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Tiran Porter

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by ch willie, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. ch willie

    ch willie

    Sep 2, 2012
    One of my favorite bass lines is on "Listen to the Music." Am I right in thinking that Porter's playing his P Bass? He has such great tone here. I've seen live clips; in one it's a Rickenbacker and the others is a non-Fender as well (I forget the brand). I don't think it was his Alembic, from the interview which has been linked in another forum discussion.
  2. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    He used a BC Rich if I recall correctly. In the '70s or so there was an interview in Guitar Player Mag (a group interveiw with him, Simmons, Johnston, and Baxter) where he mentioned that live he used the Rich with rounds, but the producer made him use flats for the studio stuff.

  3. Fantastic player!!!!

    My all time fave bassline by Tiran is "Taking It to the Streets.

  4. Unique.

    I learned to play bass listening to the Greatest Hits album. So I can pretty much nail all his lines, not technically difficult, but creatively composed and a perfect symbiotic fit for the music.

    It's interesting, now that I spend a lot of time on guitars and keyboards, whenever we audition a bass player and it includes a Doobie Brothers hit, how often the bass candidates butcher the lines and complain about how idiosyncratic and difficult they are.

  5. ch willie

    ch willie

    Sep 2, 2012
    Taking it to the Streets has another of my favorite tones. From the interview I read, he did a lot of recording with the P bass. I'm worn out on China Grove, but I still listen to it just to hear Porter's bass lines.
    lohz likes this.
  6. This is the one I hear bass players goof on the most. Those higher register hammered 5th/octave fills and chromatic walks to the octave just seem to go over people's heads a lot, so they fake it down low. What a beautiful, perfect line, so sad when it gets butchered.
  7. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I'm not a tone weenie but I have to admit his picked flats tone on those classic recordings is way tasty! :hyper:
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Other Tiran Porter "lesser known"(?) highlights (IMO)-

    "Natural Thing"
    "The Captain & Me"

    "Another Park, Another Sunday"
    "Down In The Track"

    "8th Avenue Shuffle"
    "For Someone Special"
    "Wheels Of Fortune"

    "South Bay Strut"
  9. I just recently helped a student learn this one. Typical airtight seamless bass line construction for him.
  10. MR PC

    MR PC

    Dec 1, 2007
    My understanding has been that his number one bass is now a fretless Fender P Bass. Years ago there was a Frankenstien Fender P for sale that he'd been seen onstage with quite a bit after he'd found the Fretless P. Great player!
  11. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Unsung hero..he is a great player…so many memorable bass lines...
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have a Doobs' Songbook from the '70s (remember those?)…I am looking at it now-
    An in concert shot shows Porter with a black P-bass (white pickguard & a wad of foam under the bridge).
    On the What Were Vices… cover, it looks like a Gibson bass. I kinda recall an In Concert TV show from this same period…pretty sure it was the same Gibson EB-something bass.
    IIRC, Taking It To The Streets era was an Alembic bass.

    The Doobs did an episode on What's Happening…any video? IIRC, this also in the Taking To The Streets time frame.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Looks like a BC Rich on What's Happening...
  14. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Listen To The Music was cut in '71, so I doubt it's a BC Rich or even his Rick. He di have an old Jazz, old P and a Gibson EB 3 too. It actually sounds like the Gibby to me...
  15. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I could never have come up with that bass line but he sure did. Thinking outside the box. That's what I enjoy about his playing.
  16. Thanks for this post. I'm learning some standard rockers to play with some guys & this one's on the list. Think I'll take the time to learn it note for note after hearing the respect you guys have for it (along with Crazy Train, Brown Eyed Girl, & no doubt, others).
  17. Cool. I hope you get mad props from your band mates for taking time to learn it correctly. Guaranteed to make the song sound better. And "Brown Eyed Girl" is no cake walk either, if you play it correctly. Good luck with the gig.