Country bass tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmatt4792, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. I'm putting this in the Basses category because I feel like a different bass would get me closest to this tone.

    Hello fellow bassists. I'm currently on a 90s country kick and I'm LOVING a lot of the bass tones I'm hearing. Punchy, resonant, articulate. It also seems to be almost in the front of the mix a lot; it's really easy to hear. Among my favorite tones are the ones in 'One Way Ticket' by Leann Rimes (sounds like the bridge pup on a Jazz 5 to me), 'Don't be Stupid' by Shania Twain, and 'Rodeo' by Garth Brooks. I'm thinking about getting a American Deluxe Jazz 5 sometime soon, in hopes that it kind of gives me this tone. Is that a good choice? I think most of these recordings were done with an active jazz, at least that's what my ears think.

    Please tell me your thoughts.

    I have a GK 700rb-ii head and a GK RBH 410 cab. I have a Traben Array Obsession 5, a Epiphone Thunderbird, and a Fender Duff McKagan Jazz Special, and none of those basses sound anything like what I'm going for.
  2. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I'm currently playing in a top 40 country band, and I'm getting it done these days with a Streamliner 900 thru a Mesa PH215... I'm doing most of my gigging with either an '08 American Standard Jazz(in series) or an '09 Highway One P with QP pups for 4 strings, either an EBMM Sterling 5 HS, Music Man SUB5, or a Peavey Foundation 5...

    I think you can get there with your amp/cab setup, and your Duff is probably the most likely bass you listed to work... What are you using for strings on it??

    - georgestrings
  3. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I don't know what basses are used on those recordings. But, I would suggest trying out an EBMM StingRay H 5 and an EBMM Sterling H 5 before you buy anything to see if one of those gives you the one you are looking for. I have read on here that the EBMMs are fairly popular in Country these days and the description of sounding "out front" brings them to mind more than a Jazz (to me, of course).
  4. The strings on my Duff are Rotos- nice and new and bright. The Duff is kind of a one truck pony, all it really has is a super mid heavy, nasally honk- due to the TBX tone pot and the 70s position jazz pup.

    I will for sure try some MMs at GC next time I am there, which souls be soon.
  5. You'd be surprised but warwicks and stingrays are pretty big in the local country bands in my area
  6. I was thinking about Warwicks- Shania's live bassist used a PJ 5 on her tours back in the day. It sounded pretty close to the recordings, at lease what I've heard on YouTube.
  7. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    I would recommend a Sadowsky JJ5 with humcancelling pickups (metro or NYC) or, if you can find one, an old James Tyler 5. Some other options for that kind of sound IMO include an Alien Audio Lunar or Lakland 5594 (especially the original ones with Bart pickups).
  8. therhodeo


    Feb 28, 2011
    Owasso OK
    I'm proud of everyone refraining from the typical "P with flats" responses. Alot of the bass stuff in the 90's was pretty modern sounding.
  9. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
  10. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    I'd use your jazz or p with a Sadowsky DI. Kevin Grantt does fine with a J, albeit a Sadowsky J. Glen Worf works wonders with a P with rounds. A PJ works very well too, Michael Rhodes isn't handicapped with such an instrument.
  11. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    True. Now back it up a few years, and P with flats was what was happening. Although, there were Js around, too.

  12. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
  13. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I remember Jazz Basses being the dominant instrument in Country, in early '90's. I saw a lot of them, but I also saw all sorts of other basses being used live. I used a '70's Jazz Bass, a Peavey TL - 5 and a Stingray 5.

    Trying to guess what bass appeared on specific recordings is going to be pretty tough. Many of the session guys had several basses to choose from. Then, there's the recording methods to consider.
  14. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    I'd start with the bass or two you have that get you the closest.

    Strings have a big role in the sound. Start researching strings. Never underestimate the power that the right strings can have on your sound.

    Your basses all have good pickups but there options out there for sure.

    I'm guessing though that with the right strings and a nice preamp pedal you can get there with what you have.
  15. What brand strings would you guys suggest? I've really only been using Rotos for awhile now, as I've been concentrating mostly on rock. I have looked into DR Strings a little, but the whole string market is unfamiliar to me as I've been using Rotos primarily.
  16. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Try some D'Adarrio EXL-160s - they're cheap, and they work well for that stuff... BTW, my band is at Scriba Town Inn this saturday - c'mon out and introduce yourself...

    - georgestrings
  17. Dluxe

    Dluxe Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I played in a top 40 Country band back in the late 1990's. I used a Peavey Mark VIII head through an old Peavey 410 cab. I used a 1990 Stingray 5 with Dean Markley flatwound strings. They are pretty much impossible to find nowadays though. I really like the DR Legend Flats. When I used rounds back then it was always Labella Deep Talking Bass.
  18. Like a washtub bass :confused:
  19. Dang Georgestrings, I have to work Saturday night. I did, however, see your band at the Ontario Orchards Jamboree and I was thoroughly impressed.

    It was incredibly shocking to see 'Scriba Town Inn' on this site though haha, with how huge this page is.
  20. Up the dose

    Up the dose

    Mar 10, 2013
    +1. I play in a modern country band and use a Sterling H, a Stingray HH and an ADPV. They all work very well for me.