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Question about Michael Moore's technique

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by lownotes02, Feb 17, 2005.


  1. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    Hello,
    I just bought Rufus Reid/Michael Moore's video, and I noticed Michael Moore has a different approach than most of what Ive read/seen from other players. Rufus and other guys seem to stress arm weight, pulling the string, and playing close to the end of the fingerboard to get a nice, fat sound. I also think I read somewhere that Ron Carter wont let his beginning students use an amp so they will "pull" the sound out of the bass. Michael seems to use a lighter, "let the amp do the work" philosophy that EB players like Gary Willis and Jeff Berlin preach. I also noticed he plucks almost in between the neck block and end of the board, and his right hand "floats" instead of staying in a fixed position.

    This is probably subjective, and goes back to the "whatever works for you is the method to use" type thing. As a beginning DB player (I start my first lesson Monday with a classical player, so I imagine we will be doing more arco than pizz, which is great since I want to learn both) I wanted to know what method you all prefer and use, and what benefit there would be to using a lighter touch. It works great for me on EB when I play lighter and closer to the bridge, but not on DB when Im further away from the bridge and with a lighter touch.

    I find that if I play closer to the neck block, the strings are looser, and I cant play as easily compared to when Im at the end of the fingerboard. Plus, since I dont have a pickup/amp, (yet) I cant really get any sound out of my bass by playing with a lighter touch. Michaels' playing is fabulous, I really like the way he comps with chords/double stops when Rufus is soloing.

    Do any of you incorporate his technique in your playing, and if so, do you do it exclusively, or combine it with a more traditional-style technique?
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    There are a lot of sounds that you can get with your right hand, and it depends on what I need or hear as to what I do. Toward the end of the fingerboard gets you a more percussive attack and going the other way can get you a rounder, warmer, growlier sound -- at the expense of attack. It's a great thing that you're paying attention to all of the detail. Don't ever lose that.

    As for getting volume from the bass, this has to do more with 'goosing' the sound out of the thing rather than just playing hard -- once you have your strength up. The flippant sounding answer, and the right one, is that study, time and experience will teach you how to get sound out of the bass.
     
  3. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Try playing an open G string, with your right hand near the neck block, then further down, then at the end of the fingerboard. Try it with fingertips and then with the side of your index finger. Change angles of the wrist too. See? It's amazing how many different sounds can be produced! It's beautiful
     
  4. Not wanting this to turn into another one of my 'Red Rants'...I would like to mention something he would do, (Red Mitchell) not only with double/triple stops, but with single notes....he would use the fingernails of his right hand. Especially on the G string (his A) the effect of the nail hitting the string and the fingerboard provides a whole different color.
    Try it.
     
  5. Savino

    Savino

    Jun 2, 2004
    nyc
    when I studied with Michael, he saved my life. I was going through a rough battle with CTS, and michael, as well as Mike Richmond both had their experience with this. Michael is a strong advocate of the Streicher technique. He straightened out my bent Simandl wrist and likened his left hand technique to lifting up something heavy. I remember him demonstrating on his kitchen table. He said If he was going to lift the table his wrists would be straight. I got it right away. I even wore a brace on my wrist for a while to re-train myself. I dont really think he has a light touch. just effortless. great teacher. probably the most critical to me.
     
  6. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    Ray Parker said:
    There are a lot of sounds that you can get with your right hand, and it depends on what I need or hear as to what I do. Toward the end of the fingerboard gets you a more percussive attack and going the other way can get you a rounder, warmer, growlier sound -- at the expense of attack. It's a great thing that you're paying attention to all of the detail. Don't ever lose that.

    That makes total sense, Ray. I studied EB with Josquin Des Pres who co-wrote a fretless bass book with Bunny Brunel. When Id listen to Bunny play with Corea and Shorter, he had a lot of "mwah" in his sound, more so than other fretless players I heard, especially during long, sustained notes. I asked Josquin about it, and he said Bunny would pluck closer to the fingerboard (on EB) to get that growl. It sounds like the same holds true with the DB.

    Alexi said:
    Try playing an open G string, with your right hand near the neck block, then further down, then at the end of the fingerboard. Try it with fingertips and then with the side of your index finger. Change angles of the wrist too. See? It's amazing how many different sounds can be produced! It's beautiful

    I will certainly do that, Alexi. When you say fingertips, are you saying to play with my fingers at a 90 degree angle to the string? (similar to EB playing?) Ive noticed some guys tend to use the side of the finger for walking/grooving, and when they solo or play faster passages, they have their fingers more perpendicular to the strings. Is this because it tends to be easier to play the faster passages this way? Ive noticed I can play certain things quicker if my fingers are at a right angle to the string versus using more "finger meat,", but thats probably since Im coming from an EB background.


    Paul said:
    Not wanting this to turn into another one of my 'Red Rants'.....

    Go ahead and rant on, Paul..... Im absorbing all of this like a sponge. Can you suggest any tunes/CD's I could purchase that would demonstrate the technique your talking about, as well as any of Red's playing that really moved you in particular?

    Savino said:
    I dont really think he has a light touch. just effortless.....

    Good point, Savino. I guess I just misinterpreted his touch since he's so good, he makes it look easy.
    Is CTS=Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
    Can you elaborate when you talk about a "bent Simandl wrist?"
    And, finally, what exactly is the Streicher technique?
     
  7. The Red stuff is available by searching all my posts or do a search under Reds name for alot of stuff.
     
  8. Good points - but IMHO you don't have to have a bent LH wrist to play Simandl (but soemhow thats how its often demonstrated) and a local pro who I admire always keeps his LH wrist arem in a more or less straight line at 90 degs tothe neck. Also IMHO many bass players have the bass set way too high. This might make for slightly easier bowing but it certainly makes shifting in and out of thumb position difficult and can make for a bent right wrist too (assuming your fingers are not of equal length :D ). Other disavantages are circulatory from hold you LH so high and inability to use the weight of the arm when you need it most: for notes by the nut.

    As someone who's inflicted CTS on himself in various circumstances (typing, data inputting, clarinet playing, bass guitar) I always aim for straight wrists.

    I admit that I have neither tried Streicher or Rabbath BTW.
     
  9. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Hey all... I'm beginning to work through the new Michael Moore method book, and I'm a bit stumped on something. I've played all along with the Simandl-style LH technique, and have never experienced any pain or anything adverse. I must say, Michael's technique dumbfounds me. In the book he says the "proper" technique is to end up, at least in half-position (Ab position in his terminology) with the neck in the palm of your hand for any passages in on the A or E strings. This seems counterintuitive to everything I've ever heard/learned up to this point. Can someone who has worked with this book or with Michael himself clarify this for me?
     
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Streicher Method. (Sp?) Using the weight of the arm to depress strings and no thumb. Like picking up an ice chest full of beers....
     
  11. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Josquin De Pres died centuries ago !!!
     
  12. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Thanks, gentlemen. I had heard about the Streicher method before, but had rarely seen it used, particularly among bassists here in my area. Thanks again.
     
  13. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Interesting....maybe it would be good for me since I have RSI and the thumb screws me up in lower positions - I'll check it out in NYC (along with Alexander tech.), maybe find someone who knows streicher method in the city.
     
  14. So? :confused:

    He is the author of a nasty book of bg exercises that require four finger stretches at the nut, and he advises you to spend at least 15 minutes on each before moving on to the next one. Guaranteed to put any noob straight into RSI agony :rollno: . What killed him - trying the saemm thing on a DB? :smug:
     
  15. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I am always suspicious of people that take on the name of a dead composer.
     
  16. OK Don - Google's come up with J De P 1450 to 1521 as slightly different spelt from the French born electric bass playing J Des P http://josquindespres.com/

    Now what's this gotta do with the price of fish - or have I been hooked and caught in a wind up? Not sure I want the answer to that! Peace.
     
  17. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Whatever. Would you take seriously someone that called themselves Amadeus Mozart ?
     
  18. Savino

    Savino

    Jun 2, 2004
    nyc
    The Streicher techinique doesn't aim to remove the thumb from the picture, just lighten the grip. What Michael means in his book is that your left hand grip is like a claw. The space between your fingertips and your palm remains constant. As you cross from the G string to the D to A to E, your palm gets closer to the neck. By the time you get to the E string, the palm of your hand should be touching the farside of the neck. Playing without the thumb serves only to alleviate the excess pressure many people place there. While I was studying with Michael he would continually come up behind me and pull my thumb to see if I was squeezing the neck too hard, until I learned to relax. This is crucial stuff in my opinion, whatever technique you want to call it.
     
  19. lownotes02

    lownotes02

    Jan 19, 2005
    Melbourne, Fl
    DZ said:
    Josquin De Pres died centuries ago !!!

    Did I mention I happen to be 1000 years old? We used hamster wheels to provide electricity to power our gear during lessons. ;)

    Mike Crumpton said:
    He is the author of a nasty book of bg exercises that require four finger stretches at the nut, and he advises you to spend at least 15 minutes on each before moving on to the next one.

    That book put me in traction for a week, but I was glad I put up with the abuse. His muted grooves book was my fave, it helped me with that Jaco 16th-note vibe.


    He hipped me to getting the growl out of the fretless and what Ray had said about plucking the string closer to the neck block was one of those "ah-hah" kind of things where the lightbulb went on, coming from an EB background. Not sure if his dad named him after the dead composer, but ya never know.......