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Monday, July 23, 2007

Bass Lesson: Finger Style Technique

When I think about fingerstyle funk, I think of Francis Rocco Prestia of Tower of Power (I also think about the great Jaco Pastorius and the always funky Paul Jackson, but I got to maintain some focus here, eh?).

Rocco is one of the master of this style and has laid down the foundation for generations to come. Their Back to Oakland record changed my life. I bought my first copy in a second-hand store in McAllen, TX (I think the Rio Grande Children's Home on Old 83). The vinyl was old, dusty, and beat to hell. But, I didn't care. It intrigued me. From start to finish, it turned me upside down, trying to learn its grooves. I'm still moved every time I hear it and you should be, too: Tower Of Power

Another key album is the self-titled album with the classic "What is Hip?"

Here's a look at various fingering styles for bass guitar. When trying to decide what style to use, you should always look to the song. It's key to play in support of the song. IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT THE SONG!


Melanie said...

I just think it's amazing that you are doing this. I have been referring your lessons to people I know that play bass or guitar because I just have a feeling they will get something out of it.


Melanie said...

I just noticed you changed the name of your blog. I think that is a very common phrase for me -- "hurry up and wait." LOL It describes life here well. :)

Loretta said...

Hey. . .Let's not forget about "Bump City". . . w/"You Got To Funkifize"

It's amazing the talent that band had back in the day and still today!

Lenny Williams. . .an amazing vocalist.

Tower of Power was and still is a staple amongst los chicanos.

Not only great musicians, but they were able to touch the hearts of those who loved their music.

My MOM. . . loved ToP and played their stuff loud in her 70 Grand Prix. At 17, leaving for the Marines, my older brother cried over the loss of his first real relationship to "You're Still a Young Man." And me. . . thinking of him in Cambodia, crying every time that song was on the radio. . . praying he was safe and wishing he was home.

Their music will forever be part of the soundtrack of my family.

Loretta said...

Postscript. . ..

Another band you may have heard of "Mandrill" were also of the same vein as ToP. . . but from the East Coast.

The Wilson Brothers (horns & leaders of the group) were born in Panama.

One of their best songs "Fencewalk" has an Ohio Players type of intro. . . "War" like vocals.

This group was the funk. . .they were Baaad!!!

Vintage cab used on MM debut (two 15" Jensen speakers).