Sound like Larry Graham on Hair


Sound like Larry Graham on Hair. Larry Graham, the legendary bassist known for his innovative slap bass technique, has left an indelible mark on the music world. His work with Sly and the Family Stone and later with Graham Central Station showcased his distinctive style.

Larry Graham Bass Playing Style

Larry Graham, a renowned bassist, revolutionized the instrument by popularizing the “slap and pop” technique, which became his trademark style. He is credited with creating the “Thumpin’ and Pluckin’” style. This innovative playing technique involves a combination of methods that produce a unique and distinct sound.

Before adopting this style, Larry initially played guitar and later transitioned to bass. When faced with the challenge of performing without a drummer or organ, he began slapping the lower strings percussively with his thumb and pulling on the higher strings to create a kick drum and snare-like rhythmic patterns. His influence extends across rock, jazz, and world music, making him a true pioneer in bass playing.

Gear settings

In the song “Hair,” Larry Graham’s bass playing is characterized by a funky, rhythmic groove. While specific presets and amplifier settings can be challenging to pinpoint precisely, I can offer some general guidance to help you capture that Larry Graham vibe:

  1. Bass Guitar:
    • Larry Graham is famous for playing a Fender Precision Bass, often called a P-Bass. The P-Bass has a warm, punchy tone that works well for funk and soul music.
    • If you don’t have a P-Bass, any bass guitar with a similar pickup configuration (split single-coil) can work. Focus on getting a clean, balanced sound.
  2. Amplifier:
    • Larry Graham’s preferred amplifier brand was Ampeg. Specifically, he often used the Ampeg B-15 Portaflex.
    • The Ampeg B-15 is a classic tube amp known for its rich, warm sound. It has a simple control layout with knobs for volume, treble, bass, and a switch for different channels (normal and bright).
  3. Amplifier Settings:
    • EQ: Start with a flat EQ (all knobs at 12 o’clock) and adjust from there.
    • Gain/Drive: Keep it moderate. You want clarity without excessive distortion.
    • Compression: Use light compression to even out your dynamics.
    • Treble: Boost slightly to emphasize the attack and brightness.
    • Midrange: Boost the mids a bit to enhance the growl and presence.
    • Bass: Boost the bass frequencies for that fat, round tone.
    • Volume: Set it loud enough to cut through the mix but not overpower other instruments.
  4. Playing Technique:
    • Larry Graham’s signature move is slap bass. Practice your thumb-slapping technique on the lower strings (E and A).
    • Combine slapping with fingerstyle, playing for a dynamic range.
    • Experiment with ghost notes (softly muted notes) to create rhythmic accents.
  5. Effects:
    • Larry Graham often used minimal effects. However, a touch of chorus or envelope filter can add some funkiness.
    • Avoid heavy distortion or excessive effects; keep it clean and groovy.

Remember that capturing Larry Graham’s sound involves more than just settings—feeling, groove, and attitude. Listen closely to the original recording, study his playing, and adapt it to your style.

Bass Tab Larry Graham – Hair – Graham Central Station

Here is a simplified version of the song ‘Hair.’

Sound like Larry Graham on Hair
Sound like Larry Graham on Hair – Bass Tab

Use your thumb to slap the strings on the E and A (lower) strings for that funky groove.

  • Combine this with fingerstyle, playing for a dynamic feel.
  • Remember to listen to the song for timing and nuances.

Feel free to explore variations and add your flair!

If you’d like to see more detailed tabs or learn additional parts of the song, you can find resources on platforms like Ultimate-Guitar, ChordU, or Songsterr.

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