#1
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.


**** you gilly, it's not what you think


Anyway, I SUCK at playing fast. Like awful. I can play the occasional sixteenths, and eighths and all that, but im terrible and long term fast passages. For example, ill notice that when I try playing metal or prog, and there's this quick passage, i'll slop my way through it, and it pisses me off.

At first I thought ''oh no biggie, i've only been playing x months''. It's been almost a year and a half, and i'm still bad. I must be doing something wrong. I don't want to give myself an excuse, but I play without a pick. I find that when it comes to really quick chugs or just 16th note doodling, my right hand goes to sleep and it's like I don't even know what im doing anymore. It sucks, and im putting my foot down. I've hit a plateau in my playing a while ago, and I want to get out of it.

So guys, any tips? Seriously, I can double hand tap with my eyes closes, but god forbid you throw a line with 16th notes in it at me. I just freeze up. I try all of my warm ups, all the finger exercises, and nothing seems to be helping me. Maybe there's some bass exercises that will increase my speed (big increase in speed).

Thanks.
pinga
#2
Play with a pick, play in a comfortable position, what i do is play Master Of Puppets(parts of it anyway), then Disposable Heroes, then Metal Milita, MOP with the fast notes and halfway weird rhythm, DH has straightforward downstrokes for alot of the song and MM just throws 16th`s at you.
I take 30-45 minutes to get really warmed up, 196Marroquin on Youtube has INSANELY good straightford guitar lessons on Thrash, hundreds of vids on Thrash Metal ONLY.
#3
look up pretty much anything alex webster has ever said. he's the man when it comes to fast finger-bassery.

mostly he says what everybody says here (slow down with a metronome, play cleanly, very slowly over a few days/weeks speed it up), but he also endorses a 3 finger rolling technique that's pretty popular, constantly accentuating the 1st beat of each note but cycling through his fingers. for example, in 4/4 (i=index, m=middle, r=ring)

|i m r i|m r i m|r i m r|i m r i|

it takes a while to get syncopation down (as it's a pattern of 3 rather than 4) but it's a lot easier than trying to build up pinky strength for 4 finger rolling.

note: you can build up some pretty nuts speed with 2 fingers, but economy of motion dictates that 1 motion with more picks will always have a higher potential speed. just as well, you'll have to have patience once you can play extreme speeds (i can play just as fast with my fingers rolling 16ths as i can on an electric guitar outside of pure tremolo picking) it's really hard to make it sound clean without a lot of attention to detail and a lot of maintenance, and even then it's just naturally gonna sound cleaner if you use a good plectrum with solid technique, so it's good to learn to use both for their different timbres and usage.

on the other side of that coin, if you use a steve harris-style finger-plucking technique that basically has the power of a pick, or learn how to utilize it, you can get some nice clean follow-through, but i don't know how you play, so it's hard to say.

hopefully this isn't (too) long-winded and sporadic, it was an on-the-fly kind of thing.
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#4
Here's a quote from the Alex Webster interview on Notreble

"My three-finger plucking technique is fairly simple. It goes ring, middle, index repeatedly. The trick is to make sure that you can create an even pulse of 16th notes rather than simply triplets and gallops. To do that, I recommend that you practice accenting the pattern in a way that creates a feeling of four: RING, middle, index, ring, MIDDLE, index, ring, middle, INDEX, ring, middle, index, etc."


And about Steve DiGiorgio's picking technique.
"...Steve graciously told me his technique: he plays with three fingers, returning to the middle: RING, middle, index, middle. Armed with that information, I slowly practiced the pattern for hours..."

Maybe one of those work for you.
#5
do the passage seven times straight with no flubs at each of the following tempo markings. if you screw it up, start back at the first time:

56 bpm
60 bpm
69/72 bpm
80 bpm
92 bpm
100 bpm
108 bpm
120 bpm

keep going up as necessary. but remember. 7 times perfect. every note picked clean.

in my experience, not being able to play something fast is really just a symptom of not being able to REALLY play it slow.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Nov 15, 2011,
#6
Quote by Sparda93
Play with a pick, play in a comfortable position, what i do is play Master Of Puppets(parts of it anyway), then Disposable Heroes, then Metal Milita, MOP with the fast notes and halfway weird rhythm, DH has straightforward downstrokes for alot of the song and MM just throws 16th`s at you.
I take 30-45 minutes to get really warmed up, 196Marroquin on Youtube has INSANELY good straightford guitar lessons on Thrash, hundreds of vids on Thrash Metal ONLY.

I forgot to mention that I refuse to play with a pick. Nothing against picks or players themselves, but I just can't stand picks and honestly I don't feel like devoting time to developing my picking technique (it's crap) and learn how to pick with a pick faster.

Also, thanks all of you. I have actually looked into Webster because I know he's probably one of the fastest finger bassists out there, but for some reason, my hand refuses to learn the damn 3 finger rhythm. I can gallop triplets decently, but obviously, adding that extra note make my brain go mushy. I'll just have to grind on it I suppose.

Oh and I forgot to mention it's not just my right hand giving me trouble, my left hand is also very sloppy when playing fast passages. Any tips?
pinga
#7
Slow down and then slowly build up speed. I know its tedious and a pain, but it works for most of us.
#9
Everybody hates metronomes, but there is just no getting around them. Practice, start slow and try to strike the strings evenly. You'll get it. And none of us can play as fast as we'd like to, so join the club.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#10
Quote by Cb4rabid

**** you gilly, it's not what you think


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Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


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Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#11
Slow it down to at least 60 bpm, each beat being a quaver, and go from there, no one likes it but everyone does it!

Also maybe buy a really good metronome, i have one of those nifty boss tu-80's which is a tuner and a metronome with a bunch of preset beat styles, draw back is that it isn't loud unless you plug it into an amp (And it's mono input which is ****ing annoying).
Earlier this year i raged at my old metronome and it doesn't work too well now
#13
Alright so, i'm gonna have to just keep grinding on the metronome then. I've learned that grinding on something is the only way I learn something


Is it the same thing for my left hand too? I lose accuracy with that hand too and it's almost like it locks up. Should I just keep doing spider walks and scale runs?

For example, I can play a scale and or scale patterns really quickly, but that's because there's a certain pattern to it. When playing a run that doesn't really have a defined pattern to it, that's where I get all screwed up. I really need to fix that, or i'll never learn how to properly play those prog type fast runs.
pinga
#14
The way you learned the "pattern" was probably through practice and eventual internalization. Its like when you first learn to drive, you have to think about steering and breaking etc, but after a while its so ingrained you don't have to think about the mechanics of it.

Unless you are going completely apesheet atonal, everything in music based on some sort of structure or pattern. This is why musicians practice scales and arppegios. Its boring at times, but incredibly useful the more you play it.

To really challenge yourself, mix up the scale practice. Play them backwards--and then broken thirds. Play all the arpeggios based on the scales. Start the scale in an unfamiliar part of the fretboard. The more you break out of the familiar and expand your internal knowledge, the more accurate your playing becomes and speed will follow.
Last edited by anarkee at Nov 16, 2011,
#15
Quote by anarkee
The way you learned the "pattern" was probably through practice and eventual internalization. Its like when you first learn to drive, you have to think about steering and breaking etc, but after a while its so ingrained you don't have to think about the mechanics of it.

Unless you are going completely apesheet atonal, everything in music based on some sort of structure or pattern. This is why musicians practice scales and arppegios. Its boring at times, but incredibly useful the more you play it.

To really challenge yourself, mix up the scale practice. Play them backwards--and then broken thirds. Play all the arpeggios based on the scales. Start the scale in an unfamiliar part of the fretboard. The more you break out of the familiar and expand your internal knowledge, the more accurate your playing becomes and speed will follow.

Yeah, that's true.

Actually, I already play them in 3rds, 6ths and I play them in alternate patterns. And with each, I do go back down and up again. I've been doing this for as long as I have been playing bass, but still, it kills me playing anything quick that isn't a scale or something .
pinga
#16
Here's another approach. Step back and look at what you are trying to play. Let me give you an example.

My last gig I had to play John Entwistle's solo from My Generation and learn it in a very short time frame up to speed. It really flummoxed me until I finally realized the whole solo is based on the blues/minor pentatonic scale, which I know quite well. Once I realized that, it was really easy to nail it in a short period up to tempo.

Everything you are going to play is going to be based on a scale or a chord pattern.
#17
Quote by anarkee
Here's another approach. Step back and look at what you are trying to play. Let me give you an example.

My last gig I had to play John Entwistle's solo from My Generation and learn it in a very short time frame up to speed. It really flummoxed me until I finally realized the whole solo is based on the blues/minor pentatonic scale, which I know quite well. Once I realized that, it was really easy to nail it in a short period up to tempo.

Everything you are going to play is going to be based on a scale or a chord pattern.

Yeah! I did this for Dan Brigg's solo from Viridian and one of the quicker runs is actually just a D major scale, which is something I hadn't even noticed before.

The only problem is, it's around the 17-21 fret range, and by then, my hand is in this really awkward position, it's it becomes a hassle for me to play with my pinky since my wrist becomes at an angle, which just adds to my frustration. I'll just need to learn it with my ring finger, either way the stretches aren't bad enough for me to have to use my pinky anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0jiclPmM0RM#t=61s

That's the song, starting at the bass solo. Starts off with a nice slow pace, and it gets increasingly harder, with bass sweeps and the whole crazy 16th note runs. I can play up until around 1:42, and even then, I never feel like I play it fluently. I don't know why this is giving me such a hard time. It's very irritating.
pinga
#18
EDIT: Already after reading that^, suggest it may be more of a technique problem unless your has a really shallow bottom cutaway, you shouldn't be aiming to stretch farther then 1 finger per fret anyway. (i guess that becomes a bit gray in the upper register but yeah)
Might want to check your technique if your left hand is really locking up badly, I'm having a bit of a left hand problem with my upright technique atm and it sucks trying to correct any bad habits that have been ingrained.

No one here can really help, go to your teacher and have them have a look at your technique (i know you have some kind of vendetta against being taught, but there are and always will be people better than you who can help you better yourself)
Last edited by Bass First at Nov 17, 2011,
#19
Quote by Bass First
EDIT: Already after reading that^, suggest it may be more of a technique problem unless your has a really shallow bottom cutaway, you shouldn't be aiming to stretch farther then 1 finger per fret anyway. (i guess that becomes a bit gray in the upper register but yeah)
Might want to check your technique if your left hand is really locking up badly, I'm having a bit of a left hand problem with my upright technique atm and it sucks trying to correct any bad habits that have been ingrained.

No one here can really help, go to your teacher and have them have a look at your technique (i know you have some kind of vendetta against being taught, but there are and always will be people better than you who can help you better yourself)

It's actually an angle problem. When I play it sitting down it's not too hard, but if I play it standing up, I can't comfortably play down there. What I did was fix my strap so that I have it above my mid-section and it's much more do-able.

As far as one finger per fret, I do it, once I reach 19 I just shift so that my pinky lands on 21. It's not bad technique I can assure you.

Also, I don't have a teacher, so that last part is pretty null there are people who are much better than me here, so I came here. Thanks for the help though. I actually had the metronome on for over an hour yesterday, and I kept playing this one part over and over and over and over again. It helped, albeit it was VERY annoying. I can still hear those clicks in my head..
pinga
#20
Play relaxed to get clean speed. It takes practice to learn any new riff - memorizing the notes is the easy part, getting it under your fingers is another.

Get the timing down right slow and clean, and relaxed. If you feel tension in your plucking hand, slow down and focus on relaxing those tensing muscles. Learn to let your fingers move on their own. Once you get a feel for this, your fingers will fly on their own and you will be relaxed while playing.

Nothing worth doing comes easy - work on your practice routine, be patient and just keep at it. I WILL come to you - just comes to each player in their own time.