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"Family Mans" bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nunk6, Jan 14, 2001.

  1. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    Aston Barrett is the bassist that has played with the Wailers(hung w/Bob Marley)

    i was wondering if anyone knows what basses he uses; ive heard that he used a Fender Jazz but
    just wondering maybe the woods it was made out of type of bridge
    anyone have a picture of his bass?

    just interested in it cause i like the sound he gets from the bass
  2. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    If you look inside the covers of "Live" and "Babylon By Bus" you'll see pictures of Familyman playing a sunburst Fender Jazz with a maple board. You must factor in his other equipment as well. A 2001 Jazz bass probably won't sound anywhere close to a 60's Jazz bass.

    - David
  3. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Yes, thats right he´s using a sunburst Fender jazz with maple board (probably from the 70th). I think the body is alder because of the deap sound (not sure). But one important thing; he uses flatwoond strings to get that fat sound.
  4. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    yea i like that sound, ill try out a set of flatwounds good idea

    how does an older issue fender sound different from todays instruments? ive never played a vintage fender

  5. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    You're right. He does have a great sound and man what a feel and groove he could lay down. I thought he played a P bass but I guess I was wrong.
  6. He's often seen with an early 70's Jazz, which is not a really collectable model, but some of them were good (they must be- Marcus plays one!). One way to duplicate that look and sound as close as possible, is to get a '60 or '62 reissue Jazz, and replace the pickups with either Seymour Duncan Antiquity II's, or Lindy Fralins. This gets you as close as you're gonna get to vintage, without the hefty vintage price tag.
  7. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    It is indeed a Jazz with Fender flats.The SB finish means its made from alder.No idea what model year it is.
  8. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    uh oh ....now i want a vintage fender........
    and about a million other bass related items,
    good thing my local guitar center has many of them hanging around
  9. Monkey


    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I am a huge Family Man fan, and I concur that flatwounds are essential equipment, regardless of the bass. He usually played Jazz basses, but I've seen pictures and a video where he played a Yamaha with P-J pickups.
    Nunk6, do you like Robbie Shakespeare? He was a student of Family Man's, and has played a lot of different basses (Hofner, Jazz, Steinberger, PRS), but always used flatwounds.
  10. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    In the last year or so there have been ads in Bass Player for 'Fender Stainless flatwound 9050 strings' with a picture of Family Man playing a sunburst Jazz Bass with a 22-fret rosewood neck. 22-fret necks appeared on the American Standard Jazz in the early 90's (they've since gone back to 20). The American Jazz Deluxe also has 22 frets, so it must be one of the two basses. I believe there's footage of Family Man playing in the reggae movie "Cool Runnings" (a concert movie, not to be confused with the comedy about the Jamaican Olympic bobsledding team with the same name) directed by Robert Mugge from the early 80's.
  11. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000

    "cool runings" that was a great movie. I mean the bobsled one with john candie, I never seen the live concert one.

    anyway if you look through the background on the clip of Bob Marley's Redemption Song (the one where he plays his Ovation Adams with nylon strings) you will see someone holding a P-bass, but this guy has afro not rastas, and he looks much younger than Family Man, looks like someone from the Jacksons or something (like marley's guitar player :)).

  12. I believe there is a rundown of his equipment and how he uses it in the September 2000 issue of Bass Player. I happen to love my 72 Jazz it feels like a part of me but I got lucky with mine. Sometimes finding a good one is hit or miss. BTW Geddy Lee's black jazz is a 72.

  13. michael


    Mar 10, 2000
    I was reading the Fender mag last night and he's using a Fender American Deluxe Jazz. My bass! yeah!
  14. darthspada


    Jan 20, 2001
    Lancaster, PA
    I have an early 70s Electra P-Bass with ash body and maple board, round wound strings. I pull the tone knob to full bass and I get a very authentic "Family Man" Barrett sound. This is important since I play in a reggae band that cover's a whole lot of Marley's work. One of my bandmates also happens to own a guitar used in the recording of the Exodus album, so authentic tones are a key element to our total sound. I also found that a mid-70s Fender P or J bass will give a great "Family Man" tone with the flat wound strings. Whatever you go with, boost the lows and pull down the mids and highs. Rock on Rasta!

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