How do you visualise bass sounds?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by The Mock Turtle Regulator, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. what visual image would a single note played on each model of bass conjure up in your mind?

    here's what I'd picture them as (played fingerstyle);

    Fender Precision
    w. flats; a medicine ball- fat, heavy, round
    (although Steve Harris' bright, clattery Rotosound flatwound sound conjures up the image of a bag of china plates)

    w. rounds; a large plywood box- hard, takes up a lot of space, square-edged

    Fender Jazz w.rounds
    both p/ups on full; a basketball- springy

    bridge p/up soloed; a golf ball- tight, snappy and articulate

    fretless, played legato w. lots of mwah; a spoonful of treacle

    Gibson EB2 w.flats
    ; a densely-packed pillow

    Musicman Stingray w.rounds
    ; a foam ball, soaked in water- spongy

    Rickenbacker w.rounds
    ; a rough-sawn pine board- raspy
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Interesting thread idea, but your instrument choices make answers restrictive.

    I don't know about the others, but I'll do better if I tell you how I visualize the sound I make with my instrument.

    I have a picture in my mind of what my bassline should sound like tonewise, regardless of the brand and model of instrument I'm playing.

    I don't really think of it visually, but more in a linear way, like a strand weaving through tapestry or commas, periods and other forms of punctuation in a sentence.
  3. the ones I listed are just for example- I'd like to see what "boutique bass" owners imagine their basses' tones as too.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    What I hear recalls/creates memories I perceive as colors and visions (hence, the little phrase under my Talkbass user name).

    Fr'instance, the colors "blue" and "red" each make me feel something different when used skillfully.

    That may seem very artsy-fartsy, but that's just how it happens for me...........and probably why almost every one of my romances have been with visual artists.....graphic artists, painters, and one sculptress. Or maybe, it's just the 'drama" these types of people force on you.
  5. Danham

    Danham Guest

    Feb 11, 2003
    Shreveport LA
    I hear a lot of people talking about seeing music as colors, but not me. I see vague shapes and fluctuating lines like on an oscilloscope. One time I actually "saw" music on a certain unnamed substance.;)
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Great idea for a thread, MTR! :)

    I think some people tend to "see" sounds and others don't.

    I do - but I'm not sure how I could describe what I see. Not usually objects so much as colours and shapes. Rather difficult to describe.
  7. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I disagree with the stingray description. I think it's more like kicking a soccer ball - hard. You get the click/thump thing but it's tight, punchy and precise.
  8. I had the stingray tone from RATM's "bullet in the head" I mind when I visualised the foam ball soaked with water.
    Bernard Edwards' stingray tone on Chic etc. records visualises to me a cross between the soaked foam ball and the medicine ball.

    there's some James Jamerson interview in which he said he drew inspiration for a bassline from the way an overweight woman's buttocks moved when she walked.;)

    to me, Motown basslines with the thick P bass-with-flats sound always conjured up the image of a medicine ball bouncing between the chords, in a strange impossible sort of way, like the floating spheres and large rocks in Magritte's paintings.