Dumb question: What does growl sound like?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by banditcosmo, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Charlottesville, Va.
    I've seen people mention that they get great growl out of their bass or bass amp but exactly is growl and describe what it sounds like? Is it like distortion?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I think there are many meanings and variations to this - but to me the definitive definition is nothing to do with distortion (although I see a lot of younger people mentioning this) but rather the sound of a Jazz Bass played close to the bridge and emphasising the bridge pick-up sound.
  3. jieshi


    Mar 26, 2002
    sound like .. ermm

    Groowwlll wooowowowow

    then u go YEA BABY!
  4. I once read that Fenders had a "Grain" to their tone. Technically speaking it probably means that the harmonics of a bass note in the neighborhood of 250 or so are clearly a audible. Take you garden variety Jazz bass. Turn up the bridge pickup full. Turn down the neck pickup a little. Pluck a Low E just above the bridge pickup. Now that's Growl.
  5. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Maybe someone who has the capability could post a sound clip of some growl for banditcosmo. I have the bass, just not the necessary recording stuff.

    brad cook
  6. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    But typicaly, the p-bass is the "growl" bass isn't it?.. I thought so... But then again, I could be wrong...

  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    bandit - Not a "dumb question" at all, to me. I've been playing bass for a very long time and have yet to figure out what "growl" is except on upright/double basses and bassists who use them like Ron Carter and some fretless basses and bassists.

    "Growl" is a term that's sloshed around so much among electric bassists that it's become as meaningless, to me, as the words, "tangy" or "special." So, I really agree with Bruce. But I think Greybeard has done a great job of trying to define it.

    Jazz basses are most often associated with growl. But if you look at some sources, like Overwater Basses discussion of which woods with sufficient densities/weights to give an electric bass "growl", the Fender Jazz with its poplar/ash/alder body options is incapable of producing growl.

    As close as I can conceptualize it, "growl" includes having enough mids in the tone to "dirty up" the sound a bit - not "dirty" in the sense of distortion, but to add a thicker, gutsier, throatier, tone as opposed to the crystalline clarity of a string plucked near the neck over a single coil J pickup.
  8. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I say growl is the mwah sound with frets.
  9. jpwinters

    jpwinters Guest

    Aug 22, 2002
    Norfolk, Va
    Actually the P-bass is the THUMP bass. The J is most famous for the GROWL.
  10. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    my bad.... But then a pj bass can achive growl.... I was tinking about slapping a Bartolini J bridge pickup on my P bass...

  11. jpwinters

    jpwinters Guest

    Aug 22, 2002
    Norfolk, Va
    Go for it. I have an Elite P-Bass with Bartolini P/J pickups in it. They sound awesome.
  12. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    That was probably the most perfect definition of "growl" out there. Thanks rickbass.

    Maybe someone could post a quick sample of a bass with some growl or give an example of a song where you can really hear a bass with a lot of growl.
  13. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Thanks rickbass,
    that helps me understand growl a little bit better. I would be cool hear it.
  14. sirgrooveholic


    Sep 26, 2002
    It sounds like a wet fart effect. That's how it sound.

    Really it's sound like a overdriven distortion without that fuzz, bass or treble makes it that way and still has saved that clean sound in sort of way.
  16. well.. here's my attempt..

    if you have a normal, crappy B-string.. it would sound something like

    " BMMMMMmmmmm.... "

    but if it has growl, it would be more like

    " BMMRRRRrrrrr.... "
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Click on <a href="http://play.mp3.com/cgi-bin/play/play.cgi/AAICQlOYIwDABG5vcm1QBAAAAFJFeQIAUQEAAABDsD5nPRaArX3KvfuolxqpnpWUD7U-/FINSTER_.m3u"><b>"FINSTER"</b></a> or <a href="http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/2332/2332759.html"><b>"WIMS"</b></a>. To me, this is GROWL.
  18. nirvanafan13


    Apr 14, 2000
    Austin, TX
    In my opinion, one of the "growliest" basses that i have ever heard recorded would have to be that of Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne. he plays a warwick thumb 5 string....... download some of his songs and listen to the lower notes.... it's kinda like, rumbling with sharp, attack with treble and high mids......
  19. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I think the variety of responses here shows how nebulous the concept of "growl" is.

    Reminds me of a wine snob - "It's a high-spirited vintage that has a tame nose but slaps the back of the palette with a sassy tang of tannin and a tart finish." ;)
  20. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    My Kingston has that sound - more or less dependent upon what kind of strings are on it. The original MTD strings produced it best.