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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Cool effects WITHOUT using pedals

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mcblahflooper94, May 24, 2013.

  1. mcblahflooper94


    Aug 31, 2011
    Just what the title says. Anything to make interesting sounds, without another device altering the bass's signal (excluding the actual amp and the bass). An example would be volume swells. Common household items/common guitar accessories are allowed, such as magnets or slides.

    I like to turn the pickup configuration knob on my bass to make a sort of wah sound. Anything you guys do? :hyper:
  2. Take a lady toy, I'm sure you know what I mean, turn on the vibration and hold it on the strings. You can also do a harmonic on the 4th fret on the D string, and the 5th fret on the G string with your volume off. Turn your volume on slowly and it sounds like controlled feedback.
  3. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    It's probably terrible for the nut and/or bridge, but I like to bend the top string off the fretboard and play against the neck. Gets kind of a sitar-y sound.
  4. mcblahflooper94


    Aug 31, 2011
    interesting idea. I think Matt Bellamy is using the same kind of thing in this video, just less, uhh, phallic.

    around the 2:29 mark
  5. It's been used quite a bit actually. The guitarist from The Used did it on their second album as well.
  6. klaus486


    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    ANY device with an electric motor will make interesting noises through the pickups. I used to use an old cordless beard trimmer. Basically anything that rattles can be added to the strings to change the timbre....paperclips, clothespins, dowels, pencils, metal rods etc....they'll make all kinds of interesting harmonic content.

    Guitars slides of differing materials always sound cool too. I use a fat thick brass one.

    Check this out - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prepared_guitar
  7. mcblahflooper94


    Aug 31, 2011
    Ya, that's some cool stuff you can do with Prepared guitars. I'm a big Sonic Youth fan
  8. zphreaky1

    zphreaky1 Far from good

    Apr 25, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Same. Love sonic youth. Still trying to learn to hit the string I want and fret cleanly though :)
  9. Pinch harmonics. Play about 2 inches towards the bridge from the pickup (on a p bass, different basses will differ), place your thumb on top of te string and pluck behind it with you finger. Easier to learn on the lower strings.
  10. jef4490


    Jun 30, 2012
    Putting alligator clips on the strings, positioning them in different places kinda makes the bass sound like a gamelan.
  11. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    You can get a wah sound on a bass with sweepable mids.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Van Halen used a power drill when I saw him live
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This. Roll the pinky on the mid sweep the same way you would on the volume knob for a volume swell. It works really well if you have the stacked mid sweep and level. Roll them both at the same time.
  14. I forgot he did that. He must have a pretty cool custom bit. Or it could just be a clamp on a thin pick! Anybody try that on bass?
  15. arock0627


    Mar 20, 2013
    Lawton, OK
    Slap/tap harmonics. Tap the strings but not so hard they hit the fretboard, fretting fingers rested on the strings.

    Nail digs. Put your preferred finger close to the string you're plucking and at a medium pace, pivot the finger and move the nail against the string. It'll make a "beyown" sound if you do it right because the string taps on the fingernail but doesn't stop right there.
  16. The eBow. It's a little thing that fits in your palm and causes a string to resonate. Can sound like ur using a bow.
  17. I have an old watch made by Bulova back in the 60s called an Accutron. In its day it was the first electronic watch and it uses a tiny tuning fork driven by electromagnets (instead of quartz) to regulate itself. The coolest thing about these watches is that if you hold it up to your ear you can hear that little tuning fork humming away. You can also hold it to a pickup and you'll hear the hum through the amplifier.

    Don't know what use that is, though, since you only get the single tone of the fork and nothing else.
  18. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I used to do this in a two-bass band I was in where I was mainly "lead bass". It was kind of gimmicky, but fun. I got the idea from an old column by guitarist Reeves Gabrels. Then we opened for Club D'Elf with Reeves Gabrels on guitar. I didn't do it that night!
  19. TheCorsair00


    Jun 8, 2013

    I use this piece of metal as a slide. I am not entirely sure what it is called or what it is normally used for, but it's the kind of thing you would find in your garage. It works quite well as a slide.
  20. arock0627


    Mar 20, 2013
    Lawton, OK
    Its a carabiner clip with the clip part missing.