Super-funky DB sound, and a question.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by strangemusic, May 28, 2005.

  1. Hello, Double Bass forums! This is the first time i've stepped out of the Electric forum page, so consider me a total newb to the workings of double bass.

    But anyway:

    recently I was introduced by two friends to the fantastic band John Butler Trio. Their bassist plays a double bass (as well as an electric, I believe, on some songs). These two friends, in fact, are performing the JBT song "Betterman" for a school concert, and told me that the "live version" of this song had in it a bass solo you just couldn't believe. I checked it out and was floored: essentially, it's an extended jam on a double bass through an envelope filter and slight OD, which sounds FANTASTIC! I just wanted to know, is the practice of running a double bass through an effects chain as common/accepted as it is for electric players?
  2. Dave Speranza

    Dave Speranza Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I just wanted to know, is the practice of running a double bass through an effects chain as common/accepted as it is for electric players?

    The short answer is, no.

    The long answer is, not only is it not accepted, most are actually offended by it.
  3. Still, as always it depends on the music. JBT are bluesy folk-rock. They're great live, though John Butler talks too much in between songs and has an annoying tendency to use exactly the same scale to solo with. I've also heard of Christian McBride doing some very interesting things with effects on his upright.

    Check out the JBT album "Sunrise over sea". He's been through a number of different drummers and bass players, but this record is his best IMO, both for songwriting and sound. The bassist on that recording gets a wonderful upright sound.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the point is that DB is hard to play and cumbersome to carry about - but you do it, to get : "that sound"... the pure acoustic sound that can only come from a DB.

    If you're going to put it through a load of effects and forego that acoustic sound, then you might as well make life easier for yourself and play an EUB or Fretless BG ...:meh:
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Check out Charnett Moffett. His tonal palette includes both the natural DB sound and the DB sound with effects (often times while using it in conjunction with a bow). He comes out sounding like Hendrix when he's doing arco like that. Pretty cool. Depends on what he feels like in the middle of a tune. Among other things, he taps with the backside with his french bow on the bridge and gets this weird percussive sound.

    Beyond those tools, his skill and speed with pizz and arco are very impressive.
  6. Depends on the context: of course, at a straight-ahead jazz gig this would likely be frowned upon. I have however, seen guys bring digital reverb, delay, compressors etc in an effort to get that "perfect" bass tone and usually it sounds awful. But if you're in an adventurous band, I'd say do whatever moves you, to hell with what is commonly accepted.

    I saw one guy, Donovan Stokes, do a cool solo bass thing with one of those old tape delays where you can record over yourself and build a groove up. He laid down a few tracks of rhythm (including percussion!) and then soloed over with the bow using distortion.
  7. trocadero


    Jun 12, 2005
    Gamleby, Sweden
    check out EST(Esbjörn Svensson Trio), pianotrio with Dan Berglund on bass. He uses wah-wah, tremolo, distortion, you name it. Not on all tunes but anyway....
    Buy the DVD #EST- Live in Stockholm" its amazing!!!
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Unless of course your doing a gig and you need to have the acoustic sound for some tunes and an effected sound on others and don't want to use two basses to do it and/or don't have or want to by an EUB. Some effects sound really interesting when you play arco because the note can be sustained louder longer.