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The John Paul Jones Feel

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jimbo, Jun 26, 2001.

  1. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    John Paul Jones is my all-time favorite bassist. I love his style of playing, it's so fluent and even. I've been trying for a while now to reproduce that "even" feel in my own playing, but I just can't. I know it is all in feeling the groove but I get frustrated because everything I do has the same sound, choppy because I add little bursts of rhythm hear and there (more like flea). It works in some songs but not in everything, so if anyone could help me out with some ideas to get the sound I want, I'd really appreiciate it.
  2. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    To start with, I'm pretty sure that JPJ uses a pick. At least, it looks that way. I don't play with a pick, nor do I ever want to, so I'll have to turn things over to someone else now. ;)
  3. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I think that what JPJ and John Bonham created together can't really be seperated into parts. It was the two of them working together that had the magic. What if you had Bonzo behind you???
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    JPJ MAY have, on occasion, used a pick(I got pictures of him, circa '70s, playing with fingers).
    In an event, if I wanted a JPJ vibe(& believe me, when I first started playing in the early '70s, JPJ was one of 'my' favorites), I'd check out what/who influenced him...stuff like early R&B, Blues, Motown, etc.
    As far as the "everything you're doin' having the same sound"-
    ...WHERE are you plucking? There's a wide range of 'tone' available by simply moving the plucking location(example: for balladic playing, like the verses to "Ramble On", MAY be plucked up near the neck. "The Crunge" may sound good when plucked back over the bridge..."Black Dog" may work when plucked between the 2 pickups of a Jazz bass).
    Also, how hard/soft you pluck & everywhere in-between; which beats you accent, which beats you 'omit', which beats you mute or play staccato or full value, etc.
  5. slam

    slam Guest

    Mar 22, 2000
  6. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    He also plays much of his finger style with just his
    index finger just like James Jamerson.
    I found an old article where he talks about it ands
    explain the advantages.
    He also said that all of Ramble on and Good Times Bad Times were played with just his index finger.
    Thats why it sounds so even.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    WOW! "Ramble On" with ONE finger! That is impressive! ;)
  8. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Heh, are you making fun of me?:)
    Ramble on has the moderatly fast 16ths during the chorus correct?
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Moi? I don't make fun of anybody...!
    Yes, "Ramble On" has a very busy chorus(all those 1/16th notes); I once tried to learn it all 'note-for-note', then I realized JPJ was improv-in' the part as each one was similiar but slightly different.
    In any event, that part, at least for me, is difficult enough @tempo with TWO fingers. ;)
  10. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Aye, Thats about as fast as I can play with one finger. I think the tempo is about 88 bpm?
    Amazing how Jamerson did some of the stuff he did.
  11. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    You may never capture that feel because you are not JPJ. He will never capture your feel because he is not you. Work on your own feel. What's wrong with that?

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