Thread: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

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  1. #121
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    Havent tried longer scale but don't like the tone/bottom of short scale.
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    Havent tried longer scale but don't like the tone/bottom of short scale.
    I know what you mean, but for some music it's just the ticket.
  3. #123
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    I know what you mean, but for some music it's just the ticket.
    I bet it is.
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    I used to go a little overboard with that. I ended up using .013s and it got so I could bend a perfect fourth with them.Then I realized I was simply using too much force, and went back down to the D'Addario 011-049 set, and I feel my tone actually improved. On classical guitar, I used the highest tension I could get my hands on. I just liked the volume and tone I could get from it.

    The eight-string goes from .008 -.072.

    This still doesn't have a lot to do with bass guitar though. How about this one: How do you bass players feel about scale length? Aside from being more awkward from a playing/ergonomic perspective, how do you find the tonal change going from something like a 30" or 32", through the standard 34", to something like a 35" or 36"?

    And, another one specifically for Weedy: Do you play any upright or electric upright bass? What about acoustic bass guitar?

    As an aside, I always loved the tone (Swedish engineer) Janne Hansson gets on upright bass (upright comes in at 1:04):




    otek
    Well, when wearing my bass player hat I prefer standard 34" Fender scale. If my fingers were longer I might like an even longer scale but they're not. In general I dislike short scales basses because they tend to quack, get muddy, and have intonation problems in the low register but there are exceptions,. notably the Gibson/Epiphone EB-2 style hollow body bass (2 pickup version) that was so popular with bands like The Yardbirds and The Animals and, in appropriate circumstances, the Hofner Beatle bass.

    I'm with Weedy on string gauge - 50-105, usually either Rotosound Swing Bass or one of the ground wound types - GHS Brite Flats or D'Addario Half Rounds, which don't wear the frets like full round wound strings do. Have not tried the strings Weedy endorses yet.

    I took two semesters of upright bass in college and hated it,. primarily because the instrument I was issued was such a poor instrument (a beat to shit old Kay) and set up so poorly (actually had the wrong bridge on it for the width of the body, making the E and G strings nearly impossible to bow properly) that it bordered on being unplayable. (Sure did build up my left hand though!) However I talked the school into giving me credit (and lessons) for electric bass if I also took acoustic, so it was a fair trade. My teacher was great - a guy named John Williams who did jazz and country sessions in OKC in addition to playing in the symphony. He had a Toby split magnetic pickup mounted on his antique German flat back viol, which he played through a blue metalflake tuck 'n' roll Kustom amp while smoking his Sherlock Holmes "bulldog" style pipe. Quite a character...

    FWIW, he also had a bass extender on that viol - a mechanical gizmo with a couple of keys mounted at the head which extended the range of the "E" string down to low "D"...

    Also, I do have an inexpensive Ibanez acoustic bass guitar (34" scale) that mainly gets used when we're working out parts acoustically, but has actually made it onto one or two tracks.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  5. #125
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    Well, wouldn't that have originally been a 4 track recording? Meaning there was probably some other instrument(s) recorded along with the bass on the track? Which might imply that somebody employed some pretty heavy filtering to "isolate" that bass part....
    That's a good point. You might have to go back to 1965 to get the real iso track.

    That said, listening to the track on s :p otify, "remastered" and mixed stereo, it sounds pretty much identical to the iso track for the 1st 4 seconds and thereafter the bassline is doubled on guitar throughout which I think makes it a full range sound that can translate even into your shitty 1965 transistor radio ear bud. In this stereo version, the guitar and bass are panned left, the piano (and vocals ) panned right.

    Yeah, I'm always very suspicious of what those isolated tracks on youtube can tell us about the sound of a part, for that very reason.
    True.

    They can still tell us a lot about how the part was played though.
    Yes
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    In general I dislike short scales basses because they tend to quack...
    That's a good description! I have been struggling to find adjectives to what I dislike about the sound they make.

    I had a friend mess up their wrist pretty badly by going from bass guitar to upright bass without instruction. It took them a good few months of rehab to get it back to normal.
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    I kind of like the Danelectro basses for some things. They are only a 30" scale, if memory serves. I have used them with distortion to double guitar lines. I also have a 60s Kawai hollowbody short-scale bass. It sounds like shit… but in an interesting way. It's ended up on a few records I've worked on.

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    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  8. #128
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    Is that the one we had at Musitronics for a while? If it is - it had the deadest strings I've ever encountered. When I took them off they behaved like month old tulips, fresh dead cats, jello etc. Lets state they gave relaxation a face.
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    I kind of like the Danelectro basses for some things. They are only a 30" scale, if memory serves. I have used them with distortion to double guitar lines. I also have a 60s Kawai hollowbody short-scale bass. It sounds like shit… but in an interesting way. It's ended up on a few records I've worked on.

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    Yeah, the Dano short scale is one of the exceptions as long as you have the correct round wound strings, which were unobtainium for a long time. The great Harvey Brooks played one with Dylan and a lot of other people before he got a Fender.

    Dano also made a "long scale" bass, but I'm not sure if it was a full 34 inches or not, and they invented the baritone guitar, which was also sold as a "6 string bass".
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  10. #130
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    I kind of like the Danelectro basses for some things. They are only a 30" scale, if memory serves. I have used them with distortion to double guitar lines. I also have a 60s Kawai hollowbody short-scale bass. It sounds like shit… but in an interesting way. It's ended up on a few records I've worked on.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    At first I didn't see "Danelectro" and I guessed "Hagstrom". I've never even seen either but the latter looks more useful overall. 32" scale.

    http://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/...oronado_IV.php
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    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  11. #131
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    At first I didn't see "Danelectro" and I guessed "Hagstrom". I've never even seen either but the latter looks more useful overall. 32" scale.

    The pictured bass is not a Dano, it's a Kawai, essentially identical to a Teisco.

    The Dano short scale bass was built on the same body as the Dano double cutaway guitars, usually gold color with white vinyl trim around the edges.

    There was also a single cutaway Dano that was, I believe, mid-scale (Also sold under the Sears Silvertone name for a long time) that was usually black with one or two pickups, and the famous Dano longhorn bass (sister instrument to the 32 fret longhorn "Guitarlin"), also mid-scale (IIRC) and usually gold/cream burst.

    Nobby, I'm surprised that you're not more familiar with the Danelectro instruments, you being from Noo Yawk and all....

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    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  12. #132
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar


    Nobby, I'm surprised that you're not more familiar with the Danelectro instruments, you being from Noo Yawk and all....
    I don't think I've ever seen the basses. The weapon of choice here was always mostly Fender, some Rickenbacher, a few Hofners and the occasional EBO or EB3. Maybe an Alembic if that other stuff isn't fancy enough for ya.

    But Danelectro? I didn't know the company had a bass out before this thread. I would say there wasn't much of a demand.

    At nobby road, one P-Bass and one J-Bass or bring yer own
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  13. #133
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    I don't think I've ever seen the basses. The weapon of choice here was always mostly Fender, some Rickenbacher, a few Hofners and the occasional EBO or EB3. Maybe an Alembic if that other stuff isn't fancy enough for ya.

    But Danelectro? I didn't know the company had a bass out before this thread. I would say there wasn't much of a demand.

    At nobby road, one P-Bass and one J-Bass or bring yer own
    Maybe it's an age thing. Dano basses were quite popular in the early to mid '60s. Even Entwistle used one for awhile. If you wanted to play bass and couldn't afford a Fender or Gibson, the only choices were either Danelectro or Harmony. Sears Silvertone offered only Danelectro basses for many years. The Wrecking Crew often used a Dano doubling the other bass part(s). As I said previously, Harvey Brooks, who was all over the Greenwich Village scene in the early to mid '60s used one, including on sessions with Dylan and backing people at the Newport Folk Festival, although he switched to Fender by his Electric Flag days.

    The Danelectro was the first bass (or line of basses) to use round wound strings, which were only available through them for a long time. I've heard the John Entwistle had Rotosound make the Swing Bass strings to duplicate the sound of the Dano round wounds, which were unavailable in the UK.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  14. #134
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar


    The Danelectro was the first bass (or line of basses) to use round wound strings, which were only available through them for a long time. I've heard the John Entwistle had Rotosound make the Swing Bass strings to duplicate the sound of the Dano round wounds, which were unavailable in the UK.
    There was a story that Entwistle would buy a particular bass just to get the strings. Sounds like that's the bass.
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  15. #135
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    /// The weapon of choice here was always mostly Fender, some Rickenbacher,...
    rickenBACKER...



    and it's pronounced that way as well.
    Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous WWI flying ace was a family member.
    it rhymes with BACK, not BOCK

    THEY ARE AN AMERICAN COMPANY... it's odd that Americans insist on pronouncing it as though it's German
  16. #136
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    rickenBACKER...



    and it's pronounced that way as well.
    Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous WWI flying ace was a family member.
    it rhymes with BACK, not BOCK

    THEY ARE AN AMERICAN COMPANY... it's odd that Americans insist on pronouncing it as though it's German
    Ah never haive an Ah'm n'Murrican, not lahk them effete snobs in El Lay an' Noo Yawk
    ....
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  17. #137
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    rickenBACKER...



    and it's pronounced that way as well.
    Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous WWI flying ace was a family member.
    it rhymes with BACK, not BOCK

    THEY ARE AN AMERICAN COMPANY... it's odd that Americans insist on pronouncing it as though it's German
    You know, the 'h' is only 2 keys away from 'k' on a QWERTY.

    It could easily be a typo, but I suppose some people are disinclined to give ya the benefit of the doubt...

    But as long as we're going there, it isn't an American name.

    Actual American names are more along the lines of Kawacatoose, Kaneonuskatew, Hiawatha, that sort of thing.

    Adolf isn't an American name, either.

    Rickenbacker was born in Basel, Switzerland as Adolf Rickenbacher. He emigrated in 1891 to the United States with older relatives after his parents died, settling in Wisconsin and later southern California. He Anglicized both his own name, and that of his company, to Rickenbacker to capitalize on the popularity of his distant cousin, America's top Flying Ace Eddie Rickenbacker.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_Rickenbacker
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  18. #138
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    There seem to be 3 basic, interrelated elements to bass guitar sound, not including processing:

    1) playing/ performance/ execution


    a) how the strings are plucked; hard, soft (usually in between?) Where they are played (bridge, neck, in between). Then there is slapping, popping and maybe other techniques I'm unaware of.

    b) fingers, thumb, plectrum


    2)basslines

    Just barely scratching the surface, which register you play in, whether a note is played for example on the D string or higher up the neck on the G-string makes a big difference. I think I saw a video of Paul McCartney discussing and demonstrating this. If I come across it again, I'll post a link.

    Basslines are also important to the arrangement (all if these things seem to be related) but for now I'm focusing on the sound.

    3) signal chain

    I'm including the instrument because I see no way to exclude it. Strings, bass guitar, amp.

    I think they usually went Direct at Motown, probably mostly because it wasn't overdubbed and there would be too much bleed having an amp live on the floor, but also when going through a tube console and hitting tape, they got a sound that no one complained about...
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  19. #139
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    Yes Knas, that's the old Musitronic bass!

    It has since had a fretjob, a neck reset and a bridge adjustment, and actually plays very well these days with good roundwound strings, the pickups however are... "interesting". Which can be just the thing sometimes. The case is made from some faux-tweed cardboard and lined with dark blue plush, which makes it look even cooler than the bass itself.


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  20. #140
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    Default Re: Rhetoric musings on bass guitar

    Yes Knas, that's the old Musitronic bass!

    It has since had a fretjob, a neck reset and a bridge adjustment, and actually plays very well these days with good roundwound strings, the pickups however are... "interesting". Which can be just the thing sometimes. The case is made from some faux-tweed cardboard and lined with dark blue plush, which makes it look even cooler than the bass itself.


    otek
    Hehe! Nordwall found it at Medborgarskolan in a long forgotten store room. I think I was guilty of the first rewiring of the electrics.

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