How important is it to sound like other basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malthumb, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. Extremely Important!! To change the sound would be arrogant

    0 vote(s)
  2. Sort of important. If I can I will

    5 vote(s)
  3. Not really important. If I get a good sound, who cares if it's different

    18 vote(s)
  4. I can't tell the diff between a P-bass sound and a J bass sound

    1 vote(s)
  5. It is my artistic right to create my own unique sound.

    14 vote(s)
  1. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    LowfreqB wrote in another thread "I play in cover band so my bass has to not only sound good, it has to sound like a P or J or a Ric. I havent gotten it to sound like the Jazz yet, but I'm close."

    That got me to thinking....

    When I cover a song I don't try to sound just like the original. In terms of tempo, key and pitch and note selection I try to be there, but I've never gotten concerned about "..he's playing a P-bass, so I need to sound like a P-bass".

    I tend to be more concerned about cutting through the mix, and getting the feel of the music out there.

    How do you approach covers?
  2. Zoot H Rollo

    Zoot H Rollo

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    i make it a point not to be in bands that place emphasis on mimicing.

    currently, i'm fortunate to be involved with a couple of brothers (guitar & drums) that want to do some covers (jazz, funk, prog) and mutilate the hell out of them.

    hence my "artistic" vote.

  3. Yvon


    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    When I play a cover I often try to sound like the recorded bass.
    How can you play chicken with a P bass sound?
    I don't always do it, but sometimes I think the sound of the bass is important in a song.
  4. I just go for a good middle of the road sound. Play lightly, get a clean sound. Dig in hard, get a dirty sound out of it. I can change the sound/tone up with hand position/playing style. If it's an extreme sound, I'll mess w/ some effects and the bass control on my Toby. I just make sure the bass sounds good, and comes across well.
  5. i think i agree with what Yvon said here. it makes sense to change the bass sound for different genres or songs just as a guitar or keys player would. of course, in a cover situation you wanna keep the band type, but you also wanna emulate the song you're covering as closely as possible. its the little things that make the difference in the end.
  6. Tweak them so that they're enjoyable to play, (usually), but don't rearrange them so much that the audience can barely identify the songs. Since a lot of people dance where we play, we often have to put some spin on the beat to make the rhythm "snake-ier," more seductive, or just plain speed it up.

    There is an art to faithfully replicating the original, but if I wanted to do that, I'd try to get into a "tribute to" gig.

    Tonewise, Larry Pollack, the pickup guru at Aero told me that their MM-style pickup that gets ordered the most is their worst sounding one. But, he said, people still want it because it is the most "familiar" sounding model. So, LowfreqB has some company.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I play Funk on a fretless... what's my problem?

    Wasn't Rain Man artistic, too?

    15 minutes 'til Wopner!
  8. make sound like = wannabe = :(
    own sound = :)

    simple + clear ? :)
  9. DarkMazda

    DarkMazda Guest

    Jun 3, 2000
    I love to have my own unique sound :) Even doh people say my Salas Custom 4 sounds like a Spector ;)

  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    when i do a cover, i like to add a little bit of me to it and make it my own. This helps make it fun for me. If the songs already got a great line to it i wont change it, but if its really bland and has no groove, I'll create a groove and spice it up a bit.

    As far as my tone on covers go, I never try to emulate the originators tone, Ive got a good sound so I just use that, if the song has distortion or some effect that is an absolute must, I'll add it, but i still keep my sound. I dont think the crowd really gives a hoot If I had the same sound as the original artist did, just as long as I did the song good.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I play songs on the "wrong" bass all the time :D
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I never tried to get "that Fender sound" and nobody forced me yet. I don't know if I'd surrender.

    I hope not. I was really disappointed about Stu Hamm's new bass sound when he switched from Kubicki to Fender. His personal sound got lost IMO(!).
  13. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Mmm... when I cover a song, I usually try to emulate the way the player plays the bass, including all the nuances and feel, whether it be picking or having effects. I've never thought about emulating the actual tone of the bass brand itself. How does one make an active bass sound passive for example, except to change basses or if the bass has a passive/ active switch? Just curious...
  14. I use my own tone when covering songs. But I have to say, I don't hear the different tones between a P-bass and a J-bass. :( :oops:.

    FF :eek:
  15. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I play in a mostly-covers-and-a-few-originals cover band and I would love to be able to emulate the tone of each individual artist that we are covering. However, I don't have that kind of cash, so I have to try to find what works best for the majority of the songs. All in all, I am pretty happy with the tones I get, but I still haven't found the perfect tone -- the one I can hear in my head. :(

    I don't think the bass tone of the original song is as important as the guitar tone (generally speaking) and one shouldn't go out and buy a guitar or bass or specific amp cuz one's guitar hero has one, but there are certain types of music that may fascilitate the purchase of a certain amp/guitar combo. If you jam on a lot of Metallica, Pantera, Anthrax or Megadeth, you probably won't want to be using a Fender Strat. On the other hand, if you're doing a lot of blues, jazz, country, etc., you're probably not gonna get it done with an ESP or a Jackson, or even a (gasp) B. C. Rich. :p Knowwuddamean?