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6 Bass Tone Fixes (Beginners, Stop Sounding Like a Newb)
- Published on Jun 13, 2019 veröffentlicht
- 👉 My full beginner bass course: yeah.bassbuzz.com/tone
You might not even KNOW that your bass tone sucks right now - but you’ll have it fixed by the end of this lesson.
When I was a beginner, I didn’t really even know what bass tone was. I was so focused on learning technique, theory, and playing songs, that I would have had no idea if my tone was any good or not.
In this video, I’m gonna teach you all the stuff I wish someone had taught me in my first year of playing.
First of all, what is tone? I’ll give you a simple functional definition, plus show you some examples of different tones so you can hear for yourself.
Then it’s on to our 6 Bass Tone Fixes. But first I had to throw in Fix #0, because SO many beginners make this mistake with their tuning…
Fixes #1 and #2 are about what you do with your plucking hand, which is where tone starts. (a great bassist can make even crappy gear sound good because they know what to do with their hands)
In Fixes #3 thru 6, I’ll walk you through the gear basics you need to know to fix your bass guitar tone. (and I’ll skip all the stuff you DON’T need to know right now) Once you get your strings, pickups, bass knobs, and amp EQ dialed, you’ll have seriously legit tone on your side.
Now that you’ve got that killer tone, click subscribe so I can help you more with your bass playing: yeah.bassbuzz.com/subscribe
#basstone #basseq #beginnerbasslessons
Comments • 2 379
PICK PLAYERS SUCK? Hell no. There are tons of amazing bassists who I love who use picks - Paul McCartney, Sting, Tim Lefebvre, Matt Freeman, Bobby Vega, Carol Kaye, Justin Chancellor, to name a few (Clip-Share em!). I actually cover this point in my Myths video here clip-share.net/video/dh07nFxnT-U/video.html
I also agree with all the comments that make the point that tone is completely subjective and totally dependent on what it is you’re trying to achieve. My goal with this video was to help >>beginners
McCartney started out as a guitarist.
Mary did you know
I think Mark Hoppus plays with a pick maybe Fat Mike from Nofx too. Personally I only use a pick
Picks is for the ones who failed miserably at guitar and switched to bass
As someone who's played bass for over 20 years, I appreciate that you use entry-level gear in your instructions. For newer players it can be discouraging when the people trying to teach them are playing $3k bass on 4x10 200watt stack (or more) while the student is playing a $200 Squire on 1x10 50watt combo.
@fridge my harley benton £137 fretless plays better than my £650 ibanez sr600. the neck might warp in 6 months but at the moment it is unreal. plays like a dream
I bought an old Academy bass and AXL amp for a student. 80€ everything. Once perfectly setup it sounds TERRIFIC. Actually the amp sounds better than mine (study volume of course).
Just get a sansamp bddi and your bass will sound amazing no matter what
Agreed!! My entire rig was under $2000 which is not bad imo!
200 bro im playing on a £100 bass
I'm a guitar player that's been playing for going on 15 years, and stumbled upon your channel a few days ago and have to say that you do this thing right. I love your approach and humor and look forward to clicking on the next video every time one ends. Flawless lessons for a dummy guitarist learning bass fundamentals too!
Right??! As we would say back in the day...
This act kicks ass!
-I noticed that depending on which pickup you want to accentuate on your bass (if your bass has more than one pickup) you pluck across the pickup you have selected so you can hear the intended sound of the pickup and ultimately your desired tone. Even with guitar I didn’t learn to do this (or not do this intentionally) until much later. And it bares mentioning.
-Lastly to build off this video, it might be interesting for you to dive into how your favorite bass players tend to sculpt their tones, what styles of music use certain bass tones (funk, metal, pop, etc.), and of course how to achieve good bass tone with effects pedals like distortions/fuzz or what have you.
This video is absolutely a perfect entry point for a beginner bassist like me and more or less can be directly translated to work for beginner guitarists as well (with a few minor differences). Amp EQ was the part I came for but I ended up learning so much more! Going to go give my StingRay some love.
You're right but It goes even further than that: On string instruments, where you pick fundamentally changes the sound produced by the string without even taking pickups into account. You get different tonality as different harmonics are accentuated. This works on acoustic instruments too so it isn't just about playing over the pickup or sound hole.
It is more of a striking effect on guitar but the same thing happens on bass. If you look at 0:41 he is playing RIGHT next to the bridge, resulting in a very trebley sound. On guitar, I use that to great effect when playing the solo in 'Echo' by Incubus; with vibrato it makes the guitar sound like a koto. You can use the neck pickup and pick somewhere nearer the bridge to give more twang to your warm tone as an example.
Go to the other extreme (playing over the board) and you get a 'oooooooey' sound that I describe as hollow, almost ghostly, especially on guitar. It becomes more evident the closer you get to the twelfth fret. On bass this is less obvious and can sound very dark which is what he was doing at 0:37. Mix this with a bridge pickup that is twangy and you can get some interesting sounds, a bit more warmth.
Then there is all the goodness to be found in between, nothing says you can't change between them and I move my hand to different places all the time based on what kind of sound I want, closer to bridge, more twang, closer to neck more 'oooo' and warmth.
I think the best advice is to use your ears, find what you like and don't focus too much on rules. As you play more you will find what you like and I don't think there is a tone that could be called 'wrong', others might hate it but just have a look at some of the crazy fuzz pedals and bit crushers there are out there: One man's trash is another's treasure.
Just have fun, enjoy yourself and don't be afraid to experiment.
No. 7 mute the strings your not playing, it's a basic technique that gets you a better and cleaner sound.
@Alistair Explore different finger positions (which finger you are using and which fret you are playing the note on). For the higher notes,, you can often play the same note in three (or more) positions on the neck. You may be accustomed to using your index finger to fret a given position and by shifting to your middle or ring finger, allow yourself to mute with the index finger after the "pull off." Or, you are using your ring finger. By shifting to index or middle allows you to muffle the string with a quick, light squeeze of the ring finger.
@Calcifer Black how do I mute the higher strings that I've just played? such the G string
@Nicolas Kim Both. Personally, I recommend using your left hand to mute the strings higher (pitched) from wherever you're currently playing. You can use your thumb to mute those thicker strings while you're playing the thinner ones. If your hands are big enough, you can also sorta wrap your left hand around and use your thumb to mute the E (or B) string. Look up the floating thumb technique to learn more about muting with your plucking hand's thumb. Or look up videos on muting in general; there's tons of them. :)
With which hands do you mute with?
good stuff mate! it's as hard for non-beginners to explain all this clearly (as it is so "self-evident") as it is for beginners to imagine it (as it is so "secondary"). keep up the good work!
Him: "Hear the difference?"
ha ha ! God bless your honesty 😉👍
the last note is the giveaway lol!
couldn't hear for the talking
Tip number 7: get a fuzz pedal.
Tip number 8: get an octaver pedal.
Tip number 9: fire your guitar player and become the Royal Blood of acid rock.
@Gongasoso this superior race stuff reminds me of something...
Tip 10. Add guitar strings to your bass
@NumberNEINLarge They're both way cooler than Royal Blood too
Can't slap, that's why! And in a studio setting the tonal differences are miles apart, though you could get away in a live setting haha
I just found your channel and I really love what you do/how you go about doing it. No nonsense, no ego, easy-to-follow lessons that make the transition from guitar to bass incredibly comfortable and a lot less frustrating for someone like me. Thanks for all the hard work that goes into your videos and your dedication to keeping them coming. Cheers.
Thank you so much! Glad you're enjoying, I'll keep them coming. :)
Those 3 year old strings sounded surprisingly good. For me, string life is the time between when new strings are broken in and when they die.
Another hit video from you. You put it all together in a very digestible way. Beginners like myself need the true down to basics. Great job Josh.
I never used a distortion pedal when I was younger. Now I always have a bit of distortion in my tone. It really helps the bass cut through the mix.
Boss distortion is the bomb! Highly recommend using one
Another tip for noobs is, you can’t tell what your tone should be until it’s in a MIX. The sound you love coming from your amp at home probably isn’t what sounds best with your band. Try to make a good rehearsal recording. This truer for bass than for any other instrument.
@CastleHill That's the worst advice I've seen in years... Yeah limit every bassist to a P or J bass.
The Spector Legend 4 being Spector's low end basses makes any P-J bass to shame
This is why software amps are your best bet if you're recording. Unlike a physical amp, the tone can be tweaked long after the recording to best suit the mix.
@Nunya Business Prolly due to it having 24 frets or something.
But yea I hate those too. Tone so thin it barely even stand a chance against a freaking hi hat.
Geri O'Neil lmao I see you found the post I was talking about lmao
@CastleHill Dude, you need to get over yourself in a big, big way. That's a complete crock. And usually, the people that say that don't ever play gigs.
Just found your channel! Bought my first bass this week and plan to use your videos to help me get started. Hope you keep posting regularly :)
How goes it?
Congrats on your new bass dude! More videos to come. :)
It should be mentioned that new strings ought to be stretched a lot after installation but before playing. It helps with tuning stability.
@Sam Elowitch I have a pretty shit 90s no name bass and even that doesn't need multiple tunings day. In fact, it's stable enough I only tune it every couple of days and it's never off by much. And that's the case for most non shitty bases
@Sam Elowitch a stringed instrument player should in my opinion. It's a tell of a newbie, in my experience of course
@Sam Elowitch Same here.
@Muse Nw At a minimum, I tune every time I pick up my bass.
In a way yes, by letting them adjust after restringing the bass for a few hours, then intermittent/interval tuning in between to let them settle. but another thing to note is knocking your guitar (unintentionally) against hard surfaces can cause vibrations that can loosen your tuning, quite subtly, and temperature changes can also cause some minor shifts. nevertheless, tuning your bass regularly before you play it will keep these issues at bay.
Learning your pickups also means: find the right height for each side of each pickup to have the same output volume on each string.
As someone that grew up playing in concert and marching bands I didn’t even know ppl could play an instrument without tuning. That’s literally step number one 🙃
I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Been a musician for years but just jumped into bass thinking it was like guitar... lol, I was so damn wrong. Your videos def helped me on the right track to better playing and sound . Thank you again
You're welcome! :)
Thanks for explaining flat / round wound and using PICTURES.
Mannnn that flat wound sound is where it’s at. So smooth and low
This video was the entire reason I switched to flats, and I really don’t ever want to change my p bass back to rounds.
The fact it is the same time I see a pic of flatwounds (I play guitar since 2003, and moved to bass some years ago but they never carry flats in any store cause the cheapest set is 45 bucks so no one buys it *in my country)
It looked like the you were using coated flat wounds (maybe DRs?). Doesn't that dull the sound even more? Just wondering - I actually like that tone.
@BassBuzz "A single (GOOD) picture is worth a 1000 words." Excellent choices of pics too. In the beginning, I had to buy a set of each types to figure out visually/audibly the differences. Btw, I'm mostly flatwounds with short scales and roundwounds with full scale basses. Altho I have found there ARE a few cases where reversing string type works better. Currently am experimenting with mixed strings on a single bass.
As a beginner bass player, I really thank you for making it simple and understandable. I guess i’ll wait for a tutorial on mid tone for amps. Subbed!
You're welcome Shiro!
The two things that have really improved my tone lately are:
a) sometimes, you need to turn the Bass knob down and turn the volume up.
b) you can almost always boost some mid frequency to be more present. On my Ampeg amp, what I tend to do is engage the Ultra Low (mid cut at 500Hz) but then boost the 200Hz-300Hz range. This results in a tone that is more evened-out than a mid scooped tone but has a little more nuance than if I did nothing.
Thanks for being informative and genuinely fun!
You're wlcome Dhruv!
It took me a long time to figure this out: your tone sounds totally different in your basement when you are sitting 3 feet away compared to when you are at a gig when the audience is 30 feet away or more. In fact, while you are playing a gig, if your amp is behind you, it will sound boomy with too much bottom, but if you walk out 20 feet is sounds pretty good and if you walk out 40 feet it sounds even better. Most amps are biased toward more bottom end, I think for this reason. The bottom end dies out rapidly from the amp to about 10 feet and then it sounds much better.
Best bass video I’ve ever seen!! Love the explanation of Jazz tones. I’ve look all over Clip-Share for that specific subject and this by far is truly the best. You have a new subscriber. Thank you!! 😊
I was always taught to change one string at a time by luthiers to avoid totally releasing the neck tension unnecessarily. Still do it to this day.
As much as these fixes are great, here's another great tip: switch where you pick between the bridge and neck to change your tone, or even use a pick. Ultimately use guidelines to get a good start, then throw them out and do what feels natural. Most bassists will say only play with the drummer, specifically the kick drum. I play off of everything as a bassist. Also, if you're switching to bass from guitar, you might find it way easier to get a tone that's uniquely you by using a pick. I liked using Dunlop 1mm nylon picks, so my tone cut more.
Hey man, love your videos and teaching style. Teachers like you are what this country needs, highly informative and constantly entarnaining!
You're welcome Matthew!
I think mids are very important even to beginners. They dictate whether the bassists can get through the mix or not. At live settings, I tend to crank up my mids to full. I have to sacrifice my desired tone just so I don't get drowned by my bandmates.
The main point here wrt tone is "know what does what." Also take some time to experiment and hear how your instrument's tone controls interact with the amp tone controls. Once you understand that, then you can start to fine tune it. For the beginner playing with a group, probably your best bet is bridge pickup and your tone knob(s) down to minimum. (Rule #1 of playing with a group: Don't try to outshine the lead guitarist. You won't work much.) However, bass tone is a very subjective thing and depends a good deal on what you're playing with. Do you want to feel the bass more than hear it? Then see my remark about tone knobs. That's what you'll hear on a lot of classic rock. Do you want to hear your fingers/pick ala Iron Maiden? Is your bass a major component of the arrangement and needs to be heard on its own ala Rush? Are you simply octave-down weight for the guitar as in the case of a lot of metal music? Gotta answer all that to know what direction to go. Also remember that a bass with active pickups can be a very different animal than one with passive pickups. When in doubt, you can't really go wrong with a P bass. It is perhaps the most preferred bass of recording artists, producers, and engineers everywhere.
Great video! I wish I had access to these tips when I started. I’m enjoying a lot of the content on this channel.
One thing I tend to do differently is I set my amp tone controls to neutral (12 O’clock) and adjust my bass tone controls to suit, opposite from what you suggest. I’ll play around with that.
Do you have a video on playing with mids? I’d be interested on hearing your approach.
Thank you for the videos, I've been playing bass for literally a week and I need all the help I can get!
You're welcome! Congrats on starting bass. :)
One quick little thing about mids for beginners - if you're finding your bass isn't cutting through in a group setting, kill the bass slightly and get those low and high mids in play.
Mids sound funky, but they're good for funk, and especially good for clarity in a mix.
Don't forget, what may sound shitty on its own might sound good in a mix
Almost always the case if there's not really expensive pro equipment.
Love your prestation in all your videos, and your ability to convey the lesson in a unique and fun way. Rock On
I usually do smaller gigs and don't need more than my b100 combo, but one feature it has that's a godsend is the frequency notch, which lets you dial out the "evil room resonance frequency" whatever it happens to be.
I've been wanting to play the bass guitar ever since I started playing it 60 years ago. For me your lessons for beginners are invaluable. Thanks.
Lol wtf does this even mean
Glad I can help!
love this! Great video not only for beginners but for those who have been playing for some time just to revisit the fundamentals. For myself, EQ has been dependent on the room and the ensemble. I've played some venues where there is such a huge natural "boost" in the low end that I've had to turn the bass knob all the way down. Sounded like crap onstage but when I got a recording from the room the balance in the band was perfect. A GOOD sound tech can advise when you are playing in their house.
Thanks Mike! Yeah, tuning the bass sound to a room is an art form for sure. Never a dull moment with live sound. :)
Great info! 👍🏼 I agree on a lot of it being subjective & depending on what sound you are trying to go for. I think that someone can be an overly picky tone nerd(as with any instrument) that you take the fun out of playing all together. Don’t let someone else’s opinion stop you from playing what you love. As you play more & more- you’ll discover what you like & don’t like on tones. I try to remember that 90% or more of the people listening to you play will not care or remember what you sounded like at all. Have fun & absorb knowledge from other musicians but DO NOT let someone else’s opinion stop you from playing & growing. 🤘🏼
Excellent video. Clearly went over all the relevant information and used the proper terminology. Thank you for posting and helping others not sound like turd.
Nothing wrong with playing with a pick so long as that's not the only style you practice. Don't put yourself in a box with your playing.
Same thing with fingers
I personally love leaving my strings on for a while. Love when they get a tad darker :)
I didn't even realize you had a new channel, but of course this is fantastic content as always! Thank you for this.
Great video. When I first started out on bass, I blasted the tone and volume pups in my J bass not knowing any better. Finally figured out that picking, finger plucking, position of volume and tone knobs all made a huge difference.
Halfwound strings can sound cool. I swapped the flats off my fretless J-bass with halfwounds and got a little more high end tone which was pleasing.
I must say, as a COMPLETE beginner, I’ve watched about three of your videos and I’ve learned so much in them, thank you for that. Subscribed after the second video and I’m glad I did.
Glad I could help! :)
If you're a beginner quit worrying about your tone and keep practicing. Tone of sound is meant to fit a song as a whole, it's not something you just have to exist with forever.
You just made my learning experience so much fun love it keep up the good work josh
Thank you so much ! I have been playing for almost a year and this has been so helpful especially with getting the right tome from my amp .👍🏻
Glad to help! 😊
The first time i touched a bass, which was about six years ago, i was struggling to find my grip and had no knowledge whatsoever about the knobs at all. And after watching this video, I'd say that's the biggest tone fix I picked up. Now I'm in the clear about what the knobs on my bass do. Big thanks!
Awesome video. Been playing guitar for years but I’m trying to switch over to bass and i learned some helpful stuff from this vid👍
Yes, come to the dark side! :) Glad to help.
When you were explaining about the different types of strings, I think you should have mentioned, that the strings are made of either stainless steel strings or nickel (there are some other types as well, but these are the most commonly used ones). Stainless steel strings will give you a brighter, aggressive sound, while nickels sound warmer and more mellow.
As for the two pick-up configuration, it is worth nothing that running both pick-ups at full volume, will result in a rather dull tone, because they will cancel out some of each others' frequencies (mostly mids). So I would suggest having the neck pick-up at full volume and then dial in the necessary amount of volume from the bridge pick-up, until you reach the desired level of brightness in your tone. The blend knob is certainly easier to use, but it does not allow you two dial the same wide range of sounds as the two individual volume knobs.
Another thing to keep in mind, when setting up the tone of your bass, is how it will sit in the band mix. What sound good soloed, does not necessarily sound good in the mix.
Keep the videos coming !
I was given a set of copper strings once. They sounded glorious - for about a week.
This video was very good and has a lot of great information. I started playing electric bass guitar July 2021 the first time in my life and bought an acoustic bass guitar 2 months ago. I love it. My boyfriend has played guitar, electric bass and banjo for many years. We go to music jams every week. I was on stage with him after I started playing the electric bass 5 weeks prior to that. It was awesome and scary at the same time.
I Loved this! Thanks so much. It's stuff I should have known - you explained it so clearly and it has made a difference. I'm looking forward to learning more!
I'm a guitarist who recently bought a bass because I got an injury to one of my left fingers. I really like the way you present these videos. No nonsense, good tips, and fun. Plus, your licks are awesome. You should teach some of those. Would love to learn them.
@BassBuzz Thanks Josh... yes maybe it is. I broke a tendon on my middle left hand finger about 3 months ago. It's just starting to get better. I find bass a bit easier to play because I don't need to curl my fingers as much as on guitar, using the flat side of the finger rather than the tip.
PS... Some of the backing tracks you have are really cool. Where can we find those?
Thanks Tom! Sorry you hurt your finger but sounds like it got you to start playing bass, so blessing in disguise. 🕵
You should immediately tune your instrument every single time you pick it up to play. If you are playing a gig, then you should check your tuning when you initially set up, immediately before you start your set, and in-between songs as often as you possibly can without bogging down the flow of your set.
I just got my bass a few days ago (ik I’m a super beginner) and this video was extremely helpful, thanks!! Definitely going to subscribe
That's awesome Abigail Congrats on starting bass. :)
Been playing bass for a year and the brand of strings that I've landed on are Ernie Ball strings and they have that perfect zing to them that are perfect for me,I have also been using these tone fixes for 5 months and they have helped me improve.
Thank you, Bass Buzz!
I would advice against using both (jazz) pick-ups for beginners. I might sound REALLY good by yourself but in the mix it's often a mid-scooped mess. Unless you slap or have a lot of room in the mix (like Marcus Miller or Flea on some records) you can get away with blending. On most occassion you want to dial one of the two back JUST a bit to get the mids back (Marcus Miller actually does this when switching from solo/slap mode to basic bassline mode).
Thank you !
Man as a long time bass player this is inspiring to get to basics and just play
Unfortunately had to figure a few of these out on my own (e.g., slightly pulling up on the strings, and adjusting fingertip angle to avoid nail-strikes). If one chases the sound and tone, they’ll eventually figure out what’s right and wrong (for them), but great to have guidance, so appreciated. 👍
thank you for this video; your pace and detailed instructions is perfect for me to share with my beginner bassists
Little expansion on the mids for anyone wondering. When messing with the mids with EQ at home, in practice or in recording find one that you like and sits well within the mix...thats fine and great. Changing Mid levels are more important when it comes to live performance and will change dramatically from gig to gig depending on the environment. If you're in a open space with lots of natural reverb you're going to want to boost the mids to in order to cut through that. Hopefully the tech guys will be good enough to account for this in most situations but if not, its always worth investing in a really long cable, or even a wireless setup so you can stand in the audience area during soundcheck to hear out for any adjustments you need to make.
These are very good tips for beginners.
I have a caveat; learning to restring is a huge boon to anyone interested in learning how to play bass.
Not only does changing strings get the player familiar with the instrument, it also forces them to tune, again and again (because new strings stretch quite a bit).
I like the sound of new strings so when I was a poor kid with no money, and not able to afford a string change before every gig, I would boil my strings (I do NOT recommend this). If you aren't familiar with this practice, that's a good thing. It's like Russian roulette for which string will break first. The different metals in strings have different expansion rates so after being boiled and brought back down to room temperature, they lose quite a bit tensile strength to the point of brittleness. Boiled strings will sound exactly like a new set, but don't do it unless you have absolutely no money like I did and can't afford not to to keep up.
By the way, when you change your strings, you should never pull all your strings off at once. When you do that your truss rod (the metal rod inside your neck the keeps it from warping) to flex inward without tension from any strings. This will cause many issues down the road. I am not sure why he did that in the video.
Restring should be his next video. I am surprised there isn't one yet...
Ahhh the old 'truss rod myth' just keeps on going. I had no strings on my P bass for over six months... strung it up, good as new. These things are built to last.
It was nice to know that I was already doing all those things. I guess it helped to be a guitar player and recording engineer before taking up bass a year ago.
Yep! Engineers know bass tone better than most bass players.
Very good explanations! Even a guitarist like me understands!
I'm not a newb, been playing for 35 years, but I love your channel. It is interesting and keeps your attention to the subject at hand.....and I find it entertaining as well. I recommend beginners to your channel as a great place to start. Keep up the good work. Maybe some day I'll be as good as Josh newb!
Again ...... another excellent well detailed video. Thank you for your continued help. It’s refreshing to hear that you have not forgot how hard it is to be a true beginner. Help with what seems obvious to the seasoned bass player is a lifeline to help us on our journey.......... thank you
All the best from Scotland
Some good advice for beginners what made it for me you showed the amp set up which makes a big difference so many people start beginner bass lessons showing all the parts of the bass and how to pluck or pick it and right through the lessons they never show an amp set up. I love the how to play lessons where they show all the notes to play and never show the amp settings. A beginner has no idea about drive compression gain etc which makes a big difference to what you are playing
@michael w I thought a sentence always began with a capital letter. I bow to your superior grammar.
I love your channel! It always makes me feel like I'm learning from a friend.
Great content, thanks for sharing. Medium strings sound great on jazz basses.
I just started playing bass a couple months ago. Your vids are AWESOME thanks man
I really love how you show different angles for fix 1
Exactly what i needed, thank you for this!
Hey Josh, well done. I was tone deaf until I saw your video. Now I'm feeling more "equalized" and flat wound, or maybe I'm round wound, or well rounded. Either way , I'm better informed, thanks to you. Kudos! Job well done. I left the multiple "knob" jokes alone, because that's just wrong.
BassBuzz does that make you Mr. Thomas Anderson
Haha, thank you for your great taste as usual, Agent Smith.
I don't have a bass amp yet, however going through my mixer with sweepable mids teaches me quite a bit. Thank you for this video.
Nice overview. All good points.
Fix #0 gets my vote,
I used to have a guy in the band who either could not or would not tune properly.
We'd secretly tune him when he went on a break.
I also had a bumper sticker from one of the local music stores: "TUNE IT OR DIE!!"
Haha! I'm so glad I've never had to secretly tune anyone while they were off getting a drink.
Just starting out, love the simple break down. I'll be referencing your videos a lot!
Thank you bass sensei I'm so glad you are here to help ❤️
Teach players the importance about being in tune, because all the music is built on top of your bass tone. You are the foundation. If you are out of tune than the entire group will be off. I love the KORG tuner's big display. This is useful for you to check your overall intonation on the bass. Play open string, now play string fretted up one octave. They should match, if not, then take it into a guitar tech, or learn how to set your intonation by watching video.
Grant Koeller *Literally* tip 0
Insightful. I'd say I'm intermediate, thank you. I'm taking all the help I can get to improve
Glad to help Rees! And I definitely didn't know some of this stuff til I was intermediate either, nobody used to teach tone!
Great video! Learned a lot in just a few minutes. Thank you!
Thanks Francisco! Glad it helped.
Pulling across instead of plucking. I have been playing guitar for 40 years and took up the bass a couple weeks ago. I can play stuff right off but I'm newbing it up big time. Your vids are super helpful.
watching your series is making me realize im a better bassist than I give myself credit for.
That plucking technique is exactly what I needed to know and came here for. I’m teaching myself and really enjoying bass but my plucking‘s been ugly!
Tanks for making these .I’ve learned a lot from you 👍👌🙌🏻
Thank you! I'm an intermediate guitarist. I just got a bass for my Clip-Share cover videos. Loved the tips!
You're welcome Elijah, hope it helps!
As a guitar player for decades who recently decided to pick up bass I appreciate this vid. I don't need an explanation of bass anatomy, notes on the fretboard or how to hold it.
What I do need is practical tips on the technical differences of fingerstyle bass vs picking guitar strings. Picking up the bass gives me a new respect for better bass players I've jammed with over the years.
Good solid advice. On strings: for beginners on (usually) cheaper basses, it's better to change the strings (and take to tune) one at a time to keep tension in the neck, if you don't know/are not confident about trussrod adjustment. Also, always wash your hands before playing. Boil your strings to extend the life (they're fucking expensive) and use a string cleaner like Fast Fret occasionally. Finally, too much action is a tone/tuning killer - difficult this one, because most gear shops don't give a fuck about setting up beginner basses correctly - so learn from YT.
I'd add playing position to the Fix #4. It really changes the tone, too.
Yeah, super important! Deserves its own video.
This is great! Thank you for taking the time to make this video.
You're welcome Jesse!
All the questions that I didn’t know how to ask answered in one place! Excellent, thank you!!
You're welcome Cynthia!
just tune your bass every time you play it
And invest in a proper tuner while you're at it. The pedals are great but I just use one that clips to my headstock. These kind go by the amount of vibrations so they're super accurate while not being super expensive. I can clip it right back on my bass stand during a gig after I'm done tuning. No biggie.
@precision Brown unlike mine I need new strings
That’s ridiculous. My fenders stay in tune after sitting in the closet for 5 years
That´s cheating. It´s not fair to the guitar guys. And it´s hard to keep your bass face when there´s used knickers thrown at your face, which is what´ll happen, and you have to deal with the guitar guys throwing a tantrum later. And you will never sound like real Punk.
I tried just to do it.....the horror........the horror
You're reviews are fantastic man, I'm a beginner and I'm wondering if you can make some tutorials on learning the fretboard and making your own riffs/basslines
For sure! Learning the fretboard basics - clip-share.net/video/tcok98Vk6uA/video.html
Honestly, it helps me a lot thanks man great explanation for a beginner like me.
I'm a guitarist that just picked up my first decent bass. This was Very informative
Liked and Subbed \m/
As always, nice content and humor to blend it all out.
Don't cut your nails. It gives you 2x more tonal options. Use the pads when you want a scooped tone and use your fingernails when you want a treble plucky tone
The first tip for sounding good is to set your intonation properly, or have it done at a good shop if you're unsure how!
All these other ideas are meaningless if your bass isn't set-up correctly, i.e., your bass plays in-tune all over the entire neck. This is of course true for guitarists too, but way too many people in both camps forget, or don't know this MOST IMPORTANT step! Then, tune your bass every time you play, hopefully to A=220/110 or to your organ or piano (untunable) if in a band. And check your tuning after every few songs, or anytime you suspect it has changed, especially if you bend strings a lot, or play very aggressively.
The next step is string choice and condition. I've heard all kinds of results - good and bad, from top-end basses to pawn shop specials, all based on string choice and condition! This is the real key!
Finally, try to get 90% of your tone from your bass and your playing style, and not from preamps, EQs, effects, or cabs, etc.. Then, you can color your tone with these added devices, but the meat and potatoes of your tone should come from your bass (as if run direct to a recorder). (secret tip; a good compressor/limiter can be your most important "effect"!)
And if you're a pick player, be aware there are all kinds of picks that can wildly affect your tone (nylon, hard plastic, hard felt, rubber, and even metallic), but also be familiar with finger playing too, because a good hard felt pick can do wonders, but there really is nothing quite like finger playing! It's all good, and it all adds to your diversity of sound (and gigs/sessions!).
I made a pick out of stainless steel and it gave me such a brutal time and I loved the way it sounded like I wanted it to.
I'm so glad you just focused on the treble and bass knobs because my amp doesn't even have a mid knob and everyone else mentioned it like it was super important. Made me feel like Id never be good just because I've got the wrong amp. And thanks for mentioning the two knob one pickup setup, again everyone acts like you *need* two, which sucks when you've only got one.
Here's a tip. If your roundwound strings sound dead, can't get anything but a non sustaining thunk, do this.
Take all your strings off.
Wind them up like they came out of the envelope when new.
Go boil some water in a pot. Let it get good and boiling, not just hot.
Put the strings in the boiling water, let them boil for 3-5 minutes.
Take them out, put them on a towel and dry them off well. They cool off pretty quickly.
Restring your guitar and tune up.
They won't last as long as when new, and you don't want to try it more than twice on a set, but it'll get some life back in the strings, and hold you over til you get a new set.
This is best for steel or stainless steel roundwound, helps flats too but flats are better off being a little deader anyway.
Don't forget to turn off the water and dump it. Wash the pot too, mom doesn't want string yuckies in her stewpot.
Good luck, and give a like if this helped out!