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Oscar Pettiford

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by bassame, Jan 9, 2006.


  1. bassame

    bassame

    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    I just came across this clip from a 1945 film that OP did with Coleman Hawkins group; you can actually watch how he plays. It's on rapidshare which gives you a free download but you have to wait a few seconds before they make it available to you. http://rapidshare.de/files/10754848/Pettiford.mpg.mpg.html
    I'd like to start a thread on his technique, especially his right hand, so just take a look.
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Old-old-school right hand, for sure.
     
  3. bassame

    bassame

    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Yeah. I cannot actually see him plucking. It looks like a gentle slap in which the strings don't hit the fingerboard. I cannot imagine him playing "Stardust" with that right-hand technique!
     
  4. bigtime old school!, what is that like a pluck n' slap ??? almost looks like he could be plucking w/the thumb sometimes, man his right hand must have got tired real fast !
     
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Also, they're lip-synch'ing, so this might all be a put on....
     
  6. bassame

    bassame

    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    You mean like Brittany Spears? You think they are not really playing?
     
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Not like BS (I love it when things like that happen without trying :)), but because of the complexity of recording TIMES the complicity of shooting a scene, the film folks will have the band record what they're playing in the studio, and then fake it for the camera.

    The band, not being expert at this, leaves plenty of obvious clues...
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Did you mean complexity?

    I know this used to happen a lot, even as late as the 1980s - so TV coudn't get a decent sound simultaneously for music.

    So a lot of bands would come into the studio, record a live track in the sound studio, then mime to that live recording, while they filmed - I've done it myself in bands!! ;)
     
  9. bassame

    bassame

    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Naw -- I did have the visualization of 'complicity' in mind when I wrote that, but it is awkward. Thanks, ed., got ti straightened out for you. :)
     
  11. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    I frequently use that right hand technique. It produces a fatter, rounder tone with a small sacrifice of sustain. Back in those days, they were using gut strings and a higher action than is in use today. (no amplifiers back then). On fast tempos it is less tiring than the side of the finger thing, and yes, it does sound good with "Stardust".
     
  12. bassame

    bassame

    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    This is interesting. I guess I have a different concept of what "fatter" and "rounder" means. How do you do it, I mean, mechanically speaking? It looks so imprecise. How do you control which string you hit when you are using a few fingers all at once? Which finger actually plucks (if not all of them)?
     
  13. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    Describing sound is a very difficult thing. This technique definitely produces a different sound than the side of the finger thing. The string is lifted vertically instead of being pulled to the side. I only use 1 or 2 fingers to pull the string, and the action is all in the wrist, not a lot of arm movement. As Jason said, you have be careful to avoid fingerboard rattle. That technique was very common when I started playing back in early 50's. It may not be classical technique, but it works for me. :smug:
     
  14. bassame

    bassame

    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Thanks Jim, I really appreciate your observations. I've been trying it myself. I take it that when you release the pluck the string does not hit the fingerboard? If you can help it.
     
  15. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Exactly, which is why the OLD old school guys played with high action. When the Ray Brown / lateral yank guys came in, the amplitude of the string went along the fingerboard instead of perpendicular to it, which allowed players to lower their action. In between the 'pull out' guys and the 'pull to the side' guys were the 'pull down' guys, who played high action and and pulled straight down into the fingerboard -- with the added neat benefit that the finger thunking on the fingerboard added some percussion to the beginning of the note. The modern high-action gut guys use the pull down technique.
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I feel like I'm ordering coffee in Seattle- I'm a moderate action/side pull/modern with old school sound.

    Oh, grande to go please.
     
  17. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    ...with Salt 'n Pepper on top? :smug:
     
  18. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    Wow, I allways thought that the "two handed monkey" was restricted to drummers only. :bag:
     
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I thought drummers couldn't do the one handed monkey because they needed both hands to work the freeze frame button?
     
  20. Pcocobass

    Pcocobass

    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    After watching that video I think OP might have been hamming it up for the camera. I've seen other clips of him and I don't remember it looking like that.