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Funk Fingers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:26 am
by Larry Mal
Oh, man! How was I not aware of these?

The perfect stocking stuffer.

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:34 am
by mbene085
My thought process looking at these:

"Psh, that's stupid."

"Or is it?"

"I could actually use these..."

"Alright, let's try them!"

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:38 am
by Larry Mal
Did you order them? I'll get some, some day.

But, I saw Tony Levin playing bass for Peter Gabriel on TV some years ago, and he had long mallets attached to his fingers- much longer than these "Funk Fingers". They looked to be about six, eight inches long and had foam beaters on the end. He was drumming the strings with them.

Now, you had your thread about bass techniques, not sure if I mentioned that I kind of "drum" the strings a lot. I'm self taught and never did the slapping/popping technique like most people did with the thumb and hooked finger, I always drummed on the strings.

And this looks right up my alley.

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:55 pm
by Maggieo
My pal Jamie, who plays loads of funk and prog, swears by his set!

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:11 pm
by countertext
You guys are clearly not serious Tony Levin fans. Or Anton LaVey. Same guy, really.

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:35 pm
by Telliot
Tony Levin first used these back on Peter Gabriel's Big Time (you can hear it at the 0:34 mark), when he had Jerry Marotta use his drumsticks to strike the strings, while he fingered the notes on his fretless bass. To replicate the sound live, Tony came up with the idea of using the sticks on his fingers and subsequently used them with King Crimson, and with his band Stick Men.

Image

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:16 pm
by dc
countertext wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:11 pm
You guys are clearly not serious Tony Levin fans. Or Anton LaVey. Same guy, really.
:D

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:05 pm
by somanytoys
Tony is Anton’s secret identity.

Cape off, funky fingers & bass/Stick on - where’d he go?!?

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:28 pm
by mbene085
Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:38 am
Did you order them? I'll get some, some day.

But, I saw Tony Levin playing bass for Peter Gabriel on TV some years ago, and he had long mallets attached to his fingers- much longer than these "Funk Fingers". They looked to be about six, eight inches long and had foam beaters on the end. He was drumming the strings with them.

Now, you had your thread about bass techniques, not sure if I mentioned that I kind of "drum" the strings a lot. I'm self taught and never did the slapping/popping technique like most people did with the thumb and hooked finger, I always drummed on the strings.

And this looks right up my alley.
Yeah, I'm sure it's gonna be a bit of a learning curve and who knows, maybe I'll hate them, but it seems worth trying. I have modest but definite "guitar nails" for fingertsyle and classical and slapping (well, to be specific, popping) usually breaks them after an hour or two, so I have to decide "is this an acoustic week or a slap week?"

If I can get spanky sounds out of a bass without messing up my guitar playing, it's worth a shot, as ridiculous as they look.

It's the same reason I've never been able to really "dig in" with aggressive fingerstyle on bass. Have to strike kind of with the side of my finger rather than the tip, to protect the nail.

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:43 pm
by somanytoys
I saw that video, or one like it, where Peter Gabriel’s band was playing that song live, and maybe another of his in concert, on a round stage. I had wondered how he got that sound from his fretless until I saw that.

The ones he played back then were really long, like you said, almost adapted bbq skewers or something crazy. But he played them like a the legend he is, even as they skipped around the circular stage.

If I actually knew how to play classical properly with nails on my right hand, I’d probably just resign myself to a pick on bass, although I’d miss playing with my fingers A LOT. it’s how I play bass most of the time, and why it was kind of easy to play classical (the way I do). Plus, it’s kind of the reason I don’t grow my nails...

That might be cool, let us know how it turns out, if you get some.

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:27 pm
by mbene085
Yeah, I'm a diehard fingerstylist on guitar so I'm the same way on bass. I play with a pick when the mood strikes, but 90% of my bass playing, like 90% of my acoustic playing, is fingerstyle. I just kind of learned to play with a gentle attack that is oblique to the nail. I definitely still get a bit of "nail sound" to the attack, which I'd prefer not to, but not so much that I'd sacrifice my guitar playing to be rid of it.

But I'm also lucky that I inherited my grandmother's "diamond nails," as they're known in the family. At the age of 86 she could still use a 2" natural nail to drive a flathead screw if she so wanted. I play a fanned-fret baritone 12-string acoustic strung with .015-.0.70 strings fingerstyle without breaking or chewing up my nails, so having a bit of nail contact with a .135 low B on my 6 string hasn't ever been a problem - only slapping and popping do it, mostly because I end up hitting my fingertips against the top of the bass/pickguard below the strings as I do it.

Re: Funk Fingers

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:34 am
by somanytoys
Interesting, I also have very thick nails.

On my plucking fingers, it sounds like a pick if they're AT ALL too long, so I've always kept them pretty short. I can get many different sounds with my fingers, depending on how and where I play, but it messes me up with nails, and I can just use a pick if I want that specific sound. Which is not too often on bass (20% maybe), and never on my classical. I haven't had my regular acoustic for a while, but I typically play with a pick on it.

I play more with a pick with electric, mostly because I need to get a little better at it. When I play with my fingers I'm actually much better, more connected with the guitar itself, except maybe for the more extreme pinch harmonics. But I don't know that I could do it like Andy from Reverb, and only play with my fingers all the time, even for the harder stuff. And there's a certain fun to using the pick. But it's nice to know that if I ever drop a pick live, I can keep going with my fingers.