Re: Me and my bass guitar


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Posted by Stinko Stanko on September 04, 2000 at 01:25:50:

In Reply to: Me and my bass guitar posted by Ted on September 01, 2000 at 06:55:25:

Just an observation… You just can't come away from the fact that every other post on this message board mentions Vic Wooten in some way… Odd, isn't it? Any way, here's my interpretation of Me And My Bass Guitar. This tune really isn't for starters, obviously, some good slapping and plucking knowledge is needed. If you haven't got a clue, I recommend you to check this site out, or basslinks.com, to find some lessons about it, and practice til' you are secure with that, then you could go on. I'd like to mention, though, I have no idea of how Vic actually plays the damn thing, this is just the closest I have come to the original. But anyway, the point is not to play like Vic either (LOL)…

Here's the main riff (copy it into notepad, and it should make sense):

S: Slap
P: Pluck
D: "Drum effect"
T: Tap


G:----X--X-----D--X-----X-----X--X-----D--X-----X- I
D:----------6--D-----7-----------------D---------- I
A:-------------D-----------7-----------D---------- I
E:-7-----------D--------------------5--D-----6---- I

---S--P--P--S--D--P--S--P--S--P--P--S--D--P--S--P-


Ok, here's some advice: Firstly, your left hand doesn't have to move that much. In fact, it pretty much stays in the area between the 5th and 7th fret. The tricky part with the left hand is to balance the pressure right between fretting and muting. All the pluck's are muted, the only actual tones notes comes from the slapping (and tapping, getting to that later) parts. Now, the right hand, there's the REALLY tricky part. To make it work at it's best, you gotta be totally relaxed in the wrist. The wrist does all the work, and if you do this wrong, too much energy is wasted. If you feel tired in the right arm after just a few seconds, you're on the wrong track. Try to use a "bouncing" movement (do I have to mention fast? ;-)) in your wrist. As you see on the tab, from the start you do a slap, two plucks and another slap. This works for me: Slap the first note, and bounce the thumb of the string. Now, when your thumb goes up, you automatically twist your wrist, and the trick is to take those two plucks with you in that movement. First pluck with your index, then with your middle finger, in this one movement, then you go directly down with the thumb again on the D-string to slap the G#. Easier done that said…

Now, you see I've written D all over the bar, which means some sort drum effect, playing the role of a snare drum. I use various techniques to produce this sound, I don't know how Vic does though, but there's a multitude of things you could do, just by hitting the string in different ways. Make sure though, that you have a plucking finger free to easily pluck the G-string after the "drum" (you see on the tab, there's a pluck after the drum effect, and it's not a bad idea trying to waste as little energy as possible by combining the two). You could do a left hand slap (which I described in a post further down this board, check it out). You could bend all your fingers down to a fist and go down on the pick-up in the bouncing wrist motion just described. Try to hit the pick-up with your fist in the wrist twist (no, really, that wasn't supposed to rhyme) coming from after you've slapped the G#. You can use a your thumb or a couple of fingers to pick the G (or G and D the same time, or all strings at once... Well, try everything you can come up with that sounds good) in a downward motion, just like using a guitar pick, and pluck the muted G-string on the way up. There's just a multitude of things you could do, let us know what you come up with, folks… After that pluck, there's a slap and another pluck, which shouldn't be too difficult to do, following what I've just written. Now, we're done with half the bar, and the rest of the bar is basically the same thing all again, only that you slap other notes. If you've got the first half together, the rest goes the same way. You get it.

So, you've got all that together, eh? Well, try this one then… This is the part where Vic starts to sing.

G:-19-X--X-----D--X-----X-----X--X-----D--X-----X- I
D:-19-------6--D-----7-----------------D---------- I
A:-------------D-----------7-----------D---------- I
E:-7-----------D--------------------5--D-----6---- I

---T--S--P--S--D--P--S--P--S--P--P--S--D--P--S--P-


G:-16-X--X-----D--X-----X-----X--X-----D--X-----X- I
D:-16-------6--D-----7-----------------D---------- I
A:-------------D-----------7-----------D---------- I
E:-7-----------D--------------------5--D-----6---- I

---T--S--P--S--D--P--S--P--S--P--P--S--D--P--S--P-


Basically, this is the same pattern as the first one, only that he adds a couple of tapped notes (A and D) on the upper part of the neck to the first B, which creates a Bm7-chord. The next bar he adds F# and B instead (hey, by the way, what do you call a chord simply concisting of the 1, 5 and 8, in english, that is?), and then it all repeats a couple of times. Simply put, just tap the B on the E-string with your left hand, and A and D (and F# and B) with your right hand's index and middle fingers. Then there's two pluck's after that. However, I tend to slap the first "pluck", or maybe a half double-thump is the name Vic himself would use. Try this: Tap the upper neck notes with your right hand, then you let your hand fall down, and slap the muted G-string on the way down. Let your thumb go through the string. On the way up, pluck the string with index or middle finger, and then you go the same way as the first riff til' next bar begins. Almost like using a guitar pick.

Well, that's pretty much what I've found out... Now there's a million ways to play the same thing, so experiment with it. The funniest thing with trying to pick a thing like this from record, or learning a new technique like this, is that you discover so much new things on the way. One thing I think is cool, is to REALLY listen to what you play, even when you fail (now I'm going deep…). Don't just get frustrated and start over again with the damn thing, 'cause sometimes when you play wrong, it could come out sounding quite cool. So develop that thing you played wrong, 'cause that's actually your own bass voice… If you can integrate that into your playing, new possibilities will open up along the way. Hope you get my point. I started doing that after I saw Michael Manring on the "Live on Bass Day '98" video (featuring no less than Victor Wooten, actually. And Rocco. And Oteil. And John Patitucci. Well, check it out!) talking about how he developed some of his own style of playing partly from developing his own ideas from bugs when he was learning Jaco's Teen Town. The reason I mention this here, is that trying to pick MAMBG worked the same way from me, and man… I've gotten some cool ideas… I hope it works that way for you too...

And remember… Don't think like "Yeah, I can play like Vic"… Ever. You can't. Hearing people trying to play like Jaco is ridiculous, the same thing with Vic Wooten. Make something creative out of this and let us all know about it…

Keep the beat…

Stinko Stanko





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