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Is it considered bad technique to clank?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BusyFingers, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. iamprowla


    Nov 28, 2016
    The problem with clanking is that it can be significantly louder than the notes; I've been thinging about using a compressor.
  2. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    Surprised no one has mentioned Fieldy. He uses a fiver downtuned one whole step, and plays it like a percussion instrument with a lot of slap and flamenco guitar style techniques. The clank is a major part of his style.
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.
  3. XLunacy


    Nov 28, 2013
    Intended => useful tool
    Not intended => bad technique

    Personally I LOVE the clank. Fresh strings, low action, strong attack, fret buzz, this is the definition of growl to me.
    A compressor does help taming those peaks and making the bass stand out longer.
    Rickter, Sartori and el_Bajo_Verde like this.
  4. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    Not at all. Bryan Beller does it well.

    This "chime" tone he gets is pretty much my dream tone
  5. I have a (possibly dumb) question. I'm pretty new to bass (but practicing diligently) and I've been trying to decide on right hand plucking technique. I find that when my hand is down closer to the body of the bass and I'm floating my thumb - that is the most comfortable on my wrist and I can mute the strings the best BUT I get more clank that way (my guess is that is because I'm plucking more up/down rather than from the side?) -- now if I anchor my thumb on the pickup and/or move my anchor, my hand is higher and I get less clank (and I think I can do 16th notes faster) but I can't keep as many strings muted and wrist position isn't as ideal (my wrists are old). Anyway - my question is, does the angle you pluck the string make a difference in clank as it seems to for me?
  6. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    Clank has raw, furious sound that works when that is what you want to express, regardless of what style of music.
    Sartori likes this.
  7. TerriblePeril


    Nov 26, 2014
    That would make sense. The vibration of the string when attacked from different angles will (or won't) send it towards the frets, where clank lives.

    Good on you for being diligent! I was never a huge stickler for technique, I just wanted to get the sounds out that I wanted to hear. Some would poopoo on that but I think it's important to stay loose and be able to get a variety of sounds. I mean like the "I always anchor my thumb on the bridge pickup, ALWAYS" guys (not that it's bad for them) I just can't get behind that for me.

    Basically I try to be Bobby Vega, the end.
  8. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    Clank is a technique.

    Now that I've been playing a long time, when I play with a clanky sound, it's because I'm doing it deliberately. It's a useful sound to have in my sonic arsenal.

    Not even like Geezer Butler or JPJ clank?

    Fantastic player and awesome tone he has there.
  9. This.

    As long as it's intended, there's nothing wrong with it, just another 'flavour'.

    When I was learning at first I used to play by myself a lot, no drum machine or anything, and without realising it I developed a style with a lot of percussive elements. It was a bitch to train myself out of adding those elements automatically when playing with others. That was *bad*. Sometimes I want to add them, sometimes I don't. As long as you're in control and you do what you intend to do, then that's fine. When things just 'happen' regardless of your intention... then that's something you need to pay attention to and control it.
    DiabolusInMusic and Sartori like this.
  10. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I do not like to clank the bass
    Clanking does not have a place
    Whether playing this or that
    Clanking is not where it's at.
    Rocker949, waynobass and pcake like this.
  11. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    It is only bad if it doesn't belong there, or if you can't control it.
    For many bass players a sharp attack is integral to their distinctive sound, but it doesn't show up everywhere.
    As a player, it is a tool that you need know when to turn on and off. If you do it in the wrong place it looks amateurish.
    mcnach and pcake like this.
  12. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    To help dial OUT clank (besides technique), I like basses with a passive roll off tone control. Very different than just treble knob of a preamp.

    That said, I like clank at points as well, but as others have said, to be able to control when and when is the key. Until you are there, keep working at it.
  13. gully_jones

    gully_jones Stone cold groovy man Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2012
    As long as it is done on a P-Bass with a tort pickguard. Then CLANK-ON.
    JBOWLES likes this.
  14. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    Who? Can you share a youtube clip as an example?
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.
  15. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    *Clank* is a tone that a LOT of the metal finger players use because it's what pushes the bass out in the mix to make us heard. It's a HUGE part of most metal bassists tone. You have to play aggressive to get it, so it takes some time to learn how to use it and not be all over the place. Solo it might sound like trash but in the mix it's pretty prominent and can really help with a wall of tone that helps connect the drums to the guitars.
  16. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Fieldy's tone is ALL clank. He doesn't even consider himself a bass player. He's basically all clicks and percussive sounds. He's the bass player for Korn. Just google/youtube search him. Vids are everywhere.
    He gets a bad rap for being a poopy bassist, but for Korn, it's the exact tone that helps make their sound theirs.
    NortyFiner likes this.
  17. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    I don't do metal anymore, and I've never watched an episode of Dethklok, but I'm really impressed with this guy's ability to teach. There are lots of gifted bass players out there, but not a lot of them really know how to teach.
  18. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    If you're a member of a chain gang, I would like to think it would be encouraged...
  19. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    Whenever I hear the word clank I think of Korn.... lots of clank...all the time...
    NortyFiner likes this.
  20. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    Fieldy (his stage name) is the bass player for Korn. I'm not a big fan of the band, but I can respect his style as being fairly unique to him. An example, as requested:

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017