Bassically speaking – Jon Harvey

The secret of playing bass well is staying in the pocket and working with the drummer to make a cohesive rhythm. It’s a lifelong journey, a pilgrimage. I would describe my bass style as aggressive and organic – no effects, no tricks, just turn everything up and get going. I do not play a five- or six-string bass, because I have yet to come across a pickup that translates that 60s P-Bass growl  in a five- or six-string. Tubes make basses sing. They should be the only option for powering a bass guitar amp – or a guitar amp for that matter. I don’t slap because it was never really my thing.

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I’ve always been into heavy rock and metal so not much slapping there. My first bass was a 1999 Mexican Fender Jazz. The neck is fast and I put aftermarket pickups in it to improve on the tone. My favourite bass ever is my 1973 Univox P-Bass copy, made in Japan. I put a handwound 60s P-Bass pickup in it and it sounds unreal. My bass heroes are Steve Harris, John Entwistle, and Roger Glover. The greatest bass player ever is Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. If I could have any bass tone, it would probably be the one Mel Schacher had on Grand Funk Railroad’s Red Album.

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