making my electric sound like a upright

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by $pace Police, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. $pace Police

    $pace Police Guest

    Jul 2, 2001
    Nottingham, England
    Any tips for making my electric sound like a upright, in terms of both technique and amp settings? Any advice would be great


    Uncle McFunkle
  2. I'm not entirely sure, but what I do for that deeper, mellower, almost-upright type sound, is use the neck pickup and cut the bass a little.
    Oh yeah, and plucking over the fretboard helps a little, too.

    Of course, never having heard an upright live, I'm not entirely sure if it really works all THAT well, but it sure sounds nice to me! :D
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Welcome to the board, McFunkle. There are two possible approaches that would help, one requires a change in setup, the other a change in technique.

    One thing that makes the electric bass sound different from the uptight is that the bass guitar has much greater sustain while the upright has a much quicker decay time. You can reduce your instrument's sustain by putting some foam under your strings at the bridge (Fender and Music Man used to have foam mutes for that purpose, which they later discontinued. A friend of mine who has a Stingray has those but never knew what they were for! :eek: ).

    You can also modify your technique to get that "thump". all you have to do is mute the strings with the side of your hand and pluck the strings with your thumb. This takes a little practice and you'll want to roll back the highs on your tone control a bit. Maybe your pickup balance too.

    Hope this helps. Usually I'd move this to "setup" or "Technique", but since this is split right down the middle between the two, it might as well stay here. ;)
  4. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You wont ever make an electric bass sound like a DB but you can get a nice warm mellow sound with a P-bass with flat wound strings. The tip about picking at the end of the fingerboard helps too. Low action and slides helps. Play with a light touch, letting the amp do the work. I set the passive tone control on my P to minimum treble/max bass.
    Play around with the EQ on the amp.

    The foam mutes may help you but they don't do much for me. Excellent muting skills helps tremendously.