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Tony Levin

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by bassduder, Jun 4, 2002.


  1. bassduder

    bassduder

    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    I was just wondering if anyone has any pics of Levin actually playing a bass, other than a Stick or Upright...Also does anyone have any info on his technique (e.g.: how many fingers does he use to pluck...does he slap or just use funk fingers to emulate the sound?, etc.)...Finally, what are some of his greatest grooves. I'm in the process of getting Peter Gabriel's Secret World album, which i'm told is dripping with groove.

    PS - I didn't know where to put this message, so I thought that since the general topic is about Levin, then I ought to put it here...:D
     
  2. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    There is a king Crimson DVD out of the double trio band that has Tony playing his Musicman on some songs!........great suff!
     
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    One of his greatest groove has to be sledge hammer with peter grabriel.
    Also shaking the three live is very very good!
    He use mostly a 2 finger technique, i never seen him slap though.
     
  4. bassduder

    bassduder

    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    I've read and "thought" I seen Tony use a three finger technique, but when I think back to the video I seen of him...its probably just like why everyone thinks Steve Harris of Iron Maiden uses a four technique...they both use a open hand right hand technique, therefore they can't control the independant motion of their other fingers.

    Am i right??:D
     
  5. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    There is an entire RealVideo-concert somewhere on the web, in support of his solo album Waters Of Eden, where he plays a fretless MusicMan most of the time. Unfortunately, I forgot the URL.
     
  6. Jontom

    Jontom

    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    He uses alternating index and middle fingers on his right hand(as everyone should). The whole "funk fingers" phenomena came from the recording of "Big Time" on the So album. Jerry Marotta is using two drumsticks to drum on the strings during the choruses while Tony fretted the left-hand notes. And in order to cop the sound live, he would attach (via velcro) sections of drumstick to his index and middle fingers, hence FunkFingers. "Shock the Monkey"
     
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    King Crimson's "Sleepless" is one of my favorite Levin grooves. Also, he played on Andy Summers' CD "The Last Dance Of Mr. X" and his playing is great all over that record.
     
  8. bassduder

    bassduder

    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    Thanks Jontom for the finger technique answer and I have yet another question...anyone know if Tony plays bass with Liquid Tension or is it all Stick?...I'm just wondering because on songs like Paradigm Shift he plays some pretty fast sixteeneth-note rhytms, and I wonder can he really tap that fast??

    Maybe I just don't know how a Stick really works??:confused:
     
  9. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    I have a live video of a couple Liquid Tension concerts and Tony plays a stick the whole time!
    Tony is just a mindblower to watch!.....one of my alltime favorites!!!!
     
  10. bassduder

    bassduder

    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    You wouldn't happen to be able to upload a song or two from that video onto the net would you jerry?
    :D
     
  11. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    I wish I was that computer savy:( I got mine off e-bay quite cheap tho:D
     
  12. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I think I saw him using the ring finger on the fretless during the Waters of Eden tour, but I might be wrong.

    From what I've seen lately, things that were originally slap (Sleepless - get the Three of a Perfect Pair video to see it slapped Yvon. Oh, and same for Thela Hun Ginjeet) he plays using the Funk Fingers now.

    On his last tour (with all the PG Band guys) he played fretted and fretless MMs and Stick. Oh, and electric upright cello too :).

    As for the fast 16th-note stuff on the Stick, it depends. If the notes are such that you can alternate between the two hands, then you can play *very* quickly that way. Repeating a single note quickly can be difficult, you have to learn a little "hop" technique where you alternate using two fingers on the same hand - and then it's still hard to do cleanly.
     
  13. bassduder

    bassduder

    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    I thought I seen him using a ring finger too, geshel, but I pretty sure it was just the way you (and me) seen it. Thanks for the info about the Stick, i'm not very familiar with the techniques, so yeah...ha.

    And yes too bad jerry, I would love to see Tony and the Stick in action...I could get some flack for that, ha.

    :p
     
  14. VS

    VS

    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    Here is Tony back in the day with Steve Hunter on guitar and Jimmy Maelen on percussion. :D
     
  15. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    On the first LTE album Tony uses a variety of fretted and fretless electric basses, his Grand (12 string) Chapman Stick, and his electric upright. For the second he chose to record the vast majority of songs with the Stick for both speed issues as well as contributing a more "uniform sound" to the project (If I recall correctly, only the middle section of "Biaxident" has "real" bass).

    Jerry is correct, however, in stating that for the four show "micro tour" in January of '99, Tony used only a Stick onstage.
     
  16. bassduder

    bassduder

    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    Thanks for the pic, versatile_stile, if I recall correctly, did you get that pic from a Gabriel site...? Also scarred2112 thanks for the Stick info, I like Tony's lines on Acid Rain, good stuff.

    What would you guys/gals think are Tony's greatest grooves? I'm in the process now of getting Gabriel's Secret World burned off, which should be groovy...

    I really like the end of Don't Give Up off the So album, and Sleepless with Crimson is also good...there are many more, I just can't think of them ha
     
  17. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Back in the "One Trick Pony" days with Paul Simon I saw him slap during a live TV concert (thumb only though).
     
  18. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    as a tony fan, I should rent it!
     
  19. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    It wasn't the movie though. It was a concert on MTV (back when they actually had music on) I believe.
     
  20. bassduder

    bassduder

    Jul 30, 2001
    Canada, GF-W
    Sadly, I don't get MTV...I live up north with MuchMusic...but from what i'm told, there both equally terrible? anyone.

    Anyways, does anyone think that Tony could play the stuff he plays on Stick on "real" bass (such as his patent MusicMan)? just a thought ;)

    Edit: with the exception of when he plays the melody on the higher resgister of the instrument.