#1
Hey guys, I've been playing for about 2 weeks now and I can already play a few simple and intermediate songs, but I wanna know some good ways to increase my finger-style speed for more advanced stuff. I like some speed and thrash and metalcore bands like All That Remains and they almost always use 16th notes in their bass parts that usually need a pick, but I wanna limit my reliance on pick usage.

So, what are some good ways to get faster?
#2
practice really is the only way. Do the spider exercises (the 1-2-3-4 one) all over the fretboard, and string skipping. Start off slow with a metronome, and when you are confident you can play in straight 8ths or 16ths at that tempo, increase it a little bit.

Why start slow? Because you can't run before you can walk

Why string skip? Because speed is a byproduct of accuracy. If your hands aren't matching up, then you aren't getting faster- you're getting sloppier.

Make sure you are very hard on yourself with this- any shortcuts at the beginning will do nothing but hinder you.
#4
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Do the spider exercises (the 1-2-3-4 one) all over the fretboard, and string skipping.


I don't wanna sound like a total noob but..I have no idea what you mean by spider exercises. Like I said I just started playing two weeks ago and i can't afford lessons or anything at the moment so I'm just playing some covers. I was just wondering if there was anything that could help other than the obvious practicing but, guess I'll just have to log the man hours and get some lessons lol
#5
The spider exercise is absically where you play across four consecutive frets with a finger per fret- so 1st finger hits the first fret, 2nd finger hits the second fret and so on. By mixing up which string you fret, and the order you fret (e.g. 1234 on the strings EDGA, then 3241 on GDEA) you'll increase overall speed and dexterity.
#6
Quote by Deliriumbassist
The spider exercise is absically where you play across four consecutive frets with a finger per fret- so 1st finger hits the first fret, 2nd finger hits the second fret and so on. By mixing up which string you fret, and the order you fret (e.g. 1234 on the strings EDGA, then 3241 on GDEA) you'll increase overall speed and dexterity.


Oh ok. Well I really meant increasing speed for my picking hand and not so much for my fretting hand. I played guitar for 2 1/2 years so, my fretting is fairly fast, just gotta accommodate for the larger neck size. I'm really just not used to playing those crazy 16ths as a bassist (i.e. without a pick).

I can play stuff at slower speeds just fine (like Killing In The Name, Coheed stuff, etc) its just getting into the Metallica and hardcore bands' speeds that I have trouble with
#7
You'll only be as fast as your slowest hand. If you can't fret to speed, then it's all for nothing. As I said, speed is a byproduct of accuracy (to quote Applehead), and the accuracy is in the relationship between your hands. You said yourself you need to accomodate the larger neck, so your fretting is already down.
#8
Quote by Deliriumbassist
You'll only be as fast as your slowest hand. If you can't fret to speed, then it's all for nothing. As I said, speed is a byproduct of accuracy (to quote Applehead), and the accuracy is in the relationship between your hands. You said yourself you need to accomodate the larger neck, so your fretting is already down.


Well Yeah, that's true. But the song I'm trying to learn right now is The Air That I breathe by ATR and most of it is straight 16ths with minimal fret work (usually only moving up and down by one or two frets on the same string) so I was just looking to increase my picking speed. But I understand your points and will work to do speed up both hands with practice
#9
It's much better to work on both hands at the same time now, and incorporate that into your practice sessions now, to save running into problems later. Although don't shy away from the plectrum. It's still a very valid way to play bass, even if some close-minded elitist types say otherwise.
#10
Quote by Deliriumbassist

Why string skip? Because speed is a byproduct of accuracy. If your hands aren't matching up, then you aren't getting faster- you're getting sloppier.


One of my favourite all time music teachers always started out his classes each year putting the following up on a blackboard:

Accuracy > Speed.

And if it doesn't have good tone as well, you might as well hang up your bass. Ben is correct; you need to train both your hands as a team, whether you are playing fingerstyle or pick. Up in the FAQ there's a link to some bass exercises which are wonderful for training both your hands and slowly building speed and fluidity. These and the spider scales will get you there, but it takes time and practice.
#11
To follow on from what you guys have already said, I wish i had practised both hands at the same time. I was like the TS, i switched over from guitar and thought that I only needed to work on my right hand. Well now I have the 3 finger gallop technique down, and almost have the 3212 death metal thing nailed, but whats letting me down? My fretting hand. And my guitarist is writing all these Slayer style riffs with lots of note changes and Im struggling to keep up.

Work both hands at the same time. Its not really anymore effort cos you're already gonna do exercises with one hand.

Edit: grammar.