James Jamerson Bass Lines – Get that ‘Vintage Tone’! (L#72)

Bass Right Hand Technique – Dampening -by ScottsBassLessons.com

100 Replies to “James Jamerson Bass Lines – Get that ‘Vintage Tone’! (L#72)”

  1. Have a word with yourself keith –

    Dampening is a verb that means 'to make less strong or intense'.

    Whereas 'Damping' is a term used in physics, for reducing the amplitude of oscillations in an oscillatory system.

  2. Scott, great lesson man…would be really nice if you included the music/tabs of the Jamerson sounding line you were playing in the pdf…all I saw is the C Major scale. Am I missing something? Thanks so much!

  3. im far too frightened to screw a big metal mechanism onto a bass that costs $2200! that and it can spoil the look. admittedly, brilliant, but this method solves my problems

  4. Great video Scott as always. The old P basses originally came with the 'ashtray' bridge cover, glued to the underside of this was the foam mute! Rickenbacker 4001 basses for those who don't know come with a string mute in the bridge from stock. It's a bad shame, and I'm sure Scott will agree with this, that the Pre-CBS jazz basses these days 90% have the lovely felt mutes missing, hence the 4 empty screw holes behind the bridge pick-up, shame! Pre EB Sting Rays also had string-mutes when new!

  5. Dude, this is awesome seeing this vid!! I just recently stumbled onto this technique. My Traben active tone is aggressive. We did a Lumineer's Ho Hey cover in the middle of a rocked up set and doing this technique was the only way could come up with to serve the song, but I taught myself something and grew a bit as a player. Would've been nice to see this first because I wasn't sure if everyone was going to roll their eyes at what I was doing in the song, but they liked it. Rock on, Scott! 😉

  6. Loving all your videos. I've been playing stand-up for forty+ years after putting my P-bass down when I decided to commit to straight ahead jazz, and only just now getting back to playing those early years ('60's) Motown funk, so, this lesson was a great tune up. But, I've loved all your videos, for their clear and focused presentations. Thanks for putting so much effort into the material. Thumbs up!

  7. Not sure why there are 20 people that clicked "dislike" for this. What was wrong with it? How would they have done it better? 

  8. Another 'trick' bassists used, especially JJ was nylon wound strings.  They give a more upright sound,  Your fingers also slide over the strings easier.  I've used this technique for years and used put a small amount of vaseline on my nose which I would quickly run periodically to give me a smoother slide.  Just a nice little trick from an R&B player.

  9. Stupid question: Didn't they do it back then just to imitate a double bass? With a soft attack and much shorter decay?

  10. Thanks Scott for another great lesson. When I first picked up the bass playing with my thumb came naturally. I got some flack until I pointed out Jamerson, Sting a few others.

  11. Want Jamerson's tone, etc.? Bypass guys like this and go straight to his recordings, transcribe them, every note and learn to groove with the entire Funk Bros. This teaches nothing and comes off more self agrandizing than how to get down to it.

  12. Dude, just put a mute under the bridge! Get a 64 P bass with heavy flats, play through old Class A amps, turn all the treble up, bass off. That's Jamerson's tone. Ref.; Phil Chen

  13. A really useful lesson. I've been a fan of this sound since childhood but never realised how it was achieved and how it can be replicated. Many thanks.

  14. Did you say Free Grazing Bass lessons? I really like the fact you let your basses roam free. Nothing more harmful to the instruments or the environment than to be confined to its case. HaHa But seriously, I love your lessons man.

  15. To get that "vintage" tone, either buy a 50's Fender Telecaster bass with one single coil pickup or a reissue of one.

  16. You fucking whiteboys always have to regurgitate the shit us Blackfolks do because yall some mutant ass bitches.

  17. Over the bridge was a metal cup ( sorry for bad english )
    Under this cup was foam to make this short sound. 
    The  reason was to be heard with those bad tube amplifiers who used alot of time producing the low frequent bass sound. Picks helped but Jamersson played hard on flatwound strings with his index finger called the hook. It'sall amazing. 

  18. @ Jashan Tangle…you're obviously a troll & probably not even a real profile.1..Governments exploit masses and use them to gain agendas, not the common people you complete racist prat.
    2. Our generation has grown up with music from the likes of James brown,EWF to Kool and the gang to Metallica you complete TOOL

  19. Thanks for this! The sponge trick saved my bacon – I simply couldn't get the sound I wanted for a track until I used it. Cheers! I LOVE BASS

  20. Couldn't you just take that piece of foam/sponge and put it in front of the bridge between the songs?? Just wondering…

  21. Can someone – ANYONE – tell me why Scott wears a glove on his left hand?  I'm probably not the only one who is wondering this.

  22. Bought my 1962 precision used in 1963. The rear ashtray came with a big old chunk of foam glued inside the cover, which is why us old timey players used foam under the strings at the bridge.  The ashtray got in the way if you had to change a string in a hurry, so most of us got rid of them… and replaced them with bits of foam! Love your bass lessons, by the way. 

  23. Excellent Excellent
    This ol timer likes the muted bass sound.Now I have an idea as to what to do 
    Thank you Thank you

  24. Hey Scott!! great lesson and thanks for sharing!!

    What I also normally do to achieve that tone is rolling off a good chunk of the tone.

  25. What a guy! That's what you call dedication. I think if I'd have been diagnosed with such a condition, I'd have given up. You're a great player, Scott. I'm just wondering how ridiculously good you must have been prior to the condition. Much respect to you. 🙂

  26. Thank you Scott for showing us this technique, I will try it the next time I play "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye and the later great legend James Jamerson and see how much better the sound I get playing that difficult song for me to master. To get his sound dead on

  27. Scott you are an amazing bass player and a great teacher too. Not to many guys have the knowledge that you have and the ability to transfer that knowledge to others. That's what I call a great teacher. Thanks for posting this lessons. Greetings from Puerto Rico.

  28. hey scott, i introduced you to my grandson a few months ago. And now have my own bass, im interested in the james jameson sound, so this was a good intro. ive been looking at my girl, and the like some great riffs. I really like your fluidity, very smooth. H

  29. one of the fun things about a rickenbacker 4003 is that there's an adjustable foam mute in the bridge that gets this sound. its way handier than palm muting…except for the fact that it takes a few seconds to fiddle with the screws to turn it on and off haha

  30. i am a bass player with more than 40 experience please leave the internet you don't have it .Every time i tab bass you are there you make me sick

  31. If you're in a studio, just jam some foam under the strings, close to the bridge, and pick close to the neck.
    That's the "McCartney" tone.

  32. You can also do like Carol Kaye and Jamerson do and just put a piece of foam over your strings near the bridge as well.

  33. Well. I'm not english, but french, and my english isn't at the top, but strangely I understand (i think) all what you said. And the lessons seems to be very good. I'll visit your site. Thanks for all, Scott. Just one question: is it your glove that makes your sound ?
    thanks for all.

  34. LaBella flats and a Fender or Lakland bolt-on-neck bass and you're near as you're going to get. YOU DON'T EVEN NEED THE FOAM. The rest is hands, and we don't have James' hands, and he wouldn't want us to.

  35. My '75 Precision had foam glued under the chrome bridge cover. Combined with flat-wound strings it always has that choked/damped sound. 'Fixed it' though, with a BadAss bridge and round-wounds! Strange how we're chasing that sixties sound again:-)

  36. Simply awesome Scott I didn't realize the first time around how hard it was to play that until I started transcribing Jameson myself wow

  37. I saw this lesson million times! really helpful! Reinterpretation of the master's old sound! But i know, Scott looks very high on this lesson! ahahah Needed!

  38. Thank you so much!! I have already paused the video and tried it out. I have so many songs in out set list that I am going to use that on. Time to get some more practice in.

  39. You’re telling me that in between songs in a live set, you don’t have 2 seconds to remove foam from under your strings/also suggesting you would need a separate bass, 1 with foam and 1 without. Jesus

  40. I would love to advance my bass skills as far as possible. However, if that neccesitates the wearing of gloves you can fuck right off.

  41. Just a note here. If your trying to play any Jamerson lines, this might be difficult because he’s so active

  42. Hi Scott, thank you so much for your lessons. I have been playing guitar off & on for 41 years and have finally taken up the bass guitar and love it due to you my brother. I have a skin condition on my hands and am embarrassed by it as , no Doctors seem to know what it is and I would like to purchase the gloves that you have…where can I get them. Thanks brotherman!

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