#1
How can I improve the speed of picking with my fingers? Does it just come naturally?
#2
Practicing religiously with a mteronome and being extremely hard on yourself. Set metronome slow, play straight 8ths or 16ths. Rinse and repeat. Eventually step up the speed in small increments. Incorporate the spider exercise into it at the same time if you want to work on increasing the speed of your left/right hand synchronisation- doesn't matter how fast you can play if your fretting hand can't keep up.
#3
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Practicing religiously with a mteronome and being extremely hard on yourself. Set metronome slow, play straight 8ths or 16ths. Rinse and repeat. Eventually step up the speed in small increments. Incorporate the spider exercise into it at the same time if you want to work on increasing the speed of your left/right hand synchronisation- doesn't matter how fast you can play if your fretting hand can't keep up.

Thanks, Delirium.
What is the spider exercise?
#4
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Practicing religiously with a mteronome and being extremely hard on yourself. Set metronome slow, play straight 8ths or 16ths. Rinse and repeat. Eventually step up the speed in small increments. Incorporate the spider exercise into it at the same time if you want to work on increasing the speed of your left/right hand synchronisation- doesn't matter how fast you can play if your fretting hand can't keep up.


/thread
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#5
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Practicing religiously with a mteronome and being extremely hard on yourself. Set metronome slow, play straight 8ths or 16ths. Rinse and repeat. Eventually step up the speed in small increments. Incorporate the spider exercise into it at the same time if you want to work on increasing the speed of your left/right hand synchronisation- doesn't matter how fast you can play if your fretting hand can't keep up.


exactly what I did. Now I can play Iron Maiden lines with my fingers.
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#6
Quote by coryklok
Thanks, Delirium.
What is the spider exercise?


One finger per fret over 4 frets and all the strings, and mixed up up. For example:

G                                   1 2 3 4
D                       1 2 3 4
A            1 2 3 4
E 1 2 3 4

G          1  4
D                  2
A     3                 1
E  4   2            3

G                                     3 4 1 2
D                         1 3 2 4
A             2 4 1 3
E  4 2 1 3


And so on and so forth.
#7
Quote by Deliriumbassist
One finger per fret over 4 frets and all the strings, and mixed up up. For example:

G                                   1 2 3 4
D 1 2 3 4
A 1 2 3 4
E 1 2 3 4

G 1 4
D 2
A 3 1
E 4 2 3

G 3 4 1 2
D 1 3 2 4
A 2 4 1 3
E 4 2 1 3


And so on and so forth.

Thank you so much.
#8
^that will do more for your speed, stamina and stretch than you can possibly imagine. It is a godsend to small hand bass players and its part of my daily practice routine. The trick is to start slow and don't speed up until you are consistent in both your rhythm and tone. Practice with a metronome though.

Remember as Applehead says, Speed is a by product of accuracy. And as I've said before playing fast with poor tone means nothing.
#9
I'm really ashamed of my finger picking speed and I really need to work on it. That said, I'm not quite ready to give up my "mwahaha I've never ever used a metronome" smugness as of yet.
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#11
Quote by thefitz
I'm really ashamed of my finger picking speed and I really need to work on it. That said, I'm not quite ready to give up my "mwahaha I've never ever used a metronome" smugness as of yet.


Use the next best thing my friend. Drum machine slowed down, then slowly build up. Just like a metronome, except it also helps you use the technique in real life, so it isn't just a pointless exercise



Sanity is not statistical
#12
Quote by Low_End_Rocker
Use the next best thing my friend. Drum machine slowed down, then slowly build up. Just like a metronome, except it also helps you use the technique in real life, so it isn't just a pointless exercise


Using a metronome really isn't a pointless exercise if that's what you're implying.
#13
Fitz adheres to the Jeff Berlin school of thought regarding metronomes. In a nutshell to quote Jeff. ""Practicing with a metronome defeats the whole purpose of practicing" "Don't use a metronome to learn good time because it's not going to give it to you".

There's a good bass player interview with Berlin on his whole line of thought--or you could rent his "Bass Logic" DVD. Or you could use the search bar on the words "theFitz" and "metronomes"

I don't agree with either Berlin or Fitz on this one, but its an interesting argument.
#14
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Using a metronome really isn't a pointless exercise if that's what you're implying.


Nah, nah, didn't mean that at all. I use a metronome every day, and swear by it. Others can't stand them. I meant people who learn a skill but then can't incorporate it into their playing with other musicians. I consider that a pointless exercise. I would rather spend half an hour polishing up my speed with my picking fingers than learing some obscure one hand tapping that I know personally I would never use



Sanity is not statistical
#16
A metronome is really good for pacing, and for building speed, it'd be great. It won't slow down, even though you'll want to.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#18
Quote by anarkee
^that will do more for your speed, stamina and stretch than you can possibly imagine. It is a godsend to small hand bass players and its part of my daily practice routine. The trick is to start slow and don't speed up until you are consistent in both your rhythm and tone. Practice with a metronome though.


Could I ask a couple quick questions about this?

Now, I know you've got small hands and like long-scale bass' with chunky necks.. back when you were just starting, were you able to stretch index-to-pinky over frets 1-4 from the get go? Are you allowed to shift your hand at all when practicing spider runs? Where is your elbow in relation to body and hand when you're doing this?

I ask because I've got tiny toe-finger paw hands myself, and last time I thought I had a 4-fret span down, I ended up getting early carpal tunnel symptoms. Now I want to make certain I'm not starting on horrible technique before I start trying to improve my stretch again.
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#19
If you have small hands, i would suggest still sticking to the one finger per fret rule, but shift your hands slightly until you dont have to any more. your muscles will get used to this and over time you will be able to stretch your hands so there is no need to shift.
#20
If you REALLY can't hack one-finger-per fret, look up Simandl Method. It's for upright bass and seems pretty inefficient, but watch NHOP - he goes absolutely bat-scat on upright (but he's not a funk/modern Jazz player so don't expect much Bass Player coverage) and he uses Simandl.

And he plays with his eyes closed. I've never seen anybody seem more comfortable with their instrument.

I'm glad he's dead
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#21
Quote by thefitz
If you REALLY can't hack one-finger-per fret, look up Simandl Method. It's for upright bass and seems pretty inefficient, but watch NHOP - he goes absolutely bat-scat on upright (but he's not a funk/modern Jazz player so don't expect much Bass Player coverage) and he uses Simandl.

And he plays with his eyes closed. I've never seen anybody seem more comfortable with their instrument.

I'm glad he's dead



I didn't know it had a name, but after looking that up, I use the Simandl Method myself in certain applications. I switch back to the one-finger-per-fret style when playing other things, in particular higher higher frets.

I guess its just the way I was taught. And personally I don't think it's that inefficient. I mean, if you get comfortable with it, you can still play pretty fast stuff, and play it well too.
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#22
I started on the OFPF method, but I took it slow and slowly built up strength, stretch and speed. When I felt strain I stopped and took a break. Its not something that you will get overnight and it takes some time. Also--do your spider scales at a point on the neck where you aren't straining and then move them down to the lower frets as you gain stretch and speed. I also employ shifts, esp when playing in Fm--like the song "Green Onions" for instance.

You need to adhere to using your thumb behind the neck as a pivot and your elbow in towards your body. And your bass needs to be higher and the neck at an angle up.

I tend to use the Simandl on fretless though--I find I have better accuracy and speed. Not entirely sure why.
#23
I hate, hate, (HATE + 1 = HNINE) shifting hand positions, so I find using 3 fingers death. But then again, I can stretch from frets 1-6, if I really, really wanted to
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#24
^braggart!

I can now manage a 5 fret spread above the 5th fret and a 4 comfortably below that. Still can't manage the intro to "To Defy the Laws of Tradition" without feeling a bit of strain tho'.
#25
Does anyone have any exercises to get plucking fingers at an equal speed? My middle finger isn't nearly as fast as my index.
#26
^I concur. THAT requires heavy lifting with a metronome.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#27
Quote by anarkee
^braggart!

I can now manage a 5 fret spread above the 5th fret and a 4 comfortably below that. Still can't manage the intro to "To Defy the Laws of Tradition" without feeling a bit of strain tho'.

I can do 6. but it's easier to slide down a few inches. I also am most comfy with 4.
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