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BP tone masters story -- who was overlooked?


jcadmus

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I enjoyed the story this month on bass players with distinctive tone.

 

But only 20? Who was overlooked?

 

Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith for starters. The man is a tone monster.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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My complaint with that story wasn't that they overlooked anyone--though I'm sure they did--but that each "story" was so short. I mean, one paragraph on John Paul Jones? And no mention of Greg Lake? C'mon.
"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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It was a good read. There are always the "I can't believe _____ didn't make the list", but you can't get them all. :idk:

 

I personally felt the rock side of things was a little light. I would have expected someone like Flea on the list.

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Of course I haven't seen the story. Everyone seems to get their BP mag before me, despite the fact that I live about 45 minutes away from their office (I know, it's mailed from somewhere else).

 

However, if we are talking about tone, let's talk about tone and not style. Flea is an excellent player, but I don't think I would recognize his tone out of context. Players like Marcus Miller and Jaco can be identified in a few notes.

 

I sound pretty much the same no matter what bass I play (whether it be one of my basses or someone else's that I have borrowed....and when someone else picks up my bass they get a very different sound out of it), so it appears that I have a sound. When people say to me, "that's a great-sounding bass", I point at the bass and say, "hmm, I don't hear anything."

 

 

Did I say, "players like Marcus Miller and Jaco"? There aren't any.

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JC: "When people say to me, "that's a great-sounding bass", I point at the bass and say, "hmm, I don't hear anything."

 

That's hilarious!

 

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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For clarification -- I wasn't poking, I was trying to extend the conversation.

 

Jeff Berlin -- AWESOME tone and chops.

 

Billy Sheehan -- like a chainsaw through chocolate pudding -- you know it's him in two notes.

 

Tony Levin -- I don't think anything more needs to be said.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Carol Kaye....the classic pick sound.

 

Jack Bruce....awesome distorted sound with Cream.

 

Mark Egan....fretless sound related to Jaco's, but different enough to be a unique voice. The sound on the Pat Metheny Group album (the white one) made me buy a fretless. I just bought his most recent CD and there is the sound again (with a great band and great playing).

 

Matt Freeman....great P-bass grind.

 

Anthony Jackson.....tremendous low note clarity which includes fret noise that gives it character. Pioneer of the chorus/flanged sound.

 

Duck Dunn.....definition of the fat r&b sound.

 

Pino Palladino....fretless with an octave pedal...can't be beat.

 

Chuck Rainey...fat r&b sound with a nice sound of wood added.

 

John Entwhistle....nothing more need be said.

 

James Jamerson.....apart from the fat sound and incredible basslines, the master of muted notes in between everything else, and he did it all with one right hand finger, "the hook".

 

Someone stop me, please. ;)

 

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Good thing the magazine is entitled "Bass Player Magazine" vice "Encyclopedia of Significant Bassist".

 

Yeah, Willie Jo Whazzizface was left off and Sammy Lee Sumptinorother's bio was too short and how the heck did Howie Hodat get on the list when Willie didn't.

 

I don't evny the writers. Pick twenty. Write a four paragrph bio on why. Cover all twelve major and seventy five minor genres of music (we don't want anyone to feel left out!) Prepare for the inevitable backlash.

 

Interesting article. Totally subjective. Powder keg for flame mail (see if the editors post the hate mail about Willie, Sammy and Howie written by One-Genre Gene).

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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Don't get me wrong, I loved the article, and in the magazine's defense, it was titled "most influential" bass player tones--not best, or most popular, or most records sold. Seems we could all add any number of names of bassists we all like, but the criterion was influence on other players. I think they got it pretty right.
"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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I couldn't argue with the picks they had but I was surprised Mark King and Lemmy weren't on the list.

 

Could you recognize Lemmy's sound? (Motorhead's sound, yeah, but Lemmy?) I alway found it to be curiously innocuous and under in the mix. You'd think, considering the fact that it's his band, the bass would be prominent. Instead, it's practically absent. Maybe he doesn't like the bass to conflict with the vocals.

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I think the list touched on the giants of the instrument whose tone is so recognizable that you recognize their playing within a few notes. Marcus Miller? He has an instantly recognizable sound, and that sound has influenced countless bass players as well as gear manufacturers.

 

There are definitely a few more players who should probably be on there. Pino Palladino and Carol Kaye immediately come to mind, but I can imagine that the editorial staff at BP probably had a tough time narrowing this list down to 20.

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(In alphabetical order)

 

Aston "Family Man" Barret

Jack Bruce

Gezzer Butler

Stanley Clarke

Bootsy Collins

John Entwistle

Matthew Garrison

Larry Graham

Anthony Jackson

James Jamerson

Louis Johnson

John Paul Jones

Geddy Lee

Phil Lesh

Paul McCartney

Marcus Miller

Jaco Pastorius

Francis "Rocco" Prestia

Chris Squire

Victor Wooten

 

People noticably absent:

 

Jeremy Cohen

Erik

Lemmy

Devistating Lixx

FiElDy

Sting

Lemmy

Pino Padillo

Nathan East

Adam Clayton

Michael Anthony

Flea

Paul Grey

Lemmy

Robert Trujillo

Lemmy

And, last but not least, Lemmy

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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I want to add Bobby Vega to the list.

His muted picking technique creates a sound that I have not heard elsewhere.

 

After a few seconds of slapping, Bobby breaks out the pick.

His slapping is not too shabby also and I heard him sounding like years before Marcus Miller hit the mainstream of the bass world.

 

[video:youtube]

Does anybody do anything remotely like that?

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Good call on Bobby Vega Jeremy. He definately has a distinctive tone and style! As far as the slappin', didn't he fill in with Sly for a bit?

 

Could you recognize Lemmy's sound? (Motorhead's sound, yeah, but Lemmy?) I alway found it to be curiously innocuous and under in the mix. You'd think, considering the fact that it's his band, the bass would be prominent. Instead, it's practically absent. Maybe he doesn't like the bass to conflict with the vocals.

 

Lemmy's in the mix it's just his tone and style is not quite what you would call traditional bass and quite guitar like. No one plays like Lemmy!

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

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Good call on Bobby Vega Jeremy. He definately has a distinctive tone and style! As far as the slappin', didn't he fill in with Sly for a bit?

Yes, he did. And he also filled in with Tower of Power in which he played with his fingers to keep it authentic.

 

I was fortunate enough to see Lemmy live a few years ago. He has to be included.

 

Matthew Garrison is an outstanding player, but I can't see how he has influenced anyone yet. Hardly anyone has ever heard him.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Scott Reeder formerly of Kyuss. The stuff he did in the mid-90s was such an influence on my style and it was more what he played that made his 'sound' than his actual sound (that could be said for a lot of players IMHO).

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Floyd, from the Electric Mayhem.

 

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060311123346/uncyclopedia/images/5/5d/Floyd_pepper.jpg

 

Not only does he have bootalicious tone, but he leads the band.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Cliff Burton

Rob Trujillo

Duck Dunn

Billy Sheehan

Les Claypool

Lemmy (aka "God")

Nathan East

Flea

Sharlee D'Angelo (from the band "Arch Enemy")

Jeff Berlin

 

Metal, in general, really got shafted in that article.

 

In addition, a lot of the guys they mentioned, while having good tone, don't really "define" a tone. Geddy (I just KNOW I'm going to get flak for that one!), Chris Squire, JPJ, Paul McCartney, and several others, while they have great tone, haven't done anything that hasn't been done before.

 

In all, that article was a real let-down-- it felt like a poll with the question "Who are the most popular bass players among the Jazz and Pop guys?", with the top results receiving a slot. It was so cookie-cutter...

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Floyd, from the Electric Mayhem.

 

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060311123346/uncyclopedia/images/5/5d/Floyd_pepper.jpg

 

Not only does he have bootalicious tone, but he leads the band.

 

And ambedextrious. Some shots he's a righty. Some a lefty.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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I haven't received my BP mag yet (it's still in UK), so I haven't read the list. I'm almost sure Marcus Miller was on it....tone king! :cool:

Even more superb, Aston Familyman Barett. Didn't this man invent tone? Damn! ;)

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