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I'm too poor to buy pedals...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by gnarlyopossum, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. I tried posting a similar thread in the fx forum, but realized that this is a better place for the topic. I have no money for pedals, but like the sounds they can get, but I know many people who don't use pedals but can just get different tones out of their basses. I want to do that.

    I'm not looking for any particular sound, I just want hints as to how to get different tones from my bass without using pedals. I don't have enough money for pedals and I avoid them like the plague because I don't want to get sucked into buying them or depending on them.

  2. crazyguy832


    Dec 17, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB

    Great thread on getting a "fingerstyle slap" kind of tone. Lots of fun.

    Other ways are simply experimenting where you place your right hand (nearer the bridge, neck, etc.), what fingers you use (just the thumb can sound great on soft passages), how hard you play. Just experiment, really.
  3. Bofee


    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    I don't use pedals, I've rarely found any that sound good in a band context, though I've owned some that sounded great with the bass soloed.

    1. Fingers. Where and how hard you play with your right hand can make a huge difference in sound, move around and try different positions ans attacks, try your thumb, or a pick.

    2. Left hand technique. Check out Rocco Prestia's ghosting tecniques for example, very cool.

    3. EQ. If you have a multi-pickup bass, try them individually and use the tone controls on you bass and amp to exagerate the natural tone of the PUP. An example is a Jazz Bass with the bridge pickup soloed and the mids cranked on the amp, this can really cut through a mix.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You can get an 'octaver' thing happening by playing the Root & it's Octave with your fretting hand...and by plucking both notes simultaneoulsy with your plucking hand's thumb & index finger.
    Sliding into your target note by a 1/2 step above or below adds some spice.
    Maybe works best around the 4th-7th fret on the "A" & "D" strings.

    Don't hurt yourself. ;)
  5. It's all in the hands, that's what I understood reading the forums.
  6. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
    For my normal tone I don't use any pedals. I like to crank the treble up really high like 3'o'clock and have the bass at 12'o'clock and then at last have the middle sounds on only 9'o'clock. My bass is always tuned half a step down 'cause I find it easier to play that way, and I do think our songs sounds (of course it depends when it's covers) better in that tuning (if your singer can keep up with it).
  7. Bass Tees

    Bass Tees

    Feb 11, 2008
    I'm pretty poor too, but I went out and bought a Digitech BP-80 the other day. It isn't a great pedal by any means but you can dial in some decent sounds with it. It's also nice to use at home with headphones for practice. The built-in drum machine and tuner are good features as well. Not a bad deal for 100 bucks.

    Other than that, it helps to have a nice EQ. Sometimes I sit in front of my amp for hours, tweaking knobs and finding new sounds. Be aware though - how your amp sounds when you are playing by yourself may not sound good in a band setting.
  8. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Crank the bass tone and volume control on your bass, and if your amp has a separate preamp volume and power amp volume, crank the pre amp volume - genuine, natural distortion. If your amp is not that sophisticated, you can do the same thing, but you'll have to do it at a high volume. Also, the heavier you play, the more distortion you will get.
  9. I was watching a Jaco video on Youtube and he does this thing where it sounds like he's playing through wah or doing wierd harmonics, but he changes his hand, so I'm assuming he's not using a pedal. Anybody know how he does that?

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