This is a public version of the members-only Electric Bass with Nathan East, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Electric Bass with Nathan East.
Join Now

Beginner Bass
Intermediate Bass
Advanced Bass
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Electric Bass Lessons: Speed Drills: Exercise 1 -NEW!

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Beginner Bass

+Intermediate Bass

+Advanced Bass

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Electric Bass

This video lesson is available only to members of
Electric Bass with Nathan East.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Electric Bass with Nathan East. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Electric Bass Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Okay, so hello everybody and
today we're gonna talk about practicing
and building up our speed.
Now lots of players like to play fast
because it's very impressive and
everybody thinks it's cool, and it is
But in order to play fast
one of the most important things you have
to learn is how to play slowly first.
And that is one of the steps a lot of
people like to bypass but to this day some
of my favorite players and guys that I
play with I hear them warming up and
they're actually warming up very slowly.
Like this slowly.
Now it seems tedious,
and it seems like, well what's, what's
that gonna get you?
But what it does, is gets you per, perfect
notes every time.
If you can play it slowly, you can, you
can speed it up and
your notes will, will eventually make
So in practice mode since we're gonna be
sitting there for
at least maybe an hour hopefully at least.
Because we know that in order to master an
instrument it takes 10,000 hours of,
of practice.
So what I like to do is just get relaxed,
get my hands a little loose, and
shake them out.
Even if you're practicing and you feel a
little tense and stiff,
just take, take time to take a breath,
everybody breath and you know relax and
just get in the comfortable position.
These exercises involve the right hand
equally as well as the left hand so...
I usually like to the C's, C Major scale,
starting on the E string.
[SOUND] With the C on the E string.
That way we can get a lot of notes in.
those notes that are laying under our
Now one of the things that I like to do is
practice with a metronome.
I notice that when people play and some of
the videos that have been sent to me,
the first thing that I notice is that
you've got the notes,
but the time can be improved upon.
So I highly recommend practicing with a
click track or a drum machine,
because lots of times in the studio, we
end up using a click track.
And it's actually very difficult for some
players to play with a click track and,
and you, for some reason it just is
It used to be for me, so again, if you
wanna learn how to play with one,
just practice with one more so it's not
such an intimidating experience.
But we're going to start with a click at
70 beats per minutes.
70 BPM, and we're just gonna play the C
scale and
we're gonna play one note per click.
And that'll just get us used to playing
the notes very evenly.
And we'll start with 70 beats per minute,
one note per click then we're
gonna advance to two notes per click, then
three, and then four notes per click.
Again, practicing takes patience, time.
It's almost like a, a meditation where you
just get into the flow of it.
But the more you do, the, the better your
notes are gonna come out.
They're gonna be even, and, and you'll
make every one of them.
You won't, you won't be hitting every one,
every other one.
So here we go and let's go with a 70 beat
per minute click, and
do the C major scale, something like this.
[SOUND] Two, three, four.
Okay, we having fun yet?
Now actually I can, I can feel, just doing
that, in my left hand, in my arm.
So I'm just gonna shake them out a little
But I feel like, that's feeling pretty
comfortable now.
So now I'm gonna try to play two notes per
click and keep them all very even.
Now, when you're doing these exercises, if
you wanna keep yourself amused,
you can either do two fingers on your
right hand,
Alternating fingers, or use one finger
The great thing about using one finger is,
is it actually makes it more even.
So by using one finger and
some of the greatest bass players I think
just use the one finger technique.
I know James Jamerson used to get all
those notes in and it was he used only,
he used his index finger to play, so
that's amazing to me.
So, so here we go,
70 beats per minute, two notes per click,
C major scale, like this.
One, two, three, four.
So now I'm starting to feel
pretty comfortable with that little
tightness in my arms.
So I'm just gonna loosen my fingers, shake
them out, make sure I'm nice and relaxed.
Because now we're gonna do three notes per
So, get ready, here we go three notes per
One, two, three, four.
Okay, how's that feel?
Now I'm starting to feel like we're
getting there.
Again, I can tell my muscles are getting a
little bit, a little tight,
not too much, so that was the three notes
per click, are we ready for four?
Let's see, this is 70 beats per minute.
And now we're gonna do four notes per
click, here we go.
One, two, three, four.
I got you.
[LAUGH] Okay, so that was four notes per
click and
can you feel a little bit of the power?
Can you feel the speed because definitely
now those notes are all gonna be even and
when you go to play at that tempo it's
gonna, it's gonna be right.
And from here, what we would do is speed
the click up.
So by the time we started playing four
notes per click, at for, for
instance 80 beats per minutes, it would be
much, faster.
A little, but it would be even as well.
So these are just, early practice
techniques to get our speed up.
And I recommend we do this everyday just
that our muscles get developed and we can
build up that speed.