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Author Topic:  Bass 4/4 shuffle question
George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 5:59 am    
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Some of the best 4/4 shuffle i have ever heard sounds like the bass is going through a compressor/limiter with the threshold set to cut off sustain. Just a staccato thud, no sustain. Is this the best way to play a shuffle or like a lot of things, is it individual preference?

Last edited by George Kimery on 22 Feb 2018 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 6:27 am    
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I don't think I would like that sound on bass. I'm "old school" and the first bass I played was an upright Kay Bass. They didn't sound that way and when I play electric bass today I like the "full" sound rather than a "lead" bass.
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Roy Carroll


From:
North of a Round Rock
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 8:33 am    
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Here's my 2 cents.
In the days when the Ray Price / Faron Young shuffles and many others were popular, they were recorded with upright basses. There was no compression on those "Doghouse" instruments. The lack of sustain was just simply a characteristic of the instrument. That sound coupled with a "dead" bass drum made it very staccato. When the electric bass became prevalent in use, ie Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, ect. Compression had come into being and was used to smooth out the bass notes and limiters were used to help with the over tones of electric sustained notes. One can play a variety of types of notes on the electric bass by muting with the picking hand to simulate the old upright sound. What it comes down to is the style that fits the song the best and personal taste. Most really good bass players play somewhere in between. In my opinion.
Good Luck! Keep on pickin' !
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 8:45 am     Bass 4/4 shuffle question
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Jack, to clearify, I am on!y talking about a reasonably fast 4/4 shuffle. I agree 100%,I would not like a no sustain bass on normal songs, just the ones that real!y shuffle. It would be critical that the drummer can play a good shuffle to compliment the sound.
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Edward Rhea


From:
Medford Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 12:08 pm    
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George, FWIW, I’ve seen more electric bass players using a piece of foam placed under the strings at the bridge, to gain this effect...even more so, I prefer personally, deadening the strings with my fretting hand, by half-fretting the note... I never used stomp boxes, only a bass, cable , and amplifier. With a little practice you can easily master this technique...AND, save your money too! Ha! Best to you!
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 2:31 pm     Bass 4/4 shuffle question
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Edward, thanks for the input about the piece of foam. My brother is our bass player and I have foam, so maybe I can talk him into trying it. He is an excellent bass player, so he can probably do it with his hands. I will see what I can do with him Saturday night.
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Bill Cunningham


From:
Atlanta, Ga. USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 6:49 pm    
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It's largely a matter of taste. My tastes can vary day to day.

I have a Godin Fretless acoustic electric (think a hollow body Telecaster) with black nylon tape wounds that thumps like an upgright but is not very versatile. I don't usually carry it along except for an ocassional dedicated Western swing thing we do. A P bass with flat wounds can get in the neighborhood too.

I also have realized that I sometimes mute the string with the tip of my third finger.

Some guys get a great old style thump by playing with the thumb and muting with the palm. Some use a thumb pick in conjunction with the palm mute. My hero Ric Boyer is a master at this. I think I have seen him use a thumb pick ocassionally but am not sure. He doesn't have to, I know for sure! He is the man!
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2018 7:26 pm     Bass 4/4 shuffle question
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Bill, you are so right about Ric Boyer being "da man". I have heard him at the fall jam in Nashville. Incredible bass player.

I will pass along the information that you shared to my brother.
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Steve Allison


From:
Eatonton,Ga. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 5 Mar 2018 8:52 pm    
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Fender bass, flatwound strings, medium flat pick, and mute the strings with the palm of the hand like Luther Perkins!
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2018 7:48 pm    
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When electric basses first started to appear on Nashville recordings, they would sometimes have an upright and an electric playing the same patterns. I have been to sessions where they had the electric bass and the low end of the piano on the same pattern. Also not uncommon for the electric bass and the tic tac guitar to play the same pattern an octave apart. Depending on the blending in the mix, you may be hearing all sorts of combinations making up the bass lines.
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Steve Allison


From:
Eatonton,Ga. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2018 8:46 pm    
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Very true Clyde. Harold Bradley amassed a small fortune with the Fender Bass VI
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Todd Blair


From:
Richmond Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 15 Mar 2018 12:09 am    
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I palm mute a lot, when I play bass. I started on upright, and those instruments don't have much for sustain, when doing pizzacato. The best way I have found to get that "dry" sound is to slightly palm mute the attack, and to let that sustain, and then release the fretting fingers, to stop the sound. I play slightly off the bridge, and typically use a flat pick, unless I need the softer attack of fingers.
It is also worth noting that a recording session is very different from live performance, and I am pretty careful about consistent volume and tone, when recording. You can certainly get a decent compressor to cut off the sustain, but I'd rather get it right going into the console.
Here is a video of a recent session that I did:
https://www.facebook.com/VariousEggs/videos/10155079673782611/
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