Oh, that growl!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by GlennRH, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. In another, recent thread here on TB, I clicked into the video for My Sharona by The Knack. It exemplifies one of the first examples of growling bass that I ever noticed. I still like it.

    If you pay attention for it, you can hear the growl in recordings of Gene Simmons on bass, such as the Love Gun rendition of Christie Sixteen.

    Of course, Flea of RHCP put growl on the RADAR of many a listener, as in Ethiopia.

    Spooky Ska by my band Stingray – an original I co-wrote – reflects my aim to get my ‘97 G&L L-1500 growling.

    This recording of CIA by my band Subversion – an original I co-wrote – captures a growling timbre from my ’85 Ibanez RB760 Roadstar II.

    Each sample here involves a different bassist, a different bass, and a different genre – all gaining advantage from growling bass.

    What other examples can you provide of growl enhancing the tune?
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Is this "growl"? Whatever it is, I like it.

    scott sinner likes this.
  3. Maybe another will comment, bholder, on the presence/absence of growling bass in that TOOL tune.

    If you turn it up listening to this Jamiroquai song - another bassist, another bass, another genre - then you should hear another nice example of growling bass adding effect.
  4. On Hepcat’s Policewoman, Dave Fuentes got a nice growl with flatwounds. Turn it up for another example of nice, clean (without distortion) growl.

    I wonder whether he used a ‘Ray or a P (apparently his main basses, when photos were taken) for that session.
  5. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004

    friend33, C Stone and GlennRH like this.
  6. @lowdownthump - Oh yeah.

    That Slave tune and Kirk Franklin's bass player (unfortunately not on camera; fortunately on mic) definitely got the growl. Never before acquainted with either, I thank you.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
    lowdownthump likes this.
  7. Though Billy Gould of FNM does rely on some distortion, he seems to have a relatively clean signal delivering growl that, to my ears makes this tune:

  8. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    Vinny_G, GlennRH and C Stone like this.
  9. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    Yo I haven't heard those in gems in a minute! Thanks fir that. :)
    Also the 421's used as back-up singers mic's in the tiny desk vid
    you posted work perfect for a tight space like that (mental note taken). Thanks fir sharing. :thumbsup:
    lowdownthump likes this.
  10. Franchy


    Jul 16, 2020
    I read a tiny bit of self-promotion in OP.
    andare likes this.
  11. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    The first time I noticed growl as a thing was on the Moving Pictures album. I heard the previous radio hits from Rush and of course Roundabout from Yes, and Entwistle on various Who hits before I ever bought albums.

    But it was Geddy who really put it in my head. Not a mystery that he would cite Squire and Entwistle as heroes.
    GlennRH likes this.
  12. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    Not sure if he used the Fender, the Ric or both on this album. Definitely sounds like there's a little bit of dirt added, but I think it's mostly the playing. It enhanced all their albums and a good portion of the 70s and 80s.
    consectaneus likes this.
  13. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    IIRC, Geddy said that he first used his (now iconic) pawn shop find Jazz bass for recording on Moving Pictures.
    RichterScale likes this.
  14. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    When I was in my pre-teens in the early 80s, my older brothers always listened to what would be considered classic rock now. The only exposure I had to rush was likely just the few singles they played on the radio. Fly by night, spirit of radio, tom Sawyer and once in a while, the song battle scar they did with max Webster. But they were just radio songs on crappy radios to me.
    It wasn't until my later teens, when I wanted to play bass that my brother and his friend suggested I buy (on cassette at the time) hemispheres. That's when I found out who Rush was. I bought all their stuff from the 70s and that's when I discovered the Ric sound and growly bass. At that point I basically forgot about every other band I liked or listened to. At the time, the only Yes on the radio was roundabout and a few singles from the 80s. It was probably a decade later when I bought (CDs this time) fragile and close to the edge and discovered Yes. It was Geddy's sound on steroids. I had no idea what kind of basses these guys played, or anything about music in general. Just a kid with a no name $100 pawn shop bass, obsessed with their sound and songs. I finally was able to get a 4003 in the early 90s and disappointingly,..... No growl. Of course, I realize now that it had everything to do with their setup, rigs, effects, playing style, etc.
    Anyway, I'm not really going anywhere with that, other than I discovered that awesome bass sound in the 80s, after moving pictures, but it was being turned on to their 70s stuff. It really stood out on Cygnus X1.
    And I never saw them in concert or really knew anything about the band themselves until just this last year (No YouTube back in my Rush obsession days).
    Anyway, I'll take your word for when he got the first Jazz. But I know he started out with a P bass and still had it through albums 2-6. Not sure what songs were recorded with the Ric or the P bass, but between the effects and playing style, it's kinda hard to tell.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
  15. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    I forgot working man and closer to the heart.
    Of course, I loved the bass sound on moving pictures, but it sounded much different to me than the growl on earlier albums. It almost had a chorus-y, guitar distortion sound. Sounded more effects-generated, as opposed to sounding raspy and overdriven from playing it like it owed you money.
  16. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    I might be around the age of your older brothers, when classic rock was just "rock" (the '70s). Fly By Night (the single) and Working Man got airplay but for me were a blip on the radar considering all the amazing music being released at a dizzying pace one on top of the other. We're talking '74-'77---my high school years just to name a time period. In any case, those songs didn't portend anything special to me, or what Rush would become. I'm no Rush historian, but it seems 2112 was their watershed moment as far as what direction the band would take, and "prog" as such is lost on me. Probably no surprise that I related to Moving Pictures which the average Rush fan would consider the gateway by which many "discovered" Rush. It's like that album perfected what they started on Permanent Waves"...i.e. the radio friendly, accessible music for those like me who can't listen to 15 minute suites with funny sounding names.