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Re: How do I shorten sustain to create an acoustic bass effect?

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Posted by anonymouse ( on March 22, 2002 at 12:21:05:

In Reply to: How do I shorten sustain to create an acoustic bass effect? posted by John on March 19, 2002 at 09:26:27:

I play a 3 hr. job weekly that calls for upright on just one or two numbers. Instead of lugging my upright across town along with the electrics and amplifiers and other goodies, I do the following.

1) I bring a mid-priced fretless which I keep strung with regular guage flat-wound strings. The fretless plus flat wounds is a big part of the sound (and its a lot easier to carry than the upright!)

2) I roll almost all the treble off the amplifier (SWR Basic Black / 15" speaker)and trim the treble from the instrument, using only the neck pick-up.

3) My right hand is up close to the neck and I pick the strings almost PARALLEL to the string instead of perpendicular, similar to how I would pull an upright string. Its difficult to describe, but its more pulling than plucking and you use the meat of your finger over the last joint of the first finger as the point where the finger meets the string. This requires me to bend my wrist in an awkward position if I am sitting down which is most of the case (this is a chart reading job).

4) Nothing special as far as muting - mostly easing up on the left hand to get the desired time for the string to ring.

The job leader hasn't complained yet, so I guess I am okay (its easier to ask forgiveness than permission). All of this said, the sound will pass for upright when doing back-up or fills, and is acceptable for short solos. The wierd angle to play the strings slows things down.

The bad part is that I have to practice the upright at home since I am not keeping my chops on the job.


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