speaking of fingers: Stanley Clarke vs. Anthony Jackson

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Roscoe East, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Sorry, it's a slow day in the studio so I'm killing time with TB Deep Thoughts:

    Stanley Clarke has gigantic hands with really long skinny fingers; he looks like he's got one of those Japanese Spider Crabs attached to each wrist...yet he plays a 30" scale bass with a narrow neck

    Anthony Jackson has little fat catcher's mitt hands with really short chubby fingers...yet he plays a 36" scale bass with a wide aircraft carrier neck

  2. joe vegas

    joe vegas Supporting Member

    right on.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    They have always had different goals. Anthony Jackson seeks the be the ultimate accompanist in the Jamerson mold although he is very influenced by others bassists like Jack Cassady. Stanley Clarke was always a gunslinger soloist. Clarke plays basslines, but I have always felt that really shines playing melodies and solos. I think a tiny bass allowed Clarke to fly. Anthony Jackson has always been more concerned with reproducing the tone in his mind, and a 36" scale bass lets him do it.
  4. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Stanley also started his electric life on a Gibson EB-2 (the semi-hollow bass brother to the ES-335), a 30" scale bass. I'm sure that has a lot to do with his preference in electric bases for short scale. AJ had been a long-time Fender player obsessed with (among other things) proper technique. Small hands with the thumb properly located and good fretting hand technique certainly work well together with a 34" scale or longer.

  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    That probably is the single best explanation for Stanley Clarke liking short scale basses.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hey, whatever makes each of them happy...
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...he also "flies" on his URB.
  8. frisbieinstein


    Dec 29, 2007
    I saw him play back then and I seem to recall he played a Guild bass. Phil Lesh liked them too.

    I'm sure the reason he liked 30 scales was that it is a lot easier to bend notes, and he did/does a lot of that. As did Jack Bruce and other 30" guys. Jack uses a fretless now.
  9. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS, D-TAR
    Have you checked out AJ's work with Michel Camilo and the like? He plays some ripping solos in that context.
  10. Stanley's red bass is a 32" scale Alembic, tuned to A D G C, and light gauge at that. There is almost no relief on the neck, and it plays like a guitar.