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Playing Country with Fender American Deluxe P-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

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    In the last few weeks I've been taking a break from Blues and Rock and getting into playing some Country for the first time. I know that Country has that reputation for being easy to do with the roots and fifths thing dominating, but I'm finding it very, very satisfying playing along with songs that I've been listening to for many years. I'm also finding that it can be very emotional music, I simply can't play “He Stopped Loving Her Today” without getting watery eyes.

    I'm using my 2012 Fender American Deluxe P-Bass (P/J with a pan pot) and have a few questions on getting the right tone.

    [​IMG]

    Which pickup should be dominating?
    I'm aware that the P has a long history in Country, so I'm favouring the P-Pickup. Are there any styles of Country songs where I should use the J-Pickup or a blend of both?

    What about Active EQ?
    Should I leave the EQ flat, as I do most of the time and play passive?
    What frequencies should be emphasized, am I looking for percussive or warm and smooth?

    The Pick or Fingers Issue
    I've bought a couple of Hal Leonard primer books and there's a lot of mention in them of using a pick, which surprises me. Is there a particular style of Country that demands a pick?
  2. Wyattsgroove

    Wyattsgroove

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    I'm no pro but, I've used a Peavy cirrus 5 (active) and the last country gig I picked up, I used my Fender Jazz bass ( no PBass at the time ).

    I never get questioned on my preference of bass. However with your bass, I'd go passive P all the way maybe a little blend of the J pup.

    That's me though. Just know those darned turn arounds!!!
  3. Smallmouth_Bass

    Smallmouth_Bass Supporting Member

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    I am not a country connoisseur, but anything with the P pickup or both the P and J should work. I just wouldn't solo the J.
  4. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

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    Passive P is, of course, classic. But for live country music, there's no real right or wrong answer. I've typically played country with active pickups. Use your ears and go with what sounds best to you and what you feel best complements the songs
  5. Up the dose

    Up the dose Supporting Member

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    I also play country music too and I use the 5 string version of that bass often. I tend to favor the P pickup a bit most of the time, but depending on what the room is giving me I will pan it to center or even favor the back pickup just a bit if the room is very "boomy" sounding. Something I like to do for ballads too is to pan all the way to the J pickup with the bass boosted and cut on the treble. I will also add to that some chorus and even a touch of reverb sometimes too. The notes have a nice singing quality with a lot of sustain. Good for whole notes! Deluxe P basses are very versatile. Good luck!
  6. Stealth Fighter

    Stealth Fighter

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    Based on the bold text above, I would go passive P pickup only and roll off the highs a bit, according to the particular song. That said, I played for many years, much of it country, using nothing but a '62 Fender Jazz. Never had any complaints about my tone. On the Jazz, I played almost everything with volume controls set 90%/80% neck/bridge respectively. Tone was seldom more than half open. Obviously, I don't slap. The important thing is to set it so that it sounds good to you, and enjoy playing it. BTW, nice bass. :)
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

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    That's a very nice looking bass.

    I love my Precision V for Country.
  8. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Authorized fEARful/FEARLESS/greenboy designs builder
    That bass would work for pretty anything you ask of it. More than ever, there's really no such thing as a ideal country tone any more than there is for rock, or whatever. Any advice given is by someone with different hands, different band mates, etc. it'll tell you something, but only in a general sense. Here in Nashville, there's players who will only do the maple neck P with flats and often a tiny bit of foam under the bridge and in the hands of the right player, it sounds wonderful. But then I see someone playing a 5 string Lakland with active electronics and round wounds and they sound awesome too :)

    To pick or not to pick? Heck, I use a pick all the time on country gigs...on old school stuff I just roll back the tone so it doesn't get too clacky.

    If I don't know the artist, I tend to ere to the side of a thick sounding (not too bright) bass with flats and feel it out from there :)
  9. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

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    Thanks to all for the input. The consensus seems to be that what I'm doing isn't far off the mark, but I think I'll pass on the pick.
  10. P Town

    P Town Guest

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    I bought one of these in ash/maple, in late 2011 and it was so nice, that I bought the J version as well. They are very versatile, and for me, the limitation is my ability to play. In the hands of someone with talent, anything is possible with a new Fender American Deluxe P, (but just in case you think you might need to have even more tone options, add a J, and you are ready for anything).
  11. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

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    You may do whatever you want to sound good. There are no rules.


    P.S. Blues, rock, country, it's all the same. The only different genre is opera. :cool:

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