1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Billy Sheehan

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by boofis, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. Hey
    I have a few questions about Billy Sheehan. THe one and only! Well, how does he get his harmonics so clear and harsh? Are they false harmonics? Does he use a distortion pedal for his bass solo 2 on his website? And does he use single finger double picking? Thankyou for your time.
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    one that I've heard about him is he always uses distortion and tons of compression. Compression will make harmonics ring better. He uses a lot of guitar technique so the harmonics could very well be pinched harmonics.

    I'm not a fan of fast wanky solos and the artists that make them so that is all the help I can give. Hope that helped
  3. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    He has a customised bass with two output jacks for two cables.
    I believe each pickup is connected to it's own output jack and that he has one going to an amp with distortion and the other one going to a cleaner setup. I'm just guessing but I think this is how he gets both a clean sound and a harsh sound at the same time.
  4. Hey hey,

    I'm a big Billy Sheehan fan myself.

    He uses a few different techniques for harmonics. One way is using natural harmonics. Rest a left hand finger over a fret, but not fretting a note , and then pick normally.

    The other is with pinch harmonics. He uses a technique close to what Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top uses.

    These are either enhanced with distortion from his Pre-amps, or but turning up his middle pickup. His bass (I own one BTW) has two outputs one for the Neck "woofer" pickup, and one for his middle pickup. Each is sent to it's own amp, and then EQ'd with the highs off the Woofer pickup, and the Lows off the middle pickup. This add lots of clarity to the sound.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I have built a version of his "wife" with the EBO at the neck with stereo outputs and it really helps. Distort the hell out of the woofer and leave the P-bass pickup clean. Get's a nice dirty sound with plenty of definition.
  6. hvacfreak


    Feb 12, 2004
    This company is no longer around , but used to build the preamps for Bill , and the single reason , imo , ( along with Evintide harmonizers ) , for the harmonics you hear from him. I have and still use a Pearce BC-1 pre amp w/ Bill Sheehan mod ( this was an option).Even scratching a string with a right hand fingernail will ring out crazy high tones with some settings on the Pearce. I know he is pushing his Ampeg pre amp model , but why do I still see those Pearce units in his rack , and turned on , lol.
  7. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    In his video lessons, he plays with 3 fingers and shows how he does it (always starts with ring finger).
  8. Hey
    Thanks for all your replies. Which video is this? What are pinching harmonics?
  9. hvacfreak


    Feb 12, 2004
    Listen to " Talas" , " High Speed on Ice " album/ cd . Pinch harmonic , right hand..use thumb as a mute ( thumb tip , think narrow ) and and engage a string with another finger and release ( pinch) . Left hand fretting anything on that string . And do this through a Pearce/ Evintide combo and watch your parents wedding crystal break into a thousand pieces , lol.
  10. hvacfreak


    Feb 12, 2004
    You know , I meant Talas , Sink Your Teeth Into That ( studio) . The harmonics he does are just plain sick on this , though the songs and other instruments do kinda fail.
  11. Hey
    That sounds just like artificial/false harmonics. Is it?
  12. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    It's an instructional video published by guitar.com
  13. supermonkey


    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I remember reading in the 80's about his Pearce's w/ "contaminated chips" that were responsible for his distinctive sound. Now it sounds like BS, but it's good lore. :D
  14. hvacfreak


    Feb 12, 2004
    Pearce bass amps just blow everything else away imo. I'm still catching up though , at least , as of , say 1994 lol.
  15. David S

    David S

    Apr 4, 2004
    I have an Ashly pre amp & Ashly compresser that give "almost" that Sheehan sound- very close, but I need the neck pick-up and 2nd channel to get any closer.

    I also think the roto's help the harmonics.


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.