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Left hand muting

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by djero44, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. djero44


    Mar 3, 2009
    Paonia Colorado
    I was recently checking out some of Francis 'Rocco' Prestia's bass playing, which I find very inspiring, and was turned onto this technique where you use your free fingers on the left hand to lightly mute your notes. I am a big fan of palm muting with guitar, and I like to do so on the bass, but the finger/thumb thumping is not nearly as funky as with just the fingers, so here is a way to have it both!

    It's going to take me some time to get used to working this into my style, but i'm really excited about this technique.

    Funk on my friends!

  2. Roco has a very unique style. He really does most of his fretting with his index and middle finger, and plays across the fretboard. If he needs to extend his range, he typically moves up or down the neck.
    He uses his ring and pinky finger (this is all left hand technique here) to mute and play ghost notes.
    very positional, very unusual. He is a MASTER of cross string fingerpicking with his right hand.
    Because his left hand techniqe is similar to Django Reinhardt's famous 2 finger left hand style, I think you can also find some similarities in how they approach thier parts.
    Really Rocco blends this unusual left hand technique with that pumping 16th style that is his trademark.
    When you combine that with Dave Garibaldi's amazing drumming you get what is in my opinion the best 2 man rhythm
    section I've ever seen.
    Rocco is one of the very best. I've seen him live a few times at Jazz Alley in Seattle and he is totally amazing. It's almost like he and Dave are joined at the hip!
  3. djero44


    Mar 3, 2009
    Paonia Colorado
    That two fingered style reminds me of the Funk Brothers and also traditional Indian sitar playing, keeping it simple but also getting obscene technique with a minimalistic approach.

    I do agree Rocco and Dave are an incredible rythym section. I have been rehearsing and performing What is Hip with a project i'm in, it took me a full month to even aproach his 16th note power; I am also singing the tune so it's absurdly hard for me (i usually play it on a fretless) but i'm proud to have pulled it off reasonably well. Now that i've been doing this for months i'm starting to have some smoothness with the sixteenths, i'm trying to work the ring and pinky muting into the whole mix to really go for that tone.

    Inspiring bass playing for sure!

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