#1
So, the thread on trem picking 16ths reminded me that I never learned alternative picking (as in downstroke, upstroke, downstroke, upstroke, et cetera); I've looked at the lessons, but those are all for guitar. I get sloppy with my up-strokes, but that might be because I just started trying it, and I was using a guitar lesson (the particular exercise was all 16ths, changing fret every four, at 80 BPM) on bass. So, are there any exercises or advice that you think would help for alternative picking on bass? I don't think it's much the speed I need as the efficiancy; there's a few songs that just wear me out after a minute or two..... my wrist will hurt and I won't be able to keep playing. Anyways, I can program drumbeats on guitar pro as my metronome, so I'll be able to play at whatever BPM you suggest.

Edit: Ignore the thread title, I mean alternate picking.
Last edited by herby190 at Aug 30, 2009,
#2
Well, what your doing is probably the best way to go about it, youve just got to build up stamina and be able to play both up and down strokes with about the same attack, though down picking will naturally have more attack.

Any lesson for guitar will work equally well on bass ... its the same idea. So, just start at 80 bpm or wherever your comfortable and go up from there making sure that you keep a good consistent sound going on and you should eventually just settle well into using alternate picking.
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Last edited by Thegian at Aug 31, 2009,
#3
I had the same problem as you a year or so back and building up speed slow and steady is the best way to go about it. As far as exercises go, i think doing scales/modes and arpeggios in different patterns will help you moving along from one string to another. I say this beacuse moving from string to string using alternate picking creates lots of little hurdles you need to overcome to build up speed. E.g., at higher speed finishing a string on a downstroke and moving to the next on the upstroke will be a problem as the pick tends to get "trapped" in the midst of the strings (a problem addressed by John Petrucci in his instructional vid).
#4
Alt picking takes a lot of persistance aswell and a bit of time to build up to speed, im still not great at it but im better than i ever was.

I started at 80bpm and built my way up im at like 160bpm now in just a week but i havent had much time for my bass lately and a good thing is get a metronome.you can find em easily online saving you cash :P
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#6
^ That's a pretty dumb comment.

But to answer your question TS, your upstrokes may sound wimpy because the pick is tilted on the way up rather than being straight at it probably was when you downstroked. I'd say to practice upstrokes a bit more just to see if you get the same sound that you do on a downstroke and then put them together for alternate picking. And practice will help you with your endurance. Hope that helps.
#7
Quote by edgeyyz
^ That's a pretty dumb comment.

But to answer your question TS, your upstrokes may sound wimpy because the pick is tilted on the way up rather than being straight at it probably was when you downstroked. I'd say to practice upstrokes a bit more just to see if you get the same sound that you do on a downstroke and then put them together for alternate picking. And practice will help you with your endurance. Hope that helps.

The tone itself is fine with my upstrokes; I actually have them sounding the same as my downstrokes. My problem is that I'd get sloppy, as in sometimes even missing the string altogether. I've been practicing though, so I'm getting better, but I haven't gotten faster than straight downstrokes yet.

Edit: The lesson for guitar seems to be saying to start practicing them while palm-muting; I don't really see an advantage other than having your hand anchored.... is this the way you should start, or not?
Last edited by herby190 at Aug 31, 2009,
#8
Quote by thunderkix
upstrokes are totally wimpy. just do downstrokes until your penis pops off



hahaha thats so ****in metal
Baaaaaaazz
#9
Quote by thunderkix
upstrokes are totally wimpy. just do downstrokes until your penis pops off


in my experience, upstokes actually sound heavier than downstokes on bass. In fact I mostly play with upstrokes.

I agree with edgeyyz, angle the pick slightly. also, on the subject of palm mutes I find them very useful for muting the other stings and tightening up both the rhythm and the tone. muting generally is good cos it means you can choose when a note ends as well as when it starts. (I'm not sure if that last part made any sense...)
#10
Quote by herby190
Edit: The lesson for guitar seems to be saying to start practicing them while palm-muting; I don't really see an advantage other than having your hand anchored.... is this the way you should start, or not?

Hmmm, I don't think you should necessarily practice while palm muting, but resting your wrist on the bridge might help.
#11
Palm muting the low E on bass sounds crap and is very inaudible, so I wouldnt go with that neither.
Baaaaaaazz
#13
On a similar topic, how would one hold the pick while picking bass, like the guitar, with the pick laying on the side of my finger being held by the thumb?

Because I hold it as if I was pinching something on the pads of my fingers, doing it the above way doesn't allow me to skip strings properly :/
#14
Ok. Find a chord progression that you like. Say B D A E. Play a bar of each of those alternate picked at 80 bpm playing 16ths. Then build up speed until you're comfortable at high speeds. Then learn to skip strings. Take the crazy train main riff and learn that alt picked. Then try Master of Puppets. You should have it down by then and be able to apply it to anything.
#15
Quote by GrStMyGn
On a similar topic, how would one hold the pick while picking bass, like the guitar, with the pick laying on the side of my finger being held by the thumb?

Because I hold it as if I was pinching something on the pads of my fingers, doing it the above way doesn't allow me to skip strings properly :/


I hold it on the flat parts of my index and thumb.
#16
Quote by GrStMyGn
On a similar topic, how would one hold the pick while picking bass, like the guitar, with the pick laying on the side of my finger being held by the thumb?

Because I hold it as if I was pinching something on the pads of my fingers, doing it the above way doesn't allow me to skip strings properly :/

I've always held the pick a little above my thumb so that the pick AND the thumb hit the string (I believe Chris Squire does this). I've found this makes alternate picking easier because the pick doesn't catch the string as much and slow down. That or I've been doing it wrong the entire time...
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#17
Quote by GrStMyGn
On a similar topic, how would one hold the pick while picking bass, like the guitar, with the pick laying on the side of my finger being held by the thumb?

Because I hold it as if I was pinching something on the pads of my fingers, doing it the above way doesn't allow me to skip strings properly :/


I hold it with my thumb on one side, and both my index and middle finger on the other.
#18
Quote by jimRH7
I hold it with my thumb on one side, and both my index and middle finger on the other.

#19
Quote by jimRH7
I hold it with my thumb on one side, and both my index and middle finger on the other.


yeah man, I use index and middle too, for some reason I can't seem to get just index to work.

I recently switched from traditional shaped picks to the Dunlop triangle tortex pick. the reason I tried one was because I saw Daron from System used them and I thought "meh what the hell" and they play like Jesus f*cking a whole Indonesian village!

I also try to work in some Chris Squire-esque thumb action

And to whoever said palm muting on the E sounds bad, apparently you just don't know how to do it correctly. When done correctly it can sound like, again, Jesus getting on with a whole village.
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