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How does he do this?????

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by bats, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. bats


    Oct 14, 2007
    Hengelo, Netherlands

    i'm freaking
  2. He's been doing that since 1973. Calls it Flamenco Bass. Practice makes perfect.
  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    If you like that you should check out Alex Blake.
  4. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Pitch drumming, at a virtuoso level. Cool to see such freedom with this approach.
  5. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    ...cause he's got hands the size of meat hooks.
  6. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    'd like to hear either of them solo on changes
  7. Aforementioned video:

    I'm not digging his tone, too electric for my taste and I find it hard to believe that he doesn't have some kind of shoulder problem from playing like that. But his playing seems reasonable. Perhaps a bit busy...
  8. IMO this is more frightening

    Go to the 2:00 mark.
  9. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Me, too.
    I find it on the wrong side of the line between artistry and exhibitionism.
  10. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    i had never heard of blake before - thanks for that link! i dig his solo playing. tough to imagine the solo bass having a more danceable vibe.

  11. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    If I set my strings at 1mm, bought a can of FingerEase and wiggled and slid to every note I could sound like that too?????
  12. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    no.... unfortunately you would just end up like an old car rattling itself to death. :D
  13. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA

    What an ignorant thing to say. While it is a discipline I have put a lot into and certainly respect, guys who can "solo on changes" at a pro level are a dime a dozen. People who have made a major impact on both double bass and bass guitar as well as having numerous soundtrack credits under their belt are not.
    I am not interested in pursuing what Stanley is doing here so much, but he did it, it is valid and kicks ass on a number of levels.

    I find being able to hear harmony changes based the cycle of fifths while using chromatics and extended chord tones to create lines that make sense over them helps me be able to make the music I need to make.
    Other people don't.
    You could just as easily say you would like to hear some one play Bach at 'cello pitch.
    It ends up being as dumb as saying you would like Rothko to draw you a bunny or for that matter, to ask Dürer to paint you a Rothko!

    Drawing bunnies and playing show tunes has little to do with what master artists like Clarke and Rothko are presenting as their work.
  14. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    While it may be crass to criticize someone who is more accomplished/influential etc than us, aren't validity and kick-ass-edness up to each of us to decide individually?

    I mean, sure, on one hand it's dumb to look at a Picasso and complain about the lack of perspective. But on the other hand, maybe you really can't appreciate his paintings because of it, and that's a legitimate reason for you.

    To play devil's advocate, if we just simply accept stuff as kick-ass because everyone else says it is, when in our heads we really don't get anything out of it, that's kind of emperor's-new-clothes.
  15. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Verily, Mr. Mraz does not mess around...:)

    He is so matter of fact, so musical. His technique is another great example of minimal motion, with no wasted moves, yielding maximum results.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I somehow don't think "ignorant" is the word you're looking for here. Mike may be a lot of things, but I've never counted ignorant among them. Your other points are well taken, though. :)

    Or that if someone aspires to play the bass "correctly", they can only do so playing with a bow? ;):D

    Seriously, I'm not into what Stanley's doing in the video, but he has my utmost respect as an innovator. I remember the hours spent trying to cop what he did on "Armando's Rhumba" with Chick way back when, and still just barely making the part... or not even that.

    I personally would love to see a Rothko bunny. :D Not to prove anything, you understand, but I'm jus' sayin', it would be interesting.
  17. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Another coffee and nose moment for me.

    I really don't mind that kind of playing. It's not for me, and when watching it I usually flash a big "whatever". Yet I think there is space for all that and I am happy when people use the DB in some unusual fashion. Keeps it fresh and leaves room for me to find something new as well.

    There are some nights in some clubs when I got nothin that I wish I had some **** like that just to light a fire under the audience. There are days when my best single note at the perfect place and time with the perfect tone falls on deaf ears and if I'd have beat the crap out of the bass and sung in latin backwards while doing it I would get a standing O.

    I don't have time to work that stuff out. What limited shed time I have goes to more fundamental study. As such I often lull the proletariat to sleep with my normal playing.
  18. MLysh


    Oct 11, 2007
    Not to derail, but your line reminds me of one of the funniest lines I ever read in Downbeat magazine. It was a review of either a Buddy Rich Big Band concert or recording (CRS-syndrome), in which the reviewer noted that a chart of "Over The Rainbow" featuring castrati trumpeter Lynn Biviano, approached the level of a high school chart --- from the wrong side! Ouch.

    Back to regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.
  19. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I'm glad the Mraz solo was posted. He's one of my biggest influences and I KNOW what goes into the craft to play at that level. I purposely played the devil's advocate here. On many occasions I resort to " stupid bass tricks" when they serve a bigger dramatic or artistic purpose. I have done the "flamenco" thing at times when it served the music well. I love well thought out solo bass playing whether conventional or not. I guarantee that Stanley plays that solo near verbatim on most concerts. In coming up in the "check this out " period of bass playing I learned tons of alternate techniques. I came up playing avant garde jazz from a classical background and then to straight ahead jazz. I have no prejudices on alternative techniques when they're used to fulfill a dramatic AND artistic function. Stanley and Alex Blake, to me place a higher priority on the "check this out " style of playing. In a context where they are playing in a bass's supporting role, I don't dig them. I have heard Stanley play on tunes many times and while he has a wicked right hand, his knowledge and technique at soloing on changes are not too good. I LOVE Stanley's playing on the original Chick Return to Forever stuff. He played a very unique section style that shouldn't have worked with Airto"s drumming, but it did. And remarkably well. He played a Gibson EB2 bass which was never heard of in a jazz context that defined a wonderfully functional new voice in bass playing. Another bass player that was a big influence but I'm not thrilled with his soling on changes is Miroslav. He has ridiculous technique. He and Mraz both studied with Frantisek Posta in Prague and played the same classical competition. While George has amazing legit chops, Miroslav won.
    Miroslav solos more like a bass player in terms of lines. Mraz studied jazz soling and solos more like a horn player. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I've had my fill of of the "wow" stuff. I know that if you really check it out and practice it, in one day you could figure out the Stanley solo. I'm not saying that it's easy, but there are just three or four thing to work out. And I'm not saying that that solo is without merit---I admit that it sounded pretty cool. But that Mraz solo on those difficult changes would give you a good 5 years of learning harmony and the various scales and patterns to navigate theses changes and then to internalize all of that knowledge and technique and to have the artistry to come up with a solo that is on the level of a top horn player--- now at least for me, that is the lifelong musical challenge that appeals to ME. And more than that, to have a functional sound and feel in the supportive role---that's really hard. And to have the artistry to create an organic backdrop to steer the direction of a tune, but not being overtly noticed-that is difficult. And to have the sensitivity to give directional ideas to a soloist and to respond within your section lines and have that being a two way conversation---that really takes artistry, lots of listening and selflessness and hard work.
  20. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    In my experience, the amount of bassist that solo on changes well is not a dime a dozen. The amount that solo on changes on an artistic level approaching a great horn player is much smaller. Soloing on changes does not mean only having the knowledge or technical ability to do so.

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