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"Piano tone" bass sounds - technical term?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sijjvra, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    Would this be considered getting a "bright" tone? This is the sound my band likes me to pull off for our music - my '97 Ibby pulls it off very well , but I'm not sure a bass is -supposed- to pull off "piano tone!". Or is this a more common thing than I realize?

    You'll have to forgive the question. I'm in a pretty secluded area and there are very, very few bassists to talk with about this stuff and I've only recently been trying to get into the more "technical" terminology vs. just playing the danged thing.
  2. dinghy


    May 27, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    Bad idea. Just playing the danged thing is time much better spent than on talkbass.

    I took piano tone to mean it was very clear in the mix. This could mean it is bright, but it doesn't have to be.
  3. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    I usually am just playing the danged thing but I'd like to know a little more about certain aspects. Like how not to mess up my neck when adjusting the truss rod :D and stuff.

    And I'd have to say it's fairly a clear, punchy tone. In one of our songs we've demo recorded, there's a part where it literally sounds like someone whamming away on the piano E. My band loves it, but I'm wondering if there is a proper term to apply to it so when I do have the rare chance to talk to another bassist in the area, I can say something other than "yeah :D I play my bass with settings so it sounds like a piano, sorta. But more metallic. And with a bit more growl? Eh... "
  4. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Piano-like tone to me means harmonically rich and dripping with shimmering overtones.
  5. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    From the oft overlooked Talkbass Wiki:

  6. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    My warwick with DR's literally sounds like a piano. 'ting'. Very defined and bell like attack with long decay.
  7. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Same to me. This was a big buzz phrase back in the 90's. And a prefect example would be an original style all-maple Spector NS2/NS4 with fresh stainless rounds. Shimmering overtones alright!
  8. Basically the sound of brand new strings. After a few hours playing (for me anyway) the 'piano tone' receedes.
  9. The sound one gets with new SS roundwounds - especially with a pick
  10. mrtn400


    Dec 6, 2008
    Carmichael, CA
    For me it's Elixers on a brass nut.
  11. Jactap


    Aug 4, 2006
    Bremerton, Wa
    I've found that hitting the strings with a small hammer helps to nail that "piano" tone. :bag::D

    new rounds help too
  12. a few weeks back i traded a Marcus miller jazz for a vintage P bass... i finally heard a goos explanation on piano tone and difference between P and J...

    a jazz can get a piano sound easy just by turning both PUps on and with a new set of rounds... on a P it is more difficult cuz the nature of PU doesn't allow for a cutting sound...

    a J cuts a P supports
  13. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Piano tone on a p bass is not really desired. Its more of a thumper.
  14. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Tell that to The Ox.
  15. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    New Rotos
  16. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    entwistle's p tone isn't exactly 'piano'. Growly as all hell tho.
  17. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    To me "piano tone" means it sounds like a piano.

  18. :D
  19. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    Ya better watch out...of your band craves the piano tone, you might be replaced by a piano player.....:help:
  20. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    We'll just add a keyboard player - we were planning on doing that anyway.

    And they'd better not kick me out XD my husband's the lead guitarist and my brother is the drummer.... >:) so I know where they live and sleep (which would be on the couch in my hubby's case should they boot me :D )

    When I upgrade my 4-stringer though, it's going to be a fun search trying to find another bass that can replicate that tone so well.

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