Bass with a drumstick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by LordSlug, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. LordSlug


    May 1, 2003
    Garland, Texas
    i've been experimenting with different attack methods on the bass looking for something really percussive and rhythmic, and i was wondering if any other bassists have tried the same technique or if i'm just some freak.

    also, if any have tried it, i'd like soem tips on mastering that technique and special gear issues i'd need for the best drumstick-thwacking tone.

    pre-emptive thank you.
  2. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001

    you may want to do a search for "funk fingers".
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    THose funk fingers sound cool. I dont get what exactly you do with em, just kinda wack the top of the string?
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    For the Jaco-tone, I'd recommend a Southern fried drumstick so all that good chicken grease can soak in to the string wrappings and fretboadd.

    For a more modern tone, baked chicken, no gravy.......OUCH, sorry! :D
  5. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    It's nothing new. The surf group The Ventures from the late 50's/early 60's had done it.
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Funny I was actually thinking of the ice cream cone. Great way to get cool lines and creamy tones. Forgot that drumstick could mean a chicken leg too.:D
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, maybe you know, jive, that Pastorious was reknowned for eating fried chicken without wiping his hands before he played.....or so the legend goes.
  8. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    John "flip" Flippin bassist for the fatback band did play bass with his fingers and a drumstick at the same time. Real funky stuff.
  9. The first time Levin ever did this, it was with this guy (Jerry Marotta, who is a multi-instrumentalist, mainly a drummer). They both played on the bass, Marotta hitting the strings and Levin fretting them. You can hear it in Peter Gabriel's "Big Time", but only during a few seconds. Gabriel and co. decided to use keyboard bass on most of the song.

    Then Levin was wondering how to deal with this in a live setting, and PG suggested that he attaches those small drumsticks to his fingers.
  10. jaggedsphere


    Jul 15, 2002
    i used to do that with a single rubber coated stick on an acoustic guitar....sort of a rythmic roll bounce chordal thing....pretty fun
  11. JFN

    JFN Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    I have a set of Funk Fingers I ordered from Tony Levin's web site but don't use them that often. From a technique standpoint, it takes a bit of work to be able to play 8th note or faster lines with any smoothness The way you rest/position your hand on the bass is also important for getting a good tone.

    Also, I found that using them on a cheaper bass and not-that-great amp did not produce good results, irrespective of technique, where as a better rig helped the tone more.

    For me, they are fun to mess around with and pull out use them once in a while, but with the limited time I have to practice, I would rather spend it working on my fretless technique.

  12. Must be damn hard to play that whamola thing in tune...
  13. I'm pretty sure intonation is subordinate to the hilarity factor when it comes to whamola-ing.

    Just as well, because when you are an average of three semitones off - that's what I imagine it's like to play that thing - you *want* your audience rolling around on the floor, as much as possbile. Preferably drunk.
  14. Well I don't know anything about a drumstick but the funniest thing that I have ever seen to play a bass was a back massager.

    (Otherwise known as a D to the I to the L to the D to the O)

    (But, before you all fall over laughing..:))
    It worked great! beautiful triplets.......I'm not kidding.
    Hey, stop laughing! I'm being serious.....okay, stop already! :p I also want to point out that this was on stage too!

  15. KidNamedFord


    Aug 17, 2003
    how do you use the whamola? do you use the fret board or pull on that thing at the top... or both
  16. Skerik1


    Sep 21, 2002
    Saint Paul, MN
    Georg (Goggi), the bassist for Sigur Ros, uses a drum stick on a song called "Hafssól". It's neat.

    You can download it from their SITE.

  17. Facehouse


    May 27, 2002
    try it like this dude
  18. Facehouse


    May 27, 2002
    i mean this one here
    try it like this