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Pages: (2) [1] 2  ( Go to first unread post )

 Bass technique, Discussion of Klaus's bass playing
Matty
Posted: Sep 1 2006, 04:51 PM


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Klaus's playing on the Bangladesh DVD stunned me. He was so inventive with great rhythm, amazing groove. Any bass players out there like to discuss his technique?

Wah Wah and Bangladesh were real stand out tracks for me. He plays lots of pentatonic runs with emphasis on the chord tones, but also uses some great chromatic runs and octaves. Any other insights?

Best,

Matty


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Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
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Sutcliffe
Posted: Sep 1 2006, 05:16 PM


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Hi Matty!

Unfortunately, I'm not a bass player, but I did just want to say welcome to the board! Have fun smile.gif

Tory


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Suzanne
Posted: Sep 1 2006, 06:56 PM


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Matty have you ever seen Klaus play live? We just saw him in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, and he's as amazing as ever. He played on Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth, All Things Must Pass and Instant Karma. Fantastic! There's a link for All Things Must Pass in the video section...check it out if you get a chance. Not the greatest film quality, but you get the idea.

I'm probably more qualified to discuss the art stuff, but I hope some other musicians come on board to discuss playing techniques, etc.

Suzanne


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Matty
Posted: Sep 12 2006, 02:28 PM


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A while back somebody (Suzanne?) asked for pics of Klaus's bass. I found some on imdb.com. Example below:

http://us.imdb.com/gallery/granitz/3741/Kl...6257487_400.jpg

It's from the gala rehearsals for TCFB re-release.

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Peter_From_Moose_Jaw
  Posted: Sep 25 2006, 07:38 PM


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Wah Wah wasn't NEARLY as amazing as Awaiting On You All was, Klaus rocked in that song!
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Suzanne
Posted: Sep 26 2006, 12:19 AM


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Both great songs. I just listened to Wah Wah on iTunes...love it.


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Matty
Posted: Oct 12 2006, 09:03 PM


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There's a debate going on on the good ol' Beeb's website entitled "Who’s the greatest bass player of all time?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/music_we...e_bassist.shtml

I think it was originally aimed at bassists who really know how to enhance the song, rather than mega-technical players, though lots of the latter have been suggested, which is fair enough.

I suggested our hero a while back, along with a few others, but feel free to stand up for the cause!

Best,

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Suzanne
Posted: Oct 12 2006, 09:56 PM


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Thanks Matty! I left a comment... biggrin.gif


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Matty
Posted: Oct 17 2006, 06:05 PM


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Suzanne,

I've now seen your comment on the list. I see you also mention Edgar Winter's bassist who - I agree - is very impressive. Several people listed Macca but no mention of Klaus. I guess he gets forgotten since he hasn't played too much since the 70's.

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Suzanne
Posted: Oct 25 2006, 07:55 PM


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Matty,

In this photo it looks as though Klaus has padding under the strings of his bass. I don't recall seeing that before (but then I probably never looked at a bass quite as closely!) What is the purpose for this? I was thinking maybe it keeps the strings from buzzing or something like that????

user posted image


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Matty
Posted: Oct 26 2006, 08:09 AM


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Suzanne,

I hadn't noticed that myself, either, though I suspect it could be to stop string buzz as you suggest.

Bass players from that era seem to have gone for a very 'thunky' sound, similar to that of the double/string bass. They primarily used flatwound strings which promote that sound. When slap bass developed within the Funk community, the higher frequencies became more important. This developed further into the 80's and beyond with the likes of Mark King from Level 42. New roundwound strings - which give a better high frequency ping - were developed and used.

I think buzz can be a problem for any bass sound. Carol Kaye, probably the most recorded session bass player, who has been a pro musician since the 40's, advocates the use of a felt strip across the bass bridge as she believes this reduces unwanted buzzing etc (See tip 113 on here for an illustration if interested).


Best,

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Suzanne
Posted: Oct 26 2006, 02:23 PM


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Thank you Matty. I looked at her site and read a bunch of the 'tips'. Very interesting! This is from her FAQ section:

**********

Q. What kind of strings have you always used?

A. I've always used medium-gauge flatwound strings since I play exclusively with a hard pick (with a flat wrist, not like guitar players). And I always use a doubled up piece of felt muting on top of the strings just over the bridges to dampen the over- and under-tones for a cleaner recorded sound too (good for live work also). If you play with fingers and maybe sometimes with a pick, I'd advise to use only the foam underneath the strings barely touching the strings for this sort of muting of unneeded extra-tones,


**********

Speaking of strings, I have no idea what kind of strings Klaus uses on his bass, but in his book Four Track Stories he says that he never changed his bass strings--ever! I was very surprised to read that, since I just assumed that the strings would be changed the same way they are with any guitar.


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Matty
Posted: Oct 27 2006, 04:53 PM


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I hadn't read the Kaye excerpt you quoted before. I suppose that ties in with Klaus's use of the foam under the bass strings, since he is a fingers - rather than a pick - player.

Interesting that he doesn't change his strings. I'd heard Kaye say that of herself in interviews, though I think she generally obtains a new bass every few years, rather than using the same one since the 60's! Perhaps Klaus is like Willie Nelson, who has used the same guitar for decades because he likes it so much.

I've heard bass players talk about the merits of boiling their strings in a pan for an hour or so. Apparently it removes dirt and hence improves tone. I've heard it said that this does not work for ordinary guitar strings.

As a related aside, Carol Kaye is said to have been a big influence on Macca, particularly her playing on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.

Best,

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Suzanne
Posted: Oct 28 2006, 06:07 AM


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I would imagine that Klaus's bass is a very important part of rock history.

In the photos from the Concert for Bangladesh reunion last year around this time, Klaus had the bass we all know and love. Other recent photos I've seen of him playing (at Beatlesfests and other similar events) he has not had it. I gather he is pretty selective about when and where he plays his bass. Plus, it's always risky traveling with musical instruments.

Fender should make a Klaus Voormann signature bass complete with a replica of Klaus's original painting. Wouldn't that be amazing? I would buy one just to have it!

Interesting about boiling the strings! Sounds like a lot of time and trouble just to avoid putting new strings on your guitar... laugh.gif Just kidding...I'm sure it must affect the sound if they're doing it.

Thanks for the interesting info Matty!



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Matty
Posted: Nov 9 2006, 05:13 PM


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Klaus would appear to still use the damping material under the strings in recent times, as seen on this shot from a German Beatles' tribute concert last year.

As you'll notice, it's not his famous bass, but another Fender Precision.

user posted image

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Suzanne
Posted: Nov 10 2006, 04:42 AM


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Hi Matty,

Great shot!

I'm logging on from my brother's place in Florida.

I'll be back home Sunday night but I wanted to say THANKS again! Love this pic!

Suzanne


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Matty
Posted: Aug 11 2007, 05:42 PM


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Hi all,

Just returned from a rainy Saturday afternoon trip to a nearby shopping centre where I picked up a copy of Bass Player magazine. Pretty sure this is an American publication, so it should be available across the Pond too, in the US and Canada.

Anyhow, on the front cover, the following words appear:

'Klaus Voormann on John Lennon's "Whatever gets you thru the night".

I won't spoil too many of the surprises, should any of you wish to pick up a copy, but there's a bass transcription or two, some eye candy I hadn't seen before from the studio (with Lennon, Keltner, Jesse Ed Davis et al) and some news about what Klaus is doing today. I think some of the chronology in his biography section may be slightly wrong, but I'm prepared to be corrected on that one!

He talks about his influences as being James Jamerson (Motown "Funk Brothers" session bassist who played on loads of hits) and (possibly less expected) reggae bassists who played with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

If you have problems finding this mag and want more info, let me know and I'll write more!

Funny timing, but I'd contacted a British bass magazine a few months ago to ask if they'd consider doing a feature on KV and the reply said:
'Many thanks for your email and interesting suggestion for editorial. I can't promise anything, but we'll certainly look into it.' Who knows ...


.... Actually, I have to spoil the surprise on this one! They claim KV is about to release the Vootar, his custom 8 string invention. I feel like I read about that on this forum recently though can't seem to locate the message. Perhaps it was elsewhere ...

Best,

Matty


--------------------
I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Matty
Posted: Aug 11 2007, 06:47 PM


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Believe it or not, most of the text is online.

bassplayer

Enjoy!

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Matty
Posted: Sep 28 2007, 09:19 PM


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Hi all.

I was interested to hear Klaus talking about some of his influences in the recent magazine article.

user posted image

James Jamerson was his primary influence. While it's probably true that Jamerson inspired a generation of bass players (including Macca), and still does over 20 years after his death, it makes sense particularly with Klaus, now I've heard it. The syncopation and note choice sounds very Motown, even though KV played on very different styles of music. Further, we learn that Klaus played a ’64 Fender Precision with La Bella flatwounds. Suzanne had earlier pointed out that KV used a foam damping cushion near the bridge. Jamerson played a '63 Fender precision (which he named The Funk Machine) with flatwounds and a foam pad under its bridge plate. Further, Jamerson generally played that one bass guitar throughout his career and rarely or never changed the strings.

user posted image

user posted image

The other influences were more surprising: Aston Barrett and Robbie Shakespeare of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh fame. Then again, Reggae bass is (1) very syncopated and (2) very bassy! Klaus always went for a very deep bass sound rather than the twangy bass which came via the likes of Chris Squire of Yes fame. I was wondering how popular Reggae was in the 70's in the States? I think the following here in the UK was probably quite big.

All that said, Klaus definitely had his own signature sound, though it's still good to hear what he built that on.

I found a couple of pages on Jamerson which may be of interest.

wikipedia page

bassland.net

In the second one, there is a section on the claims of Carol Kaye, in which she purports to have played parts for which Jamerson is credited or believed to have played.

Best,

Matty


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I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Top
Suzanne
Posted: Oct 5 2007, 02:05 AM


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That is so interesting Matty!! Thank you for that great info. I will definitely check out those links.

Sorry for the late response. I've been out of town for a week!

Suzanne


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