Friday, January 13, 2012

Larry Graham's Ten Funkiest Bass Lines

Larry Graham's slap-and-pop technique revolutionized modern bass playing. The legendary musician is a pivotal figure in the bass world because of his phenomenal bass-playing skills and innovations on the instrument. He has influenced a generation of bass players, and his influence can be heard everywhere today in various music genres. The funk master has created a number of great bass lines over the years as a member of Sly & The Family Stone and later with his band Graham Central Station. I put together a list of what I think are his ten funkiest bass lines. Starting with number ten, here they go:

10) It's Alright - Graham Central Station
Larry's slingshot bass line catapults the groove to its funkiest capacity.
Check it out
Download at Amazon

9) Hair - Graham Central Station
Larry was always coming up with interesting and unique bass lines at odd time signatures. This is one of his most creative riffs. And if you're a bass player, it's really fun to play.
Groove to it
Download at Amazon

8) Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa - Sly & The Family Stone
Larry puts some extra stank on this nasty groove with an incredibly funky bass line.
Check it out
Download at Amazon

7) Earthquake - Graham Central Station
A bass-playing extravaganza where Larry rocks out as hard as he funks.
Groove to it
Download at Amazon

6) Turn it Out - Graham Central Station
Larry and GCS drop three megatons of funk on this groove.
Check it out

5) It's the Engine in Me - Graham Central Station
Larry goes on the warpath on this massively funky slap-and-pop workout.
Groove to it

4) Pow - Graham Central Station
Learning to play this bass line has sort of become a rite of passage for aspiring funk players. As a teen I spent many hours trying to learn it and had the blisters to prove it. I never quite got it totally down pat, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
Check it out

3) Hey Mr. Writer - Graham Central Station
Funky ode to none other than Mr. Sly Stone. Larry's powerhouse bass line sounds like the engine of a funk locomotive.
Groove to it

2) The Jam - Graham Central Station
Larry delivers yet another ridiculously funky bass line on this appropriately titled track. Each GCS member gets a solo on this one. I heard this cut played everywhere back in the day. It's one of the band's most recognized grooves.
Check it out
Download at Amazon

1) Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) - Sly & The Family Stone
Well, here it is, the granddaddy of all slap bass lines. This is the one that started it all. There's no telling how many people decided to pick up the instrument after hearing Larry lay down this new innovative, extremely funky style of playing. This groove set off a new era in funk music, and players everywhere started slappin' and poppin'. Thank you indeed Sly and Larry.
Groove to it
Download at Amazon

No comments: