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Joe Zinkan's bass or basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by truckplayer, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Not sure if this is the right forum for this question.

    I've watched some videos featuring Joe Zinkan, the great Nashville musician. Unbelievable slap bass skills! I know he played a German Roundback bass. Did he ever play other basses? If so, what were they?

  2. superman


    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    Joe had a Kay "C"mdl bass which he called his gig bass,and he said he left it at WSM Tv studio,,although he did record with it some,,his main recording bass is a late 1800s round back German "shop" bass,which I now own.,he used a aluminum bass with Acuff,,and some with Johnny&Jack and Kitty Wells. I have one tv show where he is playing a light blond flat back,,I'm not sure which bass it was,,but he did tell me about Johnny Wright haveing a real good bass that he used some.Heres a photo with the German bass from about 1940.http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=247294&stc=1&d=1327453311

    Attached Files:

  3. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Joe Zinkan's tone on session recordings has impressed and inspired me for a very long time. I always thought that probably had a nice old european instrument for this session work.
  4. superman


    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    Joe's bass is really a great instrument,,it's not a really expensive bass,, but it's been played quite a bit and sounds really good,,and most important its even in front of a mic. it records extremely well, as you have heard,,I am a very foutunate man to have it
  5. This is cool. Some guy in cyberspace asks a question about a bassist's bass from waaaay back in the day. 2 days later, someone else says, Yup that's a fine bass, I now own it, and offers pretty comprehensive knowledge about many of said old skool bassist's other basses, wooden and otherwise.
  6. Superman -

    I'm curious.... is the bass of Joe's that you now own have the original fingerboard from when he played it?

    I ask because, his fingerboard slap tone sounds like it may be shaved down on the thinner side in the videos you post. It could also be the old ribbon mics they used on live stages. Any thoughts?
  7. superman


    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    Sorry just saw this post,lol,, guess I need to lurk more often,, Joes bass was in a car wreck in 1938/39,,and it was of course on "top"of the car,,the original neck was broken beyond repair,,and the current neck was put in,,its a very thick curly maple neck which is almost like a blank that wasn't cut down much,,guess he didn't want it to break again,, the fingerboard was prob put on about the same time, its a huge slab of ebony with curl in the grain..when I got the bass from Joe it had grooves 3/4 deep as the string,,I took it to the old bass Viol shop in Cinci,,and the man said it appeared to never have been planed before,,
    its not as loud of a slap as a rosewood board ,, but has its own kind of thing going on,, different than any other I have ever played,,the note of the bass comes through very clear even when slapped,,I have had lots of them that this wasn't the case. Its a heck of a bass,, sound of its own,,I just recenty found another german bass that must have came from the same shop,, has the exact same measurments and swirly wide grain top,,even stress cracks in the ribs at the same place,,kinda weird to find one so close,,it records even better than joes bass but not quite as deep,,its got a old rosewood board,, slaps great also,but def different that Joes
  8. Stinkoman20xx


    Oct 19, 2003
    I always love reading about Joe's bass. I wish somebody could make a video of his slap style.

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