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Who do you respect but NOT want to sound like?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Claymore, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. Claymore


    Nov 10, 2019
    Rhode Island
    As an example, I have tons of respect for Jaco and he was a monster of a bassist (far better than I will ever be) but I do not want to sound like him tonewise. It's just not my thing although I enjoy hearing him do it. Is there anyone you admire that you are not trying to emulate? Give it a good think.
  2. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    There are a lot of great bassists in that camp for me. Jaco's my #1 guy, but I don't really want to sound like him. Chris Squire. Pretty much all the guys with a bright, in-your-face tone--I love to hear them do it; but I prefer to hear a warm, crisp tone coming out of my own speaker cab.
  3. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    All of em. I listen to a lot of players but I don't really want to sound like any of em. That said, if I had to describe what the tone I strive for is most similar to, I'd be forced to say it's in the class of tones from players like Bunny Brunel and Jeff Berlin. But I don't use harmonics or muaah and I've never learned slap, so I'd say the tone-wise camp on the side of the road I'm driving by the closest these days is probably Jeff Berlin.

    That changed last summer when I lost all my basses and property in an incident and the bass I recently bought to have a bass period is a jaco pastorius artist model. So, now as a sheer practical matter due to a completely different bass than I used to play, my tone is kind of a nasally version of what it was a couple years ago. The flatwound strings do help keep it away from a really jaco like sound, though, thankfully.

    But still I don't have much desire to sound like any of the players I listen to. I just try to learn the notes and play as cleanly as I can and just let the sound be what the sound is going to be.

    I think the most serviceable sound is probably that same tone - the BB/Jeff Berlin tone - for the style of playing I like. So I still kind of lean in that direction.

    I have virtually no use for the typical P bass or front pickup on my bass type of sound, at least not at this particular time in my playing.

    RumbleBot, SteveCS, Vinny_G and 2 others like this.
  4. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    I love and respect Billy Sheehan's monstrous skills, but I can't stand his overly distorted tone. It just sounds like old timey TV static/"snow" to me. It's especially bad in Sons of Apollo's "Psychotic Symphony" album, where he's doing some killer bass work, but it's completely lost and muddied in the mix. I feel like a clean but "growly" tone like you naturally get from a Spector or Warwick would have sounded better than the overly distorted mud-crud tone Sheehan chose.
  5. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    There are a lot of bass players that I really like....but I think at this point, I'd like to sound like myself. I know that sounds really cliché, but it's true. I want to sound like the best version of myself that I can, and for me, that will involve the bass becoming a second voice with which I can musically communicate and express a phrase that I'm thinking. Ideally, it should be a direct line from thought to execution without any hiccups in the way. But I'm far from that...

    So yeah, I guess I respect everyone, but I don't want to sound exactly like someone else. I guess at that point, y'know, what's the point, really?
  6. TheDirtyLowDown


    Mar 8, 2014
    Ok, I'll bite. I'm a huge fan of Joe Dart, and I enjoy his playing and energy and amazing skill...but his tone these days (especially playing without the jazz bass) just doesn't do it for me. Which is a shame, because I dig his stuff so much, and I'm learning from it, and I'm happy when their music comes up in my playlist.. But... here's an example:
  7. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    I'm not trying to imitate anyone, it's a way of thinking that is totally foreign to me.
    Rezdog, HG1180, Tommyc and 2 others like this.
  8. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    John Myung... chops forever, but so much mud is not for me.
  9. equill


    Nov 25, 2010
    Steve Harris.
    Not that I'm in any danger of it, mind...
    dr doofie and Spidey2112 like this.
  10. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    I'm not trying to imitate anyone, it's a way of thinking that is totally foreign to me.
    kesslari, Hammerfield, Dean N and 7 others like this.
  11. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    Mark King.
  12. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Cyndi Lauper.
  13. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    At first, Jaco Pastorius. For me, cathegorically speaking, when the main man / woman has highly personal sound and approach, it just doesn`t make sense to duplicate it in public. What is to be achieved that way, outdo the original? Flea, Claypool, Mark Sandman, all are my heroes and I`m fortunate to learn from what the masters did / are doing, but I think that it`s more important to catch their vibe, philosophy and attitude than trying to duplicate their thing. All that said, there are the foundational players whose approach has become institutions, such as MacCartney, Carol Kaye, Jamerson, Larry Graham and Jaco too, the popularisation of fretless bass. YMMV, off course.
  14. Kyuuga


    Jan 5, 2018
    What people don't understand here is that "tone" is not something you choose when you're a professional musician. It's something you mold to fit the ensemble you're playing with.

    Yes, you can mold it "your" way, but most of the times it's just what fits best in the mix.

    Many people don't like Flea, Joe Dart or Jaco's tone, which is very midrangey and pokey - but it's EXACTLY what they need to stand out in the mix and be as flashy as they can. They couldn't get away with any other type of equalization for the style they play.

    If you hear most isolated bass lines they sound like crap more often than not. But that doesn't matter because it's all about the SONG and the mix it gets.

    Sometimes you need a more scooped sound with heavy/distorted guitars, sometimes it's all about the bass (no treble) in busier or folkier genres and sometimes you push the mids to cut through in funky/soul stuff.
    TN WOODMAN, Rayjay and Vinny_G like this.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :laugh: i can't begin to tell you how many players i respect --- many right here on TB! but it doesn't occur to me want to "sound" like anyone.

    i remember wanting to copy heroes when i was young, but then i 'individuated'. everyone should try it! ;)
    gebass6, Rezdog, Hambone70 and 2 others like this.
  16. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    I respect every player who's making the scene, creating great lines, holding down the pocket, making butts move, and/or just enjoying him/herself. Bonus points for getting paid. Don't care for metal, but hats off to the shredders—I couldn't touch you. Love me some funk, but 8 bars of slap-happiness is enough of a dose for me (if I could slap, I'm sure I'd feel differently).

    I'm just happy to live deep in the pocket with my drummer and not sound like poo.
    TN WOODMAN, dr doofie, petch and 7 others like this.
  17. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    My journey started with the assumption that I wanted to sound like my heroes, then discovering that their sound didn't fit the musical environments I was involved with. That Geddy / Squire aggressive sound is always at the back of my mind, wanting to leap out and cut through the music, but it's not what I need most of the time, so I am inspired by it, but I don't try to emulate it as I did as a youth. There are just so many palettes to choose from.
    Rezdog, jazzburst77, JRA and 3 others like this.
  18. Blind owl bass

    Blind owl bass

    Apr 13, 2018
    any of the super treble/mid boosted zingy slap tones. like my sound to thump, not zing.

    Miller, king, even Stanley Clarke. chops yes. tones? not for me
    jamro217 and Rezdog like this.
  19. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Guest

    Oct 1, 2011
    Another vote for Billy Sheehan. What a great guy. I love his philosophies, love his teaching style, and have learned a lot from him over the years.

    When I hear about how he gets his sound, I always think "what a great way to do it, that must sound awesome!"

    And because I really like him as a person, respect him as a player, and love the concept of the way he mixes dirt and clean, I always really want to love what he creates. But then I listen and it just sounds like a metal zone into a metal zone into a 90s Pod to me.
  20. John Entwistle, he was the reason I started playing Bass and I stole alot of his technique, but his tone was not my cuppa' tea. John's tone was part of the Who sound and it worked wonderfully in that context but on it's own it's too "Trebley" for my personal taste. By the way, I'm currently reading "The Ox" biography and highly recommend reading it.
    Sixgunn, johnnynitro, Rezdog and 3 others like this.
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