Flow My Tears - Stu Hamm

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Gord, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Gord


    Jan 10, 2004
    Calgary, Alberta
  2. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Honestly, the only thing I really like is the tone. He plays some key parts in a different way than Stu, which doesn't matter from the technical point of view, but those differences greatly change the original feel of the tune: The open E in that repetitive phrase is played with a thumb slap and the two notes before that open E (C-B) are played by a left hand tap on the C note (E string) with the first finger and then a slide down to the B (then the slapped open E). After the open note, there are two stacked fifths (E-B-F#) which are played with the left hand alone using the index, ring and pinky on the A, D and G strings respectively. He plays the F# with the right hand on the D string and slides to the following G, and this alters the original phrasing of the tune: After playing the F# with the left pinky on the G string, the following G note is played by tapping it with the right hand middle finger on the D string, which creates a cool overlap between the two notes (which is missing here). For the E minor phrase, all the notes are right in spite of being played in different positions, but the C major section (from 00:20 to 00:24 in the video) is totally wrong. He should review that part.

    Please note that I'm talking as a "Stu Hamm perfectionist" since I'm a big fan of him, have studied his style and technique and played some of his solo pieces, including this one. Of course, that's a cool effort taking into account that getting a good sound from tapping demands a fair amount of practice (and he sounds good to me). What he played is the "easy" part of the song. Hopefully he will keep practicing to nail the next section, which is where the real problems come. The ostinato (Pink Floyd's) "On The Run"-type lick on the bottom with an added melody on top is really demanding! After ten years of playing this tune, that section is still a "hit or miss" for me. Of course, one of the reasons for this is that currently I have not enough time to practice the way I used to. Again, hopefully he will be persistent and get the whole tune.
  3. I can't download the vid at the moment but there is an excellent transcription book which gives all the correct fingering endorsed by Stu Hamm. This is a difficult tune undoubtedly. The contrapuntal section is extremly difficult. But to my surprise one of my students who has a knack for two handed stuff nearly has it down. And he is only 18.
    The main theme can be achieved with some diligent practice. The Cmajor Bmin transition requires some big stretches and also you need an octave modification somewhere along the line if you don't have a 24 fret bass. i highly recommend the transcription book as it is totally accurate and a brilliant resource.
    I briefly met him at a clinic many years ago in Sydney and he signed a copy of his first CD. A great guy and true visionary on the instrument.
  4. threshar


    Jul 30, 2002
    You can also watch Stu play it on the end of his "Slap, Tap & Pop" video if you can find it.

    It actually isn't that hard really. Well, the "main riff" of it isn't - when he starts going off into the other stuff in the song, well.. heh.
  5. Yeah even Stu says in notes to "that section" in the book good luck.
    Still if you can get the main theme down its a beautiful piece of music and as an intoduction to tapping its a "standard piece" if you ask me.
  6. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass
    I've noticed that www.bassbooks.com has it listed in their Slap section. Here's what it says in a note about the product:

    "This title is part of the Hot Licks liquidation purchase and limited to stock on hand. It will remain available until sold out. Because of the discount we were able to purchase these at, we are offering all of the Hot Licks titles at a 20% discount from regular price and they are still eligible for the volume discounting we offer every day! If you are interested in getting a copy, don’t wait, because once they are gone – we won’t be able to get any more."
  7. Man are you actually the author of that awesome yet I would say flawed bass book. I mean some of those licks just do not work. Some of those resolutions are well wrong. Great **** however. Solid slapping without getting too technical.
  8. GrooveWarrior

    GrooveWarrior Supporting Member

    It is a good piece. I think I play the main section like Stu, fretting only the E, B, and F# with my left hand, while tapping and sliding all of the other notes with my right.

    The contrapuntal section is one of those things that it just takes a while to coordinate the muscles to be steady. Once you get it down, it's like riding a bike!
  9. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass

    Lol! I guess your name says speaks for itself, right?

    Yes, I wrote Slap It! I'm glad to hear that you liked it, sort of. :)

    Anyway, I'm always ready to learn, so I'd love to hear details about the flaws you found.

    FYI, I had been playing slap bass for a few years before I ever saw anyone else do it. I was self-taught on electric bass until my senior year of high school. I had studied classical string bass, but never electric.

    Of course, I was listening to all the great players who had pioneered slap technique but I never saw any of them play. I was just trying to reproduce the sound I heard on the records I had at the time.

    Having taught myself to play slap in the dark ages before the internet, and before there were any Slap Bass books available (we're talking 1974), I accidently invented my own technique (reinvented the wheel so to speak). I realized this my first year at Berklee when I got to see great players like Pops Popswell, Wayne Pedziwater, Tim Landers, and Randy Coven play slap up close, in person.

    What can I say? Ooops! :)

    I know sometimes, as a result, there are certain things I do in my style that do not work in other styles, just as many have pointed out that there are techniques (like double thumbing) that don't exist in my style.


  10. Bass4LifeRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    I clicked your link and I liked what I heard so I ordered your book :hyper:
    I'd still like to hear the feedback from Blunt on errors so I can correct them in the book when I get it. I found a typo in your webpage examples though: The excercise 146, bar2 beat3, there is a C# that is tabbed at the 7th fret g-string, which on my bass is a D note. :ninja:

    Take care!
  11. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass


    Thanks for the correction.

    It's amazing how hard it is to find typos in your own work. We'll have to start an errata page.

    I hope you enjoy the book despite any errors. :)

    I'm looking forward to hearing from Blunt as well, but I'm not sure he was referring to this type of error (a typo), or even this edition of the book.

    We'll see (I hope).