1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

HELP! CAN'T GET REGGAE TONE OUT OF MY JAZZ BASS!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by butterbean, Sep 10, 2008.


  1. butterbean

    butterbean

    Mar 6, 2007
    Hey everyone,

    I am in need of some serious help.

    I got rid of my Warwick Streamer Stage II and replaced it with a Fender FSR 70's Jazz (Alder body) and getting a good reggae tone is damn near impossible. *** Family Man uses a Jazz.

    I can't seem to cut the high frequencies out of the mix while still keeping some of the high frequency overtones. I bought without trying, and really like the aesthetics of the bass and would like to keep it so I am open to suggestions on how changes to my rig. I have tried tuning my amp in just about every way possible boosting low-mids, boosting bass, cutting ALL high frequencies and high-mids, nothing seems to work.

    Right now I have a SWR 400s and a Goliath III. I have a DOD FX25, but in my opinion these cut the high frequency overtones as well as any high frequencies present in the fundamental making it useless. I understand some may think SWR does not = reggae tone, but I achieved it effortlessly with my Wick.

    I am open to any suggestions, i.e. strings, cabs, pedals, amps.

    I play reggae and know technique, so please keep comments limited to rig/equip.

    Much thanks,

    Jay
     
  2. In Absentia

    In Absentia

    Jul 5, 2008

    Use flatwounds and never change 'em. Pick further up the neck using fingers. Roll the tone down, and try to increase the low end on the amp, and probably throw some low mids in there.
     
  3. On the occasional Reggae songs we do, I roll completely to the neck pickup and boost the lows on my J bass. You have probably tried that though.
     
  4. The series/parallel mod would probably help too.
     
  5. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Get a P-bass with flats, roll off the tone.
     
  6. jomahu

    jomahu

    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    +1 to playing on the neck and turning up the neck pup.

    also, try playing with your thumb (like sting, i guess). for some reason, i get a really fat tone one my jazz with that.
     
  7. 76Dub

    76Dub Guest

    Jul 9, 2008
    Neck pickup only and roll the tone off. You should have no problem. I used to get a great reggae tone on my old Warwick Streamer Stage II. It is in the fingers bro. A lot of old reggae guys used to play those headless steinbergers (Real bright) and got a sick reggae tone from them. All in the fingers;)
     
  8. Kyon`

    Kyon`

    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Make sure your fingers are also really digging in. As in you're not just plucking with the tips but your whole finger.
     
  9. tmax

    tmax Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Hallowell, Maine
    It IS in the fingers, but some nice stiff foam under the strings right at the bridge is a cool sound (Tony Levin on "don't give up-Tho' he used a diaper!!!!):)
     
  10. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Have you tried muting the strings while you play the notes?
     
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Use a neck pickup blend, higher action, pluck at the neck/body interface instead of over the pickups ... anchor your thumb on the fingerboard edge.

    The SM-400 also has a great EQ, how are you setting it?
     
  12. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    More neck pickup/less bridge pickup, tone rolled right off and use flats (or at least Chromes).
     
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Ok...I prefer to do this with rounds and newer ones (it gives you that lively overtone you're looking for).

    On a Jazz bass, I start by rolling both volumes all the way up. Then roll the bridge volume off just a touch...you'll hear it when you do it, it will open the bottom up and you'll also get a bit more volume.

    There's also a 'sweet spot' on every jazz style bass' tone control. I've never played one that didn't have it. For the most part, it's about 15% above rolled all the way back. Turn your tone all the way back, then slowly bring it up just a bit until you hit that place where you've got that little bit of high that keeps your sound lively.

    Of course, your amp is a whole different story.
     

  14. +1 with some variations...

    I use flats on my Jazz V which actually surprised me with their brightness and overtones - I was expecting "flat" meaning thuddy or thumpy like MoTown - and I get that by turning down the tone. But with the tone and pickup volumes set as BurningSkies describes, there's a lot more life in those flats than I thought.

    Another thing I found was playing with Sting's thumb style really brought out the reggae 'pump'. I use the backstroke of my thumb too.

    You've seen old P basses with the 'thumb' rest on the treble side of the instrument, right? Imagine hooking your fingertips on that and using your thumb like a pick (sort of... not Victor Wooten style - Sting style) and use both strokes - the down stroke for really heavy down and strong beats, the backstroke for little accent and ghost notes.
     
  15. mobis.fr

    mobis.fr

    Jun 2, 2005
    germany


    that should do it... plus some broken in flats. so you might have to play a while. i suggest fender. they are cheap and the have a nice dark sound. or you can go with some labellas, chromes, TI, DR or what ever you like.
     
  16. shirojiro

    shirojiro

    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    I'm not sure what the problem is, but I seem to be able to get a great reggae tone out of nearly any bass, even my OLP Tony Levin Sig, or Heartfield DR5.

    It's the high end overtones that you miss? I don't use a ton of high end in my tone when I'm playing reggae, esp if I'm playing a dub tune.

    How did you get your tone with the Warwick? Was is scooped, or bass boost or what?

    On my Jazz, I just use the neck pickup and roll the tone almost all the way off, like Burning Skies says. If I need more bottom end, I use the the tone controls on my SABDDI.
     
  17. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hi Jay, are you playing by yourself or with a band? I find that, often times, the flaws in my tone disappear once I am playing in a band situation. In other words, the guitar and keys cover up the brightness in my sound, and mainly the low end comes through.

    If all else fails, I think some 15 or 18 inch speakers will really get you feeling irie.
     
  18. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I was going to post, but BurningSkies told the story for me. +1 on this

     
  19. hey they say that the tone is in your hand and i really think it is true. but in addition to that you can try using some foam near the bridge, and using the neck pickup with thick old flatwounds. roll off the tone knob on the jazz bass as much as you like but dont over do this on the amp, just lower down treble, high mids and presence by max 3-5db
    keep the mids flatish and boost the lows by ~3db. thats how it works for me even with my jazz bass and spanking new steel strings

    edit: again the tone sounds different in the mix than it does solo
     
  20. In Absentia

    In Absentia

    Jul 5, 2008


    Check out his right hand. This is how a lot of the older guys got the sound.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.