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Poor technique at loud volumes?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bassmusic808, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Hello. I've noticed that I sound pretty good when I am practicing at home and lower volumes. However, when at a gig or full practice with the band, all my minor technique flaws are amplified.. Damn. Anyone else notice this? Maybe practicing at louder volumes more often would help.. any comments?

  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Anything that helps you clean up your technique is beneficial. Do you mean that you hear string squeaking and stuff at higher volumes?
  3. Yah.. string sqeaks and other strings ringing mostly.. too bad you can't set your amp to amplify only the good stuff.. ;)
  4. DaemonBass


    Mar 29, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    I dunno, maybe if you haven't tried this yet, lower your treble. Works for me if I just lower the treble EQ a tad it cuts away all my string slide noises and pull-offs, ect.
  5. SmittyG


    Dec 24, 2003
    Texarkana, Texas
    My main practice and studio bass has active pickups and preamp. While practicing alone, I turn up the highs. Not a sound I really love, but sloppy technique just smacks you right in the face. Then, on the gig, my main bass really pushes bass and low mids, I find that my technique is cleaner and string noise less emphasised.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You're not alone. In fact, many a critic believes '70s Jazz Fusion fizzled 'cause those playing it were not as comfortable with excessive volume as their '70s Rock counterparts.
    It is 'different' when NOT playing in a controlled room like your own shed.
    Personally, I don't like playing too LOUD...after 3-4 band rehearsals, I will get more comfortable, though.
    If you don't find yourself getting 'used to the volume' after a few rehearsals...maybe you need to think about your muting techniques?

    Some guys love it LOUD.
    ...maybe they're hard-of-hearing?
  7. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Sounds like muting is at least part of the problem.
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Might explain why they don't notice their poor technique too! :p

    Yeah, I experienced a bit of string squeak too. Thankfully, I have an active preamp with 16db of treble cut :D.
  9. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Try flatwounds?
  10. I have a similar problem. It can easily be solved by lowering the treble or by turning up my bridge pickup. However, with the first solution my sound turns to mud (I only have a 1x15 cab) and with the second solution my amp buzzes like crazy at high volumes.
  11. GooseYArd

    GooseYArd Guest

    May 15, 2003
    that's it exactly. What you want to shoot for is consistency between practice and performance. If you perform standing up, practice standing up. If you play with the amp way up, practice with it as close to the volume at which you perform as is practical. Bassists who for whatever reason have to use their amp in lieu of a PA often have this problem, and it would feel just as if you walked into a room and started talking to people but for some reason your lungs and throat made you scream intstead of talking slowly, and you were unable to control the volume yourself.

    If you practice with the amp loud, you'll get in a habit of varying your right hand attack so that the bass is not always sending out the loudest signal it can make, and it's a good way to learn to mute.

    If that fails, or you like the sound of the hard attack, you can use a compressor.
  12. DjangoPastorius


    Nov 24, 2003
    If you have active electronics, consider bypassing or turning your instrument volume knob down. The "passive" sound is more forgiving.
  13. Thanks for all the tips!!
  14. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Of course, the best solution is to work on your technique. Eliminate all extraneous movement and try to use a lighter right hand touch.