Carl Radle

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by p-bass, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    I have become a huge fan of Carl Radle and his great tone. Does anybody know what kind of strings he used ? Sounds like flats. Anybody know what brand ?
  2. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    Nothing , huh ? I would assume he used La Bella Flatwounds. Just thought somebody would know.
  3. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Regarding a non-British player from the early 1970's, flatwound strings usually a safe assumption, and LaBella is a reasonable assumption for the brand.
  4. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I think the only interveiw I ever saw (Guitar Player Magazine around summer 1977) said he was using Ernie Ball flats. This was right after he got his first StingRay (in the interveiw he talks about a new bass coming out that combined the features of the his Fender and his Alembic). Ancient first-style GK amps (way before the 400 or 800 R series) too.

    His main bass on the recordings before 1977 was a Precion with a Jazz bass (rosewood, blocks 'n' binding) neck.

  5. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    I just recently listened to the entire Derek n Dominos album. I had never heard of Carl. Man, he was great! Plus he was from Tulsa (near me) which is cool too! Great player, great band.
  6. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    Ya, my band plays alot of Clapton and it took me sitting down and learning his parts to make me understand what a great bass player he was. I am stringing my P-Bass with nickel roundwounds now.I would love to try some flats to get closer to his sound,anybody know of some flats I could try that will cut through a loud blues \ rock band ?
  7. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    Carl Radle was a big hero of mine, as I grew up in NE Oklahoma...Great player...great vibe...and tone...
  8. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats.
  9. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    If Carl Radle cut through with a P Bass and flats, so can you. It is eq that will do it. Lots of mids. No scoop.

    I don't think "cut through" when I think of P Bass with flats. More like "sit perfectly in".

    Radle used Stingrays quite a lot, perhaps that is where the "cut through" comes from. Even with flats, a Ray will cut through.
  10. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    I don't want to "cut through" like Geddy Lee or John Entwistle. I just want to make sure that my bass is heard in the mix. I really like his tone on the live album E.C. Was Here. It was recorded in 1975 so it probably was his Precision with flatwounds. I have used the D'addario Chromes and will give them a try at our next practice. I have heard too much about the Thomastiks and the low tension ,I think I will pass on those. I like a string I can really did into and I like the Chromes 50-105. Thanks
  11. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    For the classic sound, Labellas all the way, baby.
    But Chromes are great strings and are a little more versatile.

    You're on the right track--all the talk of "cutting through" with bass misses the whole point--you want to "sit in" as jasper says, or find your "spot" in the mix. That's why half the time rock players who keep goosing up the mids and highs to cut through guitars end up with an indestinguishable mess of a tone (but with lots of perfectly audible string noise:). Too many other things are occupying those frequencies already in the guitars, keys, whatever. But there's plenty of low-freq territory to stake out for your very own.
  12. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    Thanks You Guys. Even with my nickel roundwounds I EQ my sound to sound like a bass. I just feel I am missing that bottom thump,that "real" bass tone from the 60's & 70's. I did hit the music store today and picked up a set of Chromes50-105. I have used them before and know they start out kinda brite but I plan on leaving them on for a good while and letting them mellow. By the way they are going on a Fender Classic 50's Precision,should be a good match.
  13. David Cardoza

    David Cardoza

    Apr 16, 2004
    Carl Radle... now there's a name I haven't heard in a while.

    Great groove player, creator of many memorable bass lines, but in my mind one of the best bassist-drummer collaborations with drummer Jim Gordon. Both were well-established session players, but together were always a great lesson in how the bass-drums groove can make the song.

    Unfortunately, Jim Gordon cracked one day and killed his mother with a hammer. Last I heard, he's drawing pretty crayon pictures in an institution. But they can't take away his legacy. I wish him well.

  14. David Cardoza

    David Cardoza

    Apr 16, 2004
    Jim's drawing crayon pictures that is.... not Carl.

    He could never draw worth a crap, but man could he play...
  15. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    I read in Claptons book he has never found a team like Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. I can listen to the Derick and the Dominos album over and over and never get bored with it. I am interested in hearing what Claptons band sounded like with Willie Weeks and Steve Jordon. I heard they were doing alot of Dominos tunes on his last tour. I know the two of them left and last I heard Pino Paladino had taken the bass chair, another great bass player.
  16. Gotta chime in for Carl Radle. Great player, great groove, tone. I believe he played bass on JJ Cale's "Naturally" album too. Before I knew the name, I liked the feel of the playing. Kind of like Jamerson and David Hood in that way.
  17. Oh yeah, I don't know what strings he used. Sorry to go off topic.....
  18. david fitch

    david fitch

    Feb 20, 2007
    Carl Radle...Great Bass player ! Every Bass player should take a listen to him. Flats for sure with a solid feel and great tone.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Jim Gordon...I remember a few months ago, someone on Gearslutz was trying to get everyone to sign a petition to get Jim Gordon released at his next parole hearing. What kind of insane person wants a guy who kills his own mother released from prison? I don't care if he co-wrote "Layla" or not.

    Anyway, back on topic...what a shame that Carl Radle caused his own untimely death. He was by far one of my favorite bassists and had a brilliant way of overplaying so you didn't notice he was overplaying.
  20. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    What a great description of Carl's playing!! I started playing bass after a few years of being an annoying guitar student. I'd spent days with "Layla", "The History of Eric Clapton", and Clapton's first solo album (the one with "Slunky", "Let It Rain", and "After Midngiht" on it) on my turntable non-stop. When I started playing bass all those Carl Radle parts were percolating in my mind (along with Jack Cassady, Berry Oakley, and Jack Bruce). I started gigging in a country band in 1976, and they kept telling me I was playing too many notes. Now compared to those guys, I felt I was being a real simple and direct bassist....

    Carl's sound and touch on those Clapton things, especially his feel with Jim Gordon was the first time I realized the power of the bass/drums connection. The live Delany & Bonnie record with Clapton was a pivotal point for me.