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Re: Bass tone problems

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Posted by Mickster on February 14, 2001 at 16:18:04:

In Reply to: Re: Bass tone problems posted by Allastair Lindsay on February 14, 2001 at 10:36:13:

: Thanks for replying! I shall try your advice and see how I get on (same goes to JP!). The only thing is that I find it very hard to use my fingers. I have played 6-string guitar for years, so playing bass with a pick is almost second nature. Because of this, I have been reluctant to go from 'okay' to 'beginner'! I fear I won't have time to practice a new style (may be part of a new band shortly). What do you think I should do? Learn to use my fingers now? Or wait till I've got more time? Would you recommend a music teacher even?

: : : I am new to the bass world having only started a few months ago. My problem is related to the tone I am getting (or rather, can't get!). Because of my liking for rock music, I play solely with a pick (medium gauge). However, I am not finding the sound that I want: smooth and soft bass. The guitar I've got is a Fender Squier P-Bass, and to get anywhere near the sort of tone I'm after, I have to roll the Tone control right down to zero (cutting out the high-end frequencies). Even then, when I listen to some of my favourite records, I still find that my sound is way off.

: : : Can anyone offer me any advice please? it would be much appreciated!!

: : Allastair, you will NEVER get a soft tone from a pick. Picks are for cutting
: : through, and for a "lively" sound. If you want a soft type tone here's what'll
: : work:
: : 1) Use your fingers.
: : 2) Play over the end of the neck.
: : 3) Use flatwound strings.
: : 4) Adjust tone control to your liking.

: : Also, when sound engineers record basses, they have a dozen tricks they can do
: : to alter the sound from plugging directly into the board to custom effects some
: : of us haven't even heard about, so you shouldn't compare your bass' sound to
: : your favorite bass player's sound. I used to do this and it used to drive me nuts.

: : Hope this helped,
: : Mickster

Allastair, If you're going to join a band shortly, play how you feel most comfortably.(pick or fingers) As far as starting to use your fingers, get on that task ASAP.If you've been playing guitar
for years, a pick would be second nature for you, however, if you start using
your fingers, you'll discover how responsive a bass guitar can truly be.After
a while don't be surprised if you start using your finger style on your guitar
playing. By all means, start using your fingers, then again, go slowly if it feels weird at first. Anything new usually does. If you opt for a teacher, take
your time and try to find a bass teacher. By the way, finding a bass teacher
would be one of the best things you could do to start using your fingers properly. Don't sweat it, it'll come natually.

Talk to you later,

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