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Sly and the Family Stone Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by letsjumpnow, May 16, 2005.

  1. letsjumpnow


    May 16, 2005
    Hi guys,

    I'm thinking about taking up bass over the summer. I've played drums for 11 years, but want to play something melodic.

    I like the really thick, raw bass on Sly and the Family Stone's albums, especially "There's A Riot Goin' On". Does anyone know what kind of bass it is, or how I could get that type of thick sound?

    I would really appreciate any help. I know nothing about bass, but am excited to learn.


  2. I'm not sure at all, but I guess it's a Fender P or J!

  3. The bass player was Larry Graham and he played Fender Jazzes
  4. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    IMO he's famous for those white, Moon "jazz" basses.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    This was way before Moon;)
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I had that album when it was new and I remember seeing lots Jazz basses in the various photos on the inner jacket.
  7. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    Actually, you could get Larry Graham's sound with just about any bass with the right passive pickup type. That tone was in his hands, in the way he played with his thumb (using it like a pick).

    However, good Fender Jazz doesn't hurt things.
  8. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Someone chime in here, wasn't "riot goin on " album after Larry Graham left? I believe the bassist for "riot" was Rusty Allen, but the bass was still a jazz bass. :)
  9. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I did the research and larry did play on that album :cool:
  10. When I saw sly play back in the early 70's Grahm was playing a Fender jazz through 4-5 Kustom K-200s amps.

    Regards Al
  11. simpy1


    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    Whaaaaa! I think everyone here just got shown up. Excellent use of name dropping, and now jealousy ensues....
  12. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
  13. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    I freakin love the bass line for If You Want Me To Stay. Thank You is another great one.
  14. You can get the Larry tone with a jazz bass pretty easily if you are Larry :)

    Larry has a VERY percussive style. I watched his instructional video and he hit the strings HARD! I tried doing it for a while and it hurt but thats how he learned.

    Jazz bass with an extra percussive slap is what you need.
  15. The 'Sly and the Family Stone' tune with the best bassline, hands-down, in my opinion is "high on you". Bass player Bobby Vega playing a jazz bass with a pick. Bobby was only a teenager at the time and it is without doubt one of THE landmark funk basslines.Only Bootsy, JJ and Rocco are any funkier in my book (oh and maybe Jaco and jerry jemmott!!).
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    I think "If You Want Me To Stay" was Sly on bass. According to Graham, Sly was a pretty good bassist though uncredited AFAIK.

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