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percussion on bass?!

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Setian, Jan 20, 2001.


  1. Setian

    Setian

    Jan 20, 2001
    Thank u for reading...
    Ehm, the point is that it's been some months for me searching in all the net for a strange technique i saw playing live.
    It's some kind of percussion on the bass strings, it's particularity is that u use the right hand the same way if u were playing congas or something like that, a kind of percussion on the strings of the bass. I don't know it's true name, and it's not tapping nor is slap, in fact here u just hit more than a string in one time and (i'm not sure because i only saw it once)also with the base of the hand, not only with the fingers. I would be very glad to know something more because it wasn't impossible for me to find it on the net nor anyone of the music players i know know anything about "percussion on bass"...
    Thank u very much
    Marco -Setian
     
  2. Brook

    Brook

    Sep 24, 2000
    I want to know about this too it sounds cool. (and alot better than how Fieldy plays bass)
     
  3. Setian

    Setian

    Jan 20, 2001
    My dear Brook, i hoped yours was the answer... Let's wait and see what happens... By the way, who is "Fieldy"?
     
  4. BaroqueBass

    BaroqueBass

    Jul 8, 2000
    Salem, OR
    The "bassist" for Ko(r)n
     
  5. Setian

    Setian

    Jan 20, 2001
    Is that man a bassist? HO Ho ho
    Ehy ho! Is there anybody out there who can answer me about bass percussion?!
    :)
     
  6. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi,

    interesting that you ask this now, as today at the NAMM show, Michael Manring rigged up his Hyperbass with one output from each string, and another from the piezos in the body, neck and headstock, and plugged them all into four different amps - while he was playing a mad line on the bass, I was playing bass drum on the piezo on his headstock, and picking notes above the nut...

    anyway, as for finding percussive sounds on bass, experimentation is the key - each player I know that does this has a slightly different technique, so just try hitting your bass in different ways to get different sounds. Think about the parts of a drum kit - kick, snare and high hat in order to build whole parts. There are no 'rules' when it comes to stuff like this, it's just a matter of finding your own path. I use various techniques, from just slapping the neck with my left hand, to muting the strings completely and picking with my thumb, to drumming on the bass body...

    Let me know what you come up with...

    cheers

    Steve
    http://www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  7. Setian

    Setian

    Jan 20, 2001
    Thank u Pro!
    I visited your site and downloaded the song titled "drifted".
    It's been almost 7 years since i started playing bass guitar, and everytime i wanted to learn a new technique i found models from which to draw. The point for me is that for this particular techique is almost impossible to find anything about it. Thank u so much for your answer my friend, but i need something more, i dunno probably just "a way in which to put the fingers on the board" or something like that, but my way of studying is made in a way that if i had to i wouldn't know where to start. Well, i imagined that i had to do the things u said in your answer, but HOW?
    At least: is there a song in your site that i could download (or somewhere else on the net) that is similar to the "percussion-effect" i wanted to obtain?
    Marco
     
  8. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hey, i've seen vic wooten use this technique a couple times. if we are thinking about the same thing. he mutes the strings with his left hand while he hits the strings at the base of the neck with his right. sometimes he'll even mute with the right hand and slap the strings with his left on the neck. and he expands that idea by playing "diddles" (for any of you guys who know anyhting about percussion)with his right hand, and on the second diddle, he'll keep his hands on the strings and slide them down the neck toward the nut...when he does that, he'll usually roll from his fingers to the heel of his hand. really cool technique. i hope something i said made sense to ya. i think i saw it when he was on BET with the flecktones a couple years ago. i hope something i said made sense. lol
     
  9. Setian

    Setian

    Jan 20, 2001
    Thank u my friend: in fact a lot of what u said made sense. I saw this tecnique played by a joung bass player here near Milan (and i was thinking about being the most talented of all milan bass players!!! SIGH)and he was using the left hand tapping the strings, while during the pauses between a tap and the other, he was sliding with the right hand from the base of the neck upward, and he was doing exactly the same movement you described, moving from the base of the hand to the fingers. It was in fact a sort of summary between tapping and playing congas! And the sound coming out was definitely great!
    The point is that i dunno exactly WHERE to tap (i mean u say at the base of the neck, but where exactly?) and with what part of the hand to, and what kind of sound i should exspect from my bass? I mean i tried a lot of times but the sound coming out is unclean and bad. Are there some things to do in order to clean the sound coming out? Simply speaking, i have the impression of doing the wrong thing!
    Anyway thank you for your answer.
     
  10. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    well, honestly, i don't think that there is a certain way to do this. just bang it, man!! i imagine if you tap the strings so that they hit the frets it would be a little more percussive and you would get a sharper attack, like a snare or something, but if you slapped above the pickups, you would get a more oomph type sound like a bass drum. you could possibly even try holding you r left hand in a position to play natural harmonics while slapping with your right hand. it's endless! just imagine the possibilities. and this is just me running my mouth. i'm pretty sure that there is no documented way to play in this manner, but if you keep banging it, i'm sure something will come out eventually. :D
     
  11. pretend the neck is a monkey
    now spank it
    spank it till it sounds and feels right
     
  12. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    yeah, that's the idea!!
     
  13. Setian

    Setian

    Jan 20, 2001
    Well, my friends thank u for the ideas... In fact yesterday i was looking at my basses standing there and i wasn't playing because i didn't know how to make percussive sound on bass. Then i thought Damn it, my basses are wondering why i don't play with them!!! So i started that way, and eventually some sound came out... Well, slowly slowly... I'm learning by myself!
    By the way, who're you favourite bass players?

    Thank you my friends.
    Marco
     
  14. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    There was a thread on this a while ago - http://64.39.29.218/forum/showthread.php?threadid=4567 - check this out for more on mine, and Michael Manring's favourite players. I've a few new ones to add to that list - I heard a guy last week called Todd Johnson, who was playing Midi-bass in a duo with Jimmy Haslip and he was great, had a really original approach to chording and was very very musical. Another current fave is Jonas Hellborg - his latest CD is great. See http://www.hellborg.com for more on him.

    There's a session bassist in Toronto called Peter Murray who recently gave me a CD of his which has got some really really cool groove playing on it - anything he's on is worth checking out.

    And Abe Laboriel - I saw him last weekend at the Baked Potato in LA, and he was outstanding - I've never seen anyone put so much into their playing...

    cheers

    Steve
    http://www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  15. JimmyThePlumberMan

    JimmyThePlumberMan

    Feb 4, 2001
    Actually, for a literal example of percussion on bass, check out Bill Dickens. His video "Bass Beyond Limits" shows off his technique. Its pretty cool...basically, he hits his bass! But he gets some cool rhythms.

    The video, besides that, is worth checking out just for his soloing prowess. WOW! What a player!