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Klaus Voorman on Carly Simon's "You're So Vain"

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JimmyM, Mar 25, 2020.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Is this the very first popular example of the thumb-and-three-fingers technique that so many popular speed players are doing now?



    Boy, do I wish I'd have seen this video back in the day! I've loved that little intro ever since I heard it without a DJ talking over it. I've been trying to figure out how Klaus did this song for decades. I could have used seeing this last summer when I played in a band that did it. Closest I got to it was using a pick and playing the A string open and at the 12th and 15th fret A and C notes with triplets. And despite that being nothing like how Klaus plays it, I'm not terribly far off doing it that way as far as notes.

    He, however, uses thumb and 3 fingers, one per string, and plays an Am chord with the C as top note, and arpeggiates it into triplets up and down T-1-2-3-2-1/T-1-2-3-2-1/T. And maybe it's easy for some of you who already have the RH technique down, but this is a stone B-word for me to do it that quickly.

    Always been a fan of Klaus' playing. Wasn't flashy very often, but all that post-Beatles solo stuff that wasn't McCartney, Nilsson...some really good solid playing with an occasional bit of pure coolness. But this is the only thing he did that I could never quite figure out how he did it. Now that I see it, I still don't know if I can get up to that kind of speed + accuracy, but the A string pick jones works well in a pinch :D
     
    woodyng2, kesslari, Les Fret and 8 others like this.
  2. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    Croatia
    Thank you for this link.
    I really love Voormans playing on John Lennons albums.
     
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  3. iammr2

    iammr2

    Jun 10, 2002
    Tejas
    So glad you posted this. I've never had the skills or depth to figure out how he played that.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  4. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    It looks like the late Tom "T-Bone" Wolk had a different approach:



    - Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    woodyng2, JimK and JimmyM like this.
  5. Is that clip from Klaus' movie doco?
     
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Very much so...he was just strumming the chord in triplets. Close enough for rock and roll.

    Don't know, but I would imagine so.

    Just looked it up...yes it is.
     
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  7. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Yes saw this clip before. Very cool intro! Any recommendations of other specific Klaus Voorman songs where the bass really stands out?
     
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  8. yeah klaus is nasty. his playing got on my radar after checking out george’s concert for bangladesh.
     
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  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    "Jump Into The Fire" by Nilsson. Not the hardest line ever, but he does a very cool solo, and the main line itself is pretty badass and gnarly.
     
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  10. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks. That's cool! bass is pretty loud in the mix. I like it. Strange solo that is. I think he is detuning the E string while playing going to a low B or C.
     
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  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's exactly what he does.
     
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  12. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Here’s how I play the "You're So Vain" intro:


    With my left hand I am holding down an A minor barre chord (A-E-A-C, low to high) and raking across all four strings string from 1st to 4th. I'm leaving out the first and third triplets, but it's in the ballpark.

    - Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  13. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    I thought that was Herbie Flowers. Klaus did some rhythm guitar overdubs.
     
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  14. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Hard to play that on fretless. Got my practicing cut out for me. Thanks @JimmyM for sharing it!
     
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  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    My apologies. You are correct. I conflagrated that one. Herbie Flowers did do Jump Into The Fire.
     
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  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's darn good. If Carly bought T-Bone playing it just strumming a chord, she'd certainly buy you doing it that way.
     
  17. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Thanks! I'll let her know I'm available...my calendar suddenly opened up ;)

    - Steve
     
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  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Pain was unexpected when I first started practicing this lick, but I just started getting it in my left hand. I think I need to get up under the neck more in order to be able to hold those chord stretches for any length of time, especially having to barre across all 4 strings to catch the E and G strings with my short but sexy pointer finger. Seems like most of the strain is in my wrist, but now I have to lay off for a day to let it cool down. Pain is never acceptable, folks. Always stop immediately when you get it and try to learn a better way to play without it.

    And then my right hand and wrist have always had a problem with staying relaxed when trying to be speedy, and 45 years later it's still the same. Unfortunately, I believe relaxation is the key to playing speedy stuff, and I don't know if I can do it at this stage of the game. Maybe I'll be able to increase my speed from half speed, but full speed is looking like a longshot at this point.

    Oh well, I can always go back to a pick or steal Steve's way of doing it :D
     
  19. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    It might be that concert ... need to look it up ... but I remember he had this absolutely massive P-Bass tone with that foam mute. I gig a bass setup like that, and am always surprised at how well it sits in a heavy mix. Not a 'cut' but a bloom.
     
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  20. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Klaus is often pretty reserved in his playing (i.e. listen to his part on "Imagine"), but he's quite busy and groovy on John Lennon's "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night":



    On the intro to this 1965 single it sounds like Klaus is employing a technique similar to the intro to "You're So Vain". It's pretty striking actually:



    - Steve
     
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