Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MonsterBass101, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. MonsterBass101


    Mar 3, 2008
    I see people using the term growl alot. I am clueless as to what exactly it is. I looked on the Interweb and found this. Is this what you guys are talking about when you say growl??? Also how can you achieve this???


    specifically the bass solo.
  2. Think of an animal growling, like a dog or tiger, and that note sustains in a pure form. I always think of the pure acoustic sound a brand new round wound string makes, the beauty and simplicity of that vibrating, oscillating metal, and the hopes that that pure and perfect sound will transfer through the pickup, out the cable, into the amp, and be uncompromised and retain all that sweet pure growl when it comes out the speaker.

    Achieving it? It's like the planets aligning, my friend. Some basses lend themselves to a growl naturally, others not so much. You hope you have the right combination of bright tone-ful string in the proper gauge, resonate wood, and pickup wound just so. How well the bass is setup and pickup height probably matter quite a bit. I'm not even sure how much the amp factors in. This is something that you want to come primarily from the guitar. I can tell a growly bass through my cheapest practice amps, and sometimes with no amp at all.

    Of course, that Ric in the video is a prime candidate. It growls, but I also hear a lot of tube warmth, which is not growl, but doesn't hurt one bit in my opinion.
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    That video is a touch of overdrive or as I call 'grind'. There WILL be other interpretations of that sound.
  4. MonsterBass101


    Mar 3, 2008
  5. When ppl say "growl" they literally mean the bass sounds like its growling. My Warwick has a growly tone by nature, just look up warwick basses on youtube and listen to them...
  6. I just heard a good example (in my opinion): Listen to Extreme's "Rest In Peace." When the bass and kick first come in at the beginning of the song, you can hear it growl really well. Now imagine that...all over your bass! That's growl!
  7. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
  8. SurrenderMonkey


    Aug 18, 2006
    for me, it's low-mids and high-mids. It gives that purring, throaty, 'growling beast' sound. Warwicks like to emphasise low-mids, it's a frequency range that works great with heavy guitars (beef up the sound without being muddy).

    Jamiroquai - Everyday (Streamer Stage 1-5?). That groove is on the Low B, and even with the crap youtube compression and lack of highs, it's pretty tight sounding.

    Warwick Thumb 5 NT

    Finger style example is typical of a thumb growl. Finger style with throaty high mids and growly low mids. Also, Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne is a great example of that type of sound.

    Mudvayne - (Per) version of the truth

    Mudvayne - Not Falling

    Mudvayne - Mercy, Severity
  9. I always think of Spectors when I think of growl.... Eddie Jackson from Queensryche for example, or the beginning of Would? by Alice in Chains.
  10. GaryLC


    Apr 6, 2006
    Scotia, NY
    I think of John Wetton's sound in his King Crimson days...."Red", for example.
  11. mrtn400


    Dec 6, 2008
    See: Chris Squire.
  12. Growl = Stingray

    If I could name one growly bass, a Stingray is on top of the list. Ricks are very growly too imo.
  13. thetawaves


    Dec 29, 2006
    Humm, combination of an almost gritty sounding high mid and a wee bit of string rattle from digging in whilst playing. To me Wal, Warwick and Rickenbackers are seriously growly animals. But then again they tend to be known for pronounced mid/high end. That bass on the video does have a wee bit of that tone but it seems to be mainly down to a distorted high-end and bi-amping.

    [edit] PS. That is a rather nifty bass player regardless of his tone! Very smooth in both plectrum and finger style...
  14. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL

    Although there are many definitions of "growl" and they are as subjective as anything else in the world of bass, the references above work best for me. Also of note, both bassists used Spectors for a large portion of their career, which seem to be neck-and-neck with Warwicks for producing a naturally growly tone without the use of any type of effect.

    Also, people tend to associate a particular kind of bass with a growly tone and the amp can have a lot to do with it as well. You can't expect a Warwick or Musicman to growl the same through a clean amp like an Epifani as it would through an SVT with some OD dialed in. Sometimes, it also a matter of how you set your EQ. Boosted low mids can yield a punchy growl, while boosted high mids can add a grindy quality to your tone. There is no single factor in getting a growly tone, its a lot of factors in combination.