Can an Electric Bass sound like a double Bass

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Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 272
Hi Folks - Was wondering if there was a way to make our Bass guitarist sound more like a double Bass. We are a covers band, and there are a few songs where this would be good. Is there a "Double Bass" pedal out there, or I've heard of people putting foam next to the bridge to dampen the sound, also reducing the treble and increasing the bass on the EQ? Any suggestions greatfully accepted. Thanks in advance
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 11535
    edited July 18
    Yes.

    Foam helps.
    Flatwound strings too.

    Raise the action on the bass.

    DO NOT INCREASE THE BASS!!!

    A double bass does not have a lot of real bass in the tone. It's all low mids. So the secret is to reduce the bass and the treble but boost the low mids and regular mids.

    Then play with as much of the edge of a finger as you can - just like a double bass player, and play over the end of the fretboard.

    Hello darkness my old friend.


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  • billzabozobillzabozo Frets: 61
    What he said:)

    Plus from a playing point of view double bass players tend to use a lot of open stings when possible rather than the fretted alternative which helps add to the sound.




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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 3418
    Short scale bass with flats.
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 11535
    Or a good bass uke.

    The Kala and Countryman bass uke's come with very special strings - they are a sort of rubber and are amplified using a piezo pickup.

    The Countryman in particular is quite cheap (I sold mine for about £100) and they sound far closer to a DB than a bass guitar ever could.

    Like this in fact:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNPx6RS8PiM

    Hello darkness my old friend.


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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3937
    Agree with fretmeister. A fretless P (or fretted) with flats and foam will do for a covers band. IMO thumb only may be better than a hooked index finger. Will be more of a country thump than a real DB though.
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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 102
    Get a cheap Chinese made Hofner ‘Beatle bass’. These are only a couple of hundred quid. They look a bit cheap (not surprising, as they are), but they play OK, and they sound really nice and pretty close to the thuddy yet lively sound of an acoustic bass.
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 3418
    smigeon said:
    Get a cheap Chinese made Hofner ‘Beatle bass’. These are only a couple of hundred quid. They look a bit cheap (not surprising, as they are), but they play OK, and they sound really nice and pretty close to the thuddy yet lively sound of an acoustic bass.
    True. The fretless Harley Benton I had for a while sounded remarkably like a double bass with decent flats and finger plucked. Short scale plays a large part in this, the basic note is more dominant, less harmonic overtones.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 42426
    On top of all the good suggestions already - surprisingly, simply holding the bass much more upright, like Bill Wyman did in the early Stones, and playing with your thumb on the side of the fingerboard as you would with a real upright bass, makes quite a difference.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 272
    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions guys. I will pass them onto our bassist, who will no doubt reject all the suggestions out of hand, and claim that "no guitarist is gonna tell me how to play my bass" ;)
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 11535
    Mark1960 said:
    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions guys. I will pass them onto our bassist, who will no doubt reject all the suggestions out of hand, and claim that "no guitarist is gonna tell me how to play my bass" ;)
    I've been a bassist for 31 years.

    Hello darkness my old friend.


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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 42426
    fretmeister said:

    I've been a bassist for 31 years.
    33 for me.

    I got my first bass, an Aria SB1000, in 1986. I wish I'd kept it, they're worth a lot of money these days...

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • KristoKristo Frets: 42
    edited July 19

    I've been on a bit of a quest to get a double bass like sound with my old time band, and have found a hollow body with tapewound strings to be the closest I can get. Pretty pleased with how it's worked out.

    https://i.imgur.com/DGibNqa.jpg


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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 5215
    Hollow is good. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • revsorgrevsorg Frets: 659
    Some discussion here about using 3Sigma upright bass impulse responses and a Helix to make an electric bass sound like a standup.
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 741
    I used to roll off the treble. Now I don't bother. I just get less up-tight.
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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 1015
    edited July 22
    I have an old Roland V Bass synth that had some nice sounding double bass options, at least at house volume (never played it out).  I tried to sell it for a small fraction of its original cost a few years ago and got no takers so I imagine you can pick these up dirt cheap.
    "Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." George Bernard Shaw
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  • wrinkleygitwrinkleygit Frets: 101






    A double bass does not have a lot of real bass in the tone. It's all low mids. So the secret is to reduce the bass and the treble but boost the low mids and regular mids
    Tried this out today at an outdoor wedding gig & had lots of positive comments on my bass sound, works for me. 
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  • proggyproggy Frets: 2794
    What he said:)

    Plus from a playing point of view double bass players tend to use a lot of open stings when possible rather than the fretted alternative which helps add to the sound.





    Wow! I had no idea that Tyson Fury was such an accomplished bassist.
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 1827
    A few months back I went down the steps at Wunjo, on Denmark Street, and there was someone playing what sounded like a double-bass.

    When I got there, they were playing a Rickenbacker 4003 through a Markbass amp.

    I should've checked the settings...
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  • Musicman20Musicman20 Frets: 864
    Yes.

    Foam helps.
    Flatwound strings too.

    Raise the action on the bass.

    DO NOT INCREASE THE BASS!!!

    A double bass does not have a lot of real bass in the tone. It's all low mids. So the secret is to reduce the bass and the treble but boost the low mids and regular mids.

    Then play with as much of the edge of a finger as you can - just like a double bass player, and play over the end of the fretboard.

    This. 
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  • Musicman20Musicman20 Frets: 864
    edited August 8
    BTW - the most double bass like tone I've ever achieved was with a Musicman Stingray 5 HS! Basically, treble rolled almost all the way off, mids slightly boosted. bass flat or slightly boosted, S pickup (neck) selected, used fingers.

    I was shocked at how close it was. Warm, low middy and has that almost hollowish tone...
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  • simonhpiemansimonhpieman Frets: 188
    Epiphone Rivoli, anyone? Those sound fantastic!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 42426
    Epiphone Rivoli, anyone? Those sound fantastic!
    I have a project for one of those in mind - the remains of an early 60s one that belongs to a friend. It's currently just the body... I'm thinking of putting a longer-scale fretless neck on it.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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