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unique technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jaysomething, Apr 14, 2003.

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  1. This is a follow-up of the 'unique technique' thread in the 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' forum.

    Here's the original thread

    OK, I've chosen to post the reply in this forum because I think it's more appropriate for what I want to talk about. For those who agree with me I invite you to post your replies here; and for those who don't, please do whatever you feel like doing.

    I suppose there are three things that I'd like to say.

    1. I find it quite amazing that for a musician who's played for several decades, all he seems to boast about is the number of strings on his bass and the technique he's been working on. I always regard Beethoven as one of the greatest musicians, even though I know nothing about his technique or gear. 7 string bass? Big deal.

    2. I've been much inspired by the discussion on Mr. Garry Goodman's unique technique. I'd like to thank him and everyone else who's contributed for sharing their thoughts (and music, in Mr. Goodman's case). After reading most of the posts on the 'unique technique' thread, I think my view on the importance of technique and musicianship, among other things, has become a lot clearer.

    3. A question to Mr. Goodman: What's your view on the possibility of utilizing your technique on a Chapman Stick? (I think it's a wicked instrument.) Also, I'd love to hear your rendition of 'Autumn Leaves' and 'Portrait of Tracy'.
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the best technique is a transparent conduit for the music.
  3. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL

    not having to worry about the technical barriers that keep us from playing whatever is in our head is where we want to be, no matter what we're playing. i think that as musicians, our instruments should inspire us to pick them up and practice as much as the music we play...i don't see the relevance of how many strings are on your bass.
  4. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    that's the clearest thought on this yet.
  5. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    warning :A long response: may be typos!
    Hi Jay Something-
    I think it is important to really read what I have written before commenting on it . I like your suggestion about opening this thread to discuss "unique technique ". I am finding out that there is a wide spectrum of playrers on this site. I will have to assume that when you comment on what I boast about ,that you indeed are a musician who has perfect pitch,click track timing ,can sight read a piano score ,knows modern theory and harmony inside and out ,knows tunes ,and you are also a composer.
    1) I think you missed the point of my post on "unique technique" If you indeed have visited my mp3 page ,which I put up for the sole purpose of supporting my post , and listened to all the audio ,we can have a discussion.
    These are rough recordings ,pre production if you will for an upcoming cd. It is a live Duo-no overdubs. The compositions i.e. the melody ,chord changes and form are tunes which stand on their own,without my bass playing .I have heard solo pianists play these tunes. The Duo recordings on the mp3 page receive four star ratings for radio air play potential from Bill Board ,Gavin etc. The point is ,most non musicians don't notice the bass part ,my technique ,what kind of strings I use-just the complete sound on the CD.(re: adhearing to the concept in John Turners post) .
    When I play a tune that requires an "Afro-pop" groove and it's only a duo,I need a technique that allows me to play the tumbao bass ,and the percussion groove and outlines the chord .I applied my technique ,nobody else had one that could get me through a whole tune playing all those parts at the same time .If you go to the page and listen to "Haleakala" ,you will hear a bass solo ,followed by a guitar solo.When the guitar plays a single note solo,everything else is my bass.
    The groove doesn't sound the same on a 6,5,or 4 string .That is why I "invented" a 7 string bass over twenty years ago ,to accomodate the technique that allows me to get that sound. 7 strings,who cares? You need 7 strings to pull off those parts- apparently enough bass manufactures though it was something to care about ,because 7 strings are all over the place now.The 7 string allows CREATIVE bass players an avenue of expression that guitar player don't have- 4 1/2 octaves.You know ,bass players are musicians ,right? And they may not have or play a piano or guitar-Don't these players deserve a full functioning instrument so they can play standards in the real book where the notes actually sound? This is a BASS SITE-yeah 7 string bass is a big deal .
    I don't need to boast about how many strings my bass has . I use them all .My unique technique SERVES the music I play.It's not a "trick". That is what technique is all about-I don't need to boast-I know I can play. If you think qualifying myself is boasting ,well think again-some of the members here aren't exactly nice ,in fact they can be quite rude. I started out with a simple inquiry,but when people respond to me negatively because my hard work threatens them . I have to let them know I am qualified to post what I do , but it's considered boasting by some. If I don't preface my response to their comments by reminding them of where I am coming from ,what I do ,have done ,then I could just be some "guy out of nowhere" not knowing what I'm talking about. If I tell you I played with Ronnie Foster(George Benson's keyboard player) ,Danny Ganz(#1 Vegas entertainer ) and Thelma Houston ,for example ,you might figure out I am a pro player,and listen to what I have to say.

    2) I don't know what you are saying here ,but if you got something from the post ,I'm glad. Percussive harmonics is a legitimate system ,a way to increase your options on a bass. It's not some trick you can only play in one spot ,in one key. I took a lot of punishment here for offering a unique way of playing.I learned that a large part bass playing has nothing to do with playing the bass.

    3) I had a road manager who was Emmet Chapman's next door neighbor circa 1974.He saw me playing a bass and a guitar at the same time ,and promptly introduced me to Emmet ,and I bought Stick Touchboard #173.I have been playing stick for over twentyfive years. I disagree with the string set up and tuning ,and started modifying instruments that would allow me to have ten strings low f# to high Eb. This led to several 7 string prototypes (7 strings being a compromise) and to the first built from the ground up 7 string bass.
    You can't really strum a stick. I get confused when everybody says "tapping" because there are several touch techniques.The stick uses touching ,or pressing to sustain a note ,and a tap to play stacatto .Emmet Chapman's stick technique was based on only using three fingers on each hand.I can't use less than four fingers.If you listen to "Kona Blend" on my mp3 site-it is the 8 finger stick type touching until the "C" section where the bass switches to percussive harmonics.
    Percussive Harmonics sound ok on a stick ,but it really "thrives" on roundwound bass strings-I use GHS .
    Listen to" Can I keep this Dream" .The first minute is solo bass .This is one way I play a tune like "Autumn Leaves" I can't post non originals at this time at MP3.I would play the melody ,where it is written on the right hand ,and comp chords/bass with the left ,and on end of phrases "fill" with percusive harmonics .On the nine string ,I am going to record "Freedom Jazz Dance" soon. It has melody in octaves played with right hand ,and a three octave funk bass groove and 6 part chords played with the left. That's taking solo bass to a new level,and it only sounds the way it does on a nine string. I thought about doing an up ,swing version of " Portrait of Tracy " ,all harmonics,and modulating keys several times .I have to do it right ,so I'll play around with it for a while.
  6. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    do you have the patent on the 7 string? You know I think your technique is cool but What do you do when you play with a rhythm section and stuff? do you step down and take your rightful support spot or do you expect the band to step down?
  7. Hi Garry,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. Here's what I'd like to say.

    Well, no, not quite. I try to be a good musician, and I take it seriously: I think that's all I can say about myself really.

    I do, however, disagree with your point as quoted above. If you are right in making that assumption, then I suspect that most people here will not be qualified for commenting on what you boast about, which I just don't think should be the case. Anyway, my point is that, firstly, I don't know you personally and there is simply no reason for me to make negative comments on you. Nor do I see you as a threat: if I did see someone as a threat simply because they are a better player than me, then I would have felt threatened all my life! Yet the fact is that you have made one total stranger feel that you're boasting about your technique and the number of strings on your bass. That's why I made my comment, and I doubt that my case is a unique one.

    However, I'd like to apologise because I think you're quite right in saying that you're not boasting because you don't need to. I am sorry for not being careful enough in making comments on you.

    But still I feel like expressing my opinion on what you've said. It strikes me as if you've put way too much emphasis on your technique, as well as the fact that you play basses that have got more strings than the more 'coventional' ones. I was convinced that the technique you introduced to was a unique one at an early stage of the discussion. But since then I just kept seeing you defend, with much effort, that your original statement regarding the uniqueness of that technique is true. Why bother putting in so much effort? If the sole purpose is to let people know about your technique, and as it's turned out, some of them are just not very interested, then why not just forget about it? This is something I can't make sense of; but since it's only my opinion, and it's not got much to do with bass techniques at all, I'll stop here.

    Yes, I've indeed visited your MP3 page - quite a few times in fact. I do like the things that you do. But I do not have much to say or ask about the songs. They are nice, that's about all I would say really...

    Still I am not convinced. Perhaps that's because I had heard about and seen quite a number of 7,8, or 9 string basses when I read your first post. But more importantly, the fact that this is a bass site does not, as you've recognised, stop it from being a site about music. And once I take that into account, I just don't see how your 7-string bass deserves as much emphasis as you've put on it. Nor am I interested in who you've worked with...but that's just me again...

    Ha, please don't worry about it.

    Incidentally, I've seen someone playing a stick at Leiceter Square in London (unfortunately, I don't know his name), and he did strum it, with a wah pedal, just like what a guitarist would do. I thought the sound he got was pretty funky. Just for your interest...

    Anyway, I do look forward to your forthcoming MP3's. Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my post.

    Jay C.
  8. Well I'm new here ,but after reading all the posts , I see some potential misunderstandings.
    First of all ,why do all the players from the U.K. seem to be the ones knocking Garry Goodman?
    Jay- I think you took his response as if it was aimed at you. It looks like he was letting you know that many members tried to say that his technique wasn't original ,the 7 string was an ego trip ,etc. . You asked what the big deal was with a 7 string. You asked,he didn't need to rehash it all again. It's all in the other posts.
    The part about musicianship wasn't a "put down" to you from what I can see . I know I never noticed a E7 (+9) until I heard Hendrix play it ,even though I grew up listening to jazz. I think he was saying you should be able to hear what he is playing before you knock it. If you can't play it yourself , I know I can't , then how can you post what you do? He takes the time to reply to your questions ,then you criticize his reply .
    The rest is you saying "I like choclate ,and you like vanilla " So you don't like his music.
    It looks like you set this thread up just so you could tell him that you don't like him or his music. I think he lets you know who he has played with so you don't think he is a novice.
    I get frustrated here because your whole line of thinking looks like it's based on envy , not true musical intrest. You go out of your way to let him know you saw a Stick player strum a stick . Wow ,is he gonna feel stupid when he reads that. I think anybody that bought their first stick in 1975 knows what he is talking about.
    The guy has some good things to say , but you don't want to listen. If it wasn't for Mike Dimm and Garry Goodman ,and a few other guys that are serious about bass playing , I would be off of here already.

  9. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003

    Hi Chris ! -i was told you can't patent an idea ,because somebody can change some design specs ,and it's not the same instrument. I was never interested in a patent ,but rather a bass that was built to my specifications .
    I work with rhythm sections all the time .I don't think of it as stepping down,and if I want them to call me again ,I wouldn't think of asking them to change their arrangements on my behalf.
    I play what the job calls for. This percussive harmonic thread was just about introducing a technique to give a bassist more options .I don't just play 7 or 9 string with harmonics ,or stick style all the time . This is TalkBass ,so I asked a pro if anyone would be interested in a technique that took players to the outer limits of solo bass playing . The mp3 site music is just for that project and solo /duo bass playing . I play a four string and sing rock and roll as well.
  10. Hey Roy,

    This is gonna be my last post on this topic. I'm really sorry but I don't think I can make any more useful or interesting comments, so I'll call it a day.

    I just wanna say 5 things for myself quickly before I shut my mouth.

    1. I didn't say what I said because I'm from the UK, which I'm not (I've only been here for 6 or so years). Don't think nationality is the issue here.

    2. I really feel no envy for anyone, hence my line of thinking wasn't based on envy at all. You can choose to take my word or not, but I say this with all my sincerity. The first two points in my first post were half critique, half self-expression. The third one was purely out of interest.

    3. I do like Mr. Goodman's music. I'm not super crazy about it, and I never wished to pretend that I was. What I didn't like and agree with was some of the things that he posted. I am aware that taste of music is essentially a subjective matter, and I'd never intend to critize anyone's artwork just because it doesn't really touch me.

    4. Never wanted to make Mr. Goodman feel stupid either. Why would I? I'm not clever and I'm no pro (and I do believe that Mr. Goodman is a very experienced pro musician). The thing about strumming the stick was, to be totally honest, just to share my experience. Perhaps I was being a bit naive there, but that I see no need to make an apology for.

    5. I think I did listen to what he said; maybe not as carefully as I would in a lecture though.

    Apologies for this post's being quite irrelavent to bass techniques.

    Jay C.

  11. Beethoven's gear was a 5 string Fender Jazz with active p/u's and eq's. He used a Working man's 450 watt amp. He usually used fingerstyle but if he wanted to get funky he would throw on the wah wah and slap that bass silly.

  12. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    cool man thats cool that you do both. a lot of people get hung out in the strange bass world and can never get back to just being a supportive member as opposed to the tappy harmonic strap piano guy (I still think your instrument needs a new name). I was just curious about the patent because if I had a design for a bass I'd patent it. people can obviously change the specs but if I had designed it perfect then their basses would be inferior :) . but since you just had the idea and not the design I could see where you would have trouble. So.....coming out east any time soon? I'll send down some the wanky bass players at berklee to check out our stuff that kind of thing goes over big (meaning the harmonic tapping stuff)
  13. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    Ok -
    Roy-I appreciate the enthusiasm ,but I can reply to posts addressed to me ,and would appreciate it if you would not color the situation ,even though you maybe on track.Thanks.

    Jay- You started this thread ,probably to assist in getting the original thread closed.
    I responded to your questions ,but somehow you have taken what I have written out of context . I appreciate the fact that you are not thrilled with my smooth jazz/world music compositions. I wanted to find out where you are at as a musician in order to clarify just what it was you are trying to express.

    Here's the story: Having played Fender Bass VI since 1964 ,I have put in some time as
    a bass guitarist. I also play other instruments. In order to play what I hear in my head ,I needed at least four and one half octaves to play it over. I was one of the first stick players . Over the years I developed a different way to use an electric bass.It allowed me to create new ways of playing .One method I choose to call "Percussive Harmonics". There are different ways to apply this technique .The music on the MP3 site is one way to apply this technique . Used in combination with a bass guitar with a 4 1/2 octave range opened a new avenue of expression for creative bass players that want to play all the chord forms available to the pianist . Some players want to be able to play a tumbao and a clave groove at the same time ,or a rock grooves with chords.The 7 string bass gives me 4 1/2 octaves(the nine string even more) to play a bass and chord groove that does not distract from the tune ,and adds tremendous soloing possibilities. Just like the Clarinet family has a number of different types of Clarinets ,the bass guitar family has a variety of different basses. Being the first 7 string bassist is part of the history of bass guitar ,for those who do care . There is a very unique groove on the tune "Haleakala" .It has never been heard before on a bass track.It needs all 7 strings ,and the percussive harmonics allow the bass ,chords and percussive rhythm to all be played simultaneously. This is taking solo bass to the outer limits.
    The Bass solo on"Haleakala" is both fundamental tone and harmonics ,sounding at the same time. It is a very unique sound.
    Although you seem convinced that nobody on TalkBass cares about what I play or seven string basses ,I have received some comments and "wows" and "cools" from some members. Since I have only mentioned my mp3 page on TalkBass ,I find it odd that I have had over a thousand plays already on the tunes ,and over 200 emails there inquiring about my playing.Amazing for a non interested members.
    I think bass players are musicians ,and enjoy creativity.If you don't think the music is anything special ,why would you look forward to new MP3's? . I never intended to imply you were being negative ,or weren't a great musician .I mentioned those musical skills earlier because I wanted to verify that you were in a position to make a valid critique. Your issues revolve around personal taste ,and your own acceptance of the existance and justification for 7 and 9 string basses. Me standing up to comments such as "I learned that technique last year" (yeah ,right) and having to do so is something you considered boasting .
    Well you moved the unique technique over here ,Steve closed the thread ,and that being done ,you are done as well- very interesting "Jay".
    Those of you who emailed me with positive comments ,thanks.
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    pun intended right :D
  15. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003

    Hey Chris-my current 7 string was built by Michael Tobias in the 80's .I asked him about a patent ,and he told me it wouldn't matter ,plus it was his body andheadstock design. When I get the CD done ,and it's released ,we might to some dates out your way.Heck ,we'll play for anybody who wants to listen to our music. Almost.

    I played tuba and uprigt in school ,and worked with old R&B groups ,Country bands ,the circus ,prog rock bands ,jazz trios ,the whole bit so I could keep working.
    I like singing all kinds of songs and playing my '67 blonde Hofner g500/1 Beatle Bass .Four strings.It feels good to play a four string.
  16. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    So-it's true! I had always heard he used a wah wah pedal.

  17. Jay, nothing personal here. As far as making anymore useful comments , I don't think you ever made any useful comments on this thread . First you say you aren't knocked out by his music ,now you say you like it. I apologize to you and Garry for getting in the middle of this.I just didn't get what is was you were getting at with all of this. You seem very intelligent , so what was all this?
  18. Garry
    I am sorry about all that . :(
    I wanted to get back to the topic of the thread here . On Haleakala ,you play a solo that sounds like it starts out with harmonics ,and then you do this A major scale ,but incredibly fast and I can hear every note . Aside from the fact that is the fastes scale I have heard anyone play on a bass ,i t sounds like a xylophone player hitting the strings with mallets .
    Then after all that you just suddenly go from the scale to a ,I think ,C#7 (+ 9) Hendrix chord all arpeggiated. I can't even begin to figure out what your right hand is doing.The same goes for the accompaniment underneath the guitar solo . If it's too long to discuss here , can I email you about this?


  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga

    i think it's interesting that

    1. you started posting, and have only posted, in garry goodman threads, to back him up from perceived attacks. there's over 3/4 of a million posts here at talkbass, and yet you seem to follow mr. goodman around like a toadie.

    2. you have attacked folks who disagreed with him, but otherwise had nothing to say to you.

    and most telling...

    3. you have the same exact "keyboard problems" and typing style as mr. goodman.

    i wonder why that is?


    hey garry, cut it out. :mad: you're not doing anything for your credibility by having "someone else" back you up who is so obviously you. at least go spend 10 bucks on another keyboard so that you don't make the same "keyboard errors" when you type.
  20. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    7 strings suk.

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