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Jazzers - a question of effects

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SteveC, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    When I do a jazz gig I play with no effects. Lately, both locally and with the big timers I am hearing effects. A local guy uses chorus a lot, and maybe some other stuff. I listed to clips of Jeff Berlin's new stuff and it's full of chorus or reverb or delay or something. Definitely not clean. I think it sounds terrible. Am I missing something? Should I be using effects like "the other guys" are doing?
  2. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Depends on the kind of 'jazz' you're talking about.

    If it's fusion kinda stuff, or not the typical walking lines, there's a chance I'd use an effect.

    If it's straight up bebop, not a hope. I get chastised for the fact I play an electric. Definitely not busting out effects.
  3. Stay true to you and do your thing. If that means clean, then so be it. If that means try some effects, that's cool too.

    That said, here are some opinions: If you look at the post your pedalboard threads, you'll find a bunch of guys who have a whole bunch of effects. They're always changing this and that out for that and this... for the most part never completely satisfied with their setup or sound. At the end of the day, you'll also find a handful of guys who are ready to just plug straight in again. It seems to me that my best bass tone is always just straight in. I've got a handful of high quality, popular effects that do what they do pretty well I suppose... but I still end up savoring my clean tone that much more when it's all said and done. If I had to suddenly get rid of all my effects, I wouldn't be too sad. I'd try to keep my carbon copy delay if I could, though, because I do really like how it sounds when I pluck through pinch harmonic chords.

    Anyway, just do your thing.
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Yes. I think the problem comes in that with Jazz we are constantly chasing the DB as 'ideal sound'. And I'm not putting down that sound, its been used for decades in jazz. Its just that we need to establish a sound from electric bass that is acceptable in jazz. Effects could be the answer, but more than likely the true answer is time. It took some time for Tuba to be replaced by DB. We are better off now than when Monk Montgomery first picked up a P-Bass.

    In otherwords, keep doing what sounds good to you.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    I agree. It'll take time. I don't see myself rushing out to get some effects just because Jeff Berlin does. I think bass almost always sounds best straight into the amp - no matter what the genre. I was just curious as to what others thought.
  6. In jazz you make your own rules, but a lot depends on the other musicians. My main jazz gig is essentially my band with a broad range from traditional to fusion, so I do what makes me happy, using effects for solo sections but not always. Sometimes i bare bones it and other times I take the whole wacky board. I tend to stay away from distortion but use octaver, octave up, envelope followers, chorus and flange where ever a little spice is needed.
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