Posted by Milan on September 04, 2000 at 14:46:22:
In Reply to: suspended animation posted by Steve DePra on September 04, 2000 at 08:15:02:
I have to agree with you. As a bassist(semi-pro & professional at different times) of 22 years, I've certainly had my daliances with the blicka-blicka of the slap style. But no one ever asks me to play slap. This may well be because I don't slap very well. I've never been hard up for work, though, and have always turned down a lot more bass gigs than I take. This has been the case because: 1) I prefer to play in dedicated bands, not pick-up gigs and, 2)because of my day/night/weekend gig.
As a professional(full time for 19 years now) recording engineer/producer, I never ask anyone to slap. I often ask players not to. "Bas player, please check you thumb at the door"-Jack Richardson,1984. It's a cliched sound that does indeed remove a whole lot of personality from the bassists/band's sound. Slapping is usually tedious to fit into a mix where a song isn't actually centered on the slapping itself, and sadly most guys who slap up a storm should spend more time learning how to groove. Other than Stanley Clarke,Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, and very few others, most slappers are forgettable. These guys are mostly memorable for being the first. Stanley has recntly toured with another bassist(Hmmmm....).Not unlike Eddie Van Halen introducing tapping to mainstream rock(Harvey Mandel was doing it at least 8 years before Eddie). Eddie's the one we remember(okay Vai & Satrianai), not the train of 80s hair farmers that followed.
As for the current flock of famous slappers, other than Fieldy's God awful tone(this is only my opinion-I'm good at being wrong), their personalies are much more memorable than their playing. Compare anything Flea, Les Claypool, et al have recorded to the work of Pino Palladino, Bennie Rietveld, John Entwistle(talk about a signature sound).......and the shear musicality of the latter speaks for itself. It may not compete on a level with a well placed sock or dorky lyrics about fishing, but the bass playing is what I'm talking about.
Let the flames begin!!!
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