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Mr. Gary Willis´ right hand

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by gus, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. gus


    Dec 31, 2001
    Madrid (Spain)
    What do you think about Gary Willis´right hand technique?

  2. Tiwaz


    Sep 22, 2002
    Well , I don't think anyone comes even close to him when it comes to right-hand technique.
    I mean Victor Wooten , John Patitucci , Steve Bailey , Billy Sheehan etc are extremely good bassists , but they seem almost sloppy in comparison...
    TOTAL control...
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
  5. liran


    Dec 18, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Well he uses a 3 finger technique which he explained to me at one of his clinics and it is very efficient in reducing the movement around the strings and the able to play more efficiently.
  6. My playing improved 300% when I started to use his right hand technique. I'd recommend it to anyone.
  7. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    All of Gary Willis technique is about the best I've seen for finger style playing....both left & right hands.........pretty smart guy , that Willis:D
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Another guy with a wicked right-hand technique is Dominique DiPiazza.

    Check out his playing on John McLaughlin Trio's Que Alegria album - and be prepared to be blown away!!!

    There used to be a short vid of Dominique on libster...and there's an interview on globalbass.
  9. BassLand


    Mar 20, 2000
    Lost Angeles
    I used to work for Tobias Guitars (Mike Tobias) and Gary Willis was at one time one of our endorsees. We actually had to make GW ramps for the basses we made for him.

    I always tried to use light touch as a player until I started playing upright (ie really makes you play electric harder) so I was aware of his light touch which is the basis for the ramp under his strings and between the pickups. The ramp was to make the strings be the same distance from the pickups in the space between the pickups. The picups were generally set high on Gary's basses.

    The idea was you had to lighten up in order not to have the strings touch the ramp/pickups as they are plucked with your right hand, if they are really close in proximity to each other.

    Gary's touch was REALLY light and he wanted his action REALLY LOW. It made his basses almost unplayable to the uninitiated.

    I think a player that really thrashes his strings with right hand techniques might need to lighten up a bit (unless they just love the sound tha tis produced by playing that way) and could gain from GW's techniques but I would not go so far as to imitate him (regarding the ramp).

  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Willis' site is sort of random and hard to find specific stuff on. Anyone have a link or something pertaining to the specifics of his technique (video clips maybe)? Or is it all on his video?
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The video might be the best way to learn - it used to be fairly cheap when I got it (15-20 bucks here in Germany).

    There used to be a great article in BP or GP several years back - I forgot which one.
  12. Yes. All is revealed in his video. Watch it slowly and practice practice practice. He also has useful/efficient fingering (left hand) methods that he expands on in his Fingerboard Harmony book.

    He DOES however play one of the most intensly UGLY basses ever seen by humans on the video so stand back! This was obviously pre-Gary Willis model Ibanez days.:p

    I've started using his three finger style and have been using it for about a year now. I don't however have his fingerpicking/stop method of right handed muting down

    Haven't had the patience to put in the practice time on it yet. Besides, I tend to go for the full note value "Ray Brown" duration/tone in general.

    Hey! If nothing else, the video allows you to see Gary Willis play in your living room whenever you want!
    It's available at Guitar Center for about $50.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Matt Garrison uses the same technique, with excellent results.
  14. Matt Garrison also uses his thumb occasionally. He said in a Bass Player interview that he needed to add the thumb (in a banjo roll/folk guitar style) in order to keep up with John McLaughlin when he played in his band.)
    I was fortunate enough to have a lesson with Matt and his technique is truly amazing. If you haven't heard his CD check out www.garrisonjazz.com.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Agreed. Matt is scary.
  16. Brad,
    He's also an extremely nice and unpretentious guy.
    I can't wait for his next CD. He's touring with Pharoah Sanders right now in Europe...

    Matt also keeps his strings almost on top of the frets. (rattling like hell, acoustically, not audible when amplified). Since getting to play both his and Gary Willis' bass in lesson/seminars, I've done the same with mine and really like it! Maybe next lifetime, I'll be the player those guys are. I'm 50 now and by the time I get there I'll be 70!:rolleyes:
  17. I don't think he's got a thing on Fieldy.


    *Owl hoot*

    What? I'm serious.
  18. Well Said Behindthemoon! I agree totally!


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