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Alabama Shakes on SNL

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by m0ranwad, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. m0ranwad


    Jan 29, 2013
    Was anyone else watching the Alabama Shakes on SNL last night? I've been a fan of their album since it came out, and I think their bass player records some good lines. However, I was shocked to see (and maybe I'm wrong), that Zac Cockrell plays finger style with only his index finger. Anyone else notice this? He may have alternated on a couple of quick fills, but that's it.

    Are there successful bass players in the biz that do not alternate fingers?
  2. Bassology

    Bassology Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    East Van
    James Jamerson was a one finger man, they call it "the Hook".
  3. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    I believe I read an interview once that was with Tim Commerford (Rage, Audioslave) that said there was a certain fundamental one got from the index finger and that he would use alternate plucking but would often use an index finger only when he could? Does anyone else remember this? I will have to dig it up.......
  4. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have a Kala U bass that seems to get the Jamerson treatment.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I did not notice his technique, but I loved their sound! It was good to see pure talent onstage instead of the glitz and glamour in so much pop. Their lead singer/guitarist has some genuine passion which beats the heck out of just gyrating a centerfold body.
    bassbully likes this.
  6. He used his thumb on the second song. And had a foam mute by the bridge for both songs.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    After SNL, I checked out some of their videos and I saw the foam mute on the bridge.
  8. Bassology

    Bassology Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    East Van
    I watched the show last night as well. I think the bass player was very much trying to capture the old school Motown/Stax kind of vibe. Sounded like he was using flatwound strings and you can see he's got a piece of foam by his bass bridge for muting.
  9. Really enjoyed seeing them on SNL. As previously stated, that talent really trumped all the 'shiny glittery' stuff that generally gets the airplay.
  10. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    Saw them on Austin City Limits the other night, Loved em'!

    I also thought it sounded like he was using flats, with "a big ole chunk" of foam rubber next to the bridge, a Fender "P" bass, a Ampeg SVT tube head into one of Ampeg's very low tuned 410HLF cabinets.....
    Very old school/Motown sound.....
  11. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Thank god a real band with no computers
  12. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'll have to check out the video. I stopped watching SNL some time last year. IMO that show needs to be put out to pasture.

    To answer the poll, yes. I play with one finger sometimes. It depends on the song.
  13. m0ranwad


    Jan 29, 2013
    Glad I opened this thread. I had never even heard of a Foam mute until you guys mentioned that he was using this one. Now I've got one on my bass, and I'm loving it :D
  14. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Don't care for them at all, even though their heart is in the right place. Without the girl out front, that band would be nowhere. JMHO.
  15. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I play primarily in hard rock/metal bands and sometimes I pluck with one finger. Sometimes it is easy to get a steady, driving tone with one finger instead of two -- similar to the difference in picking all downstrokes rather than up and down.

    Also my middle finger has more "padding" than my index finger, so I'll sometimes even favor the middle finger to fatten the sound.
  16. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Didn't see the SNL performance, but I did catch them on Austin City Limits the other night. I liked them, I thought they were fresh and raw.
  17. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Very cool performance. It's good to see a band that all agree on a concept and commit to it. One finger has it's tonal advantages to be sure.
  18. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Geddy Lee uses one finger most of the time.
  19. carvinbassplyr

    carvinbassplyr Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Waterford, MI
    I often stick to 1 finger for constant 8th or slow 16th note driving passages. I will also sometimes do up and down strokes with one finger (the first stroke is a normal pluck and the down stroke is with the nail side of my finger) if I want the string to slap the fretboard a bit for a more aggressive sound.

  20. I've quit going to live shows, as of several years ago... but after watching (and loving) "Alabama Shakes" on Austin City Limits, plus one repeat.. I'd have to honestly say that if A.S. came to Orange County, Ca. I'd be very tempted to attend their show. Outstanding playing, arrangements and very cool vocal delivery. :)

    tonemachine likes this.

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