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Dominique Di Piazza

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Classical_Thump, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    I just saw some videos of Dominique playing "Que Algeria" with John Mclaughlin and I was really amazed by the stuff he could do and his technique. I noticed he does kind of a "thumb and fingers" thing, and I was just wondering if anyone had some better videos/picture/insight into his very unique technique.
  2. Dominique uses two finger picks - one on his thumb & one on his index finger - that means he can play unbelievably fast runs - he effectively 'sweep picks' the strings going up and down arpeggios and scales - while he also combines up and downstrokes with his thumb - followed by two pluck with his index and middle fingers - he obviously varies the combinations he uses all the time - and trying to emmulate them is a life's work. I'm not sure how old he is - somewhere in his early 40s - but his technical command of the bass is awesome.

    IMO - he's probably the most technically advanced picker on the planet right now.

    Matt Garrison uses his three fingers and thumb to creat similar effects - but because DdP uses finger picks it means he can go extremely fast - the amazing thing is not his picking though - it's that his left hand can keep up with it!

    I made a very basic lesson on my website demonstrating how I use 3 and 4 thumb + fingers picking - but even I'm getting better at this than I am doing it in these videos - but it may give you an idea of where to start:


    As I already used my index and middle in combination with my thumb for double-thumbing and plucking the transition was easier for me - but it's still a sh*t load of work - try work at getting a simple pattern in time and then work it over into scales and bass lines - but try and have fun too!

    I hope that helps

  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
  4. lawrens


    Nov 26, 2005
    hi everybody !

    when I was 18, I was playing finger-picking guitar, you know, with alternating basses on thumb... then I left guitar and discovered the BASS, on wich I really found my true musical personnality :D

    and one day, the old guitar technic made a come back on the bass...

    I mean I decide to quit alternating my fingers, cause I can go so much fast (when I need it !) with the alternating thumb and first finger, and sometimes the second finger, for sextolet for example :smug:

    so, is there somebody outhere who play this way, and if this is the case, from where can I get technical informations to develop this style ?

  5. That's pretty much how I do it. I still use index-middle alternation to play most of the time, since that's how classical guitarists do it, but I mix in a lot of thumb as well. I suggest looking into classical guitar technique, since they've pretty much got fingerpicking figured out. Just use your fingertips instead of your nails. I like the exercises and advice here, especially the bit on finger preparation. That's key to fast clean playing.
  6. lawrens


    Nov 26, 2005
    very interesting exercices outthere, witch we can adapt to the bass...

    thanx :D
  7. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Hi folks,
    Great thread!
    Bryan R. Tyler,thanks for sharing that video link!I knew only the old McLaughlin Trio videos with di Piazza,but this newer one is....well,a little different! :D
    Aside that he plays a Fodera in this clip instead of Marleaux (correct me if I'm wrong),what's the purple thing on his right hand's thumb?At the beginning,I thought it's a piece of Gaffa band of some sort (a la Mark King? :bag: ),but the sound indicates something like a "thumb-pick" as used by the steel-guitar (lap?) players.Am I wrong?What's that?
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Yes, that is a thumb pick, like banjoists and some guitarists use. I think I remember reading that he uses it to get the same tone to his thumb attack that his normal plucking fingers have.

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