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“Using a ____ won’t make you sound like ____”

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ChrisBowsman, May 31, 2020.

  1. ChrisBowsman

    ChrisBowsman Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Someone pops up on a message board and asks about a piece of gear that a particular player uses.

    At some point, someone will inevitably mention that using whatever piece of gear won’t make the asker sound or play like the player in question.

    I’m always curious about what other people use, but it’s just because I like gear. If someone asks what type of warm up exercises Matt Garrison does, no one warns that it won’t make them sound like him.

    I suppose it’s a dumb thing to think about, but I’m in a hospital waiting room and could use some dumb thought :)
  2. This immediately made me fill in the blanks like this:

    "Using a bass won't make you sound like a bass player."
    Wisebass, gorneyg, chadface and 55 others like this.
  3. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    You probably have the same number of fingers (and thumbs) as Geddy. But your brain isn't hooked up to them the same way his is. Tone is actually in the brain.
  4. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I certainly appreciate the sentiment behind the idea that tone is "in the fingers" or "in the brain," but come on: Nobody believes that gear has nothing to do with tone. If you want to cop the tone of a particular player, using the same gear is likely to help, right? The mistake is to think it will that gear alone will get you there.
  5. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    Bass gear is a crutch. You don't need it. A good bass player doesn't even need a bass. Or an amp. A good bass player can exude cool and groove just by standing on a stage and dominating the performance with their psychic energy. (Afterwards, all the drunk people will tell you how amazing you are.)
  6. ChrisBowsman

    ChrisBowsman Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    That’s what I’m trying to get at... Does anyone REALLY think it will?

    When I was into bluegrass, I’d go see a band, talk to the guys, and post on Mandolin Cafe about how whoever used whatever picks and strings. Within two replies, some grouchy old guy would go, “Oh, so you think using the same pick and strings will make you play like him?”

    I think that response reflects a lot about the person. When I started playing music in the early 90’s, doing your own thing was stressed by all my heroes. I’d pay attention to what my favorites used, but never in an attempt to sound like them. Can’t help but wonder if the “it won’t make you sound like them” crowd isn’t stuck in a loop of trying to play and sound like someone else.
  7. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    If you're there for an MRI, have them scan your brain for tone. Maybe they can tell you what bass you should be playing depending on the results. ;)

    Seriously, hope it's nothing too serious. Get well soon, please. :thumbsup:
  8. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    "Using a duck call won't make you sound like a turkey."

    We hope your wait at the hospital is not for something serious.
    gozbass, roccobass, teh-slb and 4 others like this.
  9. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    I think you're probably right. The reason some people automatically assume that you're make gear choices based upon what someone else uses is because we've all done it, at least once before we understood that it doesn't work that way.
  10. ChrisBowsman

    ChrisBowsman Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Not me, my dad. It is pretty serious, but things have been going as well as possible. Appreciate the concern :)
    slapshot, gozbass, GregC and 11 others like this.
  11. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    I think playing style and tone are confused. Playing style comes from the fingers but tone really comes from the gear.
    Fuzzbass, JulienP., LoTone and 5 others like this.
  12. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    gozbass, DC in ATX, Reedt2000 and 2 others like this.
  13. dabis


    Mar 27, 2016
    Tottally agree. I usually look for information about gear that some player use. I always did, like you because I like gear. I was lucky to realize at the very beggining of playing bass that it's almost impossible to sound like Flea or Jaco or Jason Newsted without being them. But knowing their sponsored (or not) gear it's an inspiration to take that way or the other to find a determinate voice. It is more evident on effects side of the chain of course.
    ChrisBowsman likes this.
  14. Bassic Needs

    Bassic Needs

    Jul 7, 2019
    Good tools yield better results. That's not to say it is everything but it definitely factors in. The rest is up to you.
  15. underwhelmist


    Nov 16, 2018
    Using a fretless won't make you sound like Pino. Well it doesn't make *me* sound like Pino, it's fun though.

    Best wishes to your dad, OP.
  16. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    I definitely agree. There is a level of inspiration we get from a new piece, or a special piece, of gear. Knowing our idols use X thing makes us want to be closer to them, the sound, the feel, and it makes us want to play more.

    We also.habe a certain amount of trust in the pros. If a pro uses and trusts X thing, it might be a useful piece of gear.

    The majority of us here are just aspiring to the role of rock star but few are probably playing the stadiums like our idols. It's a game, for most of us. Music isn't my day job, or night job, but is a fun hobby and I/we like toys and playing pretend.
    dabis and ChrisBowsman like this.
  17. lbbc


    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    Using a Fodera won't make you sound like Victor Wooten!
    DavC, HG1180, InhumanResource and 2 others like this.
  18. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    My first bass was a Ric 4001. A friend of mine who was a huge Rush fan bought a 4003. One day we had a jam and he sounded exactly like Geddy Lee and I didn't. He showed me how to do it, but I could not pull the sound from my bass. We traded basses and I found I could easily get a Geddy Lee sound out of his bass if I attacked the strings in the right way.

    The action on my bass was too low for this approach, but it suited my style of playing so I left it alone.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    That just about says it all I think. :thumbsup:
  20. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    It's one of many annoying things people say when they want to sound like they know more about music than they actually do.

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