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Slide Bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ishmael_the_god, May 2, 2002.

  1. I have been listening to Mark Sandman (RIP) of Morphine for quite some time, and have never been able to figure out how he keeps his tone so smooth when he plays his bass with a slide. I have been interested in this idea for a while, but have never been able to produce a sound worth a damn when playing the low end with a slide.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about techniques that would improve tone when playing with a slide?
  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Nickles. Round wound steels will really sound hairy. Try flats too.
  3. Would you recommend a glass or metal slide?
  4. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001
    I'd go with a glass slide if you're looking for Sandman's tone. I don't know if he used a glass, but I play with a metal slide on roundwounds, strictly for odd overtones and whatnot... its more for a special effect than actually playing notes. I can get a very smooth, round tone out of a glass slide, but I don't use it much in the context of my bands music.

    Definately glass, in my opinion.
  5. Thanks. I agree with the warmth of glass. I'm gonna pick up some roundwounds and throw em on my spare bass, see what happens.

    Gracias for the advice.
  6. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I've dallied around with this some myself and I find that a beer bottle or a large diameter (2 1/2 to 3 inches) glass works best. And you do need another bass for it because of string height problems. As far as the look on your guitar player's face when you start to play slide bass while on stage, well that's another topic entirely!
  7. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Inactive

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Mark used a glass slide short scale bass with 2 stings on it tuned a octave apart flat wounds

    Good luck ,Marks genius was all about hooks on bass and vocally

    You may want to chase down a pre morphine project called

    Treat her Right

    good stuff its got billy conway on it as well

    good luck

  8. I'll have to check it out. Does it have Dana on sax, or did he only start playing with the late Sandman with Morphine?

    That's what I love so much about Morphine - the bass plus the baritone sax plus Mark's deep voice. Gotta love the low end, eh?
  9. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Inactive

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    No Dana's not on that stuff

    Yah I loved that First album all those low instruments ,Jerome Duprees swing (he was the origanal drummer who was replaced because he had tendonitis problems that he never really comunicated about and started not showing up)

    Marks writing is so great on that one ,not one thought on comercial potential (the band was started as a Joke but then blew up) just simple hooks lots of repitition and that dark vibe that I think peaple caught on to.GREAT STUFF

  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Treat Her Right is much more of a blues/roots rock band, it lacks the mysterious, jazzy feel of Morphine.

    Sandman played "low guitar", usually a Tele run through an octaver. The other guitarist was David Champagne and they had a harmonica player named Jim Fitting plus Billy Conway on cocktail drum.

    A great band but not at all like Morphine.
  11. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Inactive

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Yup thats them ,cool band.:)


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