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More about the funkitty funk

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by cheesesilk, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. Does anybody have any tips for getting that consistent staccato finger style thing going? I want to get those crisp clear jaco ghost notes, but only can imitate such a sound when I tense up my fingers, but then it's not as consistent or natural. How can I get this sound and still keep it loose and fluid? Is it a lighter touch, or a kind of pushing into the strings more like a piano near the bridge?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    A lot of it is down to left-hand technique - muting notes, with your left hand to make them shorter. So your right hand fingers are fluid and consistent, but you use left-hand muting and open strings to make it funky!! :)
  3. It's taken me ages to get my fingerstyle funk happening - I'm in a funk band now so I have a regular opportunity to use it - and I think that's the key to getting it fluid - basically playing it with a drummer.

    One bit of technical advice I might give is work on your string crossing - playing groups of two, three and four notes on each going root, fifth, seventh, fifth - keeping it as smooth as you can. It's very hard at first, Bruce is right about using your left hand, but keeping a constant 16th note pulse going over all strings is the key, within that pulse, then accenting various beats in the bar helps push and pull the groove.

    Try and play with a dum machine or better still a good drummer (with good time) and get into the groove, lastly if you haven't checked out Gary Willis' muting and fingerstyle grooves, alongside Rocco Prestia and Jaco, (obviously), then there three masters of this style.
  4. Here are two ways to help

    a) Listen to the style but copy it ( Jaco's Licks or Rocco's style ) This will enable you to find out what note choices that enchance the style
    By my experience Mixolydian scale with chromatic runs is a favourite although you can use other scales because it's just a technique

    b) Then comes the Technique part
    Get your friend the metronome and practice ( slowly at first ) speed is not a issue here although that will come in time the object is to play the technique cleanly
    As Bruce said it has to do with the LH to apply enough pressure to get the sound

    Anyway Good Luck and pluck on