How do I get a "Jazzier" bass sound without a Jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Java Uzumaki, Dec 27, 2021.

  1. Java Uzumaki

    Java Uzumaki

    Aug 6, 2021
    I am using a soundgear by Ibanez bass and I have an acoustic amp and a fender rumble amp. I have a gig tomorrow night playing several jazz standards and I am looking for any advice (that isn't too incredibly expensive) to get a "jazzy" tone out of my bass.

    JRA likes this.
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    way cool! what are some of the tunes? instrumentation?

    anyway: you've already got what you need. any EB will do --- it's not about what bass instrument you play, but rather how you play the bass instrument --- and a little 'attitude' wouldn't hurt... and it's free!

    good luck with your standards! :thumbsup:
    fig, SoCal80s, s0c9 and 1 other person like this.
  3. ProbablyTooLoud


    Aug 1, 2020
    Use your fingers and pluck close to the neck.
    One Way, Gearhead17, SoCal80s and 2 others like this.
  4. Java Uzumaki

    Java Uzumaki

    Aug 6, 2021
    Thanks I appreciate the advice.

    Some of the tunes are Autumn Leaves, Oleo, Blue Monk, Black Orpheus, Take the A train, and Misty along with a few others.

    Lots of Tude. Noted.
    JRA likes this.
  5. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    Roll back that tone knob. Get rid of any clank. You won't sound exactly like an upright, but you imitate it. You're looking for a more mellow sound and a softer attack. Also, left hand muting will help. Don't let your notes ring out. Hit the note and within a beat or two, mute it by lifting your finger off the fret just enough to make note stop sounding. Super sustain is not your friend.
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    As @JRA writes, it's all about your skills. If you can swing, you're more than halfway there.

    On ballads, don't overplay. A busy bass line in a ballad can be downright annoying. Be happy with those half notes (make each one count) and the occasional ghost stroke.

    I have to disagree with @bwildt at least partially. Double bass is not all about a "mellow" tone - it encompasses a full spectrum of tonality. A nice round middle-of-the-road tone will let you be heard at reasonable volume. And if you want to swing high and freely, left-hand muting is generally not your friend. If you want to cut down on sustain, stick a little foam under your strings at the bridge - that way, notes will die more happily.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
    oldandbold and JRA like this.
  7. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    What sort of jazz - upright emulation or Jaco?
  8. Java Uzumaki

    Java Uzumaki

    Aug 6, 2021
    Upright emulation
  9. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
  10. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    Palm mute and thumb.
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    How was the gig?

    I didn't see this to reply in time, but my response would have been: "Don't change a thing! The gig is tomorrow. Now is not the time to change up your tone."
    AGCurry likes this.
  12. Java Uzumaki

    Java Uzumaki

    Aug 6, 2021
    lol very wise words. The gig was fine, we only played a few of the pieces so I ended up being over prepared. I played to my strengths, focusing on movement and build of release of tension, instead of thinking about a jazzier sound.
  13. Papuzzo


    Dec 11, 2017
    Milan, Italy
    For those still visiting this thread, I would suggest putting on a set of GHS Precision Flats or equivalent and putting a foam mute under the strings near the bridge. My best advice for all bassists is to have a dedicated P bass strung with warm flatwounds and a foam mute for not only a jazzy sound, but a motown sound, an old school funky sound, and a lot of older 60's and 70's sounds. You know, that Jamerson sound.
    bigthemat likes this.
  14. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    I don't understand why so many people think that flatwound strings and mutes are needed to emulate the double bass. The double bass can produce plenty of overtones and, with the right technique and strings, sustain. For "that Jamerson sound," yes, I'll agree with you.
  15. If you want it to sound like a Jazz bass play back towards the bridge for D bass I have NO Idea , I cant play those things LOL
  16. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Or... just turn down the tone knob, finger the notes appropriately and save a few bucks. :)
  17. jdabass


    Feb 9, 2010
    Scoop mids