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P-Bass Am Deluxe - Thin Lizzy Tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. I looking for some tips on how to get an appropriate tone from my P-Bass Deluxe for Thin Lizzy songs. What I don’t want to do is to attempt to copy Phil Lynott’s tone, I don’t use a pick playing these songs so I need a up-front tone from the pickups and the amp. The basslines for most of the Lizzy songs are quite busy and rarely just sit on the root.

    The P-pup on the P-Bass is too deep with fingers to cut through (sure it works great with a pick), that leaves the mid-position or the J-pup in the bridge position. Then there’s the amp, I’m playing through a 100W Fender Bassman, no gain control on this one. What about putting a Boss SD-1 in front of the amp?

    So what I need is for any of you guys out there who do this sort of thing (Hard Rock), with my sort of kit, to point me in the right direction.

  2. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Use the EQ to take some low out, boost the mids a little and stay on the P only.
    shadven likes this.
  3. Roto flatwounds will help too.

    He also used phase/flange to help cut through.

    I believe he picked close to the bridge, so try playing back there. Might help get a bit more definition. Play with a heavier attack too if you're going with fingers.
    bholder likes this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Or a thick stiff hard plastic pick. The stone and metal ones are a bit too much on bass, it least for a Phil sound.
  5. Yes, done that. This is definitely more like it. Thanks.
  6. Yeah, picks are definitely the best way to get there.

    I had an sx J with Aguilar pickups, and with the neck soled, and a little OD going into my Reeves (Phil sometimes used Hiwatts) I got extremely close to his sound. I know you're not going for a carbon copy, but those are my tips.
  7. Yes, I can nail it with a Dunlop 1.5mm nylon pick. But - I need to get my finger style up to the level of my pick playing (former guitarist) so I set myself the challenge of playing songs which were originally played with a pick with the fingers. So far, it's worked really well - I can now play straight 8ths with the fingers at 160bpm, something I couldn't do a year ago.
    Rocker47 and Doctor J like this.
  8. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Good work. Two fingers or three? If not three yet, it's something to work towards, can be very helpful in eliminating fatigue during busy rock sets. Even if you're not a fan, this vid has a lot of helpful technique tips for rock playing, the three finger thing is hard to get started on, but so useful once you get the hang of it.

    StinkFoot and joel406 like this.
  9. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Great video. Everyone should watch.
    StinkFoot likes this.
  10. Two, working on the third. Jesus, what about that hair! I had hair like that once - but it was a wig. The one thing that I picked up from the video was his comment about strength. It's taken me two and a half years to build up sufficient strength in my plucking fingers (the fretting hand was ok). Not a single, solitary instructional book or video that I bought put enough stress on this vital activity, I had to work it out for myself. If you can do 8th at 160, then you have strength for most things, if you can't, all will be a struggle. Which is why I guess a lot of guitarists->bassists just go back to the pick.
    StinkFoot likes this.
  11. jjmuckluckjr


    Mar 24, 2015
    Everyone wants to be able to buy tone. But Billy nails it, tone,sound, however you put it starts with your right (plucking) hand. Strength is a major component. Once you build it up, the variety of tones you get dramatically increases. And there is no shortcut. Squeezing a grip spring or tennis ball is not substitute for playing. After almost 40 years with a Pbass I'll yank a 10 penny nail out of a 2x4 :banghead:. I read an interview Eddie Van Halen (sorry for a guitarist reference) when they first came out. Many guys would try his original black and white guitar, but they couldn't get his sound. He laughed saying, they don't have my finger strength. Well, even playing bass with a pick, finger strength comes in handy.
  12. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Use both- I use a pick for songs that were recorded with a pick- like thin Lizzy and Stranglehold, and switch to fingers for songs that were recorded with fingers- like Rush. That way I keep both techniques in top shape.
  13. Nino D

    Nino D

    Oct 31, 2012
    I have the American Deluxe P also .It's an awesome bass. I usually use both pickups with mids and treble boosted to cut through. I never use a pick but sometimes use my fingers like I'm holding a pick to get a heavier attack.
  14. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Pick with flats

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