Fred Thomas

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Jun 2, 2012.


  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player Supporting Member

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    Hi everybody.

    Well, just wanted to start talking about this groove master since couldn't find a thread dedicated to him. And I think he deserves it!

    Basically, there's something in particular that amazes me about him: Everybody talks about Jamerson's one-finger technique and how he could execute such basslines that way. Of course, that's a truly remarkable achievement, but I'd say that in spite of that apparently "limited" approach, his plucking hand looked like a real bassist's one. I mean, like someone who really knew what was doing.

    On the other hand, Mr. Thomas' right hand technique is one of the most "unprofessional" looking ones I've seen:

    [​IMG]

    Plucking the strings with his thumb while the other fingers were supported by extending them over the bass body. That's exactly the way in which most likely someone who doesn't know anything about playing bass would try to make some noises with it.

    But don't misunderstand me. I'm not criticizing him. On the other hand, that's precisely what awes me about him. He's the perfect example of the fact that you don't need an ultra-refined technique to GROOVE. Not that I'd like to adopt his approach, but I really love and admire his style. Check him out grooving here:

     
  2. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

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    I don't agree with the "unprofessionnal" comment, whatever works for him is fine by me.I guess it looked "pro" enought the James Brown himself.He grooves like a killer & has an awesome tone. What more do you want.
    The man is a funk legend.
     
  3. dylanjohnson

    dylanjohnson

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    Thats how Leo thought it would be played. Monk Montgomery played like that too. Original Fender bass style.
     
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player Supporting Member

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    That's why I put the word between quotation marks.
     
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  6. pyrohr

    pyrohr

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  7. jeruzz

    jeruzz

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    I am an old friend of Fred's. We used to record together but we have since lost touch. It's been a while and I was a teen but he will remember me. If anyone still has contact can you tell him that Angel wants to talk to him? Just tell him the artist that Bob used to manage from New Jersey. We last recorded in Brooklyn. Please email me at jeruzz1 (at) gmail.com :hyper:
     
  8. One Drop

    One Drop Supporting Member

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    Love his time with JB, he's a huge fat and funky presence on everything he played on.
     
  9. Wwolof

    Wwolof

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  10. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    What you guys gotta understand is that even though certain techniques look "unprofessional" to us, in 2012, when these guys were writing this stuff, the "book" hadn't been written yet.

    The stuff we know today as being "good technique" wasn't even invented. They were still figuring out what works.
     
  11. bassist15

    bassist15

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    He still tours and plays live with Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens out of NY
     
  12. Alexi David

    Alexi David

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    I asked Fred about this. He said that James showed him this - to play down, into the earth. Like a drum.
     

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