Tone Talk with Liz Hooper of All Good Things

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Photo by Emily Hafele

Hi! My name is Liz Hooper. I’m a songwriter, producer, and the bass player of the band All Good Things. I grew up in Australia, where I studied classical violin and jazz vocals at Adelaide University and played in rock bands, touring all over the country.

I first picked up bass guitar at eighteen (late starter) when I started feeling awkward and useless singing on stage without an Instrument. 🤣 I had a crew of musician friends who were all amazing bass players and made it look and sound SO easy that I thought, “Hey, I can do that!” Little did I know how much work it took to sound so effortless, and holding down a groove while singing was a whole other skill in itself!

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My taste in tone, like most people, comes from my musical influences. While a lot of bass players in the hard rock and metal genre gravitate to active basses with a cut-through, machine gun tone, I really like the warmer, grungier, more classic sounds. As a producer, I come at my bass tone from more of a “how does this fit with All Good Things’ sound?“ We have lots of strings, orchestral sounds, and industrial synths, so I’m always looking for a tone that fits in with all of that.

What are your favorite tonewoods?
When it comes to tonewoods, I’ve honed in on a bass that I like rather than seeking out woods.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
Most of the basses I’m playing now are Fender Mustangs, which are all elder wood bodies, my favorite bass being the JMJ custom road worn. The classic hard rock sound is my jam, but I really like the weight and shorter scale size of the Mustangs. I can still get those classic mustang/precision and jazz bass sounds but without the neck and backaches. 😁

Both live and in the studio, I use the Fractal Axe FX3. Most of the time, I use the Ampeg SVT models on the Fractal. It’s sick because it sounds amazing, but the Fractals are so consistent and reliable that you can dial in your sound and transfer from studio to live effortlessly. No big amp stacks taking up the stage, and a huge array of program, tone, or effects changes too.

My sound for AGT is compressed, usually with some overdrive and distortion. I also use the Digitech drop pedal for effortless pitch drops.

What does your practice consist of?
Practice-wise, I try to keep technique and consistency fresh. I use a metronome a bunch. I also like to learn bass lines from songs of all different genres that challenge me or give me new ideas. A bit of Maiden every day always keeps my fingers warm. 🤘

Favorite guitar riff or lick that inspired you to play guitar?
Favorite bass lines that inspired me? Anything from Billy Sheehan, Doug Wimbish, Chris Wolstenholme, Steve Harris, and Mikey Way. Susie Quatro!!

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Advice for other female rockers? Work hard at your craft, show up on time, be prepared, and don’t listen to criticism from anyone that you wouldn’t take advice from. 👍

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