Ok, well, then how does Stanley Clarke do it?!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Matt Till, May 19, 2004.

  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Victor Wooten "invented double thumping." I just got Stanley Clarke's "School Days" and "1, 2, to the bass" and he can shred. It sounds like double thumping, but...

    WHOA, NEW SMILIES! :eyebrow: :rollno: :scowl: LOL!! OMG.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I remember reading an interview with Victor Wooten, where he said how he had listened to Stanley Clarke but just couldn't play as fast as him no matter how much he practiced- so he had to invent a new technique to play like that! ;)
  3. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Victor and Stanley hang out - There's a pic on Victor's website with him at stanley's house.

    On victor's DVD he talks about his double thumb technique. He said it actually was inspired by Larry Graham on the song Stand.

    He couldn't get that bounce that LArry graham had and Vic's brother told him to go up and down like a guitar player's pick.

    The rest is HisStory. :bassist:
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Clarke was doing the OPEN Hammer Pluck thing as far back as "Lopsy Lu"(early-mid '70s).
    Noobs, I guess, always assume it was Wooten's innovation.
  5. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    i agree - stanley invented allot of techniques that have evolved today into what we consider "ordinary" these days....

    He also had a lot to do with bass slapping in general - he was the first jazz man to slap anything!
  6. Danksalot


    Apr 9, 2003
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Endorsing Artist: SIT Strings
    Stanley can also play BLAZING FAST with his fingers, so in many cases what sounds like double thumbing is him just playing really fast with his fingers a little harder to get the percussive *snap* on the note.
  7. I was just getting ready to say that the thumping you hear is him playing fingerstyle. When you meet Stanley and shake his hand, you understand very quickly how he can to that. He also plays a lot of tenor bass (ADGC) and with the thin strings, he can make is sound like a pop by playing aggressively with his fingerstyle.
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I would add that a lot of that sound comes from the fact that he doubles on double bass which conditions your hands in a way that playing bass guitar alone normally won't.
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    You're right! I remember seeing him many years back and was watching him 'slap' and he wasn't doing it the 'normal' way with the thumb open and fingers bent in. His hand seemed to be wide open and it looked like he was slapping the strings with his open hand and not his thumb but it was so damn fast I really couldn't tell.
  10. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Yes, that it is true. Altho Stanley did "pave the way" for a lot of thumbing in jazz, most of what sounds like slaps and pops on his recording are in reality him playing fingerstyle very aggressively. It is a technique both Stan and MArcus Miller use a lot, and call "hard plucking".

    Stan is one of the very few bassists who can pull off 32nds and even 64ths fingerstyle (too make matters worse he can perform 32nds on the URB!). His touch, agility, lightning fast articulation coupled with the Alembics he uses and his higher tunings all amount to the "faux slap" tones usually associated with him.

    I remember a few years back seeing the Grammy's and Stanley perfromed a duet with the late (and great) Chet Atkins,CGP...and the two of them traded off some incredible licks and phrases, with Stanley matching Chet on every one with that "signaure" hard plucking sound.

  11. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Here's a .pdf file I downloaded from his website. You might want to check it out. You'll need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view it.


  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I'll add Tom Kennedy and Brian Bromberg who can play fast and cleanly on an URB! I'll say this also, I connected more with Stanley Clarke than I did with Jaco. I have all Stanley's 70's-80's LP's. None by Jaco!

    Anyone have the Passenger 57 SDTK? Some killer stuff on there!
  13. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    First of all, let me put in a disclaimer: I like Vic, love Jaco, and love Stanley so I'm not trying to run anybody down.

    If what you call "Double Thumping" is the same technique we used to call Double Thumbing (up as well as down strokes with the thumb during slapping), Vic certainly did not invent this. Although I never used this particular technique myself, I knew guys over 20 years ago (long before Vic hit the scene) that were doing this.

    Stanley has the fastest 2 finger technique I have ever seen or heard. And because of his tone and attack often sounds like he's slapping/plucking when he isn't. Jaco could be pretty fast (finger style) also, but I've never heard or seen him do anything close to Stanley's fastest stuff. Stanley can play faster on DB than most bassists can on Bass Guitar.

    Much of Vic's speed comes from percussion style slap rhythms utilizing alternating hand movements, not the blazing two finger speed Stanley has.
  14. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    That makes sense. Wooten is known for having a load of tricks that he uses a lot, instead of sheer speed as Stanley seems to be (I need to listen to more Stanley!). Bill Dickens is also incredibly fast, however he seems to be somewhere between Clarke and Vic, at least what I've heard.

    Three cheers for Stanley Clarke!
  15. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i love stanley as much as the next guy, but alot of that super fast playing is just him sliding up and down strings and not articulated notes or lines. a friend of mine referred to them as b.s. runs.
  16. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    One man's "B.S. run" is another man's musical statement.
    One no more or less valid than the other.
    But "not articulated"?!? :eyebrow: :rollno:

    Jaco is obviously the most musically prolific of the three,
    but what would you call all that Bass Olympics stuff Vic does 90% of the time?:rolleyes:

    If Stanley has a fault it's that he tends to plagiarize himself quite often in his compositions.
  17. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    What's the basis of this statement?

    Lots of composers do this.
  18. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    huh??? i don't see how you say this. he has awesome finger strength. you can hear every note up and down the run. allot of players' notes get lost in the middle..... they lack the strength to keep it even. victor is one who's good at this also - and even he says that he got that from stanley.......
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    shoot, so did jaco. a lot.
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Personally, I think the the biggest difference between Stanley and Jaco is that one went into a sharp tailspin after his ground breaking work and the other has gone on to a long and successful career as a recording artist and working musician. It shouldn't surprise anybody that Clarke is not as fresh sounding twenty-eight years after School Days or thirty years after his debut solo album. Had Jaco lived, he would be dipping into his old bag of tricks also.

    Personally, I have always been a Stanley Clarke fan. He showed me what the bass was capable of while others had only hinted at its potential as a solo instrument. Similarly, Jaco came out of left field with a lead fretless tone and harmonics use that had folks scratching their heads for about three years. Although Jaco has been a huge influence on all electric bassists, he didn't hit me like Stanley. I suspect that simply reflects where my head was as a person and (amatuer) musician. For other people, Jaco was the man who paved the way. I'm sure that for players fifteen and twenty years younger than me, Victor Wooten is having the same affect.

    The bottom line is that we have all been influenced by somebody and it does very little good to rip each others icons.