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Is this a compliment?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Eilif, Sep 19, 2019.


  1. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town.

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Almost every week I play in a country and rock group that mostly plays covers in bars. A couple of gigs ago I was approached between sets 2 and 3 by a gentleman who I learned had occasionally subbed for me.

    He seemed nice enough and I started by thanking him for his assistance. He asked about my rig and seemed very surprised that I don't use any pedals because -and here's the comment I've been thinking about-

    "You have a very compressed tone"

    What does that mean? I've always thought I had a controlled touch so maybe it's a good thing.

    On the other hand maybe it's a way of subtly suggesting I should play with more dynamics?

    Thoughts? Anyone else ever been told this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  2. Never heard that one. Whether it's a compliment or not would completely depend on his definition of "compressed tone."
     
  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Does your bass have Bart’s?
     
  4. growlypants

    growlypants

    Nov 10, 2012
    Atlanta
    I would take it as a compliment, personally. (Compressed, referring to even-ness!)
     
    Mr_Moo, viper4000, jamro217 and 14 others like this.
  5. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    I often say stupid stuff when I talk to other musicians, especially if I'm in a rush between sets/ setting up/ tearing down. It's possible that he was just trying to talk to you and now lies awake in bed every night, wondering how many more friends he'd have if he wasn't so awkward.
     
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I get compliments about my 'tone' all the time. I use ZERO pedals. I've also been told I play 'slick'! Whatever that means.
     
  7. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    I'm happy with, "Hey, you don't suck too bad." ;)


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
     
  8. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Yeah, could go both either way. I think of my tone as 'compressed' too (free strokes, light touch, etc), recording engineers like it, but I find myself wanting for more attack in my sound.

    Definitely an odd statement, I think.
     
    chupacerveza and Old Blastard like this.
  9. MaxJJK

    MaxJJK

    Jun 29, 2014
    Colorado
    Do you not have a lot of headroom on your amp maybe? Could also be the FOH engineer's doing...

    Usually when people say "very compressed" IME they don't mean good things. That said, I usually take it well because I purposefully DO use a crapton of compression and distortion.
     
    Socobass and chupacerveza like this.
  10. My guess is he was trying to say something cool sounding about your tone. Compliment.
     
    chuckNC, Mr_Moo, Artman and 13 others like this.
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Sounds like a gear nerd trying to come up with something to say. Don't read too much into it.
     
    chuckNC, Mr_Moo, Bodeanly and 11 others like this.
  12. delta7fred

    delta7fred

    Jul 3, 2007
    England
    I would take it as a compliment.

    I don't take anything that anyone says to me at a gig too seriously, here was one conversation:-

    Audience member (quite drunk) - "Hey your guitar has only got 5 strings on it."
    Me - "Well it had 6 when we came in so some thieving SOB has pinched one, you didn't see who it was did you?"
    Audience member staggered off scratching his head.
     
    Tuffluck, Mr_Moo, Artman and 12 others like this.
  13. mrcbass

    mrcbass

    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I'd be fine being told that. What it actually means to him is another thing.
     
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Depends. Do you, in fact, have a very compressed tone?
     
  15. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    You can't make your way through life trying to divine what's going on in someone else's head when they make a comment like that.

    At least he didn't say, "I like what you were trying to do", or "I've never head anything like that in my life".
     
  16. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town.

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Thanks guys,
    Good insights all around.

    A few clarifying facts based on the above.
    -I play through nothing but my Ampeg B100R Rocketbass combo. No PA support, but the amp has plenty of headroom for the bars we play in.
    -Basses played rotate between J, P, Carlo (custom 44-94 style with Lakland guts) and sometimes a fretless Wendler. Only the Carlo is active.

    I think it was a compliment. Even if it wasn't, he was a friendly talkative dude, so I wouldn't take it as anything worse than some hint or suggestion for improvement.
     
    Mr_Moo, Tom Bomb, pcake and 1 other person like this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :thumbsup:

    yeah, i think it's pretty benign...
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  18. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe

    Dec 31, 2018
    Steamy Florida
    I would take it as a compliment.
    Sounds like something I would say to another bass player.
     
    chupacerveza and TolerancEJ like this.
  19. HardNHeavy

    HardNHeavy

    Apr 17, 2014
    PA
    a specific sound coming from the amp?......your settings etc.
     
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I think he’s just saying that to him it sounds like you’re using compression, and he’s surprised you’re not using a pedal to get it.

    Were you using a tube head?
     
    Mr_Moo, Artman, pcake and 2 others like this.

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