1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Tips for finding my "sound"

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Bassistcali, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Bassistcali


    Nov 10, 2013
    Just looking for my sound...influences cliff,geddy, geezer,and Chris squire....I like distortion the the most so maybe more to the cliff side but I'm NOT TRYING TO SOUND LIKE ANY OF THEM..i want my own sound. Specific Strings and effects are probably better...I don't do slap
  2. You'll have to do a lot of experimenting. If you followed someone's instructions to find your sound, it wouldn't be yours. Just try new stuff until something works. I played metal and hard core with flats and nylon strings, played in a band where I never played lower than the 7th fret, played distorted bass alongside clean guitar. Felt picks, finger picks, metal picks. Do whatever feels right, and more importantly, do what feels wrong sometimes.
  3. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    A lot of players just do "familiar" sounds. It's all tone stuck from years back and the audience expects it to sound familiar. It's not always the best sound, I listen to songs I liked a few years back and wonder how I could have like it then. It was more familiar back then.

    To get you own sound - pick something, then play out enough so it becomes familiar to you and your band, and your audience.
  4. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    Around 1972 or '73 and heard "my sound", a P bass with fresh Rotosound roundwounds through an SVT. I bought an SVT head, a 64 P bass and new Rotosounds.

    "My sound" through the years grew off "that sound." Today I use a PF-500 through cabinets I built, and a Line 6 Variax 5 string, always with fresh roundwounds. An Ampeg is as important to "my sound" as anything.

    My role, as a bass player, is to compliment the guitar and drums, both sonically and with what I play (and don't play.) I know what sound I need to support the drums, not clash with the kick, and leave the guitar player room for his tonality. I have always liked being above and below the guitar(s). I play with more mids today than I did in the 80's.

    What the band needs to sound as good as possible is most important to me, but I also have to be satisfied and inspired by "my sound."

    My favorite model in the Line 6 is the Danelectro model, although I use others in an average night. The Dano has liveliness, presence, enough attack and sounds great through my rig.
  5. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    IMHO it's not about "Specific Strings and effects"...it's about years of playing to find it
  6. THIS

    "My sound" 35 years ago was a lot different then "my sound" today.
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest

    I see a fellow Line 6 user congrats these basses have to be one of the best tools to finding any sound you want.
  8. Fender05


    Oct 20, 2008
    Keep in mind, all sound starts at your hands. Regardless of what bass you plug into what amp with whatever effects in the chain, the first place to start looking is with your hands. Changing the way your hand plucks the string, or holds the pick, to the way your fretting hand actually frets the note, it all makes a difference.
  9. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Finding "your sound" and asking others about it is sort of like going "Ok, somebody help me find what kind of women (assuming you're a straight guy) I'm attracted to!"

    You can look at other dude's girls and go "Well, I like that gal!" and perhaps narrow it down to things like blonde hair, fair skin, blue eyes, and such...but you really don't have to do more than just look and go "Wow, I like her!" to know she's what you're attracted to. Finding your "sound" can kind of be the same way, just go play through and listen to stuff until you hear a bass tone and go "I LIKE that!". While I don't care for his sound too much, I'm sure Geddy's tone sounds absolutely perfect to him. Victor Wooten is likely the same concerning his tone.

    Mine is an Ibanez SRX3EX (with a 3-band Bart preamp) sporting DR lo-rider ss rounds through a Traynor YBA200 + 2x15s or any GK rig. A '93 SR800 P/J with barts and a bart 2 band preamp sporting DR hi-beams through the same rigs from before. I pepper in boss bass chorus, delay, or BBMD fuzz for flavor every now and then. To me, that sounds like the best bass tone I can conjure up and I thoroughly feel confident playing anything with them. Necks feel great too!

    Don't sweat it, man...you'll know it when you hear it :)
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    This is a superficial way to look at the quest. Like choosing a woman for the way she looks. It's just a starting point. As in learning music, it's the "copy it" phase and is a necessary rite of passage because there's nothing else in your head.

    Eventually you'll discover "your sound" is a complex mixture of:
    • Gear comprised of bass (and its characteristics, strings, pickups), amp, cab, and EQ settings applied to specific room and crowd environments, pedals, etc.
    • Technique achieved with your technical playing skills, how you use muscles in your hands/arms/shoulders etc., use of fingers/pick, etc.
    • Song Mix achieved with how all of the above is applied to the type of music you play

    This starts in your bedroom, but eventually "your sound" will have to develop in context of the band and other elements mentioned above. Be patient - sometimes it may take years, but that's part of the pleasure of investigating and polishing skills, and discovering what works best for you. Good luck in your quest!
  11. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    I'm gonna suggest Sansamp stuff.