The best P-bass tone in rock

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Who is he?
    GregC likes this.
  2. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    A vote for John Wetton.

    bobyoung53 and 10cc like this.
  3. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Looks like Greg Ridley of Humble Pie (R.I.P.).
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
  4. bass71


    Nov 18, 2007
    Lots of tones that I like but,
    for me its Mars Cowling on the Pat Travers live album....brilliant middy but rich sounding P bass...would love to get that tone some day.
    sgraham likes this.
  5. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014

    I know most of these, how many are on flats vs rounds?
  6. ThumpBump


    May 2, 2017
    I can't believe this was (a) only mentioned by a couple of people, and (b) cited as an example of a guilty pleasure. Green Day may not the greatest band, especially when you take their catalog over the last 27 years as a whole, but Mike Dirnt's bass on Dookie and Insomniac is easily in the pantheon of the most righteous bass tones ever if you ask me. It's got everything I think of when I think p-bass - it has that distinctive power and punch without being overly harsh, and it sits ever so nicely in the mix, holding it all together. But then at the same time there's this glorious steely growl that cuts right through and makes him stand out.

    To me it really is like the purified and distilled essence of rock bass tone. It's got the straighforward rhythmic punchiness of Dee Dee Ramone and the heavy but melodic groove of Paul Simonon, but there's also a healthy dose of John Paul Jones J-bass growl and clang too. To be fair, Dookie was the first album I ever owned (3rd grade, inappropriate, lol), and it's probably not a coincidence that this particular tone is the one that more or less defines rock bass for me. But I don't feel that way about the guitar tones or the drums on those albums, so I dunno. I think he really did have some legendary bass tone going on for a while there.
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    crucislancer likes this.
  7. I'm pretty sure I read someplace (bassplayer?) that Dirnt used either a Gibson Grabber or a Ripper on Dookie.
  8. ThumpBump


    May 2, 2017
    Holy Trinity: Mike Dirnt and Green Day

    "On Dookie, I played an active P-Bass that I rented from SIR, because my basses were broken and thrashed from touring. That bass had P/J pickups, but the way I had it set, it might as well have just been a P-Bass."

    He does say Insomniac and Kerplunk were a Gibson G3, which is kind of weird to me since Dookie and Insomniac have extremely similar bass sounds to me, and they sound very different from Kerplunk, but I'm sure a lot of that is production and other equipment.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Which one? About half of his albums are live. :D
  10. bass71


    Nov 18, 2007
    I think its the one with 'Out Go The Lights' on it and that fab boogie style walking line, great tone.
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