Why do they always......

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by gweimer, Aug 21, 2000.


  1. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, i was over at that thread, but i didn't chime in yet. i agree with the mindset that MA is deservedly unrated. i mean, i never heard anybody say he was a great bass player. or even a good one - i've seen them live 2x and he made mistakes - noticable ones - at both shows. it's not as if these songs are hard in the bass department, either.
     
  2. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I haven't heard anybody mention Nils-Henning Oersted-Pedersen's tone. (Talk about a horn-inspired solo concept.) And his tone -- what I've always wanted to get -- best described as an 800-pound soaking wet bumblebee. Plenty of bottom but that big splatty mid. Love it to death.

    My point? That every great player -- even soloist -- does NOT necessarily fall into one of a very a small number of tones.

    Not that I'm saying that lots of players DON'T have similar tones. Mark Egan and Alain Caron come to mind. A possible reason for the spread of this -- or any other popular -- tone may be that once a few engineers figure out how to blend it, lots more studios will deal with it. Then you hear it everywhere.


     
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i think another reason for the wholesale tonal limitation on bass players is that engineers treat the bass as a "necessary evil" in the mix, as opposed to treating it as a relevant aspect of the musical total. all the subtlety and tonal texture tends to reside in the guitar/melody instruments, and the bass is always measured against that when it is mixed, unless the bass player is standing in the control room with a machette poised at the engineers head.
     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    For punch you can't beat the fart tone though I guess for legato playing you'd go for more of a SBD thang.

    I don't limit myself to one tone, for me that would be very monotonous (how redundant was that?:D). One of the things that I usually bring up when asked "Why more than one bass?" is that basses have different natural voices, to me. I have a great deal of control over the tone of each one with my hands but slight differences in articulation, feel and other things make them fun for me to play, too.

    So...sometimes I use the fart tone. Sometimes the deep thick tone. Other times a clear, even tone. Maybe a phat slap tone. Depends on the song. Every thing I use cuts through otherwise what's the point? While we're at it, the tone that really gets me is the scooped (or almost total lack of) mids sound. The audio opposite of the fart tone, I find it highly annoying... and I slap, just not with that tone.

    We're at a point where technique seems to be winning vs. feel on electric bass, instead of a melding of the two. Jaco's playing was a wake up call, his tone was a big part of it. Now we're surrounded by people who have worked their chops up to speeds that most mortals can't comprehend, hey, it impresses other bass players, that's what's important, right? What better way than with a tone that cuts?

    BTW JazznFunk, you're probably not getting tone complaints because you're not venturing outside the norms. There are gigs where you'll definitely hear about it if the tone isn't deemed appropriate for the material.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think that Brad has got the heart of the discussion, as it was originally stated. If that annoys some people then OK, but don't we have a right to be heard? I have to say though, that I really liked Jaco's tone or "overall sound", but I think that you can't divorce the sound from the technique. To play some of the stuff that fast, you have to play right by the bridge, where the strings are tighter and that contributes to the tone.

    The other thing is that Jaco's "sound" is also coming from his note choices on electric bass (as he was fond of saying) and I think this ties in with what Ed says about liking players, who play "universal" tunes or lines - so Jaco's stuff to me is melodic and would make sense on other instruments, apart from bass and in a way that's the statement he's making with "Donna Lee" - kind of obvious I know, but it fits together two strands of the debate.

    [Edited by Bruce Lindfield on 08-24-2000 at 09:46 AM]
     
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