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Billy sheehans style advice plz....

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Chili, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    I am trying to learn some of billy sheehans techniqie, mainly the way he uses 3 fingers which i kind of got from his bass lesson video, but he doesnt really show u how to do anything else, he just plays and answers questions, does anybody no any sites or an help me them selves on his finger style, not so much the tapping at this stage, any help will be apprisiated
  2. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    That's about all you'll get from him. It's a dead-end road friend.

    Try learning some chord positions, as it's much more rewarding. Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7... etc

    When you've got the basics down, then try learning the 3 finger plucking.
  3. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    Kool thx for that tip, i dont no any chord shapes or patturns yet, well i do no some but no there names or anything, is there any sites you would recomend to learn these?
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Something else you should know about him. He maybe a speedy bass player, but you'll never get him talking about how you put lyrics to chord progressions, that's for sure. And that's where the REAL rewards are.

    Anyway, I'm building something that might help you. It won't be ready for another month or 2 though.
  5. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    three fingered technique: 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, etc...thumb on the bridge pickup, on his bass it actually is a bridge pickup!

    tapping: confined to runs on single strings with some crossings, tapping finger reinforced by middle or index, can't remember which. go to www.powertabs.net and get the mr big song addicted to that rush. useful.

    i can't remember how he gets those harmonics, like at the end of shyboy... if i remember i'll post.

    that's about all there is to how he plays, but learn the chords/triads too! listen to his live solos for how he uses them.
  6. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    ok will do, but i dont no what triads r, apart from the mafia kind, i'll try and search on google.

    let me no when ur finished plz kiwi kidm thx
  7. godraphonic


    Jun 6, 2005
    For me, the Sheehan style style starts with the expression,
    Try renting the movie Zoolander for help getting the 'look'.

    Next, buy some pants in the boys department of Sears. Make sure they are way to tight to fit over your man parts, this will help achieve the 'look' mentioned above too.

    third, its really important to play fast on stuff no one really enjoys listening to.
  8. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Actually quite often Billy plays with 4 fingers. Also he does a very good job of explaining it on his instructional videos. The pinch harmonic on bass can be achieved by laying your thumb on the string (side of the thumb) and picking behind it. As far as achieving speed with 3, or 4 fingers goes it just takes practice.
  9. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    I'm not trying to be like billy sheehan, if anything my style is more foccused around louis johnson and Flea, but i want to learn how to play faster and tap, so i went to billy sheehan and looked at how he does it and unlike u i was impressed by him
  10. redwood

    redwood Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Check out his advanced techniques dvd.
    He explains all of his techniques, plus some secrets that he's NEVER revealed before. I guess he figures he has nothing to fear from the competition anymore.

    And to all you bashers, you may not like his style, tunes or him as a person. But face it, you will most likely never reach his level of proficiency on the instrument.

    I'm not a Jaco fan, but I would never take anything away from what he did for the instrument.
  11. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Here's something you can get onto strait away.

    It's all the notes of C Major (ionian) scale, between the Nut and fret 12.

    As you can see, there lots of 2, 3, 4 note patterns.

    All you have to do is pick out a pattern, and strum, pick, pluck, bash, or argegio it.

    then you make another pattern and do the same.

    So then you have:

    Pattern 1 + Pattern 2 + Pattern 3 + Pattern 4

    Each Pattern should be between 1 and 4 bars, and that where the metronome comes in. Set the metronome to 4/4 Time and have lots of fun..

    0 = Note of the scale
    | = place holder
    N   0000
    1   0|||
    2   |000
    3   000|
    4   |||0
    5   0000
    6   ||||
    7   0000
    8   00||
    9   ||00
    10  0000
    11  |0||
    12  0000
  12. utopia_imminent


    Jun 19, 2004
    i dun see why you gets have to get all so uptight about this. Personally, each to his own. I dun like jaco. he has got skills but he is too overrated.
  13. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Billy is a bad a$$ that's all there is to it.
  14. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Something I've always said (since I saw Billy for the first time): I highly disagree with that statement of "The best (any instrument here) player in the world is xxx" because it depends on the style, music genre and so many variables. But from a strictly technical point of view, I think Billy is simply UNREACHABLE. I've seen and heard so many great bassists who play very difficult stuff, and I can say something like: "Hmm. Maybe with YEARS of practice and LOTS of patience I can get to play similar to him/her". Even dare to say that about masters like Victor Wooten! (Don't get me wrong. That's why I put the word "maybe"). But I can't say that about Billy. To me, he's sent from another planet. He sold his soul to the devil. I think that, If I ever want to play like him, I have to do one of the following (or both):

    1. Put all my technique, my background and my philosophy about the instrument in the trash can and start all over again, or

    2. Born again.

    Again, these considerations are strictly regarding his technical skills. I'm not trying to say he's the best. There are many other assets that make a great player. If I put together, say, Billy, Victor, Jaco, Stu and Les, frankly, I don't feel able to stablish a comparison between them and say who's the best.
  15. seanlava


    Apr 14, 2005
    While different folks might prefer other bassists' styles, Billy's technique is absolutely staggering. I'm a fan of Billy, but I can relate to people who don't like his style. I feel the same way about Les Claypool: His note choices give me a headache, but I can't fault his execution.
  16. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    This has been posted before but I figured I'd chime in:

    3 finger speed playing, while there is no "best" way to do anything, there are some that are easier to nail than others. Here are 3 of the most common rythyms along with the fingering patterns I use for them. If you want to nail them practice at slow speeds for a long, long time until you have them programmed. Start at around 50bpm on your metronome (you DO have a metronome right?) and advance by no more than 3-5bpm per WEEK. You are building muscle memory here, not trying to make music. Practice these roughly 20-30 minutes a day, I find any more than this is pointless. Stay relaxed and smooth and stop of you find your hands or forearms start to hurt.

    Assuming your index finger is 1, middle is 2 and ring is 3:

    3-2-1-2-3-2-1-2: Basic 8ths or 16ths, however you want to count them. I usually use this only for 16ths as I can nail 8ths with just two, but it works for anything where you want a fast, steady pulse. Count "One-Eee-And-A, Two-Eee-And-A" etc. Sounds like the main riff in Damage Inc. and pretty much ever other metal song ever written.

    3-2-1, 3-2-1: Basic triplet in steady, even time. This is quite easy but you should be careful not to lapse into it when trying to play pattern number 1 above. I count these "One-pull-et, Two-pull-et" etc. This one sounds like the fast triplet riff in "Reign in Blood".

    3-21, 3-21: Broken "gallopy" riff. The quintessential Steve Harris pattern (though Steve uses only two fingers, I find this easier with 3). The first note is an 8th followed by two 16ths. I count this "One-And-A, Two-And-A" etc. Sounds like "The Trooper" and lots of other Maiden songs.

    These 3 patterns are a great place to start for fast fingerstyle technique because they are probably the 3 most common rythmic patterns in rock and metal, which are coincidentally the most common styles played by people who use fast 3 fingered technique. Once you get these down you can easily expand them into more complex patterns.

    If you are after 4 fingered excercises I'll leave that to someone else. My pinky is like half the length of my other fingers, which pretty much rules this style out for me. I find there is nothing I cna't do with 3 fingers though, if I break it down and practice.
  17. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Aside from my comments about Billy's proficiency, I've really wanted to get into the 3-finger technique because I think it can be useful for certain things, but something that stops me is that I notice a big change in my tone. I'm recalling this because of Tash's mentioning of "The Trooper", which I can play with two or three fingers and it's way more comfortable with 3 but again, I dislike the fact that my normal two-finger tone changes a lot. Is this a common problem to overcome?
  18. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    The difference in tone is mostly from a change in attack. Its easier to dig in with 2 fingers than with 3. Over time you will build up strength and the two will even out. You can barely tell which I'm using unless I am really flying with 3 fingers, then it sounds a bit lighter and less defined. Room for improvement.

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