How do I get that tone on Sweet Emotion?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by gjbassist, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. I'm learning Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion for a possible new song for my band. I have the notes down but I'm having trouble getting the intro to have the same tone. What is going on there? Is it an effect, the way Tom plays it, a certain type of bass? I just can't figure it out.
  2. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Always sounded like a nice P-bass tone to me.
  3. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    Sting Ray with Flats?

    Pretty sure thats what he used...
  4. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    "Sweet Emotion" was released in 1975, and the first Music Man basses weren't available until 1976. (Unless Tom had a prototype or something.)
    It sounds to me like a Precision with flatwounds, played with a pick. There's some EQing going on, too, to emphasize the pick attack. That's my best guess.
  5. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    Maybe i'm thinking of Mama Kin or Same old Song and Dance... I'm not sure.

    Either way, something OL SKOOL ought to do the trick for you.

    But yeah, Flats and a Pick should do the job... in 1975 Aerosmith still never had any money, so its unlikely that Tom had anything fancier than the stock bassist gear of the day - P Bass, SVT and Flats.
  6. I think the key with this one is to play quite gently, up near the neck, and very relaxed. The rocking out comes later.:bassist:
  7. dan stanton

    dan stanton

    Feb 8, 2010
    Sounds like a phase shifter to me.
  8. TechZilla

    TechZilla Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    Owensboro, KY
    This works for me

    I also play it with my fingers I can't make it sound right with a pick.
  9. Agreed, sort of.

    In addition to the P w/ flats and pick, there is clearly an effect of some sort, sounds phasey to me, but I would be open to it being something else too.

    Tom might not have had it in his bag of tricks, but a studio most certainly would have.
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses
    To me that's a pretty ordinary bass tone on that song. Most basses and bass rigs can reproduce that tone.
  11. Mooblar


    Jan 9, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    I have no idea what he used on that song, but he did make generous use of a Gibson Thunderbird during that period.
  12. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    51 style "P" finger plucked. no phase on the bass..
  13. I happened to catch them on American Bandstand back in the mid 70s, and if I remember right he used a Telecaster Bass (natural w/ maple fretboard). I know that was a long time ago, but I remember really wanting one of those for awhile after I saw it.
  14. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City bout adoubt it ;)
  15. I agree. I hear no phase on the bass. My band does this song, and I play with the fingers...but on record it's definitely a pick, good old school 70's punchy stone.
  16. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    You are hearing "slap" from the fingerboard,,,,no pick;)
  17. Chai


    Feb 19, 2010
    I was hooked the first time I heard that line! I've always seen him play it fingerstyle up higher on the neck, never with a pick--in videos and live. I've seen him play it on several different kinds of basses too.

    Not sure what kind of effects he used, but I think definitely uses something.
  18. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Tacoma WA
    I always use Flange with a slow sweep. Never sounds as authentic without it (just the bass riff).
  19. dan stanton

    dan stanton

    Feb 8, 2010
    Digging way back here, but IF I remember correctly a lot of studios in the 70' used a frequency-based phase shifter. Unlike a "normal" phase shifter, it would be tuned to a certain key. Also would not start phase shifting until a note was played. Maybe that morphed into the flanger, but not sure.
  20. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    I think it was played using that "Emotion" auto-slap patch on the Boss GT-6b...