Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I know my place - just above the bass drum, but below everything else.

It helps that I have (IMHO, of course) an instrument that "just does it" with no fuss - a Japanese Fender Jazz. If I were to use words, I'd describe it as solid, punchy, a bit of twang but always fitting in.

People/audience don't necessarily know/analyse the "tone" of each instrument but they will perceive when several instruments play together, it just "fits together nice" and doesn't sound like an indistinct mush.

The other thing, if its a gig where the sound is going thru the PA, the amp will play a very minor role (just letting me and a few others near hear it) and I don't necessarily care what the monitor sounds like; and will trust the sound man to send to FoH a good sound. But more often than not, the amp IS the only source of the bass so I am in control, and I know my gear so I know where to put the knobs to make it sound good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, ped said:

My sound is akin to the noise of a wet hand spanking an empty Wellington boot

So like most slap then (IMHO)

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Bobthedog said:

So like most slap then (IMHO)

Slap bass is when the wellingtons are made form tin!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My sound is so big fat and heavy last gig I played your father stormed the stage and beat me up, cause he thought I was slapping your mother. :crazy:

And by the way while I retaliated knocking him out by repeatedly slamming the body of my bass against his face, not like it could get any uglier, he begged for mercy stuttering: "Please don't hit me honey-bunny". 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I play a lot of chords after the 12th fret and use the open A and open D (with a higher notes on the D or G string respectively). I try and get a sound somewhere between Joe Lally, Zack Smith and Kim Gordon... and probably fail miserably 🤣 I like to emphasise the mids higher up the neck and use the lower end for big clangy smacks with bass drum. None of this is helpful to describe my sound 😒 I need a p bass for some and my MM for others. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You can ''Hear the Dollars'' coming out of my Tone 😂

Edited by Obra
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm... it's interesting to see that long signal chain described.

I find that the fewer effects I use the better my sound gets, aside from my compressor which works as a 'better knob'. My effects are used for, well, effects...

My brother is a guitarist. Some of his playing videos have been getting attention recently. He got queries from people with lots of FX asking how he got the tone on one video. He replied  'I went direct into an amp'. Of course, they then demanded to know what wonderful amp was creating the elusive tone... a Blackstar Fly 🤣

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/04/2021 at 09:51, BigRedX said:

My bass guitar tone sounds like a bass guitar.

P bass into a zoom b2.1 on the ampeg sim. That’s all I use 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How would I describe my bass tone?

Like cold butter on warm toast. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you change the tone?  I thought it was bass, bass, and more bass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My tone is entirely dependent on the tonewood the bass I am using is made of*.

 

 

 

*Or more accurately, the cost per cubic foot of the tonewood...

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 08/04/2021 at 08:59, NancyJohnson said:

I'll say this first off, I couldn't finish reading the original post; it's like when you're watching a film where there's a mad scientist with a blackboard covered in unfathomable calculations and he's screaming that in a few hours he'll work out how to time travel.

While I'm sure the OP harbours a passion and an element of madness for his/her tone, I'll pass along something that I've learnt from my long and varied experience of bass playing in bands and studio sessions, it's that (read carefully); nobody except you cares what you sound like.

Truth hurts, eh?

Understand that all these boxes, these nuances, these dB tweaks that you're throwing in are going to be lost in a band context; if you want a gnarly but polite Jean-Jacques Burnel tone, just dump all the existing outboard gear and buy a Tech21 Sansamp BDDI, roll back the drive and plug it into the effects return on your amp.

 

I can't believe there are professional musicians who think this way. So weird.

Like, in a live context, I concede tone matters less, simply because you have less control over it, but even then, like, it makes a huge difference what's in the bassists signal chain. On recordings, it's even more of a huge deal. Like the idea that there isn't much noticeable difference in the bass sound between, say, The Police and The Jesus Lizard records? Crazy.

During covid I've "been to" a load of virtual gigs - livestreamed. And even then, in that format, with the sonic limitations it brings, on more than one occasion, there were punters in the chat commenting on bass tone.

The idea of other musicians not caring about it is way out there. All the musicians I know obsess over their own tone, sure, but they also talk about other people's all the time. Even drummers. Lol.

Maybe it's a generational thing? Or a genre thing. I know if you go back far enough, there were less readily accessible ways for bassists to easily alter their tone, and a lot of stuff did kind of all sound the same, and some genres are still quite traditional in that sense I suppose. 

I think that all changed dramatically in the 90s though really. Noise rock and shoegaze and stuff like that (sure there are loads of other examples but that's just my area) saw bands really pushing for different sounds, and I think since then, even non-musicians who are into music are relatively clued up on sounds.

My own take on this is that if you take the view tone doesn't matter, and you discount all the ways of changing it from your musicianship, you're missing out on a huge part of what playing bass is about. The quality of the sound is as much of a factor to me as your left hand and right hand technique. We play electronic instruments at the end of the day, so everything we do is about manipulating an electronic signal. It's no less musical in my opinion to do that with a massive pedal board, and a load of knob twiddling.

Being a minimalist or a purist is totally an option though. Like if you just happen to think the only sound in the world for you is a P-bass with the knobs all the way open, into an SVT with everything at 12 o'clock, through an 8x10, that's cool. Whatever works for you! It's totally subjective. It's just the idea that it isn't important at all I find weird.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and to answer the OPs question, I like to think of my tone as dirty and spiky. Like putting your hand into one of those bins for used needles. Lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Genuine question.  

Does ‘dirty and spiky’ come in different tones?  In your previous post you seemed to be advocating many different tones, not just one...

Edited by Baxlin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been playing my P bass a lot recently. A good description of the tone I think is ‘chewy’. Super low action, light gauge flats, tone backed off a little and playing over the pickup with the occasional ‘pop’ on the G. Chewy. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to use words to describe sounds is ultimately pointless. One person's "burpy" is another person's "farty". One person's "deep" is another person's "muddy".

My bass sound is tailored to fit the band and the song. For one of bands I current play in, that means a different bass sound on almost every song. When you're in a band where the other instruments are just vocals, synthesiser and percussion, having the same bass guitar sound on every song is both wrong and boring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Baxlin said:

Genuine question.  

Does ‘dirty and spiky’ come in different tones?  In your previous post you seemed to be advocating many different tones, not just one...

Dunno what you mean mate. I'm not advocating anything. Said it plain as day, it's subjective, and you should do whatever works for you.

Only thing I think anyone is "wrong" about is the idea that bass tone doesn't matter, or nobody else notices or cares, cuz that's a daft idea IMO.

Reckon I've got a few different sounds. A bit dirty. Pretty dirty. And really f*ckin dirty. Try to always keep it spiky though. 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BigRedX said:

Trying to use words to describe sounds is ultimately pointless. One person's "burpy" is another person's "farty". One person's "deep" is another person's "muddy".

Don't agree that it's pointless. Except obviously in the sense that everything is ultimately pointless.

Trying to use words to describe sounds is fun, creative, and a great example of what language is for. Like using words to try to describe colours, smells, and complex emotional experiences.

I think its pretty cool that some air moves in a certain way, and what you hear, and what I hear, and the effect it has on us are totally different, and can never truly be shared, so we use this complex system of symbolic meaning to try to convey that to each other, and in the process discover that we're wired completely differently. It's the Kantian epistemological break happening right before our ears. Lol.

FYI I'm pretty high at the moment, so apologies if I'm rambling.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sound is so big and heavy I need a HGV licence to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Similar Content

    • By greghagger
      Having problems understanding sharps and flats?
      I often get asked when is a note called a sharp and when is it called a flat.  I explain the answers in this bass concepts video. 
      There is also a free pdf with a list of key signatures and more information to accompany the lesson. 
    • By CalDeep
      T H E   S  P I E L. 
      If you would like to learn about improving your technique and tone, playing and writing grooves, theory, time feel, locking with drummers, recording/production, learning songs quickly, finding your sound, making great clips for Facebook and Instagram, or about how to use shiny expensive boxes to make things that go wub wub BLARRGH. I would love to help you.

      A B O U T   M E 
      I am a bass player, live show MD, producer and songwriter. My working credits include Rita Ora, JP Cooper, Heather Small, Alfie Boe, B*witched, Jess And The Bandits, and my own electronic band Sleeping Dragon (Hand picked to support Mike League's Forq.) I am also a content creator and have created videos for Alpher Instruments, Gamechanger Audio and Newtone Strings among others. I am based in Liverpool, love dark beer and slow roasting anything, and I am a complete gear head, especially with old fenders and crazy pedals. 
       
      If anything on here has interested you, please drop me a message, I'd love to chat about how I can help you. 

      Stay safe dudes! 



    • By MoonBassAlpha
      Just thought I'd share this issue, and the solution.
      A recently acquired Mexican Mustang bass (was new this year) had a subtle issue I found. The volume and tone worked normally at first glance, but actually, when the tone control was fairly far down, the volume control no longer worked in a linear manner. The volume suddenly drops below about 8 (there are no actual numbers on these!)
      I've found the solution, but would you guys care to have a guess? (maybe you've come across it yourself?) Enjoy!
    • By Baloney Balderdash
      So curious about what people's always on secret magic tone sauce pedal is, be it a preamp, a compressor, and equalizer or perhaps a subtle chorus effect or whatever it might be.
      Mine is my EHX Black Finger, tube driven optical compressor, that run it's 2 preamp tube at proper high 300V voltage, and which beside adding a quite subtle compression to my signal actually more so functions as my tube preamp stage, beefing up the signal slightly, making the low end slightly more pronounced and tight and adding a bit of tube flavor and warmth, having the input gain turned up to just bellow the breakup point when I dig in the hardest. 
       
      Here it is in all it's glory :

       
      And here's a bass player that uses it very much like I do, though with other settings (he mentions it briefly around the 4:37 time mark :
       
×
×
  • Create New...