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gettin a realy growly sound with fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by snowy, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. snowy


    Jun 14, 2005
    i play bass fingerstyle but my band play loads of punk and i reely need to get that growl you can get with a plectrum but don't want to stop playing with fingers, anyone help?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Play really hard and clank the strings?
  3. Maybe it isn't a matter of using a pick or not, but your bass/amp. You can always fiddle with your eq settings a bit instead.
  4. Move closer to the bridge? Strings are a lot more difficult to play there, but it's the closest I can come to 'pick-sound' with fingerstyle.
  5. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    The pick sound like it sounds because it provide more High frequencies then the finger does therefore you should do 3 things:
    1. set the EQ on your amp to cut the LOW frequencies and have more boost on the HIGH and HM frequencies ...that way you'll get a pick sound even with your fingers.

    2.find the pickup that gives you more high frequencies and set the tone button to give you the clear HiGH sound.

    3.as JDT said play as close as you can to the bridge.

    If you do all this you should be able to create a punk sound for you bass guitar and play happily ever after with your band.
    ;) :) ;)
  6. I realize that you don't want to play with a pick, but if you want a pick tone, then maybe you should just use the pick. Really, the bass gods won't be angry. If you really need to use your fingers, you might try playing so that the strings click against the fretboard. I find that playing either over the fretboard, or between it and the neck PU, and plucking so that the string slaps the fretboard is the only way to imitate the snap of a pick. Playing by the bridge is more trebly, but doesn't have the bite. I wouldn't turn down the lows, since a pick doesn't suck lows. It adds a snap sound to the attack. I realize I'm disagreeing with a lot of the advice in this thread, but give it a try.
  7. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I am not exactly sure what kind of growl you are looking for but if you are talking punk then you may be after what I consider more "bark" than "growl".
    The action and set-up of a bass can make a big difference. Some people will lower their action so that the strings contact the frets and neck more, this gives the impression that the string is really moving alot so it sounds like you are playing harder than you really are. The other thing to do is the opposite, raise the action so you can really play harder to get a more aggressive sound.
    I would try an experiment; de-tune all your strings a whole step(E down to D, A down to G, D to C, G to F) and play, if this helps you achive the desired effect significantly then there may be something to gain from choosing strings with lower tension and either raising or dropping the action depending on how hard you are comfortable playing.
    If you tell us what kind of equipment you are using someone may be able to give you some really specific advise, some basses are just really well behaved and don't much like to growl, let alone bark!!

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