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Possible to get decent Phil Lesh tone on a P-bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tonepolice, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. I use a 62RI P-bass strung with Labella Flatwounds and a RC Bass booster and MXR87 compressor into a SS Ampeg combo.

    I really love Phil Lesh tone on those mid 70's Grateful Dead studio and live recordings. I know his rig changed often and that he plays with a pick but what would I need to do to get a half decent Lesh tone with my rig noted above? Thank you!
  2. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Just imagine Phil Lesh playing your bass.

    I bet he'll sound just like you.
    daveman likes this.
  3. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    For the early stuff keep what you have, roll off the tone and practice. He has a very unique pick technique. I think being very stoned contributed to that. Totally loose but right in their pocket.
    If you mean the Touch of Grey era: Get round wounds and roll off the tone, cut the mids and get a reverb.
  4. Im more interested in the Blues for Allah era. Help on the Way/Slipknot, Music never stopped etc.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  5. Approaching Phil's technique and "quirky" sense of phrasing is the biggest thing in trying to cop his style. In all honesty, I'd assume that a precision bass with dull roundwounds, or better yet flatwounds, played with a heavy gauged pick should get you close enough.
    brbadg likes this.
  6. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    String your P with wet noodles.
  7. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    Actually,you were being the wet noodle.:bored:
  8. Phil gets a unique sound- it's bright but not bright at the same time. He said in an interview that he "EQ's the hell out of it." I did see a tribute band recently who's bassist got a good, if not identical sound- he used some hollowbody or semi-hollowbody with F holes- played with a pick.
  9. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    I have a german made Warwick Star bass II (335 style) strung with flats, using a pick and soloing the front PU it gets a pretty good approximation of that early 70's Lesh tone
    David Jayne likes this.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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