FUNK FINGERS

[ Photo of Funk Fingers ] This is a page for sharing info about a new item: Funk Fingers®, the drumstick devices Tony Levin's been using to play the bass (with P.Gabriel, King Crimson and others.)
      As some adventurous players try them, we'll share techniques and innovations on them through this feedback page.
      PLEASE NOTE: as of July 1st, 1999, Funk Fingers are OUT-OF-STOCK. We will not offer Funk Fingers until new manufacturing arrangements have been made.
     If you have comments, suggestions or true stories about using Funk Fingers, we hope you will add your thoughts to this page. If you have comments not related to Funk Fingers, email

     

Funk Fingers FAQ

Where can the Funk Fingers be heard?
Most notably on Peter Gabriel's Steam  and Secret World  from the cd of that name. King Crimson's People . The Union  album from Yes. Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe's ABWH . And my albums From the Caves of the Iron Mountain and World Diary.
Another satisfied FF User !Who invented them?
From Tony: "It started when, on Peter Gabriel's SO  album, Jerry Marotta drummed on the bass strings for Big Time . Later, on tour, I was trying to simulate the riff with one stick - one day Peter looked at me doing it and said 'Why don't you attach the sticks to your fingers?' I turned to Andy Moore, my tech at the time, and asked him, 'Can we do that, Andy?' (Of course, I said 'WE' but HE's the one who designed a way to do it - first with a strap, then with a cutout and elastic loops for fingers.) We modified them a lot, and came up with a comfortable shape and different lengths for the two fingers."
What's on the ends of the sticks?
We've decided that rubberizing tool handle dip is the best hitting surface so far, so funk fingers will now be shipped with rubber ends. They can still be wrapped with other material.

FEEDBACK

From Tony: (April 3, 2000) I'm sorry, it's been a year now, and I'm too busy with music stuff to get a new batch of funk fingers made. I suggest this: there are thousands of people out there with funk fingers - surely they're not all being used. Any who want to sell theirs should put them up on e-bay, or, to avoid auction and save the commission, just send a letter to this page, giving your e-address, and people wanting them will see the letter here and can e-mail you. Eventually I will get new ones made, but frankly, with a new cd and tour coming up, it's not on the horizon!

I am desperately looking for some funky fingers - if anybody wants to sell their pair please contact me via email. Need that type of sound for a recording. TOny! The world needs them funky fingers, you started the hype - put them back on the papa bear catalogue! ;-) Please! Good Luck with music+life, Stefan.
Stefan Wessel (stefan.wessel@chello.at)
Vienna, Austria - Monday, September 02, 2002 at 20:08:47 (EDT)

I was just reading over the funk fingers invention, as it's a hobby of mine to experiment with my bass in dangerous ways, by hitting them with such objects as drills, bolts, nuts, cups etc. The funk fingers really appealed to me! But just as I opened my wallet... I saw that there were none for sale! So if anyone has a decent pair for sale (preferrably still boxed... but Im not picky) I would be interested in buying! I use paypal or can use postal order... please help me!!!! Funk fingers are my wishness ^_^
Funkmaster Roy (Omen2k@yahoo.co.uk)
London, England - Sunday, June 30, 2002 at 21:37:40 (EDT)

Hi guys, I have built my "funk fingers" from Alex Acuna signature sticks, because they are not sculpted at their end (just round at the two extremities). I had only a swiss knife at the moment and it's enough! I fix them to my fingers using to small velcro stripes, and it works perfectly. I have tried several length and I finally made them very short, about two centimeters long, the latest centimeter being made of a good old rubber eraser! But what I found the easier to use to get that deep spacey sound is the bottom of my airbrush!
Yves Paubert (ypaubert@yahoo.fr)
Loctudy, France - Tuesday, May 21, 2002 at 10:51:58 (EDT)

hi I have an original st of FunkFingers for sale on ebay now....Thanks Tony
Rocco Phipps (bassslapper@aol.com)
chicago, il USA - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 22:08:39 (EDT)

Awesome! Where can I get some?
Cam Beswitherick (cbeswitherick@qmedia.ca)
Vancouver, BC Canada - Wednesday, April 24, 2002 at 17:37:13 (EDT)

Hi. If anyone has a pair of Funk Fingers to sell.... Could you please let me know.... I WANT SOME.... PLEASE!! Thanks.
Geoff Lincoln (lincolns@ntlworld.com)
USA - Sunday, April 07, 2002 at 15:57:47 (EDT)

Hi. If anyone has a pair of Funk Fingers to sell.... please let me know.... I WANT SOME.... PLEASE!! Thanks.
Geoff Lincoln (lincolns@ntlworld.com)
- Sunday, April 07, 2002 at 15:54:12 (EDT)

Hi. If anyone has a pair of Funk Fingers to sell.... please let me know.... I WANT SOME.... PLEASE!! Thanks.
Geoff Lincoln (lincolns@ntlworld.com)
- Sunday, April 07, 2002 at 15:53:18 (EDT)

I want a pair of the funky fingers and would appreciate contact from anyone willing to sell either a spare pair they are not using or their own pair not being used. Please contact me at my e-mail address.
bolo (erbolo@libero.it)
Italy - Wednesday, January 30, 2002 at 11:46:15 (EST)

I was pretty successful in making my own pair or funk fingers. I took most of Seabornproducts ideas and added a few of my own. I used a router to shape the finger spot and i also put a layer of varnish over it. I used velcro to attach the stick to the finger instead of elastic also. They stay on really well that way. i used the rubber handle dip stuff like Seaborn did which works very nicely once you get it on.. you have to sit there and watch it for a while though so you dont get bumps or anything. They are really cool sounding and pretty comfortable. ~Fawn
Fawn (Realfawn@aol.com)
USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 12:55:16 (EST)

After seeing Tony using the Funk Fingers on Mike Portnoy's Liquid Drum Theater video, I knew I wanted to try them! If Tony ever gets some more made, I'll be buying some. I can't seem to find anyone selling a used pair. Maybe I'll try to make my own.
Trevor Purchase (twpurchase@hotmail.com)
NF Canada - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 15:14:04 (EST)

I saw an SNL rerun a few days ago and it was Peter Gabriel. I HAD to know what those things were on "the bassists fingers", so I posted at some message boards and finally found this site. Now, I must know, is it possible to order "Funk Fingers"? I really hope so....
Ben Carnes (CountryboyGa13@hotmail.com)
Glasgow, KY USA - Thursday, November 01, 2001 at 19:59:09 (EST)

How many Funk Fingers were sold in the first place? How many more requests came in after they sold out? Send the answers to a drum stick company, and MAYBE they might consider putting Funk Sticks into production IF the possibility of a profit exists.
Terry (terry@cballiance.com)
Long beach, ca USA - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 17:46:16 (EDT)

I'd say I was semi-successful at making my own pair of funk fingers. I used a pair of drumsticks (I think size 5A, fairly heavy) and made 2 sets of funk fingers, one heavier (bottem end of drumstick) and one lighter (middle to tip of drumstick). I was taking a woodshop class at the time so it made it easy to cut, round and experiment with all those power tools. The heavy ones are 7 inches long and the light ones are 6 inches long. The trickiest part is carving out the spot for your fingers. I actually haven't taken a final step with mine, which is to smooth, or curve out the finger spots. Right now they are just sort of cut off at an angle and are not super comfortable. The other tricky part is constructing fasteners. I went to a fabric store and got a 1/2 inch wide roll of elastic, and a strip of sewable velcro. I cut the elastic to length, cut small squares of velcro and carefully sewed them into place (kind of a pain to do by hand, time consuming... if you've got a sewing machine around, you might try that instead). Finally, I went to the hardware store and got some rubber handle dip (very toxic stuff). I dipped the ends of my sticks in about 2 inches. I actually need to do a couple more coats because this rubberizing stuff is tricky to use... In the end, they're pretty cool sounding, but they aren't quite comfortable yet. I feel like I have to tighten the elastic too tight to make the sticks stay on. I think if I work on the contour of the finger spot I can improve the comfort and security. It's nice having 2 different weights, they each have their own feel. Tribble
Tribble (SeabornProduct@aol.com)
USA - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 12:57:54 (EDT)

I was just curious if anyone has tried using WAX instead of this rubber handle dip? I'm in the middle of making my own FF, and I was wondering if this would work, though I have a feeling wax would be too light and soft. If wax doesn't work, where can you get this rubber handle dip? Is it a common thing at hardware stores?
Jay (j_brone2000@hotmail.com)
Canada - Wednesday, August 01, 2001 at 10:53:12 (EDT)

I would love to get a pair of funk fingers. Where can I find them?!?!?!
Ernie Douglass (ProjectileErnie@aol.com)
Jacksonville Beach, FL USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 17:10:23 (EDT)

Pleeeeeease try to get another batch of funk fingers made! Infact, even better Tony... just send me your own pair ;) I'll send you a haggis in return!
Ian Taylor (ianbass@hotmail.com)
Edinburgh, Scotland - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 07:06:09 (EDT)

Need exercise Funk music
Linh (Le_quangLinh@hotmail.com)
Hai Phong, 84 USA - Wednesday, May 30, 2001 at 22:21:41 (EDT)

Hi, I've been searching for a pair of the infamous funk fingers for about two years now. I've tried to conceptualize how to make them myself, but have failed miserably... If anyone has any information whatsoever about how to make them, or in the unlikely event you own a pair, i would love to talk to you. I've been searching for a while, but with no luck. Thanks to all the best people in the world...bassists!!!hehe Thanks!!
Patrick Downey (patrick@getyourtrimm.com)
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, May 21, 2001 at 02:12:54 (EDT)

As a follow up to my last message about making my own Funk Fingers. Would those of you who own a pair mind measuring yours and sending me the following specs? Also, add any suggestions about how you would change them to make them easier to use. 1- Total length (end to end). 2- Length of "finger rest" area. 3- Width of finger rest area (does it taper, or is it notched down to a flat plane from the full diameter?) 4- Diameter at striking end (and/or compare with your drummer's sticks and see what size they started with) 5- Width of the stretch velcro attachment. Thanks, let the music flow!
Seaborn (SeabornProduct@aol.com)
USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 13:01:16 (EDT)

How to make your own Funk Fingers... I thought there used to be some messages on this list with good suggestions about how to make your own.... Were those messages removed? Anyway, I'm in the process of making my own out of some really dense hardwood (this wood almost has the density of water!) and I'm just going for it with no "specs" from the makers... too bad. Since you aren't manufacturing them, I guess we'll have to start up a little side company somewhere else...Care to share in the profits?
Seaborn (SeabornProduct@aol.com)
USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 12:49:30 (EDT)

Been watching eBay for about a year with no luck on purchasing a pair of funk fingers. Anyone willing to sell theirs????
Rich Snyder (rich@cybersnyder.com)
Columbia, MD USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 13:00:58 (EDT)

About how to make funk fingers or how to buy it. Please soon!!!
daniel martn herranz (vd97@latinmail.com)
Huelva, Sp Spain - Saturday, February 24, 2001 at 17:37:30 (EST)

I am in need of a set of FUNK FINGERS! If someone would be able to sell me a pair I'd be very appreciative. And to MR. LEVIN, you are my biggest inspiration! You taught me how to play bass and for that I thank you!
Frank Ulatowski (gv152m@aol.com)
USA - Friday, February 09, 2001 at 00:58:42 (EST)

If anyone would like to sell their funk fingers please let me know.
tim welch (timwelch@pacbell.net)
boulder creek, ca USA - Thursday, February 08, 2001 at 22:29:18 (EST)

I would like to purchase a set of funk fingers
Jeremy Key (bigpro@popmail.com)
Hugo, OK USA - Monday, January 22, 2001 at 02:02:09 (EST)

I started using the Funk Fingers almost 2 years ago. I could never get a pair, so I had to make a pair myself out from the leftovers of our drummer! That was when I was in Colombia, my beloved country. Now that I'm in the USA,and I could order them, the Funk Fingers have become out-of-stock!! Hey Tony! there would never be enough space on the internet or elsewhere to express what your bass playing means to all of us, the low-end lovers! Just thank you for this simple yet great idea! I hope to get my first original pair of Funk Fingers soon! And of course, ihope to see you playing them reaally sooon! Thanks! Andres
Andres Jimenez (andjime@hotmail.com)
New York, NY USA - Saturday, April 01, 2000 at 22:44:57 (EST)

I would love to get my hands on these little wooded bits of creative engineering.I will attempt to create my own, but if someone would email me with a genuine pair up for grabs i would dig that.p.s. I just read that little piece about 'GOD creating the bass and it was good'...:BRILLIANT, man.
thalamus&job (rylasdad@hotmail.com)
CA USA - Sunday, March 05, 2000 at 00:51:12 (EST)

Have loved my Funk Fingers since I got them a while back... For those who'd like to hear a track of them in use, check out "Abducted" at www.mp3.com/secondstory -- While it's not my only -- or best -- FF song (just a repeating line, mostly - a'la "Steam") but it's the only one we have cut to tape so far (this cut is obviously from a live performance.) Enjoy!
Mark (mark@second-story.net)
USA - Monday, February 28, 2000 at 13:48:12 (EST)

Im growing really envious by reading of all the fun people have with their little sticks. In fact id really like to own a pair of these. So if anyone decides to give them away, just let me know.
Henrik Jakoby (Henrik_Jakoby@wigast.com)
Vienna, Austria - Tuesday, February 22, 2000 at 16:05:45 (EST)

I want a pair of the funky fingers and would appreciate contact from anyone willing to sell either a spare pair they are not using or their own pair not being used. Please contact me at my e-mail address: Chatta@aol.com PapaBear, I think you're SMASHING!!! Am dying to become a good enough bassist then buy a chapman stick if it is available for purchase. "Thanks for the memories [inspiration]"
Chatta` (Chatta@aol.com)
Zion, IL USA - Friday, February 18, 2000 at 23:27:40 (EST)

I am Funk Finger-LESS.If anyone is willing to partwith a pair, I will part withsome cash.Thanks,Jim805.684.3216
Jim Bruce (jbruce@lightwave-systems.com)
Carpinteria, CA USA - Friday, February 18, 2000 at 19:38:31 (EST)

Damn-I wish I would've found this earlier- been watchin tony play with those things forever and wondered what the hell they were-I WANT A PAIR- can I get some yet-somehow-somewhere-some way-anyone?
c.bernal (newspectrum@yahoo.com)
bloomington, Il USA - Tuesday, February 01, 2000 at 21:17:16 (EST)

G'day, I wish to get hold of some Funk Fingers. I live in New Zealand & they've never heard of them here, can anyone help? If so please E-mail me with details etc... I live in hope! "Keep Rockin!" Simon.
Simon Hounsome (arry@xtra.co.nz)
Auckland, New Zealand - Monday, January 17, 2000 at 04:59:32 (EST)

I wrote two years ago (April 3, 1998) to this site giving some new wacky ideas for FF fans. I failed to note that besides playing "flamenco bass", I also teach physics at a community college, and I came across an interesting concept to possibly "redesign" the Funk Fingers (WHAT? That's sacrilege, you say? Oh well...). The idea is "moment of inertia" and instead of boring you with physics (even though it's quite cool to me), I'll cut to the chase. For the same impact strength using a shorter stick, you need more mass on the end, so if you want to be able to play faster, you need a heavier stick that is shorter--something like an ebony or a rosewood stick dipped in rubber-handle stuff would work just as well, and will be easier to mobilize about the strings. Another idea is to use rubber finger inserts with thimble-like ends to give it more mass (fashioned from a heavy metal, like tungsten, or molybdenum). This way, your finger length is not as long, and you get the inertia to smeck-the-heck out of the strings! Tony, you are still the LORD OF THE LOWS. From one Lo-Bro' to another...Peace. MMM P.S.: Some words of wisdom I found at a grocery: "Support the Bottom"--found on the underside of an aluminum pan for broiling turkeys. So if you, too, broil turkeys regularly, support the bottom.
Michael M Masuda (masuda@webnexus.com)
San Jose, CA USA - Tuesday, January 04, 2000 at 00:49:18 (EST)

Hi! Ive been a guitar player for 4 years but two weeks ago I decided to buy a BASS. I like the Tony Levins way of playing with Funk Fingers (I first saw "FF" in "Live in Japan" King Crimson and I shouted "WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS IN HIS FINGERS!!!! THEY SOUND TERRRIBLY GREAT!!!!!!) so I decided to start learning bass playing with FF. So three days ago I found this web and as I saw FF photo I thought myself: Maybe I could "fabricate" them myself". SO I did!! I made them with two drums sticks and THEY WORK!!!. Id prefer to have the original ones but because theyre out of stock... Well, thats all. (Sorry about my grammar faults, Im spanish) Tony, "eres el mas grande" EVERYBODY: Do you think I am doing right in learning to play the bass with FF?? Please, let me know.
alberto (fripp@geminis.adi.uam.es)
MADRID, MA SPAIN - Thursday, November 25, 1999 at 05:30:49 (EST)

I'm really interested in buying a pair of funk fingers. If anyone is willing to sell theirs or if they know where I might be able to get some, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks a lot
Patrick (Downtap@hotmail.com)
USA - Friday, October 15, 1999 at 00:52:57 (EDT)

Bass player from Montreal needs Funk Fingers like right now , ready to pay a good price for it please contact me if you wanna sell yours at zebra31@hotmail.com
Patryk Desforges (zebra31@hotmail.com)
Montreal, Canada - Wednesday, October 13, 1999 at 12:30:29 (EDT)

Very cool. Ive heard about this 10 minutes ago. I use a style playing my bass wich is almost the same. I use my finger tops as tapping fingers but in the end of the strings. I hit the string and then strikes back like the slap tecjnuiqe. It's getting a very smooth, and varm sound. But one question: Don't you need to put some rubber or silicone on the end of the drum sticks to prevent the sound from getting "scratchy"?
Tomas Lauffs (tomas.lauffs@runo.se)
Stockholm, Sweden - Wednesday, October 13, 1999 at 07:29:38 (EDT)

Hey y'all -- I am a big fan of Levin and an internet "newby". I must say I have been unimpressed with the net and besides all the cool stuff I could find about rock bands, fetishes and being able to shop things to death, my suspicions that I wasn't missing anything have been confirmed. But when i found out I might be able to buy funk fingers on line there was a glimmer of utility to the whole concept. i hope you can work out a deal soon. Just think of all the lazy bass players out there that will eventually get wired. Thanks and please say hello to Tony for me -- he is revered! Jeff Acker
Jeffrey M. Acker, Esq. (jmackerjeff...AOL)
Greensboro, NC USA - Saturday, October 09, 1999 at 23:33:57 (EDT)

I need a pair of "Funk Fingers" for a current recording project. Can anybody help me? Casper
Casper Slieker (slieker@aol.com)
Colorado Springs, CO USA - Friday, September 10, 1999 at 02:41:40 (EDT)

If anyone has a pair of funk fingers that they wanna sell, please email me. thanks
The Mark Daddy (v3rm@v3rm.com)
chicago, il USA - Thursday, September 09, 1999 at 11:41:56 (EDT)

Got my f.f. two weeks ago - and I'm quite surprised how it works that well. Sure, there are these problems to keep them under control at higher speeds and accuracy is not the word I'd connect with me playing funk-fingered. But these are problems that certainly can get fixed. Most important: They are damned inspiring! I put them on and play things I would not have come up with not using them. Add some funny effects and it gets really weird. For sure you shouldn't overuse them, it has to fit to the song. Surprisingly the drummer I mostly play with is the biggest fan of them, I hope he won't go out and buy a bass for just using them. He's so good at drumming.
Malte von Ramin (malte@future.chemietechnik.uni-dortmund.de)
Castrop-Rauxel, Germany - Tuesday, June 29, 1999 at 04:12:49 (EDT)

Got my ff's - love them (still working on the coordination thing though). The look on my drummer's face as i slipped them on to demonstrate was priceless. One comment though, being a woman and quite petite with very small fingers (it's a wonder i chose bass) any chance of making a shorter version (ie length)? the thickness is just right, but the ff's are about an inch and a quarter longer than my fingers....just a thought...thanks Tony for being a continued inspiration. -Shannon (Nite 'n' Day, Portland, Maine)
Shannon Nashawaty (Shannon039@webtv.net)
Woolwich, ME USA - Friday, May 28, 1999 at 21:06:59 (EDT)

I play bass in a folk/rock band called the BeneJesurits (www.benejesurits.com) and I recently bought the FF's for one particular song...I thought the sound would be perfect for it. Well, it was, and it gave a great new edge to that song (2B recorded in the next couple months.) Since then, I've started using them on a few other tunes as well, and I've come up with a couple tips for my fellow finger funkers: 1. try using just one, then you can switch to playing "normally" for softer portions of the song (e.g. FF's for the chorus, "normal" for the verse). 2. FF's+ drop D=DAMN!!!!!
Ender (aquariusaur@earthlink.net)
Minneapolis, MN USA - Sunday, May 23, 1999 at 17:49:25 (EDT)

whenever I hear the word "bass", Tony Levin's performing "Elephant Talk" introductory notes come to my mind. What a way to feel the music! Thank's Tony, for such a great music. BTW I saw you and Crims in 96 when you were over here in Mexico, the best concert I've ever been at...
Francisco Vazquez (fvazquez@iname.com)
Mexico, DF Mexico - Wednesday, May 19, 1999 at 15:59:27 (EDT)

Dear Tony, Big thanks to you and all at papabear for distributing the FF's in Europe too. I wasn't sure if they would even get to me. I have just opened the packet and I can't wait to strap them on and give them a go. I am currently sessioning on an album and have seven more tracks to put down.I can't wait to see the producer's face when I slip these puppies on.I just hope I can get a chance to use them. By the way if anyone else out there is UK based I suggest that if you want to hear Tony's other projects that you order via this site as most of the major UK record stores do not appear to keep anything in stock(typical).Anyway thanks again, I'll let you know if the FF's get on the album.
Phil (Pino) Nicholson (pnicho6297@aol.com)
Nr London, UK - Saturday, May 15, 1999 at 12:45:03 (EDT)

Love the Funk Fingers! We're already using them on two songs; they only took 1 or 2 rehearsals to get the hang of. I'm smacking the heck out of my six string! I'm using a clean tone for one song, but totally overdriving the amp on the other -- whatta sound! Gotta get a few more sets for spares...
Mark Gollihur (mark@second-story.net)
Pitman, NJ USA - Thursday, April 29, 1999 at 12:32:42 (EDT)

Just recently, I've come to know Master Tony Levin through his voice on bass... and started to gravitate towards that voice... Following? Yes. But only to feel the emotion and beauty of that voice, and to consistently witness that "real life" emotions can be interpretted, then voiced on an instrument in the bass clef... so many listeners don't realize that the "thing" which is drawing them into the song, and provoking them to move - physically AND emotionally - is the bass guitar... Master Levin does this without fail... Thank you Mr. Levin for being yourself, and sharing your voice... AND sharing your experiences as a working (understatement) ELECTRIC BASS PLAYER... your website is insightful, candid, and personal... I didn't even know it existed until yesterday! It has such a "welcoming" vibe... OK, I am submitting my comments on the Funk Fingers page, so... When I saw Master Levin on Saturday Night Live with Master Gabriel, I just about flipped my figurative wig... "Tony must have gone nutso or something!" came to mind... It still seems "nutso" to me to hit one's bass with modified drumsticks, but if Master Levin does it.... and there seems to be quite a few of my fellow "low-noters" that are pleasantly surprised with their FF's..... I don't know, some day I'll get a wild hair and you'll be shipping me a pair... Best always, Todd ("Master" used above for dramatic purposes)
Todd Sanders (ToddS@Oakley.com)
Long Beach, Ca USA - Thursday, April 15, 1999 at 20:29:31 (EDT)

I've noticed, reading the website, that a lot of people abbreviate Funk Fingers to "FF;" why not call them "french fries?" Also, I am so happy that you have recorded with NEXUS. I've only heard a snippet from a song about an espresso machine but I was terrified. Thank you.
Andrew Freezer
Spokane, WA USA - Sunday, April 11, 1999 at 06:22:59 (EDT)

Tony, I just received the FF's and I love them! The percussive attack I get with them is just what our newest song needed. My fellow band members in The Ugly Truth looked at me with concern when I first put them on at rehearsal(fearing that our tightness as a unit was about to be compromised. Happily, though, I had the foresight to practice on my own.) However, once they heard the FF's applied to the new tune they were as thrilled as I was. I am one satisfied customer! P.S. I love your book "Beyond the Bass Clef"!
Jonathan Buck (Jonathan@uglytruth.com)
Glen Rock, NJ USA - Saturday, March 20, 1999 at 14:25:55 (EST)

Thanks for the Funk Fingers, they really kick ass and look great as well on stage, i only have a hard time picking my nose with them!
Ron Claassen (R.Claassen@fontys.nl)
the Netherlands - Tuesday, February 16, 1999 at 04:36:18 (EST)

Hey, this Funk Fingers are just great! Besides making me look good, they make the bass sound like thunder!!! I have a lot of trouble with slapping, so the Funk Fingers have helped me a lot. Thank you, Mr. Levin, for sharing this great invent whit us bass players...
Aaron Sztarkman (earauz@ejje.com)
San Salvador, El Salvador - Monday, February 15, 1999 at 21:43:17 (EST)

I've had my Funk Fingers for several months now, I ordered them along with my copy of BLUE (what a killer album!) I haven't spent enough time with them yet, but when I do put 'em on they take me to a different place - I just don't think this way when I'm playing "normal" bass. I'm still not very adept with them, but I'm enjoying this new approach quite a bit and I've gotta say a big "Thank you!" to Tony for making these available - and for being such an inspiration. You're just too cool! :)
Doug Boucher (eraserhead667@yahoo.com)
Marion, IN USA - Monday, February 08, 1999 at 22:59:41 (EST)

i like this site.
giannis dimou (ian@freemail.gr)
athens, gr greece - Friday, January 08, 1999 at 07:38:54 (EST)

yet another use for the amazing funk fingers! i am not a bass player but i am a drummer, i am also a pagan and go to many festvals etc. at these events i carry a frame drum which is basically boring to play. with the funk fingers, the frame drum almost becomes a kit! i'm inspired enough to try playing bass as well. what happened to the BLUE gig at the BIRCHMERE?
rick (lunrtune@flash.net)
alexandria, va USA - Sunday, December 06, 1998 at 06:59:54 (EST)

I've been in the studio for oh too long now (It's my own, so I have all the time I want. Which, in itself may not be a good thing. Deadlines work for the best sometimes). And yesterday I was laying down a bass line for a song that I've recorded several times and never quite gotten a feel that I've been satisfied with. When I play it with a pick it sounds to 'rocker' and when I play it with fingers it's not punchy enough. My solution was to play with my fingernails, which was a happy medium Then I tried funk fingers on a whim. Holy cow! The song's done, and it sounds awesome. BTW, As a hint: Glue the flaps of the funk fingers so they face away from each other. If you're a moron like me and glue them in the same direction you may undo a flap if you bump fingers.
Marc Newman (marcn@microsoft.com)
Seattle, WA USA - Wednesday, November 25, 1998 at 14:25:07 (EST)

The funk fingers are the most ingenious creation in the bass world. I thought they would be hard to get used to, but as soon as I opened the package and put them on they just felt right. It's like slapping with to fingers. One can play a couple of different melodies at once. Use the funk fingers to hit the strings in a certain percussive pattern and hammer on and pull off with your fretting hand. They open up a new world to playing.Thanks Tony andPeter.
Rob Martin
Voorhees, nj USA - Thursday, November 12, 1998 at 09:42:27 (EST)

These funk fingers are pretty dawn cool! I've been using mine for at least six months now,and it seems my psycological state is getting more and more unstable. Considering once my soul method of attacking my bass was by slapping like a hyperactive monkey, I now have another means of showing off. The percussive side of my brain has slowly been expanding,for example recently I attached a thin metal sheet as well as a small cowbell to the bottom my bass. So while slapping (at certain angles) I can hit one of these attachments. I can also tapp melodys using the first funk finger(pointing finger) on the D or G string, and then adding triplets here and there with both fingers. At first I couldnt get my technique together but practice makes perfect, or in this case a very wacky, versatile, unpridictable instrument. The feeling of playing these extra bits is very cool. The rhythms you get with the cowbell and hitting deadened strings is pretty cool, but its hard keeping it together. Im having trouble using these extra bits on stage (mixers nightmare), but they fit quite nicely into my groovy punk funk bands sound. Ever since Ive been using funk fingers, girls have been following me round at gigs, as well as the farmer I stole the cowbell off, for I live life now I have funk fingers. If anyone else in the world has been partaking in similar experimentation please write....
Angus Rofe (rofea@hotmail.com)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - Monday, November 02, 1998 at 11:17:14 (EST)

In the late 60s and early 70s I used to band the strings on my bass with drums sticks but found little use for the sound as I couldn't really get anything out of it other than percussive sound. Today, I play upright bass and bought a pair of Funk Fingers after a friend told me about Tony's use. I am probably the only upright player that uses them, but not as the electric players. I discarded the finger strap and just hold the short stick and bang each string. Closer to the bridge for a tight sound and closer to the fingerboard for a fuller sound. I only use one stick and this is the right length. Full drums stick were way to long. It is perfect for those Latin and Rock type styles. As I seldom work with a drummer, Funk Fingers really stand out as a welcome dynamic. Well done Tony.
Jim Fink (jfink@ctc.edu)
Seattle, WA USA - Tuesday, September 15, 1998 at 18:11:47 (EDT)

I just received my FF last week and found a real intresting use for them.I am a drummer who has a burning passion for the bass guitar.I first sat down with FF trying to play a couple tunes from Tony's world diary album.Then I went over to my private studio to play some drums and decided to try the FF on my drumkit(after all the idea came out of transposing the drumsticks to bass sticks).The intresting thing is I discovered that with one hand on the HH you can play quarter notes with one finger and triplets with the other(like flams).Same goes for the snare but its hard to get a punchy sound with out lifting your hand too much which makes it harder to play the ghost notes.But using them on the middle,index or the pinky is a great way to develop finger control for drummers.Also I can put the bass on my lap and switch between the drums and the bass guitar or play them at the same time.I also tried playing my Santur with them but thats going to take more control.(The Santur is an Iranian instrument like a lyre played with really thin sticks).Tell your drummer freinds to practice with the FF.
Emre Tufekcioglu (ali_emre@turk.net.tr)
istanbul, turkey - Monday, August 17, 1998 at 06:12:25 (EDT)

Tony, and all Funk Finger enthusiasts... I've been fooling around with a pair of funk fingers (on guitar) for a week or two now, and this is what I've observed:1. The most obvious technique would be smacking bass lines out on the lower strings. I like this w/ an octave pedal (such as the Boss OC-2).2. Another useful application is to use them while playing three note 'funk' chords, where you generaly nail one or two beats out of a bar. Doing so, you can switch to strumming with your thumb for softer passages.If you're really a freak, you can play with a pick between your thumb and ring finger...Since I've been using things like drumsticks and screwdrivers to rend unusual sounds from my instrument, the FF's are a welcome addative to my sound.Thanks Tony/Papabear. I hope this helps.-DPwww.fullsail.com
Dan Phelps (danp@fullsail.com)
FL USA - Tuesday, May 26, 1998 at 12:47:10 (EDT)

I have used my FF's for about 5 hours now (plucked them out of the box instantly)and haven't put them down until now.Wow are they great! And a great hand exercise too,I found out I have a lot of muscles attatchedto those two digits, all the way up the arm.One of my favorite new techniques is to play them very fast and get a hammered dulcimer type of sound.The bounce off the strings has a great feel too.This works great when doing bass loops.Thanks Tony and PapaBear
Dirk Malavase (dirkm@servtech.com)
Bloomfield, NY USA - Monday, May 18, 1998 at 23:25:05 (EDT)

so i got my pair of funk fingers about a year ago or so....i love them a whole lot, but the problem was that as a guitarist, it's kinda hard to really get a good chance to use them. not until last week. i used them on acoustic guitar at a senior recital for a friend of mine at nyu. this developed a few weeks before the recital, when i was just fooling around with them on a part of the song, and my pal, jim (the man of the senior recital) was like, "you HAVE to use those somewhere." sure enough, they worked like a charm. now, if only i wasn't so stupid. because the fingers kept slipping off the straps, i decided to glue the straps on to my fingers. they stick great, now. they'll never come off. only thing is that i didn't put them on right. oh well. the law of averages? or just a lot of stupidity on my part. c'est la vie.
david y. kobayashi (thrak75@aol.com)
new york, ny USA - Saturday, April 25, 1998 at 03:01:03 (EDT)

Note from Tony Levin: Glad to hear the f.fingers are getting used, especially in unusual ways. We ship them, I believe, with instructions to find the right placement for the stretch velcro strips, and then glue them to the sticks with a couple of drops of superglue. Perhaps we should have shipped them already glued on, but then they wouldn't fit correctly on large or very small fingers - this way they're sure to fit, but you must glue them or the sticks will come flying off! My experience is that, once glued, they've never come loose - and I've been hammering away with one pair for years now. Good luck, t.l. - 4-25-98

A quick follow-up on my previous message: The 'obnoxious knocking sound' I referred to was actually the sticks and/or the strings (beneath the sticks when being struck) hitting the pickups. This is why, at first, I found it better to use Funk Fingers down by the bridge. Once I got more adept at using them I was able to play closer to the pickups - but this still can cause more POP than I might want. Very cool tool for playing bass. Thanks Tony, Jerry and Andy!
Larry Apuzzo
USA - Monday, April 13, 1998 at 11:41:08 (EDT)

I play a Carvin fretless bass in a flamenco world-pop acoustic band called Silk Road. I read the feedback from people who own the Funk Fingers, and it generated a few wacky ideas for Tony Levin and the manufacturers. 1. Ever thought about making an equivalent version of Funk Fingers for guitar playing? 2. I've used chopsticks (as I AM Japanese) in a similar way (attached to my fingers)to play electric guitar before--kinda thin sounding, but effective to get a santur-like feel off of the strings. Maybe you could do something with that idea. 3. Have you ever thought of issuing different wood diameters for the Funk Fingers? Real thin ones for the 'Tito Puentes' out there, and large ones for the 'John Bonhams'! 4. There are these drumsticks called 'Blasticks', which consist of a bundle of smaller dowels, either plastic or wood. How would that affect the Funk Finger sound? I think it would give it an interesting 'klack' to each hit. 5. How about hollowing out the Funk Fingers and filling them with small pebbles to give them a shaker effect? I know--use bamboo! I'm getting wacky. I'd better stop. Really cool idea, Tony. I can't wait to hear you again live. And I can't wait to see you play your 3 stringed custom Ernie Ball bass--I thought that was a riot since everyone and their grandma seems to want MORE strings on their bass! Mike Masuda bajo flamenco
Mike Masuda (masuda@webnexus.com)
San Jose, CA USA - Friday, April 03, 1998 at 17:57:47 (EST)

It's taken me a while to get used to playing with Funk Fingers. They're a bit thicker than I was expecting (even though they are adequately shown to scale on this web page!). For those just trying out Funk Fingers, Here's a couple of 'tips' that may be helpful: 1) take your time getting used to them, I initially had problems in hitting ONLY the string I wanted (esp. the A and D strings!), but with practice, it gets easier (try doing scales slowly). 2) I have 2 pickups on my bass, I found that I best like the sound when I turn off the lower pickup and hit the strings near the bridge (otherwise you can get an obnoxious knocking sound!). 3) If you play along w/ recordings, find songs w/ relatively simple bass-lines (this alleviates the tedium of practicing scales!). A few songs I have a lot of fun with are 'Give it Away' by the Chili Peppers, 'Fame' (by Bowie, esp the live version) and 'Psycho Killer' by Talking Heads, and 'Sabado Sombrero' (sp?) by Ron Carter (this may be a little harder to find (from Spanish Blue - may be out of print), but WELL worth it!).
Larry Apuzzo (Larry_P._Apuzzo@ccmail.bms.com)
New Haven, CT USA - Monday, March 16, 1998 at 13:52:09 (EST)

 

   

Updated: 4-21-00