Jaco Pastorius Bass Action

“My fretless, which is probably what I’m most noted for, is a ’62
Jazz Bass that I got in Margate, Florida, for $90.00 with a case. My
fretted bass is even older – it’s a ’60 Fender Jazz Bass that I got for
$90.00 from a saxophone player in Florida named Ben Champion.”

[re pickups] “Nope. Totally stock. The only things that weren’t there originally
are the potentiometers. I’ve replaced them, but they’re still Fender pots”

“I just used standard Rotosound strings – the round-wound Swing Bass set.”

“When I got the bass, the cat who had it had taken the frets out himself,
and he did a really bad job of it – left all kinds of nicks and chunks taken
out of the fretboard. So I really had to fix it up. I filled in all the chunks
with Plastic Wood. Hell, when I was a kid, I used to make a living by fixing
and dealing old, beat-up instruments. I was the first cat to use epoxy on
the neck of a fretless bass so the strings wouldn’t eat the neck away.
I used Petite’s Poly-Poxy; it’s boat epoxy. You can find it in any
boating supply store around Florida. It’s the toughest epoxy they make.
You apply it with a brush, and it takes several coats. I used about six
coats on my fretless, and it took about a day for each coat to dry.”

“I use two Acoustic 360s, which is the same setup I’ve been using for
the last 13 years. Same amps – old reliables. I usually put the bass
setting all the way up and the treble about midway up, depending on
the condition of strings. The older your strings are, the more treble
you have to have, because the fidelity of the string really starts
losing it after a while. In the studio, though, I just go direct.

“I have an old makeshift fuzztone. There’s no brand name at all.
You can hear a good example of it in action on the title cut from
the Word Of Mouth album, my last studio album. It’s got a
built-in delay that I can put on infinite repeat whenever I want
to lay down somekind of track to play on top of in concert.”

“I’ve got an MXR Digital Delay, which I put through one amp, leaving
the other amp clean, to cause a natural sort of vibrato. It’s almost
like an organ Leslie [rotating speaker] effect or like a flanger. A
good example of that effect is the title cut from the 8:30 album, or
the tune ‘Continuum’ from my first record, or ‘Reza’ and ‘Continuum’
from the live Invitation album. I also used that effect a lot on the Joni
Mitchell records, particularly on ‘Coyote’ and ‘Hejira’ on Hejira, or
‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’ and ‘God Must Be A Boogie Man’ on Mingus.”

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