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SOUND: How to sound like Ray Brown (or your personal bass hero)
Leather Bumpers are FINALLY BACK!
After over a year of searching, we've finally worked out the manufacturing of new leather side bumpers
, to replace the ones we used to get before. And we've even added the option for new rubber ones, too!
Performer Bags are BACK IN STOCK!
Finally - our popular Performer Upright Bass Bag
is back in stock and available for immediate shipment. This great mid-weight, durable bag has thicker padding, backpack straps, and lots of other niceties. And we just got a truckload of them in. Order today
, we are shipping from stock.
New Eurosonic HALF-SIZE string sets
We have just recently gotten in some new 1/2 size strings; now folks looking for a more "old-school" tone and feel on their 1/2 size bass can enjoy the Eurosonic tapewound strings
we've carried for years! If you play bluegrass, or country, or rockabilly slap on a 1/2 size doghouse - this is a great string to try. Now available and in stock!
Double Bow Cases are FINALLY BACK!
At long last, we FINALLY have received - and have, IN STOCK - double bow cases
. Our NEW double bow case features separate compartments and hook-and-loop holding straps for each bow to keep them from contacting each other. Unlike some double bass bow cases, this case can hold any combination of two French or German bows
; two French, two German, or one of each.Check out the details on our bow case page
- we have a BUNCH of these cases IN STOCK for immediate shipment.
Audio Sprockets ToneDexter UPDATE Available
Not content to rest on the success of their amazing ToneDexter
, Audio Sprockets has just released Version 1.5 of the operating software. The update makes training 33% faster, on top of the 1.4 update from August, which adds the ability to transfer WaveMaps in and out of ToneDexter, plus improvements to the Bass EQ and the built-in tuner!
Visit the ToneDexter Product Page
for more information!
And of course, all ToneDexters purchased at Gollihur Music HAVE BEEN PRELOADED with the MOST RECENT BASS
FIRMWARE (unless otherwise requested.)
Do you want to get the "sound" that your upright bass hero does? It's easy! Just play like Ray Brown.
Now, that's a snarky way of saying that the source of the sound is almost always the player. To get Ray's sound, the most valuable things that you could add in order to get that sound would be Ray's bass and Ray's hands. Sure, equipment matters, but it doesn't "create" the sound the same way that electric bass guitars and rigs often do. And even on electric, the player is still the "magic ingredient." For instance, I can chase a lot of electric bass guitar gear to try to sound like Victor Wooten, and maybe get sort of close - but Vic could go to any music store, pick up a $150 Ibanez, and plug it into a basic Fender combo, and start jamming... and he's still sound like Vic. (It's kind of unfair, actually.)
Compared to the electric, the upright is a very different, very physical instrument. And the sound mostly comes from the source -- most pickups for it attempt to recreate the acoustic sound of the instrument as clearly and uncolored as possible (and they all hit and miss in various ways, hence their different characters.)
Truly, the way the bass is played matters a lot - many first-timers coming from "slab" bass play the bass like it's an electric, with their fingers, and wonder why it doesn't sound like [insert random upright bass hero]. You've got to dig in, using the meaty side of your finger, and really get the string to "bloom" to get that deep, full-bodied sound.
So my suggestion would be to start with some strings that lean toward the sound you're chasing (we can help with that) and work on getting that tone acoustically first. That will be key in then being able to produce an amplified sound that is more in the ballpark of the tone you're after. So if you practice with a pickup, stop it! Concentrate on your acoustic sound, use techniques to get that big sound from the bass. You need to put a lot of meat on those strings and play to the balcony! The action at the bridge has to be high enough to allow the string to bloom without buzzing out on the fingerboard.
TL;DR: Don't look to equipment; I can't sell you a pickup to give you his sound... they can't add sustain or perform magic. That's equivalent to a vocalist ordering the microphone Sinatra used so he can sound like him. The point is to create "the sound" at the bass, using the right instrument, setup, strings, and player. Don't look to pickups, boxes, amps, etc., to produce the sound — they should deliver your acoustic sound, not make it.
Products Related to This FAQ
The Fine Print:The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.
What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.
I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!
I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.