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How do I get a better sound?

Discussion in 'Ask Todd Johnson' started by skarob0t, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. skarob0t

    skarob0t

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    I've been playing bass for about two years, and the main thing I have problems with is the sound my fingers make on the fretboard. I mean, you could literally hear my fingers moving. It's really irritating. Anything I can do to make that sound go away? It would be greatly appreciated
  2. thebandcircle

    thebandcircle

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    Try turning your tweeter/horn level down on the back of your cab. Or even the treble knob a little? A grounding issue can also cause hum while touching the strings...Hope that helps!
  3. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Supporting Member

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    Maybe flat wounds or ground wounds?

    X8
  4. kbodonne

    kbodonne

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    +1 treble/ tone knobs/ tweeter turn down. If you have an adjustable EQ you can turn your highs down.

    If you're playing with any peddles or overdrive they could cause it as well
  5. neebs

    neebs

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    Flats. But you probably don't care for flats. Have you used flats before? Is it a tone you care for?
  6. Funkyjazz6

    Funkyjazz6

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    Have you considered it may be an issue with your technique?
  7. skarob0t

    skarob0t

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    Yeah, in which case I'd need help with haha. I'm a girl, and my fingers aren't that strong, so it could be that.
  8. skarob0t

    skarob0t

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    Yup! The tone is a problem.
  9. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    It sounds like you're just talking about basic string noise. This is a fact of life with roundwound strings, and usually isn't noticable when the bass is mixed in with a band. The previous suggestions to turn down the treble and/or try flats are good ones.
  10. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    Also, has your bass been set up professionally? Or at least by someone who really knows what they're doing? As in, NOT your guitar player.
  11. Funkyjazz6

    Funkyjazz6

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    Todd has an instructional video on his website at http://www.toddjohnsonmusic.com/store.php which has a technique focus, or you may want to consider taking lessons with him through Skype.
  12. wmheilma

    wmheilma

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    Is your bass active or passive? If you crank the treble knob up on an active bass you'll tend to hear a lot of string noise. It is probably a combination of your technique and how you set the knobs on your equipment starting with the bass itself. Just start trying things out one at a time and you'll figure it out.

    1) Tone settings on the bass
    2) Tone settings on your amp
    3) Tweeter attenuator on the cab (if there is one)

    Good luck! Just remember you are playing the most fun instrument in the whole world and everybody digs a girl who can play bass too! Try this link:

  13. leegreenman

    leegreenman

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    Is the noise a problem when you are playing with a band or just while practicing alone. String noise often isn't apparent in a mix.
  14. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

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    Hi Skarobot,

    Sorry I'm so slow....your post got past me somehow. Yikes....

    So....to answer your question......First, its really hard to accurately answer "sound" questions via an email....but....Its most likely a combination of tone settings and getting your hands/musicianship/technique together.

    Realize your sound is mostly in your hands.....a good instrument and amp are a big help, but ultimately the sound is in your hands. I would recommend studying with the best teacher you can find in your area.....if not, let me know and we could get you going on some video chat lessons. Its an investment, but a REALLY good one!! : )

    I hope this helps.....if not, let me know and we'll see what we can do.

    Cool???

    Have fun!!
  15. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

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    If it's the strings try some half rounds or labella Quarter Rounds they really decease the string noise.
  16. NKBassman

    NKBassman Supporting Member

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    This (emphasis in bold is mine).

    Obviously if you keep practicing your technique you'll gain better control over all the nuances of your tone, but I wouldn't worry about finger noise too much if you're just practicing in your bedroom. In a full mix you'll NEVER hear that.
  17. Anonymatt

    Anonymatt

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    Be deliberate with your hands. Don't let them coax unmusical sounds from the instrument.
  18. Willie Dizon

    Willie Dizon

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    You might also want to check into GHS pressure wound strings or S.I.T. silencers. As far as the strength in your fretting hand is concerned you might also want to use this excercise - play a chromatic scale using each finger of your (I'm assuming you play standard position as opposed to left handed) right hand,i.e. 1st finger 1st fret,2nd finger 2nd fret,3rd finger 3 fret,4th finger 4th fret. Do this on each string from low to high,then high to low.It's a good warm up as well.
  19. Itzayana

    Itzayana

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    Being a girl is not anything that can prevent you from being a great bass player. Your fingers can get plenty strong enough to play bass. You need to work them and get them there.
    Buy a finger exerciser and get to work or just play longer and longer each day to gain strength. You can do it.
    The good news is that you recognize the problem. That is always the first step in correcting it.
    With playing any musical instrument there are no shortcuts.
    Put in the time and you will get there.

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