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Larry Graham, Jr. (born August 14, 1946) is an American bass guitar player, both with the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly and the Family Stone, and as the founder and frontman of Graham Central Station. He is credited with the invention of the slapping technique, which radically expanded the tonal palette of the bass, although he himself refers to the technique as "Thumpin' and Pluckin'."


Born in Beaumont, Texas, Graham played bass in the highly successful and influential funk band Sly and the Family Stone from 1966 to 1972. It is said that he pioneered the art of slap-pop playing on the electric bass, in part to provide percussive and rhythmic elements in addition to the notes of the bass line when his mother's band lacked a drummer; the slap of the thumb being used to emulate a bass drum and the pop of the index or middle finger as a snare drum. This style has become archetypal of modern funk. Slap-pop playing couples a percussive thumb-slapping technique of the lower strings with an aggressive finger-snap of the higher strings, often in rhythmic alternation. The slap and pop technique incorporates a large ratio of muted or "dead" notes to normal notes, which adds to the rhythmic effect.
This "slap" bass style was later used by such artists as Les Claypool (of Primus), Bootsy Collins, Louis Johnson, Mark King, Flea, Tim Commerford, Peter Hook, Mike Mills, Victor Wooten, Jonas Hellborg, Kim Clarke of Defunkt, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, John Norwood Fisher, P-Nut, Danny McCormack, Matt Noveskey, Dirk Lance, and Pino Palladino.
After Sly and the Family Stone, Graham formed his own band, Graham Central Station. The name is a pun on Grand Central Station, the train station located in Manhattan, New York City. Graham Central Station had several hits in the 1970s, including "Hair".
In the mid-1970s, Larry Graham worked with Betty Davis, the second ex-wife of jazz legend Miles Davis. Betty Davis' band included members of the

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Larry Graham Latest News

Dave Koz And Larry Graham Jr Plan Summer Tour

Dave Koz has announced that he will be teaming up with Larry Graham Jr. (best known for his work with Sly & The Family Stone and founding member of Graham Central Station), for a summer tour. The cohe...
Posted: June 7, 2017, 9:42 pm

Larry Graham Ashley

Larry Graham Ashley, of Nacogdoches, Texas, formerly of Ft. Worth, Texas, passed away quietly on August 23, 2018 at the age of 86 years. Larry was born January 3, 1932 in Armorel, Arkansas to Grover G...
Posted: August 25, 2018, 9:12 am

Prince Runs Far Away From the Mainstream With ‘The Rainbow Children': 365 Prince Songs in a Year

He had been introduced to the faith in the mid-'90s by Larry Graham, the former Sly & the Family Stone bassist. Prince eventually convinced Graham to move to Minneapolis. where, in addition to playing ...
Posted: October 10, 2017, 5:29 pm
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