How do I get this bass tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stewie26, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. I am auditioning for a band job next week. One of the songs on the audition list is Blood & Roses by the Smithereens. I have learned this song via tabs and You Tube but my tone sounds nothing like the recording. I would be greatful for any advice. Thanks.

    BTW, Merry Christmas to you all.
  2. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Pbass with a pick and round wound strings.... you are there!
  3. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    Sansamp, dead rounds, and a pick!.......Probably any amp would do but definitely dead rounds and a pick..
  4. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Through almost any amp with at least one decent speaker. I can get that with my Ibanez fretless through my '58 Bassman. If you haven't played with a pick much up to this point, I would do just about nothing BUT play with a pick until the audition.

    If you have heard a lot of "purists" say that using a pick is sacrilege, don't worry- sometimes, a pick is the best/only way to get certain sounds.
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  6. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Using a pick is just fine, use fingers, thumb, toes... don't care how you get there just make it good....

    Check out what Bobby Vega does with a pick

    Tell me this guy doesn't groove!
  7. Thanks guys. Op here. I have no problem playing with a pick. I have a little artistis in my right fingers that flairs up from time to time so playing with a pick has allowed me to continue playing. Back to the tone. To my ear, I also hear some compression and maybe just a very light touch of phase shifting. Can't say for sure. I can hear it during the solo bass introduction at the beginning of the song. Anyone else?
  8. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Compression on everything, not just bass... that is typical for a rock recording. I would not concern myself too much with that. You should be able to get a very even sound with a pick. I hear no phase shifting or modulation.
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I think any "phase shifting" you're hearing during the intro is just the slight chorusing effect you get with a fresher set of round wounds.
    Yea, what Dbassmon said, P-bass, rounds and a pick...simple as that. I think the key would be to be able to play that line cleanly enough so you don't have to roll-off too much tone.
  10. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Fingers Pick whatever. For the Smitherines you need to dig in extra hard and dial in some extra Treble. Plus Out of your listed Basses I would use the Jazz Bass.
  11. Yeah....Maybe I am just hearing the pick it the strings during the first few bars of the bass intro and misinterpreting the sound.
  12. Good point about the roll off.
  13. ERMAL


    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    Merry Christmas and good luck with the audition. It's good to hear/see someone playing my favorite band, The Smithereens.
    Although you could use a pick, after seeing and studying Mike Mesaros' (their original bassist) technique, he doesn't use a pick.

    In the liner notes for "Especially For You" (written by drummer Dennis Diken) they mention that Mike had to use the studio's Ampeg amp, since his had shot craps.
    The tube amp could account for some of the compression you hear as well.
    IMO I would think as long as you nail the feel, pick/fingers, tube/s.s. would be secondary.
    Let us know how it turns out.
  14. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    one thing not mentioned yet is that they're tuned to E-flat. that seems to help;)
    using the neck pickup (if you have a 2-pup bass) and either picking or fingering over it helps. i've found that playing fingerstyle with flats has gotten me the closest to the original tone.
  15. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    One of my favorites I play with my band. Pick, pick and P-Bass. A little bit of OD (or tube tone at 50% on my TC BG250), Perfect tone.

    One think about playign with a pick is you don't need to attack the strings particularly hard, I only play slightly hard during the guitar solo parts, and when the band drops out and I play the solo bass parts,
    We moved ours up to standard E and it works fine. (IMHO, you either play everything half step down tuned or everything standard, no switching, easiest WAY to a MAJOR trainwreck when someone doesn't swithc in your band right)
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    How do I get this bass tone?


    Get a Rickenbacker.
  17. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY
  18. Thanks everyone for some really good advice. After hearing the live version that Ermal provided the link to above, I feel a lot better about the tone I am getting. The live version sounds closer to my live tone. The studio track tone is better, IMO, but I can live with the tone above for my audition.
  19. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Good Man! That is a song that will sound great If you nail the notes down & the Feel. I love playing Smithereens on My RIC but any Bass will work. Good luck with the Audition. :)
  20. Thanks. Yeah, I am guessing thats why they put this song is on the audition list. It's a great song and is very bass driven with a super cool signature bass line. It would be kind of hard for one to improvise their way thru and have it sound right. BTW, This is my first audition. In the past I have been in a lot of bands but just kind of fell into the postion without an audition. Since this is my first audition experience, I am figuring I will be under a magnified glass so I better have my sh*t together. TB is a great help.
  21. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    I second that....
    Sansamps any of them with Fender PJ bass & definitly a pick.