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Flamenco Bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JacoJr, May 8, 2003.

  1. JacoJr

    JacoJr Guest

    Mar 26, 2002
    Decatur GA.
    Does anyone know anything about flamenco bass technique?
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's a good way to ruin your nails.

    Alex Sklarevski does some rasegueado technique on his lauded "Slap Bass Program" video. This is the traditional "flamenco strum" where you play rapid four or five note groupings by flicking the nails of your pinky/ring/middle/index against the strings in rapid succession while rotating your wrist.

    Stu Hamm achieves a similar effect using more conventional popping techniques.

    BTW, before Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten got into the whole thumb up/thumb down thing, flamenco guitarists were already pulling off superfast runs using that technique.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Some guitarist friends taught me a flamenco strumming move. I still use it every once in a while. I generally always strum with my fingernails though, when I do strum that is.

    The move consists of struming with your middle and ring finger(you COULD use your whole hand, but it's awkward) then strumming down with your thumb, then back up with your thumb then back up with your two fingers, then repeat.

    effectively creating a four note strumming pattern. And, yes I learned this before I even knew what "double thump" was ;)
  4. Danksalot


    Apr 9, 2003
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Endorsing Artist: SIT Strings
    I performed a flamenco piece on upright on my Junior Recital at college. It was Spanish Ode by Rabbath. My teacher had played it before and there's a part where you use your four fingernails (not thumb) one after the other in a fast progression. I always felt more comfortable starting with my little finger and moving toward the index. My teacher had always done it the other way (index to little). In this instance what works best is more important than specifec technique.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Are you talking about flicking your fingers? from pinky to index(or index to pinky)?

    that's the other thing that my guitar friends told me....they told me that it's best to use your thumb as a loading mechanism, so that you have maximum strength.
  6. sambass


    Apr 15, 2003
    flamenco is pretty fun, i just sorta copped claypool's maneuvers, its a big part of his style. It's difficult for me to explain though. Oh well
  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    You guys - is the question about playing bass like a flamenco guitar, or playing bass WITH flamenco guitar?

  8. JacoJr

    JacoJr Guest

    Mar 26, 2002
    Decatur GA.
    I was hopin to learn some ways of applying Flamenco techniques to a bass. Any advice yall can give will help.
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Check out abe Laboriel, he's using a flamenco-like technique. There's also a instructional video available, but I never saw that one.
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I only ever used Flamenco techniques(apart from double thumb) When I am doing a coda or something at the end, where the intensity has built and the guitarists are flayling away and I just want to help build the intensity even more. Talkin about the quick strumming patterns

    I have also lightly used a little bit in fills, but I don't any more. Like you're playing your groove and for a little tasty fill throw in a little strummed line realy short and quick.
  11. Danksalot


    Apr 9, 2003
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Endorsing Artist: SIT Strings
    yeah, flicking. I never used my thumb though, I used my palm to flick them off of. That was on upright though, thumb may work well for bass guitar.
  12. Danksalot


    Apr 9, 2003
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Endorsing Artist: SIT Strings
    I never used my thumb as a loading mechanism, I mean. I did use my thumb to strum doublestops with.
  13. The strumming you guys are refering to are called "rasquedos". I dabbled into some classical and flamenco guitar playing. Theres a huge variety in the finger patterns that are used. Just about any combination of finger/thumb in up/down strokes (or both) are used.

    p- pulgar= thumb
    i- indicio= first finger
    m-medio=middle finger
    a-anular=ring finger
    x=used to denote the pinkie

    Some common ones are:
    a(down), m(down), i(down), a(up), m(up), i(up)

    p(up), i(down), p(down)

    the combinations are too numerous to mention in detail here.

    But, rasquedos aren't all there is to flamenco. It's just a rythym technique (albeit, an important one).
  14. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Yep. Abe has two videos. They both discuss various flamenco techniques for bass. He started out playing guitar in mexico. :bassist: