Jan 28, 2001.

  1. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I was really wondering,at how many bpm can you play,say,16th notes?Whoever answers,please mention how many fingers you use to pluck at that speed,too.Thank u!
  2. As far as I can see, playing Tower of Power's "What is Hip?", which is quite long, and is 1/16th notes at 102bpm, is about my limit. It's fine for a coupla verses, then the cramp starts creeping in, especially when it's played toward the end of the gig. I had to learn a lot of relaxation to play that live.
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    wow, cool. which sound sample do you play 37 notes/second on?
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Using two fingers I can do 1/8 notes up to about 180 bpm, maybe 200 on a good day. So I guess that says on 1/16 notes I top out at about 90 bpm (forget those TOP covers, ha ha).

    That's on electric bass, of course. On upright I'm WAY slower!!!

    Ther's more to playing music than just speed though, so I've learned how to work around my limitations.
  5. Neobass


    Aug 12, 2000
    It really depends on what I'm playing, but just standard Rocco/funk riffs, I can get up to about 150 bpm..But if it's a complicated solo with a lot of wierd shifts, that number drops quickly.

    Oh yeah, I use two fingers for normal plucking, but sometimes use my thumb as well for very quick runs/quick triplets, etc...
  6. To Dragonlord, I think if you can play What is Hip or some other Tower of Power tunes, with 2 fingers, which is how Rocco plays, at gigging standard, you're starting to get somewhere! Also the book "Standing In The Shadows of Motown" has tunes such as Heard It Through The Grapevine with plenty of 1/16th's at 113bpm, and James played those with ONE finger!!

    [Edited by Marty Forrer on 01-30-2001 at 04:38 AM]
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    473 notes per second - any song!
  8. soundofphysics


    Jul 17, 2000
    using four finger i can play 16th notes at between 200-220 i've spen the last couple weeks practicing speed for a couple hours, so i really brought myself up.
  9. FaultLine423


    Aug 27, 2000
    I can go about the same speed as SoundofPhysics, around 200. I always use 2 fingers for plucking. I tried four fingers before, and I didn't have the patience to practice to get it steady, so I went back to two, and it's working pretty well for me. I whole-heartedly agree with brianrost, though.
  10. EdgarHons


    Oct 14, 2000
    Is there a way of measuring this? I can get pretty fast, I've never bothered measuring although I'm able to play 200 BPM songs, so I suppose I fit in with the other guys, I use 4 fingers too BTW.
  11. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    If you practise with a mentronome you know...
  12. I'm SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW...I can barely do continuous (>1 min) fingerstyle 16th notes at about 80-90 bpm. Interestingly enough, I can slap faster than that--King Crimson's "Sleepless" is a ton of sixteenth note slaps, and I can do that at about 108.
  13. rmp5s


    May 19, 2000
    Honestly, I can play pretty much as fast as I want. Old skool Metallica, Pantera, whatever. I have a rather unique technique that I've never seen anyone else do. I use one, two, or three fingers sometimes, but to get MAD speed, I use......one finger....figure it out.
  14. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    well, call me a skeptic but I would really like to
    hear any of you that say you play a "clean"
    steady stream of 16th notes at 200 or over bpm. With fingers of course. What is Hip at 200?! Personly, I dont think so. Which is basically what you are saying you can do. Not saying it cant be done but I REALLY want to hear it.

    Sure you guys arent confusing 8th notes.:)

    [Edited by theJello on 02-02-2001 at 10:56 AM]
  15. rmp5s


    May 19, 2000
    gimme an example of a song and I'll try it and tell you if I can do it.
  16. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Sure, What is hip.
    Is goes. 1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a etc.:) on your E on the A string.
    It actually has some octaves and some dominant 7th string
    skips in there to. But that is basically it.
  17. rmp5s


    May 19, 2000
    What is Hip? Is that the name of the song, band, what?
  18. uncle marcus

    uncle marcus

    Feb 2, 2001
    i guess "what is hip" is some sort of industry standard...lots of players i know talk about executing that one.technique is very important,as is speed .....you might have the best ideas in your head but if you cant transfer it onto the instrument(cleanly)so what!.personally i probable practice right hand against a metronome 2-3 hrs a week,working upto 207-208 (16ths) for about 30 seconds and can play for about 5 mins at 190,my desire to achieve this is to allow playing at more sensible tempos easier.jello,as far as "what is hip" ,string skipping accuratley and in time is harder than pure speed ....in fact playing at 50 bpm is harder..timing shows.i can play the skipping phrases at 170 bpm and the continual passage at 190 for song duration (2 fingers).......vic wooten executes some lovely phrases at 240 using his unique technique ,so why let pure mechanics limit your creativity?...sax players blow at these sort of speeds + ...so if you hear these ideas going on go get the tools....
  19. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Well, obviously string skips is going to make a line more difficult. And in time? I thought that was a given. What is the point in playing "anything" if its not in time and cleanly executed?

    You said you can play clean stream of 16ths at 190 for 5 minutes! Thats pretty pretty amazing if your idea of clean is the same as mine. I mean that is a blazing tempo. And to be honest I would have to see it to believe it. Im not trying to call you liar though.

    If you can play a line like "What is Hip" at 170 I will give you a cookie and hopefully you will be famous one day.

    [Edited by theJello on 02-02-2001 at 12:42 PM]