Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In Celebration Of The Vibraslap

A while back we featured more cow bell, today we look at another elusive percussive instrument – the vibraslap. I’ve had one of these jewels since the mid 1980s and used it on the B side of the single by The Game – “Twist the Knife.” I’ve also had an opportunity to use it in a Christmas cantata at church. Although I mentioned the vibraslap in a previous post, here’s a more in-depth look at this marvelous instrument. A little vibraslap goes a long way – and today, we celebrate this Latin Percussion® favorite.

The Lemon Pipers – Green Tamborine

Its bubblegum, its psychedelic – its two pop genres in one. I love this record and it has everything – a wild string track, an electric sitar, a triangle, an African drum, tape echo, and of course a vibra slap. It was the only top ten hit for the Lemon Pipers. The song peaked at #1 in February 1968.

Aerosmith - Sweet Emotion

“Sweet Emotion,” Aerosmith’s first hit single, peaked at #36 in 1975 and appeared on the ever popular “Toys in the Attic” LP. The intro of the song is the only place where the vibraslap is used three or four times. The intro is rather interesting as there is an interplay between a bass marimba, two tracks of guitars using a talk box, and of course vibraslap.

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train

Ozzy’s first post Black Sabbath hit was the anthemic 80s rock tune “Crazy Train.” It features the guitar wizardry of the late Randy Rhodes and of course, vibraslap (it is only used once on the intro). The ringtone of “Crazy Train” was certified double platinum because of 25 million downloads. Head of bat, anyone?

Vibraslap Lessons

Of course, I just whet your appetite with a few vibraslap songs. Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to buy a vibraslap and play it. If you need the basics, see the accompanying videos by Aaron Bland.

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