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Flea - the double bassist?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Matthew Bryson, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Please forgive my ignorance here - I just bought some slightly older RHCP (Uplift mofo and One Hot Minute) ...before I only had BSSM and of course I heard whatever gets played on the radio. Well, I was kind of surprised to hear what sounded like DB on a few tracks (uplift mofo - behind the sun and I think one on 1 hot min as well) ...so does Flea use some sort of electronics to cop a great DB sound with his EBG, or does he pull out the big bass on occasion?
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Should I go ask the DB guys this? (No, don’t make me do that ...I’m scared of them!)

    BTW - I did a search and while it didn’t answer my question, it did help me to develope my new theory - Flea is to the Talk Bass Double Bass forums as Fieldy is to the Talk Bass bass guitar forums.

    Yo! Double bass homies, anybody know what kinda bass my man fLeA plays?
  3. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    On "Behind the Sun" he slaps a Fender Jazz, but turns his lows down a bit. One Hot Minute was all Stingray. To my knowledge, Flea has never recorded-or even played-a double bass.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    August 02 Bass Player mag has Flea on the cover and a long interview where he explains that he is getting into Jazz and is studying theory.

    So here is a quote :

    "Right now I'm working on upright bass and piano....By the time we finish this tour, I want to be able to sit in with any Jazz band and play standards. I'll have a lot of time to practice in hotel rooms. I'm bringing the upright on tour and I'll probably take a keyboard, too. I know that to be able to play good Jazz bass lines, I have to get into chord theory."
  5. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Nope. He used a 'Ray only on "Aeroplane". The rest was all played on an Alembic.
  6. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    i dont think flea has ever used a double bass to record...but i thought i read somewhere that cabron off "by the way" was either a DB or a fretted 4 string with a capo i dont remember.

    mostly spectors and stingrays in the early days...with the occasional guild and westone on tour, and the fender jazz that was mentioned...a wal bass and a stingray 5 on bssm...alembic and stingray on ohm...and his modulus flea bass for cali and by the way.
  7. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    Now I never even saw that article! I knew he loved a lot of jazz, but I never knew he played any, or an Alembic. Thanks for the update.

    He actually used a Hofner 4 string with a capo for Cabron.

    Last I heard, he used:

    Fender Mustang
    Fender Jazz

    But he does have the money to buy any bass he wants.
  8. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    Incorrect, I believe he does use a DB on the classic "Pea" from One Hot Minute. Other than that, I don't think he has. Not even on Cabron. Hmm...wait, he could be. He has the highs rolled off quite a bit.

    I know he doesn't live.
  9. Ben_P


    Oct 2, 2001
    Alberta, Canada
    Does anyone have a picture of the alembic?
  10. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Yes - Pea That's what I was trying to remember when I said:

    ...yeah, that sure sounds like DB to me too. But then again, the intro to Behind The Sun sure sounds like DB to me as well. I can tell you that the part I am talking about (in B.T.S.) does NOT sound slapped as somebody said earlier in the thread - if it's a bass guitar it has got to be strung with flats and have all the highs rolled off and played finger style ...it sounds very upright. I've got some support on Pea sounding like DB - doesn't anybody agree that the intro to Behind The Sun does as well?
    What I really want to know is, if he gets that sound out of an electric bass guitar - how does he do it?
  11. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    If you're talking about the very beginning of the song where he slaps his way down the E string from the high A, it's all electric bro.
  12. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I heard that Flea was playing an accoustic bass for Pea, not an upright... they get sorta similar tones.
  13. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I gotta learn how to get that tone!

    Makes sense - maybe I need an accoustic.

    ...and the GAS list grows.
  14. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Yes indeedy. I was a 4th grader when I first got into the Chili Peppers, and needless to say this was my favorite song. :D

    BTW: On the Starlicks video of Flea he talks about being inspired by the upright jazz/bebop playing of his step-father. Coincidentally, he says that he was trying his hand at DB, just like someone else stated already.

    But I guess the initial question of Flea playing upright on a recording is still mostly unanswered.
  15. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    Couldn't find a picture for you, but he plays the Alembic Epic 4 string in the video for "My Friends"

    Pea was not a DB, it was definitely an acoustic bass and i believe it was a Sigma.
  16. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    You sure? It's been a while since I last saw the video, but the bass he played definitely looked like a Stingray to me.
  17. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    He played a Stingray in the Aeroplane video.

    There were 2 versions of the video for "My Friends", the one I'm referring to was the one they shot in the studio setting and the only bass he was playing was the Alembic. There was another one shot with boats on a lake or something, I don't think I ever saw it so maybe he was playing it in that one.

  18. I'm gonna say this right now because it bugs me...


    Ok. From about the first RHCP album to Mother's Milk, he used either a stingray, or a spector bass. For "BloodSugarSexMajik" he used a Wal bass. For One Hot Minute, he used an Alembic Orion on all the tracks, expect on Aeroplane in which he used a stingray and Pea, in which he used his ABG. Flea currently has been training in Double Bass techniques, and he even pulled it out for "Capron" live once. But, this is from my knowledge of Flea. (On second thought, He probably used a stingray for the harder edged stuff on One Hot Minute)
  19. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Take a chill pill, Freaky Fender. We were talking about the video. I know Flea recorded most of OHM with an Alembic Epic.

    Didn't know there are two videos for My Friends, I only know the one that shows the Peppers rowing on some bizarre lake.
  20. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    Yeah i guess they didnt like the way that one came out so they made another one. It's on the new greatest hits album/DVD with all their videos.

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