I want to mimic the sound of an upright bass..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stinsok, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I am considering purchasing an ABG, but most that I have tried have strings that "zing." Would flatwounds take care of this? Thanks for your responses.
  2. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    If you have $6000 you can pick up a Fender '51 P-Bass re-issue. Ive played one before and man oh man.... very upright sounding.

    EDIT: In response to your actual question, flatwounds would deaden your sound a bit, you also might want to look into some mutes for the bridge.
  3. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I could get a decent upright sound out of my fretless if I rolled off the high's, solo'd the neck pickup and plucked over the fretboard with my right hand...it would have probably sounded even more like one with flats.
  4. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    1) Become 7'3"

    2) Say "Da doom doom doom".

    Glad I could help. Thank you's can be pm'd (I'd rather not clutter up this thread).
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    A wooden bridge will also help for a shorter sustain and woodier tone that an upright has.
  6. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I recently strung flats on my p-bass very upright sounding... I'm going to get some foam mutes or maybe just stuff a sponge by the bridge... and plucking on the fretboard area helps too
  7. from my VERY limited experience, i'd use a Fretless Jazz with flatwounds...That's what I started on...
  8. I would try a Rob Allen MB-2. That is the best "upright-like" sound I have heard out of an electric.

  9. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    To me an electric bass cannot recreate the open, woody sound of a good upright. Personally I think that everyone that says that their electric sounds like an upright means that they can get a good "thuddy" kinda sound, but without some kind of (somewhat large) resonant chamber a true upright sound isn't possible. Maybe they sound a little more like an upright once they get in the mix as you often can't hear the full tonal quality of a DB once it's in the mix - just more of the thuddiness. In my mind this must be the sound that people are thinking of when these claims are made. This is the opinion I've formed after hearing many electric basses that people claimed had a good upright sound.

    Yeah...flats would help provide more thud and less zing. I'd recommend a fretless abg as someone said above.

    brad cook
  10. That's what I do too!
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Flats on an ABG will likely get you much closer than rounds would. I use Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats on mine. No, it won't sound just like a DB; no bass guitar will IME. But with a decent ABG, that kind of setup will at least get you a bit of the vibe. I've never heard a solidbody BG that I thought really got the vibe. I think it's the sustain characteristics, the general shape of the note. No matter how much treble you roll off the BG, you don't get that DB shape to the notes--the big peak with the precipitous dropoff, and the sense of woolly air around the note (yeah, I know, but I dunno how else to describe it).
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Labella tapes do it for me on my Tacoma Thunderchief...

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Hofner cavern basses have a good upright tone to them, you just have to know how to adjust them intonation is very difficult. Jack Casady basses by epiphone get the tone also.
  14. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Learn to thumb mute. That is what I did to emulate the tone of an Ampeg Baby Bass when I was doing my Latin gigs - until I got my NS Design EUB that is! :D

    It's not hard to do, you put your palm over the strings right where they break across the bridge saddles, and pluck with your thumb.
  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    In order from cheapest to most expensive:
    learn to palm mute
    get flats & palm mute
    DeArmond Ashbory [18in. scale fretless-do a search]
    Electric Upright-[see the DB side & look @ the newbie FAQs]
    Acoustic Upright [also see DB].

    I'm a doubler [play BG & DB] and have learned why the DB guys say that a BG can't sound like a DB. IME, it can't. You can sound close, maybe even get some of the vibe but unless if you've got one, it's not quite the same. Thats all
  16. Roland V-Bass. Very credible upright sounds.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think this is exactly right - although I agree with Gard as well, as I have followed exactly the same path!! ;)

    That is - thumb muting on BG until I got my NS Design EUB.