In honor of this issue’s cover artist, here is a collection of books and DVDs that feature Stu Hamm and his signature slap and tap techniques. You can see, hear and appreciate the touch of this gifted bassist, and improve your own command with his help. Stu is an artist well worth studying.
This and the DVD below are part of the Classic Hot Licks series; each title focusses on an accomplished artist and his playing. This 54-minute program gets into left-hand stretching exercises, major and minor arpeggios, hammer-on slaps, right-hand flamenco strums, playing a melody with the right hand while the left hand plays a bass pattern, and much more. Split screens show what both hands are doing, you see the music (standard notation and TAB) on screen and slow-motion sections (which retain pitch) aid learning.
Slap is a cornerstone technique in Stu Hamm’s work, and this definitive book by another Stuart (Clayton) covers every aspect of slap from the absolute basics through to advanced techniques such as double thumbing, open string hammer-ons and how to combine slapping with other techniques. There are over 200 exercises in the book. Audio files are available as a free download from the author’s website. Includes a history of slap and profiles of its main practitioners. Written in standard notation and TAB. 206 pages.
This Stu Hamm transcription book contains 17 songs, including every track from Stuart’s studio album Outbound (“The Castro Hustle,” “The Memo,” “The Star Spangled Banner”), together with his renowned classical adaptations of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” Bach’s “Prelude In C,” and Debussy’s “Dr. Gradus Ad Parnassum.” Also included are his “Quahogs Anyone?” solo from The Urge, and three tracks that Stu recorded with experimental fusion trio GHS, “Nostalgia,” “November,” and “Wrong & Strong.” 129 pages. Written in standard notation and TAB, with chord symbols.
This 60-minute DVD follows up Stu’s “Slap, Pop & Tap for the Bass” with hand and finger warm-ups, open note arpeggios, harmonic scales and chords, false and pinched harmonics, sliding harmonics, popping two notes together, metronome practicing, raking and flamenco techniques and more. There are exciting solo performances of Stu’s compositions, and his famous rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Included is a Stu Hamm biography and selected discography, plus a 20-page foldout of printed music, in standard notation and TAB.
Stu Hamm is a tapping magician and Stuart Clayton’s excellent work on the technique covers all elements from the absolute basics through to advanced two-handed contrapuntal techniques. Chapters include Providing Accompaniment, Developing Rhythmic Independence, Sweep Picking Techniques, Études and “Hamm Stew.” The book also includes a detailed history of the tapping technique across all instruments and profiles and interviews of the main contributors to the technique. Written in standard notation and TAB. MP3 audio files available to download. 256 pages.