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 Pivitol moments that changed the way you play

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PostSubject: Pivitol moments that changed the way you play   Sat May 09, 2009 8:33 pm

I was thinking the other day about several different moments that changed my views on playing bass, and I was curious to hear your stories. I don't mean necessarily things like who influenced you on the whole, but just things you experienced that in a flash made you go "Whoa! Now there's an idea!" I'll give you some examples. These are all from watching MTV, as actually watching players doing things had an impact on my playing.

It's no secret that I use chords a lot, and you might be surprised to learn where that idea came from. It was from the live U2 video for I Will Follow (still one of my favorite songs to this day) that first appeared way back in the early days of MTV when U2 were still young and hungry. During the second verse where Bono sang "I was lonely inside, when they pulled the four walls down", I saw bassist Adam Clayton actually strum chords on his bass, and I went "WHAT? You can't do that on a bass!". Well, it stuck in my head, and I quickly lost my bias against playing chords on bass.

Another 80's moment was back in about 1984 when I had been playing for about two years. I would watch videos from bands I was in, and I felt like there wasn't a lot going on with me. My hands were moving a lot, but the rest of me wasn't. I wasn't able to figure out what I had to do in order to become more...something. So one night, my guitarist friend and I were watching the live Rainbow concert on MTV from the Live Between The Eyes tour...and seeing Ritchie Blackmore throwing his guitar around for the first time in my life absolutely set my hair on fire! I was stunned as I watched him doing the overhand playing, backwards hand swipes over the neck, dragging his guitar over the monitors, etc....and I was hooked! I then realized what my own live performance lacked. Presence! The ability to show that you are controlling the instrument, and not the other way around. From that day on, I worked on learning how to loosen up my stage routine. I guess it must have accomplished something, given how wrecked my neck, shoulders, and back are today! Laughing

And along those lines, it took (of ALL players and bands) bassist and lead vocalist Wayne Nelson of The Little River Band to teach me that it was OK to drop your left hand and arm away from the bass while riding an open string. He did this during the video for the track The Night Owl, and after I saw him do this, I went "Oh, DUH!"

Speaking of The Night Owl, here is the very video I speak of. If you have never heard it, it's a great tune with awesome harmonies. The aforementioned arm drop happens at 2:11:

So again, just little moments that had a huge impact on my playing.

I'd like to hear your stories! Wink

Eric Haven
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PostSubject: Re: Pivitol moments that changed the way you play   Sat May 09, 2009 9:37 pm

I will be biased but, as a primus fanboy rabbit , i took my main ''move'' from Primus.
But not from Les claypool, hell no. Maybe i'm the only to see him but i found that Larry ''ler'' Lalonde moving body and knees was so kool.

So yeah i took my move from Larry the shadow of Les. Also I think i am more a fan of Larry style of playing than Les style.

Edit: I love Larry's solo. He does some awesome tremmin action IMO. He's also a very underated guitarist.
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PostSubject: Re: Pivitol moments that changed the way you play   Sun May 10, 2009 6:45 am

Eh, the only huge change happened after an Iron Maiden show a few years ago.

I only played pickstyle, wouldn't even think of using my fingers. Watched mister Steve Harris up close, yeah, I need to learn to play fingerstyle.

Mentioned it to my best mate as we were leaving the arena, he says "tomorrow give me all your picks" and I did.

Bugger didn't give them back until I was better with my fingers than I ever was with a pick! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Pivitol moments that changed the way you play   Sun May 10, 2009 7:39 am

the first big change in my playing wasnt a change at all. similar to darkstrike, i just saw steve harris and geezer butler playing with their fingers, so i just always did too. i've tried pics since but they just have no more of an advantage for me, i dont like the sound they make except for the scrape sound down the strings and later seeing flea and claypool strumming chords and using thumb slaps, pops and right handed hammers ... definately changed my original ideas about how to play a bass.

im not exactly shure where my ideas of playing the bass as more of a lead instrument came from ... my super huge ego that obscures reality maybe? Razz

maybe it was from michael anthony playing one note over and over in the beginning of runnin with the devil ... i think i just expected more. he's a great bassist but i think he was always ordered to minimalize by ed. dont know ... i wasnt there.

the second was probably more of a change. learning to play all of justin chancellors tool, and later peach uk work. i learned how to play in a drop d and i play everything that way now (it seems that all the songs i write anymore revolve around either a full 4 string d chord, a g or an a). i also continue to search for that "depth" that the whole band and even moreso, aperfectcircle uses, and, that overwhelming tone ringing "wall of sound" (as i like to call it) that chancellor gets with adam jones. it rumbles my spleen around in my gutty wuts and i love it.

lately i been looking for the next thing to inspire me to learn it and add to my aresenal of styles .... coldplay and nickelback arent cutting it. i may have to go as far as to go take lessons for some jazz styles and techniques or some lessons on theory.
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PostSubject: Re: Pivitol moments that changed the way you play   Sun May 10, 2009 7:43 am

Cool tune! Great vocals in that one. These days most bands have one vocalist and that's it, Eddie Vedder and 2 million guys that try to sound like Eddie Vedder.

My style changed when I started listening to Stanley Clarke and Stu Hamm. I used to be a Steve Harris or bust kind of guy.
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PostSubject: Re: Pivitol moments that changed the way you play   Tue May 12, 2009 5:21 am

Where to start?

I think Jack Bruce & Frank Zappa's Apostrophe, which was played on the radio regularly in Cleveland. A bass player using a fuzz pedal?


This showed me the bass can be so much more, great EB-3 sound.

Stanley Clarke School Days- Redifined bass & it's role

Fred Frith- changed my whole idea of what music is & can be

Melt Banana & Noise Rock-
Exploring sound without traditional ideals
To some it sounds like noise but they are really tight.

as far as my Kahler - Jeff Beck & Adrian Belew are my two biggest Bass influences

Ironically me playing Trumpet in Elementary school & my Dad was a violinist, left a mark on me as well as my lead playing tends to be more horn or violin like, at least in my head.
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