Which bass guitar most defines the sound of the 60s?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassbourne, May 29, 2021.

  1. Bong Bong

    Bong Bong

    Feb 3, 2021
    QLD Aus
    The sound of the 60s ?
    For Motown , James Jameson and his years old strings and high action and iconic riffs
    Overall for Rock , the general woody sound of Marshall speakers
    THE instrument was the Precision
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Gary is a friend from doing oldies shows together. It was Wrecking Crew players on the tracks with Leon Russell leading and Gary sang with BG singers. Then they put the band together once they started selling. I never asked Gary but I'd bet Leon recommended Carl Radle for the gig.
    J R Knots and jerry like this.
  3. willys40


    Mar 10, 2020
    Wow would a 'A' neck have helped?
  4. hdscout


    Jun 14, 2010
    As if there was just one sound that defined the 60's...
    DavidEdenAria and Ric Vice like this.
  5. hdscout


    Jun 14, 2010
    Jack Cassidy- Guild Starfire
    Paul McCartney- Hoffner and Ric
    Jack Bruce- Gibson EB-O
    John Entwhistle- anything
    Lee Dorman- Mosrite
    These were the sounds of MY 60's.
    J R Knots likes this.
  6. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Just an FYI, when Jefferson Airplane came out with Need Somebody to Love and White Rabbit, Jack was playing a Fender Jazz....please see below, even though they are lip-syncing this (notice that Jack's cord is wound around the neck of his Jazz):

    Within a few years though he did have his Guild Starfire. I think he had it at Woodstock in 1969.
    mikeswals likes this.
  7. halcyo


    Sep 19, 2012
    Maybe a little left field response (because a P bass is the obvious 60’s sound machine), those Nordstrand Acinonyx basses just SCREAM that vintagey sound to me, and at a pretty reasonable price actually.
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  8. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I like the idea that the sound of the 60s is defined by an instrument that was introduced over 50 years later.

    - Steve
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  9. I’m going to be a little pickier here. The P Bass is the obvious choice if you just flat out say 60’s overall, and don’t slice up Genres and Years. For instance, somebody pointed out McCartney and The Hofner/Rickenbacker age in Britain. Now let’s Throw in Bill Wyman from The Rolling Stones and all those hits played on a Framus Star. Now again you have to recall Early Pink Floyd and Waters As a known Rickenbacker Backer until he finally moved towards a Fender by the time Ummagumma rolled around. Oh and while we’re talking Brit Bands and 1964-67 you have to remember how big The Kinks were. Pete Quaife was also a Rickenbacker man, and yet another Brit Group The Zombies, who had some pretty cool numbers as well. Rodford played a Gibson EBO As did Jack Bruce in Cream. Last but not least Entwistle played a Gibson Thunderbird, neck dive monsters that they are, for many years with another hit-making group The Who.
    Now there is also a period in the USA known as The Surf Era, and Mosrite Basses had their fair share of hits too. Leave us not forget the Danelectro and Fender Bass VI’s that played tag team with the Upright in Nashville in order to establish that well known “Tic-Tac” Bass sound on numerous hits as well.
    Again, overall, P-Bass wins for sure, but that is a very narrow definition of what One should consider “The Sixties Sound.”
  10. halcyo


    Sep 19, 2012
    Haha I know, but I just recently listened to this bass (Nordstrand Acinonyx) a bunch and it sounds like what all modern producers would want a “60’s vintage bass sound” to sound like. It’s like the Lana Del Ray of basses hahaha.

    I think it’s an homage to a very old weird foreign made bass though actually, so it has the dna of a vintage instrument.
  11. mcrawfordmusic


    Dec 11, 2010
    P bass
  12. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Wyman also played a Vox bass, in fact, one with his name on it. Entwistle didn’t use a Thunderbird until 1971, and which actual surf bands(the Ventures don’t count) appeared/recorded with a Mosrite? Rodford wasn’t the Zombies’ bassist until 2004(but in Argent and the Kinks in the 70’s/80’s before that); that was Chris White. Bruce played an EB3, but only after the recording of Disraeli Gears.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
    J R Knots and Steve Boisen like this.
  13. Doug4321


    May 29, 2017
    Hmmm. I think a lot of people are just saying P bass was most popular, at least with studio musicians. But when I think of really interesting notable bass sounds, most were not P basses.
  14. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    So that guy playing the Hofner Club in all those videos is Carl Radle?
    JimmyM likes this.
  15. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Im also a product of the 60s, and can also clearly recall Cassidy with a fender jazz, and jack bruce with a Gibson EB-3 (although I bought an EB-O in honor of him at the time).
    J R Knots likes this.
  16. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Yep, there was a whole gang of musicians from Tulsa who went to LA...Radle, Russell, JJ Cale, David Gates.
    JimmyM and J R Knots like this.
  17. jim nolte

    jim nolte

    Oct 26, 2006
    Jack played his modified Jazz, P pups by the neck, on the first three JA albums then switched to the Guild in ‘68 and is playing it on the live album, iconic basses of the sixties that I saw were Jazz,Precision, Gibson EB-O and hollow bodies, Hofner and various Japanese basses like Teisco Del Rey and other variations.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yep, but he soon switched to a Precision.
  19. Great photo array! Back in the day, I remember that short scale basses were marketed to guitar players who assumed bass duty in a lot of bands. Easier to adapt to the 30 inch scale, supposedly. Probably why you see a lot of pick action with these players, too.
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  20. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I think the popularity of the Epiphone Rivoli with British bands has a lot to do with availability as it was one of the first American-made electric basses to be imported in large quantities. British guitarists also seemed to favor the more traditional semi-hollow electric guitars which were similar to the European models they were familiar with. Many of the British bassists started as guitarists which would explain the use of the pick, but I also think it helped with clarity and definition when playing this type of bass with flatwound strings through the amplifiers of the era.

    - Steve
    Bill Pool likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 29, 2021

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