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Don't Call Me Al!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by peterpalmieri, May 2, 2006.

  1. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Anyone have a fingering for Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me AL" bass solo? I have the music and it seems avoiding string crossings is the way to go. I have a number of ways to approach it and I'm thinking the entended position is the way to go, but before I kill myself working it up to speed, anyone work it out really well?

    Thanks, Pete
  2. aristotle chang

    aristotle chang

    May 25, 2003
    funny you mention that song... me and my friends blasted it on repeat while driving through town this weekend. best synth line. ever. we got some wierd looks.

    i'm curious: does your transcription say what effect the bassist uses on the solo? I don't really know effects that well, i thought it could have been an envelope filter or something like that.
  3. jeff_bass28

    jeff_bass28 Guest

    Mar 21, 2006
    No effects. The tape starts playing in reverse halfway through. Listen closely and you'll hear "Garfunkel is Satan. Kill your parents."
    That whole CD kicks it, basswise! The first CD I had to learn all the way through. Except for the "Al" solo, sorry! Always ends up sounding like crap.
  4. +1 IIRC, the second half of the solo is just the first half tape-reversed

    Now C'mon, is that bit true? :eek:

  5. jeff_bass28

    jeff_bass28 Guest

    Mar 21, 2006
    Sure is! Ozzy did the 'Garfunkel' bit, and Halford from Judas Priest did the 'kill your parents!'
    ;) :D
  6. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Yes but it was performed live also! So I am still looking for a fingering, thanks
  7. jeff_bass28

    jeff_bass28 Guest

    Mar 21, 2006
    True, B.K. had to play it somehow...I know they did that song on SNL, maybe you could find it somewhere. I would imagine there's a Baghiti close-up for the solo. If you find it, let me know--think I'll look now, too!
  8. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Now that's a blasphemous post if I ever saw one. :D
    Let me assure you it's not a synth, it's a slapped fretless, and it's slapped very well. The choruses are played fingerstyle.
  9. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    I remember watching Bakithi Kumalo play that short solo in March 2004 in a class at Gerald Veasley's Bass Bootcamp, but I did not try to figure out just how he did it. There's a contact link and it may be possible to contact him and ask him if he published his fingering for that solo or can provide it to you. If he does, please post it, if he doesn't mind. I remember him as a gracious person and enjoyed his explanation of his playing style. He said that there were different rythmic patterns based on tribal affiliation and that these patterns are not written but passed on generation to generation.

    There are some pics on various web sites that give an brief insight into his physical playing style. One unique photo is on the opening page of his website:
    http://boneinthenose.com/ . There is also a schedule for the next few weeks, which includes a night on SNL.

    Friday, May 12, 2006 Good Morning America
    New York City, NY 8:45 AM w/Paul Simon

    Saturday, May 13, 2006 Saturday Night Live
    New York City, NY 11:30 PM w/Paul Simon
  10. Johan B.

    Johan B.

    Apr 27, 2006
    Paris - France
  11. Larry99


    Aug 17, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm sure they way he does it live is not exactly the way it sounds on the record. He may even change it up/improvise from gig to gig. ...I say just be creative and come up with your own lick!
  12. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Thanks for all the input guys, it does seem from a few videos I found online he varies from the original.

    All that being said I am not looking for all sorts of anecdotal information, ideas on inprovising etc...just the fingering!
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Back when Oteil played around here in a bar band, he did his own thing on that solo...boy, did he do his own thing!
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    True...but once recorded, we can sort it out...sorta.

    I have the SNL 25 Years of Music DVD set...no "AL" but "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" is one of the video cuts. PDB!
  15. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    I was kinda hoping that the upcoming SNL program is a new one and they will play "Al" as a kind of tribute. VCRs and Tivo at the ready!
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I saw a video of "the making of..." and they showed how the bass solo was just studio trickery - backwards tape etc. as people have mentioned...?
  17. On of my favourite albums ever. The bass on 'Under African Skies' is sublime....
  18. Be careful, I think the SNL performance might be a lip sync. It just sounds too much like the recording.
  19. I'm going to see Oteil Saturday night!!! I've been as giddy as a middle school cheerleader all week.
  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Tell him a Squares' fan from Va. Beach sez "Hello"...and I still owe him for tryin' to pants me on the beach!

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