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Getting that thumping sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by okieman, Nov 11, 2010.


  1. okieman

    okieman

    Sep 17, 2010
    Well, I call it a thumping sound. It's the sound in my mind that I want to get out of my bass. I bought a Pandora PX5D that lets me tap into different amp and cab sounds. It's a poor man's substitute for the modeling head I can't afford. But even it doesn't get me that sound. Here's the crazy part: I can get the sound if I let the soft side of my hand rest on top of the strings near the bridge. But then I can only play with my thumb. I've heard that famous session bassist Carol Kaye did something similar like sticking a piece of foam rubber up under the strings right where they came off the bridge. Now, I'm trying to figure out a good place to buy some similar material. It'll save me the trouble of an electronic solution to this challenge.
     
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    High density neoprene weatherstrip, 1/2" thick. Back in the day Jazz basses used to come through with a strip of it on the bridge.
     
  3. m.oreilly

    m.oreilly

    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    play with a pick and use your right palm to mute? and install the rubber?
     
  4. If you look at pictures of James Brown's bass players most of them had a hair "scunchie" around the neck at the nut. Deadens the strings without messing with the tone.
     
  5. okieman

    okieman

    Sep 17, 2010
    Man I'm onto that weatherstrip tip!

    Didn't understand the scrunchie idea. Wouldn't that only work if the string was open? Once you pushed the string down onto a fret, there wouldn't be anything between it and the bridge to deaden the sound?
     
  6. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    +1. But the main reason for it was to damp only open strings, the hand damped fretted strings. Thinking about it some more I believe the weatherstrip was under the palm rest, not on the bridge, but you could put it on the bridge. I doubt if palm rests have been around for 30 years except maybe on some Jazz reissues.
     
  7. I quite often use a piece of low density foam under the strings, right up against the bridge. Works good for that pre 1960 sound.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    carol takes a strip of felt and tapes it to her bass with double sided tape.
     
  9. okieman

    okieman

    Sep 17, 2010
    Don't know whether or not you're talking about Carol Kaye, but I just found this link where she talks in two different places about getting a good deep sound. And she uses a pick for cryin' out loud!

    http://www.carolkaye.com/www/library/faq.htm
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    right...well carol knows what she's doing. and yes, i was talking about carol kaye.
     
  11. Mike

    Mike

    Sep 7, 2000
    Cali
    need flatwounds, maybe?
     
  12. YL_Bass

    YL_Bass

    Dec 3, 2009
    Langley, BC
    I use a rolled up shop cloth.
     
  13. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    What Bill said.

    I also cherish flats with a few years worth of funk in them on a a fretless.

    I play 1940's jazz with a Barker fretless with old dead flats. It thumps hard.
     
  14. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    The foam muting strip on Jazz basses was under the "ash tray", otherwise known as the bridge cover. One of the reasons that so many rock players took these off from the 60's onward was that once roundwound strings, and that roundwound singing/pingy tone, were the thing everyone wanted, that mute just had to go! because it killed that kind of tone.

    to the OP, there are many ways to get the thumping tone.

    Foam mute - tape it over the strings, put it under the strings right at the bridge, get a replcement "ash tray" and put foam on the inside pressing lightly on the strings
    RH palm mute with or without a pick
    LH fretting hand/finger muting (harder to do and limits the complexity of what you can play)

    so much fun to find new (old) playing techniques
    play right on the fret
    the old scrunchy trick (some slappers use this too)
     
  15. m.oreilly

    m.oreilly

    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    my old p came with rubber under the ashtray, muting the strings at the bridge. yes, carol uses a pick, i thought this was known
     
  16. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    That would be some collector's item! Methinks you're off by 20 years.
     
  17. Hnz

    Hnz

    Jul 13, 2010
    The Netherlands
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    ba-dum! he was referring to jazz from the 1940's ;)
     
  19. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    OK, that's funny.

    Thump is king when the charts say swing.

    Jim
     
  20. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Like it was mentioned before, you also may want to try flats.
     

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