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Sting's Early Tone with the Police

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by WALBASS4001, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. WALBASS4001

    WALBASS4001

    Jul 13, 2012
    I know Sting used a Jazz bass with a pick early on but I cant seem to figure out how he gets his tone on the early Police records. It seems to have a growly/clunky feel to it. Anyone have any better insight on how he got his tone?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRxJmPiQMYg
     
  2. kfgranda

    kfgranda

    Aug 14, 2011
    Miami, Fl
    Funny, I actually heard some Police last night and I thought the same thing. I've actually gotten a "similar" tone boosting my mids all the way up, using a pick, and using the bridge pickup on an Ibanez.
     
  3. Sting actually used a Precision more often than a Jazz. He also dabbled with fretlesses quite a bit because he thought it made him look like a better player than he really was (his words, not mine).
     
  4. Rickenbassist

    Rickenbassist

    Jul 17, 2010
    West Greewich, RI USA
    Disclosures:
    Thumb Thumper
    He played a stacked knob jazz bass. He also played a fretless P with a maple fretboard. Usually through his often broken Marshall amp. Eventually he switched to Ampeg. He was also known for doubling his basslines and sometimes used chorus and taurus pedals live.
     
  5. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    False modesty. He's too much of an arrogant jackass for that to be sincere. He's also plenty talented. Listen to Spirits in a Material World and tell me he's not an excellent bassist.
     
  6. WALBASS4001

    WALBASS4001

    Jul 13, 2012
    I found another live video with him getting that sound. He's using a Jazz bass with a pick. I still cant get anywhere near that type of clunky tone with my jazz bass.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEJH6clqfUI
     
  7. I have every song they've ever done on iTunes. Trust me, I know he's good ;) And yes, he did say it. I can't recall where or when, but he did say it in an interview once. It caught me by surprise, too.
     
  8. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I agree. I just think it was a clumsy attempt at modesty by an immodest man of considerable talent.
     
  9. Rickenbassist

    Rickenbassist

    Jul 17, 2010
    West Greewich, RI USA
    Disclosures:
    Thumb Thumper
    He's actually genuinely modest. Watch the interviews on the Live in Rio DVD and you'll see for yourself . . . or you could hate. . . :scowl:

    Anyway OP, Sting likes to play close to his bridge and his tone is mostly mid range. I would try using some eq and roll your lows back a little bit. His modern tone is only mildly darker and warmer due to using his thumb and the CSS pickup in the '57 P. I get a similar tone with my P by using the EQ and compressor on my head. Hope that helps.
     
  10. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Is it "hating" to recognize a guy's talent while recognizing that, like many successful musicians, there are certain shortcomings of character? Anyway, it's merely my impression. I don't know the man personally.
     
  11. Rickenbassist

    Rickenbassist

    Jul 17, 2010
    West Greewich, RI USA
    Disclosures:
    Thumb Thumper
    Shortcomings? Have you ever read his memoir, or seen any interviews with him or any member of the Police or his current band where they speak about him?

    Now I'm not bashing you or anything, I dont know you, but before you say stuff like "false modesty" or call the man a jack ass, perhaps you should have some understanding of the man first is all.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps
  13. Vinnyboonbots

    Vinnyboonbots Banned

    May 25, 2012

    This has become so overdone, overused and oversaid.

    It isn't "hate" if someone has a differing opinion and it isn't hate if someone's perspective about someone or something isn't all roses and sunshine. It's just a point of view.
     

  14. I'd say a memoir of a living person is the worst way to really get a great idea about a person, 99% are ghost written and just made to make some royalty checks.

    Wait til he's dead or meet him to see what people really thought.
     
  15. Boy this thread fell apart quickly!

    Anyways, I love Sting's bass playing. The Synchronicity tour was the first concert I ever saw at the age of 8, and The Police were the first band I "got into", even before I ever played bass myself. Definitely a big influence on me.
     
  16. I always heard he doubled his P or J bass with an upright on the early records.
     
  17. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Doubling with upright sounds like a nifty idea to me.
     
  18. Rickenbassist

    Rickenbassist

    Jul 17, 2010
    West Greewich, RI USA
    Disclosures:
    Thumb Thumper
    There's actually a great live dvd from Synchronicity that comes with some great behind the scenes "making of" footage. It basically shows them making the album, and Sting does some cool upright jamming
     
  19. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I ought to rent that! Sounds great. Lest anyone think otherwise, I love Sting's playing and I think The Police are great, and that's all that really matters. Whether or not I think Sting is a nice guy is pretty much immaterial, and if I wrong about that, so be it.
     
  20. bottomend!

    bottomend!

    Oct 23, 2007
    here
    Favor the rear pickup, dig in HARD with the pick near the bridge, and add a little bit of right hand mute on the verse with open strings on the chorus. I guaranty if you do these things, you'll get very close to the sound he's getting!
     



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