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How to classify sound/tone

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by PostBop, May 19, 2011.

  1. PostBop


    Mar 19, 2011

    I am not asking you how I can sound like ______

    I am looking for adjectives to describe the tone I am pursuing. This thread isn't limited to strings but there is no category called tone, and strings are a fundamental starting point. I understand that strings are limited to what the player can do on what kind of bass, but some strings help while others hinder.

    I'm looking for a string that helps me achieve a warmer yet less growly pizz tone. Lots of woody depth and clarity. I have just begun arco so I don't want to exclude that from my playing due to strings, but arco is not a necessity. There are all kinds of words and expressions used to describe string sound and the way pick ups produce that sound. For example fingerboard and string noise/sound. How do you define that?

    Would you please assist me in finding the right words to describe the tone of D. Holland in this clip:
    YouTube - ‪Dave Holland Quintet Metamorphos and interview 2002‬‏
    Also help in defining the sound of Wilbur Ware on Sonny Rollins - A Night at the Village Vanguard:
    YouTube - ‪Sonny Rollins Trio - Softly As in a Morning Sunrise‬‏

    These clips represent the tone I want to strive toward, can you help me describe this tone in a way which I can communicate in order to purchase gear that assists in the process. Any equalization terms would be appreciated, like "that sound has scooped moods" or something.

    I would be gratefully indebted to any TB'r that could contribute. Thanks
  2. Dave Holland Uses Thomastik spirocores and it sounds like Wilbur is playing guts. These strings are at complete opposite ends of the sound and feel spectrum.

    Spiros are generally considered quite bright and growly. Gut, quite dark and thumpy.

    Both aren't the best choice for bowing but can be done on both with good technique.

    So it's kind of hard to narrow down what you're after.

    Something in between I guess? Evah Pirrazzi weichs maybe? Those are almost in the middle and bow nicely.
  3. Getting the same strings Dave Holland uses won't make you sound like him, no offense intended.
    The tone comes mostly from the hands and technique.
    The best advice would probably be to get a set of good middle-of-the-road strings, and then practice to sound the way you want.
    I'm not saying strings are not important, but you'll save lots of money if you forget about them as fast as possible... :)
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I think the bass has a bit to do with it, too...

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