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JPJ's Black Dog tone.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fetfet, Sep 24, 2008.


  1. fetfet

    fetfet

    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    If you listen closely to Led Zeppelin's recording of "Black Dog", you can hear the the bass is really grungy and over driven. It sounds really cool, and was wondering if anyone knew how said sound was achieved. For a more easily audible sample of this bass, listen to Heartbreaker off LZII.
     
  2. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    AFAIK, It's his early 50's P bass with the single coil p/u...
     
  3. david fitch

    david fitch

    Feb 20, 2007
    I remember reading an interview with John Paul Jones and think he said he used his pre 1957 singe coil Fender Precision with Rotsound Roundwounds on "Black Dog".
     
  4. david fitch

    david fitch

    Feb 20, 2007
    Those would be Rotosound Roundwounds !
     
  5. fetfet

    fetfet

    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I've actually just heard this exceptional tone today, up until, i thought it was a clean tone, but it's got an amazing sound to it.
     
  6. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    It sounds exactly like his mid-70's live tone:
    Fender Jazz, Rotosound roundwounds and a couple of cranked Acoustic 360 amps.
    Listen to How The West Was Won (live around 73). You hear that sound on the songs where he plays with a pick. Lots of pick, roundwound, amp grind.
    On Hearbreaker (studio) he used his Jazz, a pick and a LESLIE ORGAN SPEAKER. Listen for the Leslie warble.


     
  7. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    He also used a gasp............................... pick:bassist:
     
  8. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

    Jan 2, 2008
    A leslie huh? what a cool idea.
     
  9. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    I can get pretty close with a Lakland JO w/ Fralin PUs through a Sunn 300T with some dirt from ch2 blended in.
     
  10. Dark Star

    Dark Star

    Jun 18, 2008
    CT, RI, NC
    Didn't he use a pick on that recording? I remember seeing JPJ using a pick in one of the live versions of Black Dog - don't know if that has any correlation.
     
  11. I'm in a Led Zep Tribute Band in the Nashville. I'm not exactly an expert...I'm still learning.

    From what I know, he used a 50s Pbass with a pick and rotosounds.
    One of the amps was being pushed into oversrive too.

    On a couple tunes, he used a Hagstrom 8-string with a bass amp and guitar amp.
    He was big on Acoustic amps back in the day.

    Of course, he still plays some of the same tunes now with his custom Manson Basses with SWR amps and a custom effects program on a laptop.

    I use a MIA Fender Jazz with Barts and an OBP-3. Little Mark II, and a Schroeder 21012L on the way.

    I used a pick on Achilles Last Stand, but not on Blackdog or Immigrant Song. I find the key is to mimic their feel. That rhythm section was amazing and peculiar.
    Luckily my brother is the drummer, and he is amazing. He owns the Ludwig Bonham
    kit. That kick drum is amazing! The hi-hats are a signature sound of his too.
     
  12. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    That is the sound of a lot of air being moved in a big room w/ mics placed at a distance. It is also the sound of genius.:cool:
     
  13. Agreed +1000:bassist:

    He played on Donovan's "Mellow Yellow" and arranged some string parts for The Rolling Stones.

    The Sporting Life, Zooma, and Thunderchief are all cool albums, too.
     
  14. peter jack

    peter jack

    Jun 8, 2008
    Black Dog: the tone in that live version - The Song Remains the Same - is really, really, really cool, too. John Paul Jones is the best, for me.
     
  15. fetfet

    fetfet

    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    He is mt 3rd favourite bassist, and i've had his thunderous neck pickup tone down for a while, and just needed some other tones of his. Thanks petersenbass, i've got a squier p bass and a t-bird, and can come marginally close to those tones.

    And JPJ was and will always be a genius. Shame they're not going back on tour.
     
  16. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    NJ
    that grit comes from an old Electro-Harmonix pedal produced back in the late 60s-early 70s. I believe it was called "Bass Balls". I had one and used it back then to cover those 2 songs. Nailed that tone like a champ. Look around, you can probably still find one used out there.
     
  17. I recall JPJ using Acoustic 360's with a Fender Jazz Bass during that period of Led Zepplin after 1975 he stated using custom made Alembics, but would go back to the Fender Jazz Bass in the studio. Also JPJ was credited for writing "Black Dog" from listening to the psychodelic-blues album "Electric Mud" by Muddy Waters. He wanted to write a song that nobody could groove or dance to, that's why it's got the odd timing. It's also one of the very few Led Zepplin songs that JPJ used a pick to play.
     
  18. How many is a few?

    Pick:
    Achilles Last Stand
    Immigrant Song
    BlackDog
    Whole Lotta Love
    Dyer Maker (I'm pretty sure I heard he palmmuted picked)

    there are more....
     
  19. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I know he used a leslie speaker cabinet on Heartbreaker...
     

  20. and a pick
     

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