ok, i know normally asking "how do i get (insert famous bassist here)'s tone" is looked down upon in the bass forum, but i'm not asking for the same reason most people ask

i've always had my own tone, so i haven't bothered with anyone else's, but i was contacted by a few friends to perform "Jerry was a Race Car Driver" with them at the school talent show, and i was wondering if anyone knows how Les Claypool got the distortion tone he uses in the breakdown of that song, it sounds almost like the growl of a motorcycle, thats about as close as i could describe it

I have a Digitech BP 80, so maybe some types of effects that could produce a sound like that, or if you've already tried this and know of either a specific pedal that sounds like it, or what i could set mine too it would be very helpful, because after hours of fiddling with my pedal, i was able to get his clean tone (remember i don't do this often) but the distorted has eluded me
les claypool apparently uses a vintage proco rat


here's his full gear list :

Basses: Carl Thompson 4-string with Kahler tremolo; Carl Thompson 6-string fretless “rainbow bass”; Dan Maloney banjo bass; “Whamola” one-string washtub-style bass; 5-string NS Design electric upright; Dean Markley Blue Steel strings (.045–100)

Rig: 2 Ampeg SVT-5PRO heads, 2 Ampeg 4x10 and 2 Ampeg 1x15 cabs

Effects: MXR M-80 Bass DI +, Line 6 DM4 Distortion Modeler, Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, Boomerang Phrase Sampler, Kork Toneworks AX3000B multi-effects unit, DBX 160a Compressor, Access Virus TI synthesizer with MIDI foot controller
Yeah, now you're gonna die wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?

Help me to live.

I make custom guitar wiring harnesses and I'm pretty damn good at it!
Last edited by flyingmarlin at Nov 7, 2007,
I thought he uses Ampeg SVT3PRO's? I could have sworn I read that off of Ampeg's site. Maybe he "uses them now" since the SVT5PRO was cancelled.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
I actually despise the distorted tone in that song. It sounds way too muddy for my liking.

Still a very fun song.
I'm able to replicate the tone reasonably well with my Sans Amp tech-21, I just wish I could play like Claypool - hehe
Quote by Sly Taco
In the early 90's he was using some ADA processor. Not sure if he used that for "jerry" tho.

yea, but i think thats about 600 dollars, and i'm def. not paying for that just for a talent show...

thanks a lot guys,this info helped a lot, i looked up the stuff you mentioned, and i was able to get something similar, thanks again!
Quote by Sly Taco
you playin it on a 6 string fretless???
or adapting it to fretted?

no way, five string fretted, I used this tab, Jerry was a Race Car Driver It's not perfect (ie i can't do the alternate on the verse, because i only have a fiver and its tuned BEADG, for the breakdown) but it works close enough for what i need

its difficult, but i have my pedal set up with a fretless effect so it sounds similar, i've got most of the song down, except for the flamenco stumming on the breakdown

if i can find a way to record, i'll putup some clips, but if not i'll keep you guys posted on when with a recording of everyone playing it together

oh and also, i will NOT be singing it
the song is pretty difficult on a fretted as is, so i definitely won't be singing
Yea, thats one of the things that impress me the most about les. His playing is sick, and he sings too!!! You dont see too many other bass "virtuosos" singing too. Good luck!!!!
i would suggest the DM-4. used one in a music shop and it was highly insane. you could get a lot of distortions. i think he would use something like the boss metalzone sounding distortion on a lower drive maybe?

I went and bought one aswell but was lost in the mail the f*ckheads.
Quote by Sly Taco
Yea, thats one of the things that impress me the most about les. His playing is sick, and he sings too!!! You dont see too many other bass "virtuosos" singing too. Good luck!!!!

Then again, his singing is pretty sketchy
I agree that he's no "American Idol" singer, more of a storyteller. But he still does it while rippin on the bass, and thats pure talent IMO.