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Flamenco Thumb Technique

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Fulumful, May 24, 2005.


  1. Fulumful

    Fulumful

    May 24, 2005
    I'm working in a slap bass book that covers flamenco thumb but doesn't really explain how to do it. Is it like a guitar pick? Or do you actually slap? If it is slap, do you slap on the way down and the way up? Or is it just one slap and then an upstroke? I have tried all these things and I'm not sure which is "right" Thanks :ninja: Ninja smiley?
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I am not sure what is meant by that, in reference to slap bass. What book is it from or can you provide me the context in which it is talked about

    Mike
     
  3. Fulumful

    Fulumful

    May 24, 2005
    In the book Percussive Slap Bass (published by Mel Bay) in chapter 10 it says, "the flamenco technique can be used for triplets; it can also be used to play figures of 6 over 4...I keep my thumb parallel with the strings. I strike the thumbed note before the Flamenco note with a downward motion. I strike the note marked "F" with an upward motion. This is a lot like a guitar pick." So I was wondering if you actually slap the string in this technique, or you strum it and don't actually cause the string to hit the frets. In Victor Wooten's book The Best of Victor Wooten (transcriptions) in his notation legend there is a "T": it says "Thumb downstroke (slap)" there is a T with an arrow next to it, and it says "thumb upstroke".
     
  4. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Fulumful,

    Speaking of a "Flamenco Thumb", you must see this video! I think that every bassist needs to see this video at least one time. It's Dominique Di Piazza performing a solo bass composition. The video is 35.5MB's but worth the download time (if you have dial-up). The file is dated May 17th, so this is fresh new stuff.

    Here's the link:
    http://david.pete.free.fr/

    I can't take credit for this link. I found it in the following thread:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=176013&page=1&pp=20

    Enjoy,
    Joe
     
  5. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    WOW!!

    That would be considered Flaminco tumb technique allright. A few years ago, I was hanging with Matt Garrison and he stated that he should just give up playing. I gave hime that "huh, what you talking about?" look and he told me "Dominque has come out of retirement."


    Mike
     
  6. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    Wooten does "double thumbing" a technique whereby he strikes the string on both the down and up stroke of the thumb. It is a very cool and effective technique. Norm Stockton also does something similar to this. Norm also uses multiple fingers on the right hand to pluck diffferent strings so he can get some pretty cool slap grooves going on. I'll see if I can find a copy of this book and ferret out what the author means.

    If you want a really good exercise for developing the right hand slap motion click here

    Mike
     
  7. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    That video is crazy!
     
  8. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I know! Although; when I watch it, I don't feel as if I am watching a bassist. I feel more like I'm watching a guitarist. I don't mean to minimize his skills in any way; this guy IS the man and a supreme musician/technician. It seems as though he cut his teeth on a guitar and transfered the technique. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Joe
     
  9. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    You would be correct, he's a very accomplished guitarist. I'm not sure if he started on guitar first though. That said, no guitarist could do those things on a bass without spending years practicing. I kinda see it the same way as a guitarist playing piano pieces on a guitar or a double bassist playing a cello piece... it's not the instrument's main 'idea' but it still works.