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machine gun triplets and that kind of thing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    What's the fastest slap technique anyone's ever heard?

    To put that question in context, I think someone like Stanley Clarke is pretty fast when he does that quick fingerstyle thing, and using three fingers at a time he can pretty much make it sound like he's shredding. Not as fast as Billy Cobham shredding, but still pretty fast for a bass player.

    So, two questions really. One is, have you ever heard anyone slap as fast as Stanley can do fingerstyle? And the other is, what other bass players come to mind that can shred like that (and maybe even be more melodic about it)?

    Edit: mods, I'm really trying to get to a technique question here, but I wanted to ask it this way first, and just realized that as it's framed it may be more appopriate for the bass players forum, so feel free to move it if that's the case.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Seems like you asked this in another forum as well, although framed slighty different. Cut to the chase - this thread has an expriation date.
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Aston Barret can make a field full of people dance with one note. Why use more?

    By the way, my favourite cheeses are Emmental, Stilton, Danish Blue and a nice ripe Brie, although probably not at the same time :)
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    It's a serious question. Would you say Stu Hamm's pretty fast with his tapping techniques? And I've heard some pretty fast stuff from Vic Wooten, he uses it sparingly and tastefully. He gets these rat-a-tat-tat sounds that are wonderful, but they're real difficult to do and keep up for any length of time. So let's say if you were measuring in beats per minute or something, which techniques would you say are the fastest? Has anyone ever recorded or measured or compared in an objective way the speed that it is possible to attain with various techniques (or by various people)?

    Edit: Pacman, here's some additional context in this other thread. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1418167#post1418167

    Yeah, this deserves a little further explanation. The bet was that a bass player can shred his bass as fast as Billy Cobham can shred his drums. So it's basically resolved itself to a question of measurement. From a technique standpoint, I've come up with three different ways to do this, to create what sounds very much like a drum roll. My guitar player is a stickler and wants to make sure he's got objective verification before he admits he's lost the bet.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    FWIW - I wasted my time on this stuff at one point.

    Yeah, they can be fun. But, in a band/audience situation, I found them to be useless. IMO, machine-gunning and the rest are analagous to writing......would you rather read a book that has loads of words you don't know....or would you rather read a book where the words strike a chord in your heart ???

    Cutting a deep "groove" got much more approval than some wanking technique I learned.

    Who do you think gets more calls these days - Darryl Jones or Stanley Clarke ??? :D

    Aw shucks! I'm preaching!.........sorry. :oops:
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Off the top of my head:

    Vic Wooten on Sinister Minister (live)

    Other shredmasters that do not slap and are melodic:

    Dominique DiPiazza - check out John McLaughlin's Que Alegria album and prepare to be blown. Or check out the Frontpage album he did with Bireli Lagrene and Dennis Chambers.
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    No, I hear you. I'm right there with you. The bass is all about the groove. But that's not really the nature of the question. It's a technical question about technique. I'm certainly not advocating the use of these types of techniques "all the time". But guys like Stanley and Vic and others can use these techniques tastefully and effectively (and usually sparingly) to create some interesting and listenable passages for their music. This is more a question about the technique itself. How do people measure these things? Is there an audio method using a microphone, or do you have to attach sensors to your fingers, or how would you measure the speed that a bass player can attain with various techniques?

    Edit: oops, JMX you slipped in before me. Cool, thanks, I'll check those out. I was obviously responding to the previous post. :)
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It's also noteworthy that Dominique only plucks with two fingers, mostly with thumb and index. Quite amazing to watch, really. I once had the pleasure of seeing him live with John McLaughlin and Trilok Gurtu.
  9. fast double-thumbing- Bill Dickens; there's a 12min solo of his going around WinMX, Kazaa etc. and his slapping sounds like someone revving a motorbike.
    impressive speed, doesn't grab me musically though.

    fingerstyle shredding- Billy Sheehan.
  10. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    It's pretty simple once you've gotten the basics down on a repetitive pattern. The hard part is applying it melodically.

    I'm not sure what comes first; the chicken or the egg. I assume mastering your fretting hand takes primacy if you want to support most music...but the right hand can give you good percussion.

    I think Vic worked on both, together, from a very early age. The thing I dig about him is his left hand even more than his right hand.

    I guess that means you can have one without the other, but thumping on the same 4 notes is OK for impressing 13-year old kids at SamAshe, but it's one hell of a way to bore the crap out of an audience.
  11. As much as I respect his sheer virtuosity B Dickens is almost too fast - Wooten applies brilliant rhythmic ideas to his slap solos - messing with the time, accents etc - plus as others have said above he is also very melodic throughout his style - if you want to hear someone who plays stupidly fast - and basically makes the sound of a machine being shredded in a jet engine (or similar) the Dickens is your man:


    PLease don't try and play like this though - you'll be wasting your time.
  12. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I have a proposed method for measuring how fast a bass player really is. See if you think this will work. Digitize a recording into ProTools (or some other audio software), then apply a software bandpass filter (and maybe a gate/expander) to get rid of the junk and emphasize the frequencies of interest. Then you could do one of two things, either use the "grid" tool to expand the waveform and count the events visually on the screen, or apply one of those time expansion transforms to slow down the track and count the number of events by ear. Obviously the count obtained by the two methods should agree. The key criterion is that the method has to be totally objective, and two or more independent observers have to be able to agree on the number.
  13. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I don't think anyone slaps as fast as Victor Wooten. That doesn't necessarily mean that he is better than everyone else, just faster in slapping.
  14. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Does anyone know of anyone that's actually measured something like this? Have there been any slap-offs in bass player magazine or something like that? Or any other ratings of bass players for speed? What methods did they use to measure how fast they played?
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Alain Caron is also worth checking out. He's ultra-precise, whereas Vic can be quite loose at times (relatively!).
  16. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    yes, caron's technique is incredibly clean!
  17. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    This is just pointless.

  18. Anyone else get that annoying yet catchy Barenaked Ladies song in their heads when they read threads like this?

    "It's all been done
    It's all been done
    It's all been done before"

    Fastest triplet technique for me is double-thumping. Light-gauge strings and away you go. As already said, though, getting bogged down into technique for triplets is a waste of time. The melody has to be there, or else you sound like FiElDy on 'roids.

  19. Better question - why does it matter?

  20. I don't know why this is so pointless.. if some bass players are playing this way with said technique why can't we talk about it? I am interested to know such things regardless of whether or not they matter to other people.


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