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How long did it take for you..?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Icarus26, Apr 22, 2009.


  1. how long did it take for you to find your own sound?

    i'm into my second year of playing bass now and i seem to be able to get what i'm thinking in my head through to the bass. However, i'm still having difficulty finding song worthy riffs. To be honest, i think i became a better bass player when i came back from not playing for quite a while.

    i'm guessing more listening had to do with it, but i'd like to hear people's suggestions for finding your own sound as well as their experiences finding it.
     
  2. PBass101

    PBass101

    Jul 3, 2008
    Illinois
    I got the sound I was looking for after about a year. Didn't spare expenses on the gear I wanted, but it mostly came down to technique and a lot of long hours in the woodshed.

    As far as developing a few of your owns riffs, maybe a free online metronome/drum machine and some free computer-based audio recording software? Do you have a way to safely connect your bass's output to your computer?
     
  3. jschwalls

    jschwalls

    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    I am always in discovery mode for my sound... I thinks it's part of one's evolution. It is basically the same with minor tweeks and such.
    The main thing I wanted to get away from was the need for a compressor, so I sat for endless hours ( years to be exact ) and A B'ed my playing with a compressor until I was able to get the compressor sound with my hands... it took a while to do but it was worth it...and let me tell you studio engineers will love you for it.
     
  4. afromoose

    afromoose Guest

    I think as well as finger technique and note choice, being able to set up your bass yourself helps. I learned to do this recently - stuff like how far the pickups are from the strings changes the sound a lot. Might be obvious but might not I don't know.

    The other thing I found was that for me, the cabinet is way more important than the amp. Lots of cabinets, especially in combos, compress the sound (at least that's what it sounds like to me). When I got a 1x18 traynor cab my sound changed completely, for the better too - it cuts right below the whole band.

    When you're writing riffs I'd say that the important thing is perseverence and to keep changing things round till you get something you feel 100% happy with - if it's a repetitive riff or groove. I find that there's often a collection of notes I'll be drawn to, but the order, or sequence,and timing, or feel will take a little while to solidify. Once it's found it's obvious, because you can feel it. But I think one reason that whilst you're going through hardcore practice and theory it's more difficult to connect to riff making is because there's this tendency to try and apply theory and not just rely on ears. Learn the theory but leave it alone during purely creative episodes - whilst your being creative, it needs to come from the subconscious, or your intuition.
     
  5. I found my own sound when i decided to stop trying to sound like everybody else...
     
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I like lots of different sounds. I guess (after 22 years) I'm still looking for THAT sound.
     
  7. I found my sound by learning how to sound like everyone else. "My sound" is specific to the song I'm playing. Sometimes it's reminiscent of John Paul Jones, others it's McCartney-ish, while others it's calling on Geddy.

    Each version of "my sound" has clear footprints of all those players whose parts and techniques I faithfully learned over the years and it's still evolving today.

    By the way - I'm into my 27th year of playing bass guitar.

    If anything, I wouldn't worry so much about crafting a "signature sound" as much as being a player who always plays what the song needs.
     
  8. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I would say I have evolved my own sound based on my skill level, playing style, what I listen to and who I play with... however, I'm still searching too.
     
  9. ac1710

    ac1710

    May 12, 2008
    Your 'sound' evolves over time.

    It's important to have your own 'sound' as otherwise you will only ever be a cheep imitation of the real thing. I would say that your sound comes naturally and is a reflection of your personality, it's an accent if you like.

    Sure it's important to study other bassists sounds but remember that you must leave your own mark on that song.

    For example, I feel I have the Jamerson sound and feel down pretty well. However, no matter how hard I try I will never match that sound. This isn't because Jamerson is too good (though he is) it's because he is James Jamerson and I am someone else. Even if I played with his bass through his setup in Studio A I will only ever sound like an imitator.
     
  10. Jonyak

    Jonyak

    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    about 15 years...

    but "my sound" also seems to be constantly changing.
     

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