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Getting that Rocco tone

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Twistad, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Recently, my band has been trying to cover What is hip? by Tower of Power.

    I can say that i've got it pretty good in terms of playing the right notes at the right place.

    However, i can't manage to get that same tight tone that he has through that song. I know it has a lot to do with muting but even when i try playing it palm muted, it still doesn't get the tone.

    I'm using an elrick gold standard 5 through a yorkville xs400, anyone know what kind of setup i should look forward to?
  2. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Hey dude, great choice of a tune to cover (wish my guys would do it)anyway...Rocco dosent palm mute for "what is hip" the trick is to fret the note with the 2nd finger of your left hand and at the same time use your 3rd and 4th fingers (left hand) to mute the string...so instead of getting a ringing E note you get more of an "E" thud.

    The man himself explains his technique perfectly here....


    worth every penny


  3. Twistad,
    I agree 100% with Murf. GET THAT VIDEO!!! Rocco has been my MAIN influence for 30 yrs. In a nut-shell, I believe to really capture the FEEL, go back Old school and Listen to "Back to Oakland" "Tower of Power", "Bump City", and "In the slot". but it's the Attitude of the note, the Muting and 16ths that make the groove push! But like Murf said, this video will help ton's!

    Bobbo 77"
  4. vroc38


    Jan 5, 2006
    You might want to continue to develop your own approach to the tune. I never tried to cop Rocco's muting technique, but TOP tunes always work just fine using my own left-hand muting and ghosting style. There's a million ways to skin a cat.

    But if you are determined to nail the Rocco sound, don't overlook the right hand. Rocco plucks the strings very aggressively.
  5. klamaz


    Aug 8, 2004
    One other thing to consider is that Rocco tradtitionally had his action really, really high. His whole setup was based around that tone. So, a higher action might be a way to go if you REALLY want to nail the tone, but that may not be worth it for just a cover.