#1
I've posted many a thread about how to improve your 4-finger speed (actually only 3) but none of the excercises taht have been suggested to me actually work! Everyone says a real bassist should be able to play faster with fingers than with a pick, but my tremolo picking is still a bit faster, and I want to change that. Any resident bass gurus, I beg of you, PLEASE HELP ME!

It would be much appreciated *wink wink*
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#2
its about excessive practicing. My 3rd finger sucked for a good solid year of practice before it actually began to work like a finger and not a retarded little brother.
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#3
I can play with my third finger as fast as I can with my index and middle fingers, its the pinky that i have a problem with. I dont get much of a speed increase when i go from 3 to 4 fingers.
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#4
Then don't use your fourth finger.
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#5
lol. Well done

I want to be able to play blazingly fast though
Just so when guitarists are doing crazy tremolo picking i can say, " Check this out"
and outmatch them with my fingers
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#6
Logically, adding your absolute weakest finger into the mix isn't going to help matters at all.
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#7
True. But heres something, what if i make it stronger

EDIT : Is it true that real bassists should be able to play fingerstyle faster than guitarists can tremelo pick?
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Last edited by Face The Slayer at May 8, 2006,
#8
A person who is considered a tremendously skilled bassist might be able to do it, or he might not. It also depends on what guitarist you're talking about. I don't know what you mean by "real".

And even if you strengthen the muscles, it's still a stump compared to your other plucking fingers. You will still have to lean a bit to accomodate for its short length, and it will hinder you.
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#9
Well by real bassist, i mean a good, skilled bassist and by guitarist im not talking about Steve Vai, but just normal guys who are moderately fast but nothing special. Really i just wanna play as fast as Billy Sheehan.
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#10
um...for 4fingers, do you have to go index, middle, ring, pinky, ring, middle, or something different.

anyways, i only play one finger, sometimes 2.
#11
I dont play fast anymore, but when i learnt four fingers i used hold a fag or a joint in my fingers so i could only play with my third and fourth fingers. Then i just practied scales.

You should not be trying to win some sort of competition. Ask yourself if you will ever use it in your bass playing. People say "jaco couldnt double thump", thats because he didnt want to, not because he couldn't. if someone says "go on, play fast", it means they have no clue about music, so they aren't someone i would want to try and impress. When someone says "go on, play with groove..." that's when i can impress them. my speed has probably gone, but i still have use of all four fingers (which comes more in handy for others things to be honest ). generally i only even use three when i am doing fast triplets.

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#12
i only use three at most if you look at great bassists infact not many use more than two fingers, jaco,wooten,flea,marcus miller,stu hamm. its not actually incredibly necessary.
who are you to wave your finger......
#13
i use 3 fingers. if im doing quadruplet plucking, i go forefinger, middle, ring, middle. and repeat that.
i need to get a better signature.
#14
Here's what I do when mimicing my guitarist (lead vs. bass battle)...for excessively quick 16s/32s/what have you...

go as such - middle hit, pointer hit...then flick your middle back up and hit the string...then flick your pointer back out and hit the string...repeat...keep it steady and even-sounding...try it on your chair or your leg or whatever right now. get the feeling for it, and try it on your bass.

I've practiced with pointer middle and ring for years and I find that that makes for some great triplets...but practice ALOT with just your pointer and middle. give it a shot for a bit, lots of practice and you can make that sound steady and clear everytime on every hit.

I hope I was clear enough on that...also...this might not work for everybody, just do what is natural and smooth, and practice practice practice.

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#15
try pinky, ring, middle, index for four finger plucking
for three fingers try ring, middle, index
that's the order I play in for fast 16s, and it works
I need to get a metronome to make sure I don't mess up and half-ass it...

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#17
IMO the only way to build up speed properly so no notes are uneven, is to use a metronome. VERY boring I know. But it's something which needs to be done.

Also... make sure you don't think that speed is by all the ends of bass-playing. Yes, it can be very impressive to watch when done properly. Speed is an important aspect of your playing, but make sure to develop other aspects of your playing as well, i.e. working on grooves, etc.

To a non-bassist, playing with 4 fingers means almost nothing unless you can play something which actually moves them.
#18
yeah i gave up four finger attempts awhile go, i don't think it's worth it:P 3 fingers is good enough for me, plus yeah groove is way more important IMO
#19
Quote by EpiphoneBassist
yeah i gave up four finger attempts awhile go, i don't think it's worth it:P 3 fingers is good enough for me, plus yeah groove is way more important IMO

It's possible to play a fast groove, y'know.
#20
Just ask my main men Stuart Zender and Nick Ffyfe about that.

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#21
Quote by EpiphoneBassist
plus yeah groove is way more important IMO


And makes a great excuse, lol.
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#22
^ Heh Heh, that made me chuckle.

However, you will find that young kids are the ones who want to play fast, and by the time they can play really fast, they get bored of it and realise it's not about playing fast at all. It's cool though, we all have to mature in our playing careers..

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#23
Yeah i agree speed isn't everything. Anyways, i play with 3 and my friends thought i was playing with 4 the first time they saw me (because my fingers are all "clumped up" together when i use 3).

Back to the topic:
The truth is, you can still go extremely fast with just 2 fingers. It's all about how much you practice and whether you're used to it. If you really want to play fast using 4 fingers, then all i can say is practice, practice, practice! Just keep on learning different songs everyday, make sure they not similar, try a variety of styles to make you right hand more versatile.. and practice scales/finger exercises! It won't just come to you in a few weeks; it took me a few months to play "naturally" with 3 fingers!
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#24
Relentless practice is the only way to get good at anything. that's how you develop your motor skills. it's not a secret, just keep doing it loads every day and use a metronome to keep it consistent. no point in going fast if you can't keep it in time..

Good luck

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