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Tony Levin funk finger technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by xroads, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    My band plays red rain from P. Gabriel, and I am about to learn this song.
    Anyway, I noticed in the live videos that T. Levin uses sticks on the right hand
    in order to slap (?) the strings.
    Anyone has experience with this or is using something like that?
    Looks pretty cool BTW....
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Google "Funk Fingers".

    Sent from my iPad using TalkBass
  3. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    When I saw the title of the thread I assumed you were referring to the way he plays the Chapman stick.

    The "funk fingers" became available again for purchase about a year ago after having disappeared from the market for many years. Here's the link:

  4. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012

    Sorry, I changed the title to avoid confusion.
    Thanks for the link!
  5. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    I have had a pair of Tony's funk fingers for quite a while. First saw him using them on the ABWH tour in 1989 and was amazed. I think I purchased my first pair in either the late 1990s or early 2000s and then picked up a pair of the revised style 5 or so years ago. I've practiced with them on and off for years but never felt I had the right technique or control with either. I only once used them at a gig. --and even then it was for one song at the end of the evening. That said, I recently started practicing daily with the newer (red) version and I am improving, though it is still slow going. One thing I can say that makes it worthwhile regardless is that it is clearly improving the strength in met two primary plucking fingers.
  6. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Interesting; on the original studio track of "Red Rain" Tony did not use the Funk Fingers (because they had not been invented yet), and for the 1986 So tour he also played that tune with regular finger-style plucking. But he's proven adept at using the Funk Fingers for all manner of tunes not originally played with them*, so I guess this shouldn't surprise me.

    *ever see him play "Heart of The Sunrise" with Funk Fingers when he toured with Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe? mind=blown

    fwiw I owned a pair of Funk Fingers from when Tony originally offered them commercially, and I gotta say, I couldn't get anything musically useful out of them! But I still love the concept.
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Check out Marco Machera using his Funk Fingers on the opening song of this EchoTest set:

    (If I did it right, video should cue up at ~8:50.)

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