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Reggae Bassists Club!!!!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Jluckie3, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Jluckie3


    Mar 14, 2008
    endorsing artist Lakland basses
    ladies and gentlemen of the low end, i searched and found no club for those of us with a passion for the island riddems and massive bottom that comes from your favorite bass centered music and mine... reggae. i would like to propose the creation of a new club for players of this music, so come one come all.

    ok the rules.

    first i don't have the time or inclination to give out numbers nor do i want to, so like unto the SX club, after posting here you can sig "Jah blessed Reggae bassist in good standing" (or some variant)

    tell us the band and style (dub, rocksteady, ska etc.) in which you play your riddems (bedroom bassists count too)

    tell us what is YOUR key to your deepest dubworthy bass tone be it technique, gear, tone settings or blessings from above.

    have a good time.

    i'll start,

    i play with sober down, a dub band from utah and i use a J-bass with ancient TI flats to get my oh so lovely dub tone. :bassist:
  2. braz_b2


    Mar 17, 2009
    Me and my friends will bust out reggae jams every now and then when we play. But we don't play any set songs. However, when I'm at home playin, I always play some Rebelution. Great Basslines
  3. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    My Reggae band is dormant for now, unfortunately, but a day doesn't go by that I don't play some reggae bass at home or much less often in a jam situation. I also host a regular Sound System at a large bar here, and we get 200-300 each time for a great night with me selecting, toasting, and sometimes hosting guest DJs like Echo Minott from JA and various Swiss toasters.

    My reggae bass is a CS Fender '64 Jazz, with old Sadowsky flats. When I was gigging I had very old Labella FL760 flats on her, and will pop those beauties back on when I get the band together again next autumn. The Sadowskys are a hair lacking in thump and a drop too aggressive compared to the LaBellas, but I would be happy using them instead anyway. I roll off the bridge PUP halfway for that special fattening it gives the tone from the bass, and roll off the treble a third at most.

    My rig is an old SVT through a Berg NV610 and an NV215, whether through the PA or not. I used to lack a bit tonewise through a PA as I didn't use any outboard EQ, but since I got a VT Character pedal I know I'm sorted for the future. This pedal gives me the same effect through a PA as I get through my live rig when the SVT is set around its breakup point, with gobs of tube thickness and no lack of punch. When you crank the lows on this pedal, they just get bigger and fatter without adding any mud, really perfect for reggae, IMO.

    I go for a real old school tone, preferring the passive bass with tube colouring to the more produced and heavily EQed tones more common these days; I find I can play more expressively, and I much prefer to hear the woody upright like tones i can get with the Jazz than with modern active basses. I also like some serious thump and growl on the leading edges of each note.

    On the SVT I keep the mids a bit shy of flat or flat, and roll off a bit of treble. I rarely need to boost any bass, as I'd rather just turn way up and keep the mids clear and singing. There is enough warmth and fatness to the bass with flats, and from the SVT or VT that I don't have to EQ out too much treble, either.

    What I like best about the old tones is that fine balance between fatness and clarity; nothing bugs me more at a reggae show than a bassist that is all about lows and no definition, growl, or punch, and no mids.

    Our band play mostly various versions of classic riddims from the '70s, and we often combine a few versions into each song, which is fun for members of the audience who don't always realize the same bassline serves for so many familiar songs. We are bass, drums, one guitar, keys, and a tenor sax and a trumpet player. The problem is getting so many people together to rehearse and gig in what is essentially a hobby band, as we all are either working full-time or studying. There are no lack of potential gigs here, either, more the shame. Reggae has become so huge in Europe, really gone mainstream in many ways, and because of the Sound System nights and the amount of reggae that gets played in a few bars, the audience at our gigs is a very knowledgeable and appreciative one.

    I tend to play the classic riddims very straight, and though I've written some lines I'm happy with, we don't do any original stuff live. As long as we can play nice and steady and try and do justice to those great golden age riddims we cover, and be ridiculously loud, I'm in heaven.

    BTW, the drummer is a monster and without him there would be no band at all. There is no one else within 100k that can play reggae drums, never mind rock solid and swinging like him.
  4. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I'm in (Jah provides)... I get called in to do reggae bass parts in a local studio... and am playing in a trip-hop band similar to Thievery Corp, that uses a lot of dub riddims. I used to jam a lot with The Rastafarians back in the 80s, where I learned to play reggae.

    I get ridiculous deep dub tones out of my nordy vJ4 w/ passive big singles, through a mesa m-pulse 600 and powerhouse 212 rig.
  5. Jluckie3


    Mar 14, 2008
    endorsing artist Lakland basses
    welcome gentlemen
  6. Cyber Soda

    Cyber Soda

    Sep 24, 2008
    Hello, my name is Elgee, I play for the West Indian Folk Dance Company. We play a good mix of different types of Reggae, along with some Jazz and Afro-Folk. Our artistic director (if you're familiar with his work in Jamaica or just the West Indies in general or Europe) is Mr. Alfred Baker.

    Personally, my main bass is a Spector P/J that I dump as much bass into as I can with a set of ancient rounds, but I'll be getting some flats as soon as I can. That's about it. Am I in?
  7. Jluckie3


    Mar 14, 2008
    endorsing artist Lakland basses
  8. Cyber Soda

    Cyber Soda

    Sep 24, 2008
    Thank you! So what, is it time for pictures and things? If I can get in an audio clip or something eventually, I'll do that much. :D
  9. Jluckie3


    Mar 14, 2008
    endorsing artist Lakland basses
    hmm links would be cool for to get music.... and sure lets post some pics as well
  10. Tony-bobs


    Aug 19, 2008
    Spearfish, SD
    I'm starting a project right now, working on my song writing chops and trying to find someone to teach me a little organ. I have an SX PJ with some flats that sound like buttah. I crank the P and roll the J to about 3/4 to add a little more definition, and then it's just finger-style up by the neck to get the deep woody tone we all love! I'm still looking for the rig that will give me the exact tone and feel I want, but i'm not playing out right now, so I have some time. I really love the older ska and ska revival ala' the slackers, hepcat, and the aggrolites, and rocksteady is baby-makin' music if ever there was such a thing. right now that's about it, i guess i'm in?!
  11. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Where is Burningskies when a thread calls to him?

    Im a huge reggae player. I actually keep a wrist sweatband on the upper horn of my Jazz, so when I play dub/reggae, I shove in under the strings by the bridge.

    Man, that sounds good.
  12. Jluckie3


    Mar 14, 2008
    endorsing artist Lakland basses
    you guys ever hear of blue king brown? they are a reggae band from AU, and i forget their bassists name but he is a MONSTER player. saw them with John Brown's Body (featuring the incomprible Nate Edgar) and they blew my mind.
  13. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I'm in...... I've been playing reggae gigs since 1986, primarily with a very talented singer/songwriter/guitarist called "Seefari". With Seefari, I've opened up for some great bands (Toots & the Maytals, Mikey Dread, Israel Vibration, Beenie Man....). I also played (and still do occasionally) with another band that shares some musicians with Seefari. That band plays about 50% reggae, with funk, rockabilly, and blues making up the rest. We play 70's style reggae primarily, and I love laying down the classic riddims.

    For the past few years, I've only played instruments I built myself. I currently play a chambered long-scale 5-string fretless, a short-scale 4-string fretless, and a rubber-stringed bass built using Ashbory parts and strings. After trying many flats, I have been using old TIs for years, and have definitely found my string. I usually pluck over the fingerboard for a very deep, upright-like, woody tone. I prefer passive electronics.

    I have used many amps and cabs over the years, but for the past few years my rig is a Sansamp RBI, very light compression with an old JBL compressor, a Carvin poweramp into 2 Aguilar 1x12s. For outdoor festivals, I sometimes use an old Peavey 2x15. I usually run my Sansamp's EQ flat. Between the flats, chambered bodies, and fretless necks, I don't need to boost the lows very much if at all. I don't cut the mids or highs much, and agree with One Drop about enjoying the mids and highs, as well as the lows.

    Playing reggae has improved my playing in other genres. I don't go for speed and agility, like I did in my youth, but am more happy laying down a monstrous, fat groove that compliments the song. I now use space as much as I use notes.
  14. i play in the regs in dallas. used a jazz bass but i just got an mtd kz4
  15. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Oh, and thanks, Jluckie3, for starting this - nice idea!
  16. It would be nice if you guys could post an example of your sound/style as a band or the bassist in the band.
  17. Sounbwoy

    Sounbwoy Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Clayton, NC
    I'll jump in as well. I currently play regularly in two reggae bands; Jamrock Reggae Band (covers) and dub Addis (originals). Been with Jamrock from its inception back in '95 and with dub Addis three years now. Played in high school back in Ja (waaayy back in '82!!)Also pick up gigs here and there with other local bands in the area.
    I've also recorded with a very good friend of mine by the name of Cha'Maine. She has two projects out. You can check her (and me) if you would like at http://www.myspace.com/chamainemusic
    As far as my equipment;
    1. Hohner BBassV
    2. G&L L2000
    3. Series 10 Precision Replica -my very first bass. You can see all the details on my MySpace page.
    Crown XTi 2000
    BBE Bass Pre
    Peavey MarkIII (first amp)
    Ampeg BSE-115 (reconed-now 300 watts instead of two hundred)
    Avatar 2x10 (new addition)

    I don't play overly loud and don't require crazy volumes to play, but I did add the Avatar to get some extra oomph when needed.
    I love a ROUND bass sound that is not too loud but can be felt, but I also want a likkle snap as well. My style is a little different in that I'll incorporate some pops and slides while I play (with restraint).
    Examples can be found here:
    Jamrock Reggae Band:

    Tek Care
  18. Jluckie3


    Mar 14, 2008
    endorsing artist Lakland basses
    no worries:hyper:
  19. Greetings from Revolution Sound International!
    DJ in the dub stylee for Kona Mountain Bikes. Have been mix/remixing dub and playing along in the studio with my newly acquired Hohner B2B with flats on it. I love the 'one drop' stylee.
    Question: Just ordered a 30" short scale to match my guitar ergonomics and hope I can recreate the B2B sound with flatwounds. Any ideas for brands/guage would be helpful.
    So joyful to have found this post. It's bookmarked!
  20. Jluckie3


    Mar 14, 2008
    endorsing artist Lakland basses
    welcome wrench, what kind of shortscale did you order (pickups etc)

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