the tone is in your hands

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Davidoc, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. A famous quote by Jaco. That line means nothing to me, because personally, I think Jaco's tone is one of the worst I've ever heard. He said the tone is in your hands. After listening to one of his CDs, I noticed his tone was well bland and lifeless.
    Just found it real ironic.
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    One man's bland, lifeless tone is another man's treasure.

    I personally TOTALLY agree w/that quote, BTW. :)
  3. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    While you are entitled to your opinion, I disagree with you. I loved Jaco's tone on 99% of the recordings I've heard of him. I also totally agree that the "tone is in your hands". From my experiences, that is a completely and utterly true statement.
  4. Contents deleted by moderator (BW) due to unnecessarily offensive wording.

    It's quite boring, really.
  5. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    While I agree that your hands have a lot to do with your tone, I don't agree that it's all in your hands. You can't seriously tell me that you can get the exact same tone from a Squier P-bass running through a Peavey Microbass that you can from a Fodera running through an Aguilar rig.
  6. yeah, i hope you don't get flamed around also.

    but you are entitled to your own opinion.

    But I totally agree with the whole "tone is in the hands" quote.

    Don't dis Jaco, he opened the door and influenced so many bass players, he may have even influenced YOUR favorite bass player. If you have a favorite...:rolleyes:
  7. did you ever wonder why jaco never played slap. Its cause he didnt like the tone. He conquered all the musical styles that he thought sounded good to him. A perfect example would be "portrait of tracy," a song which tonally hadnt been done before and sounds absolutley beautiful and to me is a work of art , if nothing else because of the timing. Its almost like he lost his natural sense of time and just went with what sounded better. Whatever his tone was, it was deffinetley his and he knew that it was exactly what he wanted. One reason his tone might sound bland to you is because there has been a great number of people whove imitated it, but no ones got it quite right. Tone is matter of taste and with such wide range of tone out there how can you label any of it as bad if it suits your style.
  8. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    If that statement is true,I wonder how come we don't have threads and BP articles on "how to get the most out of your fingers" or something like that.Robbie Shakespear also held to this.I'm not saying it's wrong,but having lived with inferior equipment for many years I think it's over simplifying the subject of tone.

    I don't want to say to much about Jaco,I only had one of his records,and since I called it a 'record' you can tell how long ago that was.But I wouldn't say he had the best tone for Blues or Country or Reggae,but what does that matter.He played a defretted Jazz which was georgeous sounding for the Jazz he was into.
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I'm with Phat Ham on this. The tone is mostly in your hands. Otherwise, we'd all be playing jazzes, and Turner would have a normal sized bass rig :D

    I play several different basses, each with their own sound. However, I sound like me on all of them. And nobody sounds like me when they play my stuff.
  10. I think its a careful mix of hands, bass, and amp. I don't think that there's any one thing or piece of equipment that'll get you sounding great.
  11. I totally agree with the statement, and I think Jaco was a great player; I'm just talking about his tone/tamber.
  12. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    I'm in 100% agreement with this. As musicians we all develop our own voice, equipment may color our sound but we remain the same artist.
  13. Phat Ham said...

    While I agree that your hands have a lot to do with your tone, I don't agree that it's all in your hands. You can't seriously tell me that you can get the exact same tone from a Squier P-bass running through a Peavey Microbass that you can from a Fodera running through an Aguilar rig.

    Sure I can. You don't think I can make a Fodera sound like a Squier?

    You've never heard me play, I guess.


  14. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I never liked Jaco's tone, either, but it grew on me. EXCEPT for his fuzz tone. I HATE distorted bass, and Jaco's distorted bass sound was pretty blah.
  15. "bland and lifeless"???????
    Goodness me, your expectations must be high. I always thought Jaco had the most expressive and glorious tone ever. Guess I was wrong. Gee, and I've got about 10 albums with Jaco playing on them, guess they're junk, I'll just throw them away....
    "the tone is in your hands". Jaco's tone was his carefully selected Fender Jazz basses, Rotosound strings, and 2-4 Acoustic amps. The expression was in his hands. The cello- like vibrato, the dead-on fretless intonation, the huge six fret reach of his long fingers and double-jointed thumbs, the staccato 1/16 notes, the ghosting and muting, the frequent use of harmonics...............
  16. I just remembered a famous quote by Keith Richards. He said something to the effect of "give me the most expensive guitar in the world, or the cheapest, in ten miutes I'll make them both sound like me".
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I've noticed it's kinda dangerous to admit a lack of Jaco love-worship in these parts...
  18. Flash


    Feb 3, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    Maybe you need a new CD player?
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Why's everyone pitching a fit. All Davy said is that he doesn't care for Jaco's tone. He didn't say Jaco's a no talent bum or anything. I personally hate Les Claypool's tone, doesn't mean I hate Les, think he's a great player, I just don't like his tone. Calm down people. :rolleyes:

    I agree, on both ends of the spectrum, I think that your equipment shapes a lot of your tone, but if you are a good player, it doesn't matter if your playing a Samick or a Sadowsky, you're going to sound like a good player. I've noticed a lot of people, even here at this website, have the "The gear makes the player, not the player makes the gear" mentality.
  20. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Jaco set the standard for fretless tone. I love it, but everyone has different tastes.