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Looking to start bass. Need advice on JPJ tone.


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I've been playing guitar for quite some time now, and have recently began to really notice and listen to the bass in songs and have fallen in love with it's sound. So, naturally hearing all these awesome bass lines, I've been wanting to get started playing bass.

John Paul Jones is probably my favorite bass player and I was wondering what bass(es) he played, what type of strings he used, etc. Some of my other influences are guys like John Entwistle, John Deacon, Roger Waters, James Jamerson, and Chris Squire. I want something with a big, fat, round tone for mostly playing rock and blues bass. Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.


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Jones' main bass was an early 60s Fender Jazz Bass. His amps were Acoustics, which are no longer manufactured. Here's the important bit: As a beginner, you need to find a bass that feels good in your hands. Bass tone is something that only real tech guys can discern. You can get a nice Jones sound by rolling back the treble control on the amp. Squire, on the other hand, pushed the edgy top end (and played with a shilling for a pick). Jones' sound was more subtle (unless you're looking for that hard edged sound on Presence), and mostly played with fingers.

End of it is this: Get a bass you're comfortable with. Get an amp which has enough wattage for your intended environment. Obviously if you're not playing with a drummer, you don't need 800 watts.

Jones' sound generally (think Zeppelin II) had a soft, but firm tone. You can get that with about anything halfway decent. The wicked sound on Achilles' Last Stand is a different story.

Ask away! :beer:

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