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"What is Hip" Tips

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jazlikethat, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Jazlikethat


    Feb 25, 2008
    I'm playing "What is Hip" by Tower of Power for school and I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips on how to play it. It involves mostly 16th notes through the whole song. My biggest question is whether to use two finger fingerstyle or a double thumb thechnique. Thanks
  2. Wasim


    Dec 10, 2004
  3. Look up a dude called marlowedk on youtube. He posts a lot of play along videos that show you everything you need to know about the song. he rocks. Or just watch Rocco, you can't ever go wrong there.:bassist:
  4. At tempo the main verse riff, (with high and low octaves of the E), was giving me some grief... I noticed that if I started the whole pattern on my other plucking finger, (right hand), I would have the right finger available to play the E up the octave...

    Small change that made all the difference...
  5. Fun! This tune always gives me fits if I don't have some shed time to loosen my hand. The 2 finger method is the traditional way but sometimes if my hand is not keeping up I switch to the Mark Knopfler technique of playing the downstroke with my thumb and the upstroke with my 1st or 2nd finger. With a little practice you can get very fast even 16ths. You can even mute with the side of your hand to get a good approximation of the Rocco tone. a double thumb technique would work too if need be.
  6. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    Also TB's own Alvaro (alvabass on youtube) has a video of that song (in a fretless) that sounds great
  7. The best advice I can give you is to sit back, relax and let your fingertips do the work. I've played this song a huge amount over the last few years and it takes a lot of work to get it all even. There's a fine line between whether you can dig in more and get more punch as well as get the notes in the right places, or whether you sit back a bit, lighten up your touch and go with the flow. It really depends on how well the drummer does the Garibaldi thang. The main E 16th note sections I tend to start with my middle finger and alternate between middle and index, just means your fingers get to the octave notes in the right spaces. It helps sometimes if you play through those octaves, keeping them as 16ths instead of holding them over the bar line as a full accent, means you can relax a lot more.

    One key factor is being able to play it without tensing up, I found that my elbow would start coming out, my shoulder would go up, my arm would start to tense up, and my fingers then wouldn't work properly. If you try and play it effortlessly it will come much easier.

    Hope that helps, I'll try and shed some more light on this one when I'm not stupidly tired after a rehearsal and an hour in the car.

    Good luck.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It becomes surprisingly easy to play if you use a pick but it isn't half as fun. :)
  9. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    2 fingers
  10. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    Rocco is ALL ABOUT the two finger "gallop", the man is a genius. I still haven't mastered that tune
  11. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I was lucky enough to meet Rocco in Vegas this year and he said - these are His words- 'don't waste your time learning my stuff note for note - it's all about the groove'.
  12. Noticed he is playing through a GK in that Video,
  13. DaneB


    May 25, 2008
    Western Australia
    Oh cool, I didn't know Marlowe did What Is Hip. I'll have to go look for it.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You could slap it and play it twice as fast like Marcus did ;)

    Interval drills using strict alternation helps for playing this tune.
  15. DaneB


    May 25, 2008
    Western Australia
    I didn't really like Marcus' version. Lacked the thump and epic horns (I think) of the original.
  16. I think the key to ALWAYS alternate your fingers and PLAY IT SLOW. REALLY SLOW Put the metronome @50 BPM or so. If it grovve @ 50BPM it'll groove @100
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    sweet post, thx!

  18. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    My band has recently pick this one up and the thing I,ve noticed is the tendency to play it at a break neck tempo. I told my drummer to go back and listen to the original, it aint goin 90 mph. I think the man himself put it best in a post above, its all about the groove not how many notes you can get in there.
  19. If you can find it, there's a great Minus Me (or is it Minus One?) recording of TOP and What is Hip? and other tunes available. I've got it loaded into my computer and have software that allows me to drastically alter the tempo without changing the key. Trust me, I'm slowing it down not speeding it up! And just for the record I still don't have it down... But I'm gettin' the groove!
  20. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    True. However, I'd say if you don't nail the runs like at the lyric, "But you ain't exactly sure what is hip", people will think (rightly, imho) that you are teh suXorz. ;)

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