Lean bass to left or right...?

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by tzadik, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Me too. I grew up on bluegrass. I regularly attend BG jams and festivals. I love playing it. I don't really dig rockabilly that much as a genre, but I would never question the talent of any of those guys. They sound great and are working their booties off.

    If this is becoming a "look down your nose at the rockabilly riff raff" thread, I wanta get off. There's plenty of room on this celestial ball for all.

    I was just trying to say that the further you venture from whatever you want to call the way guys in tuxedos do it, the greater LIKELIHOOD that you are going to deal with some sort of issues. Be they physical problems, limitations in your playing or something else.

    Maybe you have no issues. Maybe you do and don't care. Thanks fine, too, but there is no need to get defensive.
  2. Seventhirteen


    Jan 28, 2007
    slap bass is pretty dern physical compared to slab bass, i know when i gig, i do find my self moving a bit to stretch a bit, course some of the reason it is so physical is all the jumping around. my experience with urb doesn't have it's own section really this one is as close as talkbass gets so forgive me :p

    no pain no gain
  3. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    When in Utah, my bass seems to lean to the right. But when I get to Massachusets, it swings to the left.:meh:
  4. tzadik


    Jan 6, 2005
  5. So the leaning of the bass away from you is definately to do with relieving muscle tension? I've got Lee Rockers DVD and he constantly plays that way, grabs the bass with his left hand as well.
  6. Danho


    Mar 2, 2005
    Columbus Ohio
    "Sometimes it might just look cooler to hold it out from you at arms length for a bit, kind of how guitarists point their guitars out at the crowd...

    Unless I'm moving around or something I usually hug it close."

    Just to throw my hat in the ring, I do it to look cool.
  7. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Ok fellas, isn't this what 99.% of slap bass is about? I mean, sometimes a bass player has got to make some racket to be noticed, right?:D

    Don't take me wrongly, I adore the slap bass tradition and all, but slapping the bass was developed to bring the spotlight to the bass player in the tradition of medicine shows and vaudville and that kind of thing. Milt Hinton, Steve Brown, Wellman Braud, Thelma Terry, and others much lesser known refined the style to take it "uptown" to bring a little country style to the big city.

    And it seems that today's slap bass players have traded tattoos for the blacked out front teeth of the old tent show players of the past. The old goofus routine, nothin wrong with that. Comic relief is a valuable part of any art form.

    But if slap bass is deeper than that kind of musical application, I wish that somebody would share the history.

    Slap Bass certainly couldn't be described as a beautiful sound, or could it? I'd like to hear some argument for it's intrinsic beauty(s) It's always good to hear people describe the beautiful things they hear, see, and feel!

    In any case, leaning to the left gives the slapping bassist a good view of the front row. If you don't want to be noticed, leaning to the right might be more advisable. What about leaning forward and backwards, those poses look pretty cool as well!
  8. mpoppitt


    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    Slapping the bass was developed originally to compete with bigger bands volume-wise. It's a natural progression; when you are competing with multiple horns, piano, etc. you have to step it up to be heard. Also a lot of the old gypsy, and jazz bands had no drummers, so it is up to the bass player to give it more percussion and rhythm.

    As a slapper I think it IS a thing of beauty. The beauty of being the drums and bass at the same time. The beauty of the way your hand feels against the board. The beauty of the crowd's reaction to it. The beauty of that feeling you get when you pull off a fast, clever slap line.

    Keep in mind that rockabilly folks aren't the only folks who slap these days. Maybe you just hav'nt witnessed the right slappers...
  9. The slapping of BG began, as well, from the fact that there was no drummer. Whether Larry Graham knew the history, or even paid attention to the DB tradition(s), I don't know. I just think it's ironic that both slap styles started that way.
  10. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    I remember seeing a guy from Texas with the late Ronnie Dawson once, slapping the living crud out of his bass through an refrigerator sized 810 GK 800rb rig. Yeah, and he had a few tatoos as well, looked like he was just starting his collection, though.

    And I believe he favored leaning to the left, and used an empty tuna can to rest his right foot on. Not sure what that was for.

    Yup, I've witnessed a whole lotta different kinds of slappin' bass in my time!
  11. LOL! LAM (Laughing at myself) :D sheepish grin
    Been a while since I've visited TB and just re-read my rant at the beginning of this thread...

    Chasarms, no offense taken.

    I must've had a few pints that night (which is no excuse) before posting my tirade, and as Bugs Bunny might say, "What a Maroon". Opinions I got, but chops? Nope. None. I'm a rank amateur so I'll post less, and lurk & learn more.
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