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Thread: Electric Bass recommendations?

  1. #1

    Default Electric Bass recommendations?

    Okay - I'm considering buying a bass to learn on. I've recently been listening to a lot of Tool, and their bass player Justin Chancellor plays a lot of parts that range up in the tonal areas usually reserved for a guitarist. In fact, on first listen, you could easily confuse some of his bass parts as coming from a guitar. Anyway - that's the sound I'm looking for, which can be heard pretty clearly in this video (10:10 mark he starts playing Schism in particular), if you're unfamiliar with the band:



    My main requirements are cost (less than a thousand bucks), sound (similar to what you hear in the video), weight (I'm disabled and have trouble with overly heavy instruments for extended periods of time; also something that can sit comfortably on the lap is a must), and feel. Every time I've tried a bass in a store they've all felt unwieldy. The strings are huge and hard to pin down. Part of that is my technique of slamming my finger tips down hard on the fret board which I'll need to adjust, but I wouldn't mind advice on strings to use to make it feel easier to fret.

    Anyway - bass players - what do you recommend I get? What should I look for in pickups to get the sound I'm after? What do I need to avoid? Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    933

    Default

    I would normally suggest something like the Squier Vintage Jazz:

    90902-tmp622F.jpg

    They're not expensive and from what I've heard sound great. Much cheaper than a regular Fender. He's playing a Wal in the video, which certainly won't be under a grand. They do make LH ones (McCartney has one), but you should be able to get a similar sound from a Jazz or Precision or similar clone. Your problem is going to be deciding on compromising between:

    Price
    Sound
    Ease of use

    I'd normally recommend a Hofner (either the violin or club models) for the light weight and short scale (30" as opposed to 34" for a Fender/Squier), but being hollowbody, won't have that bright sound. Also the Hofs use flatwound strings, and I think Justin plays rounds, which give more 'growl'.

    Ibanez makes a short-scale solidbody bass, but I don't know much about them. It (or something similar) might be your best available compromise:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/...le-bass-guitar

    Personally, I'd push for a full 34" scale in the hopes you might get used to it. But if your disability rules that out, short-scale might be the way to go.
    Last edited by mcarp555; 02-07-2018 at 07:20 PM.
    Mike
    Militant Left Hander

  3. #3

    Default

    Here's a discussion at Talk Bass about this very subject with lots of examples. Many of the basses mentioned are well under $1K.

    https://www.talkbass.com/threads/who...-bass.1236298/

    I wouldn't worry about pickups at the early stages of learning. Just pick up the same strings he uses...you're 95% there for his sound. The type of bass and pickups are not going to make that much of a difference. And it will feel weird and huge at first. You will get used to it.

    Do you plan on getting a bass amp? Between the amp, any bass and the strings he mentions you should be fine and quite close to the sound you seek.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks guys! I definitely want something bigger (scale) rather than the smaller stuff out there. I was looking at an Eastwood Black Widow Bass they have on their custom page. I don't know if they're still available though (their page says supporting them stopped last year, but they still have the website setup to put $150 down towards one). Anyway, it's chambered which should help with the weight, and close to full size (32" scale). But I kind of want a bass NOW, so I've been looking at what Schecter has on offer, as I'm not real big on the Fender Jazz bass (it looks big and heavy and it's actually what I've tried in store that convinced me not to try learning bass) or Ibanez as a company (long story).

    As for amp, I have both an Eleven Rack and a Line6 Helix LT, both of which have bass amp sims in them. I exclusively play through these rather than standard amps, preferring the versatility and ease of recording with them.

    Thanks again for the advice guys! That's what I like about this forum; ask a question you get serious, thought-out answers instead of a bunch of joke posts or people telling you how much you suck for asking a question or your taste in music sucks etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    933

    Default

    I have an acoustic 32" bass:

    DSCN4595A.jpg

    It's not as common a scale as 34" or 30", but it's quite easy to play, or at least I think so. The guy I bought this one off of was selling it because he couldn't get comfortable with the length.

    Jazzes are big basses, but not all of them are 'heavy'. I've never played an Eastwood or Schecter, so I can't really offer any advice on them.
    Mike
    Militant Left Hander

  6. #6

    Default

    The bass player of my blues band recently bought a Marcus Miller V7. What a great guitar for the money. Weight wise it's lighter than a Jazz bass because the body is thinner. It's active and has a vast tonal range, even for those players who like to play up the dusty end!
    https://www.thomann.de/gb/marcus_mil...e2308065d84443
    Last edited by Scratch; 02-10-2018 at 11:56 AM.

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