Christian McBride breaks down the keys to developing your signature sound on the acoustic bass.
Want to see and print a full music notation transcription of this video?
Now available: Christian’s Fundamentals of Jazz Bass and Beyond.
Your sound is your signature. Lot of things you can do to get a good sound.
I’ll tell you a few things you don’t need to do. You don’t need to raise you strings way high off the fingerboard. You don’t have to pull the strings so far back like you’re about to shoot off an arrow. You don’t need to do any of that.
Keep your strings at a nice height, maybe .9, one whole centimeter off the fingerboard. Play without an amp, especially when you practice. Don’t move your right hand around too much while you play. You dont wanna… See the guys doing the bird when they play? Start flapping their hands, almost like a chicken. They think somehow physically it makes them swing harder. It just makes you tired, that’s all. You don’t need all that movement, just right in there. And keep your thumb locked. See my right thumb? Whoops! It’s not going all in here. Keep it locked.