January 27, 2006 11:48 PM   Subscribe

Meet Bill Clements, bass player. Mr. Clements lost his right hand in an industrial accident in 1989 and had to find a new way to make his music. (embedded video)
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies (22 comments total)
I like his music. It has a real hook to it.
posted by milnak at 1:04 AM on January 28, 2006

Bad, bad, bad.

I think I saw this guy a while back on Rocketboom. Lemme find the link...
posted by Brittanie at 1:52 AM on January 28, 2006

Nevermind, same vid as originally posted.
posted by Brittanie at 1:53 AM on January 28, 2006

It's too long. He plays that groove well, but 5ive minutes worth? He said it all in the first 45 seonds. I would like to hear him play in the context of a whole band, where one has to support a singer and back up the solo. Does he play with other players besides just a drummer? He's definitely talented. Surely he can play 4 to the bar.
posted by wsg at 2:53 AM on January 28, 2006

Hang on, how are the strings being plucked? Is he doing it with his left hand?
posted by cillit bang at 3:56 AM on January 28, 2006

I think he is just using a hammer-on technique.
posted by fire&wings at 4:45 AM on January 28, 2006

Reminds me of Rocco Prestia. I wonder what flavor of Jazz Bass he is playing?

Derail: I have one of the new Fender Jaguar Basses on the way. I can't wait!
posted by sourwookie at 6:07 AM on January 28, 2006

I've been a bass player for years and I'll tell you, this guy could out play me with one hand tied behind his back.
posted by sexymofo at 6:22 AM on January 28, 2006

I grew up in Kalamazoo and saw this guy's (then) band (Killswitch) play a few times. He told my friend, who played bass in some teenage local band, that "if you you want to be the kind of bass player I think you want to be, you're going to have to start drinking."
posted by crank at 6:22 AM on January 28, 2006

I can only imagine his left-hand strength. Wow.
posted by mrbill at 7:04 AM on January 28, 2006

He's out of the league of that drummer.
Maybe it was just the recording.
posted by Busithoth at 7:29 AM on January 28, 2006

I grew up in Kalamazoo as well... Killswitch was excellent, mostly because of this guy.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:10 AM on January 28, 2006

Wow, great sense of rhythm as well as a seriously strong left hand.
posted by BobsterLobster at 8:40 AM on January 28, 2006

Lefty DeMarco of the Flametrick Subs plays a mean upright bass without a left hand.
posted by WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot at 9:01 AM on January 28, 2006

That's remarkable — but I agree, that riff was a poor choice for a video of that length. It makes him seem like a gimmick, a one-trick pony. The audio clips show otherwise.
posted by cribcage at 9:21 AM on January 28, 2006

Oh, I get it ... he's just got the actions set WAY low, and is hammering-on, the way you play a Champan Stick.

Slick ... guys good.
posted by Relay at 9:22 AM on January 28, 2006

considering how hard sustained hammerons and pulloffs are on a guitar, I'm guessing that guy could about crush a pool ball with that hand...
posted by stenseng at 10:37 AM on January 28, 2006

What is the gizmo at the nut of his bass (best seen here, but it's in the video as well)? A capo? I've never seen one used on a bass. Something to lower the action?
posted by TimeFactor at 10:49 AM on January 28, 2006

I'm guessing that it keeps open notes from ringing out, so that only the hammered-on ones sound. Just a guess.

And hammer-ons on a guitar or bass that's set up right don't require much left-hand strenghth, actually. To stay in rhythm and get around the neck like that requires a lot of control and dexterity, but no more strength than any other good bassist would have, IMO.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:59 AM on January 28, 2006

Wow is right. I saw a player once missing his left hand and was impressed but this is amazing.
posted by krix at 11:19 AM on January 28, 2006

Wow, thanks for this link... another Kalamazoo native here; Killswitch was the opening band at the first show I ever went to, back in... the day, I dunno, like a hundred years ago or whatever.

Apparently the two leads from Killswitch went on to form Burning Tent Revival. There are some music links on that site for anyone intererested in hearing him in the context of a full lineup (although it sounds like that Geddy Lee influence is coming out a bit more these days. Barf).
posted by rkent at 12:10 PM on January 28, 2006

Any discussion of musicians with hooks would be incomplete without mention of Moulty of The Barbarians, whose eponymous autobiographical ballad from the psychedelic era included the famous lyric "I don't need no pity." I'm sure Mr. Clements feels the same way. (Yes, the video's too long but still impressive at the same time.)
posted by LeLiLo at 7:13 PM on January 29, 2006

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