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Re-Creating Flea's sound


h364

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If theres anyone who has influenced me and my style the most, it has to be flea. I noticed the other day how low his action is, like 1/32 at the 12th fret, just out of intrest i put one of my basses down to this the other day, just to get a feel, it felt much smoother and easyier to play, slapping was a bit tricky but i got used to it after about a week. But anyway back to the finger playing, being so low you would obviosuly get the ringing, even on bassplayer tv, you can hear the constant ringing when flea's playing. Now when you listen to him live, you hear absoultly nothing, i havent played this action live yet, so it might be something stupid and im emberassing myself. But anyway is there a way of killing the ring, but keeping the action low? Thanks,
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You mean rattling, not ringing don't you? The strings bouncing off the frets.

 

If you want to have the action as low as Flea, get a very expensive bass and keep a tech on hand to constantly adjust it so it remains playable. Otherwise, raise it higher and get on with playing the bass.

 

Make sure you pluck the strings so they move parallel to the frets, not downwards towards the frets - otherwise you'll be unable to play even vaguely hard without constant rattling.

 

Alex

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It's important to have our influences, especially when we first start learning but make sure you use them to define your own sound. Play bass the way h364 would play bass, not Flea - check out as many players and styles as you can.

 

I hope this didn't come across as patronising as this wasn't the intention, it's just that I believe it's important to set your bass up in a way that makes it easy for you to play it and not some other musician.

Now theres three of you in a band, youre like a proper band. Youre like the policemen.
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Yeah, your totally right rowbee, now i use to play with the action so very high, which meant i had to play it with it up around my neck, but i tried out the this new lower action, it was just so much easier, slapping, fretting everything. I think i was just making it much harder for my self playing with the action so high, so i guess i'll raise it a little, to calm the rattling. Thanks Guys, Much Appreiciated
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You might get lower releasing the neck more.

More neck relief means that when you are fretting low the string has more space to vibrate.

Try to draw it on paper: imagine a really curve neck and strings quite low at the 12th fret and see what it looks like fretted low and fretted high.

By the way, if is speed that you crave have you tried 40-100 or 40-95 strings?

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
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There's a a signature of some here that I can remember that says:

 

"U will never be able to play your heros lines as good as they play-

But relax co's they will never be able to play your lines as good as you play."

 

This I think is the most true thing I ever heard.

 

Relax with the strings and high or low action, just set up your bass to feel good for you.

 

Play whatever you like and make sure you leave your signature on it, your own voice.

And in a couple of years everyone will hear your bass sound and know that is yours unique.

 

Having our heros is good in a heathly way, make sure they contribute for YOUR OWN final sound.

 

Enjoy!

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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I also read his action is that low. Now either it was a joke, sometimes musicians like to say things that are not true just to mess around, or it somehow is. I cant stand to play wioth my action at 1/16th because I cant hit the string without horrable rattle. Which leads me to the same question you had... how the hell does he not get all sorts of fret noise as he jumps around on stage, let alone when he plucks the string.

Anyone ahve any comments on that.

 

Also, do you feel like your being preached at a little to find your own sound? your 13 right? So I'm going out ona limb here and saying that trying new ideas(wherever they come from) with your bass set up and sund is great. Keep up the trial and error.

I like my action kinda low, I dont know what it is set at now becuase I adjusted is as I saw fit, somtimes I feel the need to lower or raise it a little. eh.

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm certainly not preaching and had no idea how old h364 was, I was encouraging him\her to seek out as many players as they can. Nothing wrong with broadening your horizons is there?

 

Back to the point, I'd be interested to know where this information on his setup came from - perhaps he only uses that in the studio?

Now theres three of you in a band, youre like a proper band. Youre like the policemen.
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Well I am with you Rowbee.

 

I didn't knew how old he/she is, and not trying lecture at all.

 

And with regards with that (low action) I apologise but I find hard to believe in that, co's the way you play doesn't change that much in studio. Ok fair enough probably u play a bit harder live but overall the sound remains the same is not like day and night if you know what I mean.

 

I would say that is only a mith or bad information, IMHO

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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Perhaps, but I was reading an interview only the other day where a well known bassist expressed a preference to certain heights in their action between live and in the studio.
Now theres three of you in a band, youre like a proper band. Youre like the policemen.
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Yes Rowbee

 

But what was that bass player, for example I would understand that Adam Clayton has different set ups from studio to live.

But Steve Harris I would say that he uses more or less the same.

 

It's natural I think.

 

I am now concerned in playing lighter rather that hard co's I find that I have more dinamic to use than playing hard.

 

If I play hard I don't have harder to go.

But If I play light I can go for really really light and go up to hard .

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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Absolutely agree with you about having nowhere to go dynamically if you just play hard, it can also stifle some frequencies and give you a less pleasing sound.

 

I would say that Flea definitely does have a very different sound live to in the studio so I would remain open minded about the possibilities. I also agree that the whole conversation is pointless without knowing the basis of the suggestion that he ever has his action that low.

Now theres three of you in a band, youre like a proper band. Youre like the policemen.
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Yeah, thanks guys

 

Dont worry, im hardly taking such great advice the wrong way. Your totally right in everything your saying. I totally agree.

 

I got the info after trying to find what effects flea uses to get his wah sounds, and found all the information, on nothing but bassplayer.com!

 

Flea's soundman was interviewed by someone from bass player, and he went through to every minor detail, strap locks, even the picks he uses!

 

Yeah, i think i might just keep tweeking it up from 1/32, so i dont get a rattle, i have quite a hard action so i dont want to have to bring it up to high, or i'll be right back were i started.

 

Thanks Guys, Great Feedback!

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