Larry Graham

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Larry Graham

Postby harleyyy » Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:15 am


Although bassplayers for decades, indeed into antiquity, had been "slapping" their basses with their thumbs using a rotation of the wrist, Larry Graham pioneered the art of slap-POP playing on the electric bass guitar. The slap-pop style, archetypical of modern funk, couples a percussive thumb-slapping technique of the lower strings with an aggressive finger-snap of the higher strings, often in rhythmic alternation. So-called "Machine-gun bass" (as exemplified by Mark King, Flea, Stanley Clarke, John Norwood Fisher, P-Nut, Dirk Lance) relies on the slap-pop technique, incorporating a large ratio of mute/ghost tones to normal tones.

Graham played bass in the highly successful and influential funk band Sly & the Family Stone from 1967 to 1972. Upon the band's disintegration due to lead singer Sly Stone's drug addiction, Graham formed his own band, Graham Central Station. The name is a pun of "Grand Central Station", a famous train station located in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Graham Central Station had several hits in the 1970s, including "Hair."

In the early 1980s, Graham recorded five solo albums and had several solo hits. His biggest hit was "One in a Million You," which reached number 9 on the Billboard chart in 1980.

He recorded another album in the late 1990s, with a new band using the Graham Central Station name. Two of the new members were former Family Stone bandmates Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini. He also toured with Prince and his band as his bassist in 2000.
"I try to keep 'Thou shalt not kill.' The rest of them I'm kind of shaky on." Willie Nelson
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Postby hmagman » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:39 pm

Gotta tip your hat to Larry. Credited with the slap/pop technique for electric bass, he's a innovator for sure! I remember when I first saw Sly with Larry playing his style...sent me right into the woodshed for two months. LOL!
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Location: San Diego, CA

him and jamerson is where I got my pops

Postby chuckroast » Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:58 pm

"Thank you falletame be mice elf" I believe was the one that made the snapping bass a major part of the hook you were hearing all over the world on the AM radio. "If you want me to Stay" was just about ALL bass and vocal.
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Postby luve2fli » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:15 am

I'm still trying to figure out some of the runs in "Earthquake" by GCS.
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Postby Monkeyboy » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:41 pm

Not sure if was Larry, Sly or the producer but aside from the lines-which are classic! But the audio effects, distortion, overdrive and all. IT seems to me they were experimenting with different things just to try them out and I LOVE the end result! It's hard for me to imagine some of the basslines without the effects on them! To me, another milestone. Granted most of the time, a fairly clean signal is needed for a majority of the stuff we all are going to play...just makes you wonder what a little overdrive could to to a track your laying down.
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