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River People - Jaco

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by steve66, Dec 16, 2005.


  1. Ive been listening to Weather Report- the Jaco Years. There is a song called River People where Jaco is firing off lots of very fast 16th notes in root- root -octave- octave notation. I was wondering about the right hand and finger(s)technique he used.
     
  2. My guess would be that he just played them with his index and middle and fretted with 2+4 and 1+3. That's how I'd do it.
     
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Most likely jaco only used his index and middle, but I could see competent 3 finger technique coming in handy for a tune like this. It's a bitch of a tune to play properly, primarily because of the strain it puts on your plucking hand, if you are comfortable enough with 3 finger technique though, you might have an easier time with a tune like this. But, if you never do 3-finger technique, I wouldn't necessarily learn it just for one song, Your call really.

    I play it with 2 fingers, when I learned it I would train myself to play the main riff for 6+ minutes at a time. Takes a **** of effort and endurance to retain consistency and timing, but it's a great workout too. It's a great tune.

    I think, the important thing, the real incredible thing about that tune is that jaco played the bassline with computer precision, the fact that he was capable of retaining such cleanness and evenness of tone and consistency of attack, is very very impressive.
     
  4. labgnat

    labgnat Banned

    Oct 29, 2005
    outta this world
    i have a jaco instructional dvd i forget the name of it but in that he says and uses only index and middle for plucking. except when doing chords he uses thumb and maybe other fingers, but for his fast picking stuff he plays 2 fingers, near the bridge which is where you want to pluck the string if your going for pure speed.
     
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Another technique you might want to experiment with would be double thumbing down/up with your thumb then 2 plucks with your fingers.

    You'd have to work extra hard to get it to sound consistent and good, but it would be easier for your hand.
     
  6. Yeah, if you can do that technique right. The double thump is so damn hard to do, I've been practicing it for 2 years and I can only do it very badly and off time (I can't do it). If you can do it however, this tune would be perfect for it. I'd love to hear a slap rendition of this one.
     
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Well, double thumb is hard to do especially when you're trying to get a slap/pop thing going. But, lightly thumbing up and down and lightly plucking like fingerstyle. Isn't that tricky. It's also a great way to practice slap/pop double thumb technique.
     
  8. Thanks to all that replied. I love all of Jacos work. I didnt think that this song would be so difficult to play.

    As Wrong Robot mentioned, "Takes a **** of effort and endurance to retain consistency and timing, but it's a great workout too. It's a great tune.".

    I think that is the key. The only way I can get the speed consistently is by playing 2 downstrokes using the thumb and 2 upstrokes using either the index or index and middle finger. (t1,te,i&,ma) or (t1,te,i&,ia), I will have to practice my muting. Any way, I will improve my 16th note technique as part of my practice schedule everyday using my above method. I am not on that type of technical level to use the index and middle finger and jumping between strings that fast yet.

    Thanks again !!