Canadian Musician ’ s
2022 Bass Special
a Steinberger that had a wood body ; it still had no headstock and the neck was still made of carbon graphite , but it had a wood body that was shaped more or less like a Stratocaster . I played that from ‘ 85 to 2003 . But I mean , it had a few different subtleties and variations . I had the main tone , which was that “ Human Race ” sound , but I found that I could adjust it to sound more edgy .
CM : Do you hear an evolution in your playing over the course of your career ?
Jones : I mean , early on in Ocean , I was such a young kid , but in the few months leading up to those initial recordings , I was really diligent with my practicing and technique . So , I did have a feel at a very young age for that technique and being precise . When we recorded “ Put Your Hand in the Hand ,” for example , I started playing it the way that I heard it and , in the studio , the engineer and the producer basically suggested to me , “ please simplify it .” It was a real learning curve . I took a lot of notes out and it was great . But then I listened to a couple of live versions and I got a little bit happy with the hands on some of the live versions of “ Put Your Hand in the Hand .” You know , it was recognizable , but I started to slip back in some of my fancy diminished runs or stuff that I practiced that I never would use in a three-chord song — but I used them ! [ laughs ]. Then I just found that by the time I got to Red Rider , we were aware of how to make the bass on a record stick with the fewest notes possible . So , I feel there was a kind of evolution there for me .
When I rejoined Tom in 2002 , I was playing the Steinberger still , but in 2003 I got a Lakland , the Darryl Jones model , and that changed my life . It ’ s all wood , and wow , I ’ ve been playing those basses ever since .
CM : What key advice would you pass on to another young rock bassist ?
Jones : I mean , it ’ s personal , right ? I don ’ t believe that whatever I did is going to work for every person . Whatever I did worked for me . But what I would suggest is what was suggested to me in the beginning , which was practice your scales . And then , after you ’ ve practiced your scales , go back and practice your scales [ laughs ]. It ’ s the whole thing . Make it so that it is easy , effortless , and natural , and you ’ re not having to watch your hand .
CM : What ’ s your go-to bass setup and does it change significantly between the studio and live ?
Jones : Well , this is another bit of advice that I would offer a young person is don ’ t get too crazy about the gear and the amp and the effects and all that — the instrument itself is what ’ s crucial .
So , mine is a Markbass Little Mark head with two 12-in . Bergantino cabinets . I ’ ve had that for a long time …
The amp is really for yourself and your bandmates ’ enjoyment . So basically , nowadays when you go to a show , you ’ re not carrying your rig anywhere because it ’ s backline-supplied . I generally have an Ashdown rig when I ’ m with Tom – usually a 410 cabinet , or whatever it ’ s called , I don ’ t know the [ model ] numbers . I ’ m not actually listening to it anyway because I ’ m on in-ears . But in that setting , our sound man , Ken Freisen , he sticks a mic on it to blend with my DI sound . Get a little bit of speaker angst in there .
But my direct sound has been , for quite a few years now , a Two Notes Le Bass [ tube preamp pedal ]… That really has helped me and it has a few parameters . As a preamp , you can overdrive it or make it clean . It has two channels and one you can make a bit driven and one clean and you can blend how much of each . So , it ’ s very versatile . I use it all the time because I always carry at least two instruments and one is always the Lakland and one I ’ ve had in recent years is a Fender Precision that I hadn ’ t played since I was young . I got this one souped up by our tech , Pooch . He put Seymour Duncan Precision bass pickups in it , and a Badass bridge and better volume and tone pots . So , it ’ s upgraded like that . It ’ s basically a replica of ‘ 59 Precision without paying the replica price because I purchased the Mexican model . The neck was fine and we just did that little work with the pickups . It has become a strong contender in my arsenal . I ’ ve recorded as much or more with that since I ’ ve had it . People just love it .
54 CANADIAN MUSICIAN