How I set up my bass (and the “rasp” secret)

in Gear

People often ask me how I get that "raspy" sound when I play.

And, I've got a confession...

A lot of it (as in, a HUGE amount) is in the way I actually set up my basses.

That's why in my earlier videos I didn't have "that rasp" and in my newer videos over the last few years, I have bucket loads of rasp.

I changed the way I was setting up my basses!

So... I thought it's was about time I show you how I set up my basses...

As in, the EXACT measurements.

And even cooler - you can do it with only a few tools that you'll likely have lying around your house.

Lesson Summary:

  • I audition a killer 5-string bass from AV Basses.
  • And reveal the secret measurements behind my ‘ghetto setup.’
  • Find out how I get a Marcus Miller-style tone.
  • And all about my crazy day with Verdine White and Earth Wind and Fire.
  • Plus lots more!

Key Quotes:

“In this video I’m going to show you exactly how I lower my action, the specific measurements that I like to go for and everything in-between.”

“The first thing you need to do is figure out what’s going on with the neck and whether you need to tighten or loosen the truss rod. Go easy if it’s an older-style instrument, but don’t be scared of making adjustments.”

“To get that Marcus Miller-style sound I want the action set quite low because part of that tone is getting the string to vibrate off the frets. If you’ve heard me play before and wondered how I get that ‘raspy’ sound this is one of the secrets to it.”

If you enjoy this lesson, you'll really dig this course:

1. The Bass Maintenance and Set Up Guide with Chris May

As always, see you in the shed...

Scott :)

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