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How does MM do it?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by ncapone, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. ncapone

    ncapone

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    Tonight after listening to M2 I decided to try something new and come up with my own Marcus Miller type groove. I'm a fairly proficient slapper, but not with the fast double thumping. My arms are killing me. How can he play like that for so long?
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

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  3. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum. Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure what other answer could be expected.
  4. ncapone

    ncapone

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    I know that practice is key, but I mean that doing it for so long after a while can probably only do more harm than good to his joints.
  5. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum. Supporting Member

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    Only if he's doing it wrong. He hangs his bass pretty high, so his wrist looks pretty straight when slaps. That's instrumental to keeping your joints in shape, no pun intended.
  6. ncapone

    ncapone

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    Hm, I'll have to try that. Thanks for the suggestion.
  7. hasbeen

    hasbeen

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    Disclosures:
    Vice President, KMC Music Inc.
    I do a lot of "double thumbing" and slap. It has never caused joing problems or sore muscles.

    Maybe you aren't relaxed enough.

    I would start by doing some "rudiments": maybe some very slow scales.

    Over twenty years ago, I was a very proficient competitor with "speed" pistol shooting. We used to say, "don't practice to be fast, practice to be smooth. The speed will come".
  8. ritz

    ritz

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  9. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

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    I watched the previous video and then found this one - Marcus slapping Teen Town. Not too shabby!



    :bassist:
  10. hasbeen

    hasbeen

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    Marcus is certainly great; my favorite next to Jaco. Techniques can be learned though. Even Marcus wasn't "double thumbing" back then.
  11. KennethB

    KennethB

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    It's funny, I asked him about this when he did a signing session/clinic at my local music store last year. I remembered watching him double thumb "What Is Hip"...

    ...and to me the stuff he's doing there is just insane, considering the fact that he's doing it with 045-105 gauge strings and he's really slamming! :bassist: , which is also why I like him the best when it comes to slapping in general, and also double thumbing specifically; the great TONE he has. Other players may be quicker and slicker with their light gauge strings and (let's say) Fodera basses ;) but I feel that it comes at a cost: it's more two dimensional as opposed to Marcus' 3D Fender tone.
    So I asked him if he, for instance, could play "What Is Hip" like that three times in a row; no problem, or does he feel the burn?
    And he said that he definitely felt i;, HARD! :cool: Which is why, he said; he has to switch to fingerstyle in the middle of it (about 4 min into it in the clip) because he feels as if his arm is about to fall off! :bassist:
    So it's not like he's some kind off super human bass slapping machine, he's just very, very strong. He also said that for him the front pick up cover is quite important to him; for positioning the right hand and that a lot of energy actually goes into that cover, he hits it. But he has to have it there, because if it's not, it messes up his technique. And this was demonstrated when he played a Jazz Bass without the cover. He got tired much more quickly and his groove/feel also suffered slightly. He was still able to do it, but it wasn't Marcus being Marcus, you know?
    Anyway, what a great player and a great guy too! Very approachable, intensely listening and very kind. Especially with the young kids that has just started to play. I remember watching him interact with them and thinking that he's the kind of guy that is able to inspire a kid to play; probably for the rest of his/her life. :bassist:
  12. Salamenster

    Salamenster

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    I really dig Marcus. He's not superfast, but that's just his thing. His slappy is tasty and groovy at all times. Not too much of the fancy stuff, just a solid groove.

    Apart from that, personally, I find it easier to slap a higher gauge. More tension: More control when thumbing and less space for the string to travel, so you have a quicker 'rebound' when plucking.

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