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Disco rhythm practice

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Steamtronic, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Ive been attempting to master the 8th-16th-16th octaves found in in disco tracks like Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think Im Sexy" and the Village People's "YMCA" chorus.

    I can do it slowly, but when I try to get up to speed find I keep raking my index finger over the D or A depending on the octave involved. Slows me down and sounds dreadful.

    Any tips on how to play octaves across the neck quickly and cleanly?

    The other octave issue I have is with a REAL simple line - Hollywood Nights by Bob Seeger. It starts on an open E, and it just keeps ringing & blending into the higher E. I can mute the lower E if I play the higher E on the A string 7th fret but then the higher E keeps ringing. I don't want to have to tune down - any tips on how to get this sounding correct?
  2. MrUsefulAlien


    Jun 10, 2011
    Prague, CZ
    I found that playing the root with my thumb, and then the 16 or 8th notes with my index and middle+ring fingers, i get the cleanest sound, and I can comfortably move on the fretboard, and also do fills that way.

    If i try and play without my thumb, I can achieve the same result by having every other octave note be a ghost note, but it doesn't sound so clean.
  3. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA

    Led Zep's Wanton Song is a killer too! Not disco but the same type of dealio.
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    You can see the way I play "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" here.
  5. Thanks Alvaro, nice action & nice bongo too!

    You are managing to play it with "standard" i+m plucking (sorry for the shorthand, makes it look overly technical but saves rsi causing keyboard strokes). I'm looking for tips on how to avoid raking over the middle string when playing those octaves, how did you build your action?

    Also, anyone got pointers how to anchor your hand using the t+i+m technique?

    Dunno if its because of my hand shape, my middle finger is a good 0.5 inch / 12mm longer than my index (by product of road rage I guess!)
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    I play those octaves with the i+i+m technique, just because it felt the most natural to me. Actually, there's very few stuff I can play alternating my thumb with index and/or middle, mainly because I feel my hand like "floating in the air" and haven't been able to find a good supporting position for it. I play the first (lowest) note with my index, which quickly jumps to play the octave, and finish the pattern with my middle finger.

    BTW (and pehaps slightly off-topic), there's a musical genre called Vallenato in my country, and every dedicated Vallenato player uses the t+i or t+i+m. Technique. Here's a good example to check out (warning: LOTS of accordion here).
  7. WildBill987


    Dec 8, 2011
    I use my pointer finger on the low note and catch the next 2 strokes on the octave with my naughty finger and ring finger. If it's just octave leaps with no syncopation or bounce on the upper octave note, I usually alternate index with ring fingers. If it's simultaneous octaves which are an interesting effect sometimes, I use my thumb and middle finger. I've also spent a fair amount of practice time trying to organize all 10 of my digits, with limited success. WB
  8. ROTFLMFAO, that just cracked me up. Is that like a public safety message in your country? I can see it on large yellow and black signs with a biohazard symbol as you pull into town. Warning: LOTS of accordion here. Enter at own risk. The Surgeon General recommends the use of hearing protection etc etc....

    Should be used for banjo too.:D

    Edit: Really liked the music though, accordian and all. The MC's lucky the Bass player didn't flatten him.....
  9. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada

    just keep practicing ...with a drum machine or 'nome ....give yourself the time ...it's a tough technique ....Monarchy of the roses - RHCP is a newer tune with this tech if you're looking for more song lines to practice!
  10. Thanks Sammy! Ive got the drum machine on my little Pandora tapping out a 16th pattern at 80BPM.

    Im experimenting with finger styles - at the moment i'm trying m-m-i m-m-i. A little counter-intuitive for me as I seem to be hard wired to use my i on the one.

    Tried t-m-i but can't seem to get the right feel with it for that particular pattern - however it works a treat on Donna Summer's "love to love you baby".

    (The only problem with that track is my wife hears all the moaning and groaning and decides she wants to....erm...."sit in" on my rehearsal..... so I don't end up getting to practice it for too long! Ah well, life could be worse......)
  11. I like the Bumdidi-trick. I don't care raking; If you play the Bumdidi fast enough, it will die out and become nearly inaudible. And with some practice you manage to find a way to minimalize it even further. That rake might even be a great percussional effect, when used properly.

    And, in contradiction to the above, I use m-i-m m-i-m. It feels like a flow.
  12. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011

    Here Rod's band playing it in 1979. At about 3:20, you can see the bass player using what looks like index/middle finger technique. but the vids a little grainy.
  13. Thanks Pack, but on close inspection he's got that thumb firmly anchored while his fingers do the talkin'- check at 0:10 and 4:16

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