JPJ Whole Lotta Love sound. (Flats)?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by HawldieMPB, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. I know there are a lot of threads AROUND this topic, but I've googled my way trough this site and I can't seem to get the info I'm after. How does JPJ get his sound on whole lotta love? I'm i mistaken or does it sound like flats? Is it his J Bass? If I missed a thread where this is answered let me know as I don't want to create clutter.
  2. My guess was that he used rounds, probably not particularly new ones and rolled his tone off, but I'm probably wrong.

    They key to getting the boomyness of it though is to play the open strings as well as their fretted notes. Specifically, you play the D on the A string (5th fret) and at the same time hit the open D string. And for the E you hit the 7th on the A and the open E as well.

    This technique has a name that eludes me, I use it all the time though.

    Theres a video around where he demonstrates it.
  3. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Closest term I can think of is a double stop, which is just any time you fret two strings and play.
  4. Try to look up the isolated bass line on YT. Those tend to be really revealing!
  5. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I heard "Ramble On" the other day while driving and was wondering the same thing. It's on the same (excellent) Zep album as "Whole Lotta' Love". "Ramble On's" famous bass line has some sliding in it, and I don't hear any string hiss. Admittedly though, I've never really read anything about what he used on it; but it's sooooo smooth that it sounds like flats.
  6. Thanks for weighing in guys (and gals)! His string choice seems to be super elusive. Searched some other threads here and it seems thy he's given conflicting answers in multiple interviews. So strange.
    Anyone know what the rest of his rig looked like? Amp? Bass?
  7. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    When he played it in the movie "the song remains the same" he uses a pick
  8. Go to 2:35 for a lesson on Whole Lotta Love. And then watch the whole interview.

  9. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Amp was a Leslie speaker, I think. He also used Acoustic amps (not to be confused with GC's house brand Acoustic). Bass was definitely a Fender Jazz.
  10. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    He used a leslie for a couple early zep songs. Its really audible on Heartbreaker.

    His dull sound on the early albums were from the engineering / mixing. And yeah, the acoustic 360 isn't the most modern sounding amp.
  11. Jibudo


    Mar 13, 2010
    Porto, Portugal
    He didn't use flats. I asked this same question to the man himself and he answered me that.
  12. If he didn't use flats what did he use? (What kind of rounds I mean) also that is amazing that you actually met john Paul jones. I don't even think I would have the capacity to form sentences if I were talking to him.
    I've been looking at a bunch of "real"
    Acoustic amps. They seem to be available for pretty cheap?
  13. Jibudo


    Mar 13, 2010
    Porto, Portugal
    My speech became very affected too... I've met him in a three day Kyma Symposium in Oporto and it was really cool. Regarding strings, i gess he was using rotosounds by that time, the only roundwound available.
  14. Oh I guess that makes sense if they were only rounds available hahaha
  15. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Also explains why he was able to get such a flatty tone since Rotos debrighten themselves pretty quickly
  16. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    There are lots of opinions and facts on this topic and the general consensus is he used rounds....,,,,,,,

    Not arguing that fact but IMO Rotosound FLATS on a jazz bass sounds very much like his tone on this album.
  17. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    Sound like flats to me, as well. I used to use Rotosound Swingbass66 stainless, years ago. When they went dead they were pretty "thumpy". I don't remember them sounding like flats, though.
  18. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    All this stuff about him using rounds is coming out recently. My guess is that he honestly doesn't remember. I had the 1977 issue of guitar player magazine in my bedroom drawer growing up. It was the first that I had ever heard of flatwounds. He put rounds on his telecaster bass, and on his Alembic. He used flats on his '63 jazz bass until he got the Alembic. I believe he retired the jazz bass at that time.
    JMacBass65 likes this.
  19. This is what the man himself said he used on his jazz, during an interview back in 77 with guitar player mag.

    Roto RS 77s

    With a pick for this tune

    But..........people will latch onto what he said just a few short years ago, in spite of what he said closer to the time of the recording, when he was in fact still using his jazz (not live though), and in spite of what they hear on the record, and in spite of the photographic and video evidence.

    Oh well.
    jeffgnr90 likes this.
  20. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Exactly. In '77 he said he used flats until he got the Alembic. Thirty years later he said he used rounds all through Zep. It only makes sense that the comments made closer to the actual events are more likely to be the accurate ones.