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Chewing Gum While Playing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JusttheBassics, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Sure - Peppermint or Spearmint?

    5 vote(s)
  2. No way - I've got plenty of room behind my ear!

    4 vote(s)
  1. JusttheBassics

    JusttheBassics Guest

    Jun 23, 2016
    I was watching the Tower of Power 40th Anniversary Show on YouTube (if you haven't seen this yet, you are missing out on some of the tightest funk you'll ever hear) and I noticed Rocco chewing a huge wad of gum. I've also noticed other players working the gum.

    So it got me thinking: does chewing gum help playing in some way, or are these cats so practiced that they could eat soup and still do what they do without skipping a beat?
  2. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I usually do...I actually find it helps me concentrate.
    I do try to remember to keep my mouth closed, and it'll be a stick of gum, not a huge wad.
  3. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Never bothered to do so, although I've been known to have a cigar in my mouth in my younger days.
  4. I used to have a cigarette hanging out of my face a lot in the day, but gave it up about 20 years ago. You know the whole classic rock biker bar kind of thing going on.
  5. that wad of gum has a click track machine embedded in it
    so yes, it helps
    JRA, ak56 and JusttheBassics like this.
  6. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014

    But chewing gum can mess me up--plus what do you do when you get tired of chewing?
  7. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I've chewed gum while playing and singing. I just tuck the gum between my cheek and gum while singing.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think chewing gum looks godawful onstage.
    michael_t and JusttheBassics like this.
  9. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I sing (mostly harmony parts) and play bass, and chewing gum can help keep your mouth and throat "wet" if your inclined to dry mouth.
    hard candy works too.
    never chewed gum when playing bass and not signing.

    I agree with Jimmy that it can look bad, particularly if the chewing is really obvious.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  10. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Get caught the wrong way chewing gum in a photo and it can make for a pretty damn bad picture
  11. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ray Parker Jr who came up as a sessions guitarist says he keeps time by chomping his teeth, instead of nodding his head, dancing tapping his foot. etc.. and had the dental work to prove it. Maybe a stick of Dentyne would have saved his natural teeth.
  12. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Many years ago it was always a new stick of gum every set. Doing so eventually wore down my jaw, that was the end of that.
  13. RadioRob


    Dec 15, 2012
    Never chewed gum but our sound check went long and I hadn't eaten in hours so I was sneaking chicken nuggets between long note breaks.
    Probably not the best look but I was starving.
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'm not sure that it takes a lot of skill to chew gum and play: but i play a lot of jazz, so i'm used to walking and chewing gum at the same time. ;)

    full disclosure: i don't chew gum anymore.
    JusttheBassics likes this.
  15. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    Make sure to bring enough for everyone else.
  16. slagheap


    Dec 23, 2011
    been listening to TOP from the get, from the starting gate - they're from around here. love what they did, what they do. i think though, that the members who chew gum do it for a totally different reason than most of us might: they're in various stages of recovery and/or rehab.
  17. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    mesa300 and JJR58 like this.
  18. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    You got me!

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