How to get that "Nirvana" bass sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by johnny1978, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. johnny1978

    johnny1978 Guest

    Nov 18, 2007
    Im a new guy and this may be a dumb question. BUT, how do you get that sound Noviselic got on the Nirvana albums? Its a sweet sound. I remember he used a Thunderbird and a Jazz Bass and ran through some kind of pedal of some sort. I was just curious.

    Would a P-Bass work for Nirvana covers?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    Ibanez.. :)

    dig deep young jedi and you will find he used a Ibanez ALOT..

    Here is what Novoselic says at the Ebay auction page:

    "The first bass I bought was a Ibanez Black Eagle that was built in the 1970's. That instrument played all the early Nirvana shows and survived much abuse. It is now on display at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
    I can't remember exactly when I picked up this bass. It must have been in 1992 or 1993. It appeared on on the wall of some guitar shop somewhere. I bought it because I liked the other Black Eagle that faithfully served me for so long.

    This guitar got smashed up at a Nirvana show sometime, somewhere. Our crew held the practice of salvaging the remaining bits of destroyed instruments. This bass had its neck replaced and they even went as far as to recreate the woodcut "embellishments" that make the Black Eagle unique. It went back into service, where it was rotated with Gibson Rippers, new style Thunderbirds and RD basses.

    This guitar is solid. It's heavy and rings with a lot of sustain.

    Playing music with Nirvana has given me all the opportunities I enjoy in my life. I hope you enjoy this bass.

    And here is a pic of the Ibanez Black Eagle
  3. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    In addition to his Ibanez Black Eagle basses (of which he owned three. 1 - The original one which is now in the rock museum, 2 - The one that Nirvana guitar tech Earnie Bealy fixed up destinguishable from the others by having a replacement Ebony fingerboard and 3 - one identical to his first with the exeption of it having the pickguard with the Eagle inlay still in place.) Krist also used Gibsons basses: four Rippers (Two natural ones, one black one and a sunburst one), two Thunderbirds (One sunburst and another black which he gave away to the bassplayer of the Voodoo skulls) and one RD Artist.
    Krist' second Ibanez Black eagle, note the replacement Ebony Board.

    Krist playing his RD artist bass.

    So a two pickup bass is a must here, with fresh strings that still have that "ring" to them. Krist played with a pick and plucked his strings at the bridge. Epiphone offers budget versions of both the Ripper and the Thunderbird.

    Another important factor in Novoselic's tone is his use of a Hiwatt guitar amp head though Ampeg (and later Mesa Boogie) bass cabs.
  4. johnny1978

    johnny1978 Guest

    Nov 18, 2007
    WOW! Thanks, you guys know your stuff for sure!
  5. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    He also used the Rat for his distortion.
  6. Nicka

    Nicka Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: Peavey Electronics
    Play like crap.


    Kidding to some extent... :ninja:
  7. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I once saw a video of him in the studio recording with a Warwick. So much for the "found it in a pawnshop" image.
  8. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Which was for a Dutch radio show which provided them with leased instruments so they didn't have to take their own instruments with them for just this one off performance. That Warwick wasn't even his.
    bignc likes this.
  9. gibsonbassist45

    gibsonbassist45 Guest

    Jul 13, 2008
    excuse me,but krist doesnt play like crap in contrary to what your thinking.look into the music alittle more and youll keep finding better bass lines by him.and dont forget that alternative rock is limited to things. it doesnt mean he plays like crap cause its easy to play.he doesnt have to make a huge bass solo out of everything,thats not what alternative is all about.its simple,but sounds good.major thumbs down to you sir...:mad::scowl: