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Some newbie questions....

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by FearOfGodX, Feb 9, 2002.

  1. FearOfGodX


    Nov 8, 2001
    Probably "DUH" questions for you guys but here goes...

    1) Different Gauge (gague?) strings, what's the difference? Is it like "big gauge" will be more taught for the same notes?

    2) What exactly is gain? What does it do and what does it affect?

    3) Active EQ? Wuzzat mean? What is a passive?

    4) So far I have found www.talkbass.com, www.mxtabs.net, www.tabcrawler.com, activebass.com, and www.basstabarchive.com. What else is out there?

    5) I got this button that says -15db and 0 db. What does that mean?

    6) I have tried a bit online, but i don't understand Key's. Where can I get a decent explanation

    7) There are all differnt kinds of pickups, I have no idea about any of them. I have two on my Ibanez Ergodyne, and I have that switch to go between them, what is the diff between the two?

    8) I have been bugging you guys for awhile with Fieldy's tone. But I am curious about other kinds of tone. Like when Tool gets that really cool sounding tone, like in the beginning of "Hush" that to me is just the greatest sounding thing and is the reason I bought a bass.

    9) Allright...Staind. I know Mike Mushok the guitarist plays a "baritone guitar" which is like freaky low and uses bass strings and stuff. How does the bassist tune to match that? I mean they are my fav. band, and songs like Mudshovel never, ever sound right, no matter what tab and tuning am reading.

    10) Finnally muted notes: I just sorta hit the string and don't let it play a note, but do I just sorta rest gently and not let it viberate, where do I keep my finger.

    Whew...if you can answer all those, I will move up from "newbie" to "just not very good" My mom would be so proud!
  2. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    I´m gonna take a swing at your first two, then I´m going to sleep and will let the pro´s here handle the rest ;)

    1. Different gauge strings is how thich they are. For example, you can get an E string in 0.90 which is pretty thin for an E, and all they way up to 1.10.
    The thicker the strings are, the more "fatter" the sound is according to many. I´m very sleepy so I won´t go any further into this, risking exposing my lack of knowledge ;)

    2. There are two things on your amp that you should be aware of, they may look to do the same, but that is not the case. Volume and Gain. Volume of course turns up the total output from the amp. Gain on the other hand is how strong the signal from the bass comes into the amp, before being "processed" through the EQ and blasted out the speaker. In general it´s not good to have the gain way up, unless you´re seeking some heavily distorted sound. You can test this by doing the following. Turn the volume up to a suitable level, then start turning the gain up and really pluck the strings hard. When your amp starts to fart, then it´s time to turn the gain a bit down until you can pluck the strings pretty hard without the amp "farting" out on you.

    Bah, I´m going to sleep!

    Have fun ya´ll
  3. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    4.- you mean theres more thatn Talkbass??? :D, stay here, youll learn a lot more that in TC and MX.

    5.-if that button is in your amp it might be a Active-Pasive switch... if you have an active bass turn the -15db ON... if pasive, then set to 0db

    7.-well the controls in your bass have a "Pickup Blend" knob... if you set it in the middle both pickups will be at the same output and youll have a nice bass tone... if you set it to the bridge pickup you have a whole lot different tone thatn if you set it to the neck pickup (which is fuller).

    8.-maybe with a 5 striger... my old band played "Mudshovel" and i have a 4 stringer... my guitarist played the song with a C# tuning so i did the same.... maybe if you play the song in a band enviroment (and not the cd) youll get it right).
  4. alrighty then,
    3. active and passive basses. If you put a battery in your bass, then it is active. It is said to give more sound than passive basses. However, I like passive's better anyway.

    8. Fieldy's tone: on your amp, turn the low up, the high up, and anything in the middle down. Take the bass, and slap the thickest string harder than you think you should.
    Tool's tone, ton's of mid and high, along with fx

    9) The guy from staind plays a 5 string, and (to my knowledge) uses standard tuning.

    10) Muted notes. Now this is to muffle, or lightly muffle the note. You can still hear the note, mind you, it just sounds different. You can muffle it by placing another finger (probably pinky) lightly over the string on which the note is being played. You can also play the note normally, with your palm layed lightly on the strings, close to the bridge. Many guitarists use this technique.

    Maybe now you should get your mother :)
  5. Hope I could help. Start reading around the forums to get more info. And don't be afraid to PM the mods if you have a question that you too embarassed to ask. Remember, we all started out just like you, too.:D

    Rock on
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

  8. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Last but not least..TABZ ARE EVIL.

    Welcome aboard...

    Mike:D :D
  9. cap


    Aug 8, 2001
    Hickam Hawaii
    Am i mistaken in saying that some Ibanez Erdogyne's have Piezo? if you do...you have one hell of a beginner bass:D

    and talkbass.com is all you need....alot better that tabcrawler.com....lemme tell ya...
  10. The -15db pad (often used on D.I boxes.. like mine ;)) cuts the signal down by five times. If you play and switch it on and off you'll hear your overall volume drop.

    To halve the volume is -3db, so -15db is -3dbX5 :eek: It is used so as not to overload the channel and allow better control of the sound. Active basses have a larger output, therefore when put through a mixing desk, the operator cannot play with the EQ's too much without crudding up the over all sound. By switching the -15db pad, it allows the sound engineer, or yourself on your amp to realy manipulate the sound and give it finer adjustments.

    Gain is the ability of the amplifier to amplify the signal. In basic transistor theory, open loop gain is in the 10's of 1000's. Thats why we have a thing called Negative feedback to control it. Negative feedback is the ability to sample the output and feed it back into the input. Its usually done with a resistor and/or capacitor(s) within the amp. The gain control is a potentiometer which is a glorified resistor, by adjusting it, you adjust the negative feedback, which adjusts the gain of the amp stages. Which reduces or increases the output/presence.

    Active Eq vs Passive- Active basses have a on board pre-amp, an amp before the main amp. Amps need voltages to run, thats why there is a battery in active basses. It amplifies and manipulates the signal of your bass, allows varying tones before you get to your thumping big amp. Passive basses don't have this and feed a signal directly to your amp and lets the amp do most of the work. Don't ask which is better cause you'll start a huge debate lol.

    Hmm i aint gonna answer anymore as it'll be a entire lecture... maybe Paul would post it up somewhere lol


    Hope it helps sorta

  11. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Keys are sorta hard to explain to someone who isn't exposed to music theory (and even some of us who are) but I'll try to use the analogy of a book to relate keys, scales, chords, and notes.

    Think of a book that has 12 pages. Basically in western music there are 12 keys, so each key is a page. Each key can be described by a key signature, so that's how you know what page you're on. I won't get into key signatures. There are books that will do that for you.

    When some one says they are playing in a particular key, they are telling you "what page they're on" and how to build a scale . Think of the scales as the paragraphs on your page. In the key(page) of F one of the scales (paragraphs) might be F Major, and it would include the Notes (words) F, G, A, Bflat, C, D, E, F . Now that you know what words you have at your disposal for this particular page and paragraph, you can start putting the words down in sentences . In our example, that would be chords .

    So if you wanted to make a chord (sentence) from the notes (words) available to you in the F Major scale (paragraph) in the key (page) of F, it might look a little something like:

    F-A-C. These are the 1st. 3rd. and 5th notes (words) in the scale (paragraph) of F Major.

    Clear as mud?


  12. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Hey, don't be too shy about asking questions. They're all good ones, and it's the only way to learn. :)

    Anyway, I assume that you're not too up on music theory - readthis, written by Jazzbo. I'm sure it'll come in handy, and help you understand some stuff. Hope it helps.

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