1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Tommy the cat triplets riff

Discussion in 'Ask Ray Riendeau' started by aenigmabassist, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. aenigmabassist


    May 23, 2007
    Hy Ray, can you please tell me how to play the extremely fast triplets riff of this song? I can't understand what technique Les Claypool uses, I've tried to watch the video of the song over and over, but without results...By the way, i found on the internet some tablatures of the song, the riff is tabbed like

    B---0---5-------------5---0---5--------------5 etc....

    Is this correct? I think there's some double thunbing, but I' don't understand....where :)

    thanx a lot, best wishes!!:bassist:
  2. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona
    Post's been sitting here awhile, had a couple secs, so figured I'd chime in.

    If you're talking about the intro to the solo bit, been looking at it (been playing it my way for years, oops). I see and hear no open strings, and don't see or hear that 6th mute after the pop, but Youtube isn't exactly maximum clarity.

    My suspicions look like this if double thumped:

    ...S S d u S
    D --------5
    A --------- Z (rest)
    E ----5-7--
    B 5-7------

    d = double thump (down) dragging it over the E for the mute
    u = double thump (up)

    The left hand's not fretting (all ghost notes) other than the pop, btw. Not complex, just a tongue twister, as are most of these things. Yay slap!

    Didn't know Les had double in his bag in '91. Looks it from the video, but hard angle to prove. I see the thumb waggling down there, so may just be. Oh. And the pops are (strings): D A D D.

    That's at least closer...sorry I can't be definite :meh:

    All online tab should be considered suspect - for instance, notice how he goes from 5 4 3 on the E string during the whole verse riff (and modulations), and in all the tab I just looked at, nobody catches it.

    ...S P S S P S S P
    D --5-----5-----5
    A ----------------
    E 5---4-4---3-3-- <-- something like that

    Somebody pulled a "Hey, can you play Tommy the Cat?" on me last night for the first time in a decade, so maybe the universe wanted me to reply to this...:eek: ooweeooooo

    Anyhoo, hope it helps some. Or at least gives you some wierd percussive technique that makes your drummer squeak.


    (p.s. this is also online, so by nature, still suspect...)
  3. PUCKBOY99


    Sep 17, 2007
    Maybe this will help:

  4. I can assure you all that Claypool doesn't double thump.
  5. Yea, Claypools wrist is just really, really loose and is capable of supersonic speed.

    He shows his thumb speed well in Hamburger Train and My Name Is Mud as well.
  6. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona
    Was pretty sure that he didn't. But caught it coming back up and getting some vibration off a string he wasn't hitting otherwise, so. Looked like it for a sec :)

    In the land of ghosties and mutes, it's a matter of the result rather than the technique. If you get the sound, and you can replicate the sound, hallelujah.
  7. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    I've seen him live from about 10 feet away and I swear he does, at least in a few songs

    My Name Is Mud for example. I don't see how anyone could possibly play that without DT.
  8. p1313


    Oct 31, 2006
    The muted sounding riff in my name is mud, where it basically sounds percussive, is done by thumping on with his left hand too. In the "hallucinogenetics" dvd it can be seen clearly. perhaps youtube it?
  9. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona

    No DT in My Name is Mud. Watch the video. It's like...right there! Not sure how it could be more right there. Sounds impressive, deceptively simple. But that's his superpower - which is what makes him a good bassist. Sneakiness.

    Though really, pay attention to the slop factor, it's like a wet noodle throughout the song.

    SHS (slap/left hammer/slap) ghosties. As I'd say are most of his moves that make people go "oooh". I still see no proof of DT.

  10. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    The verse riff is played with slapped mutes and left hand slaps


    Slap - Left hand index - Left hand ring (or pinky)
  11. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005

    The verse doesn't have any, but explain to me how you would play the intro without DT. I'd love to hear it
  12. It is not double thumping of any kind. Just really fast slapping of his thumb. Like I said earlier in this thread, Claypool is just really fast. Watch this video...

  13. aenigmabassist


    May 23, 2007
    Thanx a lot, your reply is very useful, i'll try immediately...
    p.s greetings from my drummer ahahahahahahaha
  14. aenigmabassist


    May 23, 2007
    Thanx a lot, your reply is very useful, i'll try immediately...
    p.s greetings from my drummer ahahahahahahaha
  15. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona
    I've been remiss. oops. Didn't see this...

    The way I used to do it was below - the PSSPSSPSSPSSP. Big cheaterfish apparently.

    Didn't have YouTube to watch his dealie back then. But I dorked - looks like what he does is SSH's. ssh. be vewwy vewwy qwiet. And look at the Woodstock performance on YT.

    He's rubber thumb man. Can't here due to a freak factory accident, but I would very much suggest learning how to do it his way. If you can get that kind of speed, would be very useful.

    Heh!! HI DRUMMAR! Hope it helped more than it hurt :)
  16. For my name is mud he doesnt DT. he slaps twice and then hits the fretboard with his left hand and does that to do the riff. theres a guy with a lesson on youtube who shows it and after seeing it you notice Les has been doing it and its an epiphany moment haha
  17. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona
    S (slap) S (slap) H (hammer) = SSH

    Oo! And double thumped would be:

    D(down) U(up) H (hammer)

    Then you got T (tap) H (hammer) P (pull) P (pull) T (tap) T (tap)...(raspberry)

    I like that. Good for students! "Okay, so. This new riff, do a DUH DUH SHH DUH SSH THPPTT."

    See what kinda facial expressions you get :) Gonna test that out...

    "Mom! He spit on me!"

    hmm. Maybe not. Recalculating.
  18. Mayers

    Mayers Guest

    Sep 28, 2007
    Sorry I'm a little late

    I have bought the official music sheet of that album of Primus and the bass solo is :
    ......T LH LH T T T etc ...
    B---0---5-------------5---0---5--------------5 etc....

    Exacly like that.

    T ( thumb )
    LH ( you tap the note with your left hand fingers )

    It is really easy to pull off once you get that motion ... and everyone think you are a slap wizard.

    I also have My Name Is Mud music sheet and it is really easy as well.
    .....T LH T T LH T T T LH T T LH T T
  19. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    Nobody ever catches this small E string decent when demonstrating Tommy the Cat, especially on youtube vids. Well done.
    My bass teacher got me some tab for this song @10 years ago and it was dead on, lucky for me. I dont know where/how he found it then, but that riff never sounded quite right until I got that tab and picked up that lil 5-4-3 nugget thats in there. Makes all the difference. :bassist:

    P.S.-Les's technique is dangerous. Beware! Don't underestimate the master.
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Sounds to me like left hand slapping, not double thumbing.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.