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How to Use High Mids to Find the Bass Tone You Are Looking For

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How to Use High Mids to Find the Bass Tone You’re Looking For, Reprinted Courtesy of carvinaudio.com

Some of the awesome adjectives bassists use to describe their ideal tone- for instance, “grindy,” “punchy” “clanky”- can be attributed to a single knob present on many of today’s bass amps. While the big picture of overall tone depends on a myriad of different factors, from the amp and cab to the bass itself, and of course the player’s technique, the often-overlooked high mids knob can be just what you need to dial your tone into its sweet spot.

As we have mentioned before, the primary job of the bass player in a band context is to hold down the low end. However, even though it’s a bass guitar, the way the midrange and treble are dialed in has an instrumental role to how the bass sounds in the mix. Straddling the line between these two crucial EQ points is the high midrange, also called the high mids or upper mids.

If you’re used to the standard three-band EQ (bass/mid/treble) setup, you may not be used to the midrange frequency being separated into low mids and high mids. However, Carvin Audio bass amp heads such as the B1000 and BX1600 come equipped with high mid controls for extra flexibility. While it may seem like it would take more time to dial in your sound with those extra knobs, especially in a live context, it’s actually quite easy. Simply put, the low mids reside around 400Hz and affect the fullness of your bass. A lot of sound resides in the high mids, located at approximately 800Hz. Sweeping the high mid knob can have a huge effect on the overall presence and attack of your bass sound. (For a complete primer on bass EQ frequencies, check out our previous article here.)

This is not to say that the high mids are the most important piece of the equalization puzzle, as proper bass EQ relies on each and every frequency band available. It is important to realize that the human ear naturally hears midrange frequencies louder and more clearly. This is also why the average listener will more readily discern a guitar than a bass guitar! For that reason, the bass’s midrange content will cut through the mix in a way that’s more perceivable to the audience.

When the high mid control is cranked, the bass sound will have more attack, edge, and definition. This is especially useful for genres like punk rock that require a gritty, in your face bass sound. If you want to add definition and clarity to your bass parts live, try turning up this knob and seeing what results you get. For pick players seeking an aggressive sound, this knob provides a prime path to a sweet spot, especially in conjunction with overdrive from cranking the amp drive or by using an overdrive pedal, but be careful to avoid excesses. Similarly, bassists who play with their fingers and want a more pick-like, articulate sound out of their bass will get good results from a bump in this range.

If you’re going after warm, rounded tones, rolling the high mid knob back can help you get there. By doing so, the harshness and clank is gradually removed from the bass sound. Too much cut here and things might get a little muddy, so be sure to make small adjustments at a time. A good practice is to start with the high mid knob set around the center position and play, as you normally would, and then adjust the knob to taste.

Even though you are playing bass, mids, and especially high mids are important! Knowing when and how to adjust the high mid knob can go a long way, when dialing in your character of bass tone and how it sits in the mix onstage.

Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 6 

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James Rosocha

Approach Notes – Part 6 

As we move into lesson six of approach notes applied to chord tones, it’s important to go back and review the previous approaches. The constant review and application of these concepts will add a layer of chromaticism to both your bass lines and solos. The approaches need to be burned into your long term/ permanent memory for them to come out in your playing. 

This first example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio. 

A single chromatic approach from below and a double chromatic approach from above approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, single from below and double chromatic from above to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down. 

The next example approaches the G major arpeggio in root position.

The next example approaches the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a single chromatic from below and a double chromatic approach from above -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, single chromatic from below/ double from above to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down. 

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio. 

A single chromatic from below/ double from above approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, single chromatic from below/ double from above to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down. 

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio

A single chromatic from below/ double from above approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, single from above/ double from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down.

After studying these various approach notes, you will begin to recognize the concepts utilized in your favorite solos. Continue the journey and good luck! 

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I

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Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

Triads & Inversions Part I

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the triads and their inversions.

It is very important for all bassists to understand and master the triads, but it is even more important to understand their different inversions.

In Part I, we are going to learn what the triad is in fundamental position.

The Formula consists of root, third and fifth.

Degrees of the Triad

Major Triad: 1 – 3 – 5
Minor Triad: 1 – b3 – 5
Diminished Triad: 1 – b3 – b5
Augmented Triad: 1 – 3 – #5

Fig.1 – The C, Cm, Cdim & Caug triads
(Fundamental Position)

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I
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Bass Edu

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

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Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice's Bassist Lewis Bridges - From the Album, Grotesque

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

Bassist Lewis Bridges Shares…

“Gruesome’s sparse intro marks a stark contrast from the intensity of the rest of the album.  The original intention was to keep the bass simple but colourful, however as I worked on it, the lines grew more expressive and the more striking flourishes began to emerge.  The intensity builds into a harmonic minor passage that takes us into the drop — a signature death grind cacophony.  This is where Foetal Juice thrives.  You’re getting a full-on right-hand barrage to in the face to take you into a groove-laden mulch-fest.

I owe my throbbing bass tone to the Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal borrowed from our sound engineer, Chris Fielding (ex-Conan), mixed with the clarity of the tried and true Ampeg SVT CL.

As mentioned earlier, colourful basslines are important, especially in a one-guitar band. Chucking some funny intervals and odd flourishes here and there brings life into the brutality. There’s no point sounding brutal if it’s not gonna be fucking evil too!

Recording this playthrough was hard work. This was not the fault of James Goodwin (Necronautical), who was kindly filming and is ace to work with, but because in true Foetal fashion, we had stinking hangovers — and that jam room was hot!”

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Bass Edu

Bass Lines: The Circle

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jaime Vazquez

Bass Lines: The Circle…

Hello bass players and fans of bass! This month we’re going to study “The Circle.”

The Circle of Fourths can also be called “The Circle of Fifths or just The Circle.

Practicing the scales, chords, and ideas in general via the circle has been a common practice routine for jazz musicians and highly recommended.

It is a disciplined way of working through all twelve keys.

Plus, many bass root movements to jazz and pop songs move through sections of the circle.

Fig. 1 – “The Circle”

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thecircle, #thecircleoffourths, #thecircleoffifths,#scales & #chords.

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5

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James Rosocha

Continuing our lesson of Approach Notes, Part 5…

In continuing with the concept of approach notes being applied to chord tones, this lesson approaches the root, third, fifth, and seventh degree of each arpeggio inversion by incorporating a double chromatic approach from above, and a single chromatic approach from below. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and a single chromatic approach from below -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down.

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above/ single below to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down.

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down. 

This final example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above and below approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, double chromatic from above and below to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down.

Be sure to pace yourself with these lessons to avoid burning out.

Being overly ambitious with your practice schedule can lead to unrealistic expectations. Try learning one approach note concept and one chord type a week. Change your practice routine as necessary and tailor it to your needs as a musician. Good luck!

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