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Any "surf" bassists here?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by b-bottom, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. b-bottom


    Dec 18, 2006
    Knoxville TN
    I've been playing in a surf band on the side from my rock band for a few months now and I'm really digging it.

    I'm curious if anyone else here is in, or has ever been in a surf band.
  2. My previous band played a lot of surf music and I really enjoyed it.

    I ended up buying a bass that I thought fit the genre well. It is a sonic blue Squier Precision. I was using my Alembic and I just thought it was a little weird. Plus it is heavy and my shoulder decided it had enough and was complaining.
  3. Dubsly

    Dubsly Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    I've been playing in one for a few years now. It's been a learning experience, and a lot of fun.

    It's cool, because with both originals and covers you can play to any crowd by speeding up/ slowing down or adjusting your volume and use of distortion. Older folks remember hearing alot of the old standards, and if you play loud and fast enough, you can play at punk shows.

    I've discovered some pretty cool bands in the genre, too.
  4. b-bottom


    Dec 18, 2006
    Knoxville TN
    I'm curious about whether any of you guys use any effects. In all of the surf music that I've heard the bass seem to be pretty clean, so that's how I've been playing it as well.
  5. gerard_66six


    Nov 21, 2011
    I'm not in a "Surf Band" but whenever there is a chance I come to my hometown I surf (even though I sucked both on playing bass and surfing)..

    Does that count?...

  6. Dubsly

    Dubsly Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    I haven't used any effects, yet. I've been playing with two guitarists, and they"re using all kinds of stuff. I think it sounds better to just provide a smooth and clean foundation.

    Easier to cut through, as well.
  7. Definitely not ! I played mostly "older' surf music and I don't recall hearing any effects on any of those old tunes. I am not going to claim that they can't sound good but I prefer not to use them.

    I got that bass I described earlier and have it strung with flats and played it with a pick so it sounded very authentic to me and my bandmates.
  8. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I'm in a group doing something that might be considered "progressive" surf. A bit of overdrive when needed, but otherwise not much room for effects. A ton of palm-muted picking, though. Forearm is on fire sometimes

    Heard of some guys using reverb, but I'm not into it. At least not enough to pack/set-up another pedal.
  9. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    I was introduced to "proper" surf music back in the late 80's and have gigged on and off with the same band ever since. Always lots of fun and great crowd reaction.
    Fun for me because the two guitar players are easily the best I've played with, especially in the same band.
    Effects? In real surf music the only effect anyone uses is reverb...and lots of it.
    Precision or Jazz, rounds or flats, doesn't matter much, just be ready to pump some 8th notes.
  10. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Can't talk surf music without Link Wray. I was in a all instrumental band in the late nineties called Signal 57 it was fun as hell! I miss those killer wrap ups just to drop lazy as hell into some thunder!

  11. I love surf music...used to play in a surf band but I really sucked...could never get the right feel....I'm much better at rock, blues and funk.
  12. Hope you all don't mind but an old geezer ( me) is gonna chime in on surf music.I was actually around when this stuff first took off. One of the first songs I learned to play on guitar was Pipeline by The Chantays. This was one of the first "surf songs" This was followed quickly by a group called The Ventures. Their big one was Walk Don't Run. While Link Wray and the Wraymen were playing in the same era , Link didn't technically consider his stuff "surf music" Link was one of the first to use heavy distortion on his stuff (well as heavy as the equipment of the day would allow.) He even resorted to knifing the speakers in one of his amps to give it a wilder sound. Don't forget The Sufaries and Wipe Out. Heck , I don't think there was any drummer from that era that didn't do that drum solo. I was still playing it in an oldies band just a couple years ago.The flip side of The Kingsmans Louie Louie was an instrumental called Haunted Castle that fit right into the surf music mode. Last but not least was the king of surf music Dick Dale. Probably one of the hottest surf guitarists ever. If any of you are into the surf scene , he definatly deserves a listen.
    O K story times over..... now... get off my lawn:eyebrow:
  13. Staredge


    Aug 7, 2010
    Germantown, MD
    Yep. Had a cover band going for a bit, but it imploded. I love surf. There is a pretty thriving community right now. Lots of bands all over the world, making some great instrumental music. Check out www.surfguitar101.com .

    There are a handful of effects you'll see for the guitarists. Spring reverb is the biggest one, although trem and fuzz show up fairly regularly. Bass usually tends to be clean.
  14. Wait ...wait... you can come back on my lawn... there's a bit more. You all (or for you guys and gals from the south y'all) have to remember that this music was primarily from the early 1960's.and except for Link Wray cranking the heck out of his amps and slicing his speakers , there weren't really any effects yet. I think the first time fuzz was used was by Paul McCartney on the Rubber Soul album and that wasn't released till Dec 1965.The heyday of the surf stuff was more like 1962-63. Heck , I don't think my first amp even had reverb.... just tremolo so you're not going to hear much in the way of effects on the original surf music.
    O K now ... get off my lawn or I'll get the hose and let you all (and for you southern guys and gals that's y'all )have it.:eyebrow:
  15. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
  16. J Bass II

    J Bass II

    Jan 19, 2014
    I cut my bass 'teeth' playing along with the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, etc. records on my stereo. I'm 64 LOL!!
    Surf music is my fallback music ( and Beatles ).

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