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How do I get that reggae sound?


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Hello,

 

I am trying to get two different tones out of my rigs and equipment. First, how do you get that unique reggae tone? Second, how do you get that bass tone like we hear in "Red Sky at Night" by the Fixx?

 

My gear includes a Modulus Quantum IV, Peavey Fury, Ernie Ball Musicman, Ampeg SVT-3 PRO and 4X10 cab, BBE Sonic Maximizer, Zoom 708 effects pedal, and even a Behringer b120 practice amp. I cannot come close to getting a reggae tone nor that Tool (or Fixx) bass tone. Any suggestions?

I have tried fiddling with all my knobs and detuning to no avail!

 

Thanks,

 

HighSierra

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Reggae tone: turn off all the effects. Turn down the treble. turn up the bass.

 

I've never heard the song you mention, so I can't help you with that.

 

Welcome to the Lowdown!

 

Where in the High Sierra do you live? How much snow do you have on the ground at the moment? I heard there was still 10 feet at Tuolumne Meadows.

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Reggae-

 

Buy some flats, break them in by not changing them for 20 years.

 

Buy the biggest speaker size you can find (like the old Jamaican sound-systems). 18" is a nice start.

 

Pluck over neck pickup or even the bottom of the neck, try using your thumb.

 

No effects, no treble, no bite, no growl.

 

Listen to Babylon By Bus.

Bog visoko, a Rusija daleko
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Solo the neck pickup.

 

Boost the bass.

 

Play right below the neck, like Joe Grundy recommended.

 

Cut the treble if you still get some clack.

 

If it sounds like the notes are sustaining too long, try palm muting or wedge a hunk of foam under the strings by the bridge.

 

The rest is up to you.

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Bless.

All the above are correct...even the dreadlocks part :D

The truth is, Reggae is specialist music...a Spirit. It's hard to 'educate/teach' it. Try and LIVE IT! ;) Get in to it. Listen to as much 1969 - 1983 Reggae as you can get your 'ears' on. The rest will follow.

Remember, respect the music. Welcome to the World of Bass...REGGAE! :thu::cool:

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Originally posted by getz76:

What's so hard about teaching reggae as opposed to jazz, classical, country, etc.?

That's what I was wondering.

 

99% of above comments on how to achieve reggae tone are spot on.

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I think it is so hard to "teach" reggae because there is a nonchalant type of feeling about where you are putting the note. In some ways it is a lot easier for many people to sound quantized where every note is so structured, but reggae doesn't seem to need that, but it takes practice and experience with the music to be able to put the note where it needs to go, even if it's put there in what seems like a lazy manner. Is any of that making sense or am I full of crap?

 

also, I think that jazz is the same way sometimes.

Now look what you made me do.
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Reggae is all feel. The techniques above are how to get the reggae tone out of your equipment, not how to be a reggae musician. There are still stylistic techniques that can be learnt but it is the 'feel' that counts. The mysterious groove, the concept that is difficult to describe, let alone pass on to others.
Bog visoko, a Rusija daleko
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Originally posted by seren:

am I full of crap?

Since you put it out there... yes.

 

ALL music requires one to listen to it in order to "figure out" or "get good" at putting the notes in the right places and/or making it sound otherwise authentic. Reggae is no different from classic music in that regard. Or metal. Or jazz. Or Yanni...

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I'll lean towards you not making any sense. It's the softer, more compassionate Maury speaking.

 

However, the concept is full of crap.

 

You know what the FEEL you describe is? It is the guitarist being able to count "and" between the 1, 2, 3, and 4 and knowing where to play the chord. Combine that with a bass player and drummer with really good time and discipline (the bass player leaves space), and guess what? It works!

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in my dad's friend's reggae band, The bluebeats (former singer from the Scofflaws) the bassist plays all the way up on like the 14th fret, as compared to over the end of the neck.
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It's like Tao - you must learn. Then you must forget.

 

Seriously, it's a foreign (musical) language for us - the only way to truly do it justice is immerse yourself in it. Anyone who's wrapped their brain around reggae and stopped there has as much chance of playing it authentically as a 3rd year French student has of passing for a local in Paris.

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Originally posted by seren:

am I full of crap?

Since you put it out there... yes.

 

ALL music requires one to listen to it in order to "figure out" or "get good" at putting the notes in the right places and/or making it sound otherwise authentic. Reggae is no different from classic music in that regard. Or metal. Or jazz. Or Yanni...

Damn it, I had a feeling I was full of crap, especially since I don't really listen to reggae. On the other hand, I do think that there are types of music that allow for a certain amount of quantizing on a computer, and other types of music that are harmed more by that because they lose a natural feel.
Now look what you made me do.
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ALL music requires one to listen to it in order to "figure out" or "get good" at putting the notes in the right places and/or making it sound otherwise authentic. Reggae is no different from classic music in that regard. Or metal. Or jazz. Or Yanni...

Tshaka does have a point, guys. You can listen and study any kind of music from a technical and "feel" standpoint, but there is an X-factor to becoming truly authentic at a certain style...and a lot of it has to do with having years of experience playing it.

 

I know this because I try to learn as many styles as possible. It's true I can do a passable performance when playing reggae or country, but I won't sound nearly as "on" as I will playing Funk or Rock. I haven't put in as much time.

 

Walking into a gig in an unfamiliar style thinking "I know this" when all you've done is listen and play along with a few records in that style is a bit dangerous.

 

I'm not accusing anyone here of doing this, but since I've been guilty of it myself I think it's important to keep in mind that we're always learning.

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Going to a concert, a club or seeing a band playing the music you want to learn isn't a bad idea either. Also getting up to dance to it. It may not sink in the first or second time, but eventually it does. Something about dance in particular gets you moving to the rhythm section, hence the heart of what the bass player should be doing in the music. The medly sinks in eventually as well if you give it time to sink in. Sometimes it means hearing the same song over and over a few times.

 

The only thing hard about learning reggae, or any new music form, is keeping your mind quiet enough to listen. This can be very hard if you keep thinking in terms of music you're accustomed to.

 

As far as dance, here's a big secret: not everyone knows how to dance, and there are a lot of bad dancers out there. Just get up there and do it, and you'd be surprised how your body figures out the rhythm for you. Or at least watch the better dancers out there.

:wave:

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