4 string for funk

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ckulasekere, May 3, 2005.

  1. I currenlty play a 5 string BTB Ibz for music that mostly consists of rock, alternative, jazz, latin, and some hip hop. I recently got into the whole funk movement and want to learn to slap and pop. I got Flea's DVD, Victor Wooten, Ed Friedland's instructional etc. and noticed that they were all using 4 string guitars for funk. My question to all you guru's out there who have been doing this for longer than I've been alive is, "what are some of the basses that you guys would recommend to play funk on???". I'm not looking for something too expensive or custom. I want something that I can walk into guitar center or Sam Ash and purchase. I've been looking at the Bongo, Aerodyne, and some Schecters but am still quite confused. Any and all help will be most appreciated. Thanks a million.
  2. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    Anything that you are comfortable with.
  3. Thanks. So there is not one that is superior or one to stay away from in your opinion??
  4. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    Typically it's a 4 stringer because of the wider string spacings, but that's all preference. I'd check out the MIM fender's. They are a great price, and you can get a variety of tones out of them. Also a lot of flap/funk the players were probably playing one(I'm making a huge generalization here, of course there are going to be players that don't, but there is enough that it is worth the mention)
  5. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    For me, musicmans really do it for me, (all types) but only in terms of tone. I'm a guy who likes to anchor his thumb and the pickup placing on the musicmans just gets to me. I would say get a Musicman Stingray, or if you can't deal with the 4 figure price tag the slightly more affordable S.U.B. I would say if you get a Bongo, do with the SH or H combination as HH gets in the way of slapping. Musicmans pwnzor though, and they are funky as hell.
  6. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    its all about strings spacing,you can get a 5 strings with good spacing and in the other way a 4 strings with little spacing between strings,play the bass first and make your choice.
  7. Andy Cleaver

    Andy Cleaver A show of hands....

    Dec 16, 2004
    England, Midlands
    The Stingray will always be my favourite bass for funk (without going into higher price ranges/custom basses). I haven't played the Bongo, so can't really comment, but I'm guessing its also a great bass for funk :)!

    Try as many basses as you can and choose your favourite, it may well be different to mine...
  8. I really do like the Bongo but did notice that the pickups were in the way. That was one of my concerns and i'm glad you mentioned that. thank you
  9. Starwind


    Mar 26, 2005
    Stingray +1... it's great funk machine.

    I think main reason for 4-string is string spacing. If you have long fingers, you can find a good 5 string bass with wider string space and slap well.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Don't get too hung on getting a four. Players like Wooten or marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Mark King, etc. play fours because they are used to them. They already have a style and feel no need to change. Why not stick with the five and work on your own identity?
  11. that is a really cool point you make, Cheese, about developing my own style. My biggest problem right now is developing an identity. I just recently started playing bass and even though I've been in music since an early age, all teh other instruments I was trained on were on the treble cleff. how does one develop a groove????

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have allways found it much easier to slap on a fretted 4 string, how about a Modulus Flea bass?.
  13. I did look at the modulus and there were two things that raised red flags in my head, first reports of their lack of reliability, and the second was the high price tag

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    What about a Marcus Miller Fender?
  15. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    That isn't something that can be taught on the internet, no matter how call all these Tb 'ers are.....

    It's a mystical combination of good technique, confidence, theoretical knowledege and timing. For me, it's like turining a key and opening a door, somedays the key doesn't fit, but when it does it turns smoothly and the tumblers fall into place....

    For me, it took about a year to be able to come up with niceish grooves of my own, my advice would be keep playing other people's grooves and listening to their stuff. It'll come. :bassist:
  16. Dude, I know what you mean, I thought so too. I have a Bongo 4HH, and I was worried the neck P/U would get in the way. But actually, it doesn't. You may need to tighten up your technique a little, but as I understand it you're still learning so you probably haven't had much time to pick up bad habits (like I had :oops: ). When I handed it over to my teacher (who's infinitely more experienced than me), the first thing he said was that it was the "ultimate funk bass*".

    Keep in mind that I've not tried any double popping, which would require more room than single popping (duh), but I read somewhere that Dave LaRue said he got used to it, so there you have it. If you search the Ernie Ball bass forums ( http://www.ernieball.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9 ), you'll find some more topics on it, and someone may direct you to the Dave LaRue article.

    Wow, that was a longer post than I intended. Don't give up on the Bongo man, it's a monster.

    *This is just his personal opinion, based on his experience. I'm not offering this up to start a debate ;)
  17. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    A couple of 5ers that have decent spacing and are very slappable:#1- Lakeland, you could problably pick a used lower end model up for pretty cheap. A very popular funk machine! #2- OLP(Music Man copy), very affordable and a lot of funk for the $$$'s, especially if you get a good one!! My reasons for suggesting these are price(you may not want to spend a ton while you are still "finding your identity", that's one of the reasons you see so many $1000ish basses on the used market. Both are upgradable. Both are fairly versital and, if desired, would make a suitable back-up bass for you in the future.
  18. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Rocco Prestia is a funk master and uses a P bass.
  19. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    When I hear the word funk one word I think is booty.

    And when I hear booty I think Vernadine White,
    Jamiraquia - Travelling Without Moving.

    If you're looking to develop your groove and your musical personality listen to people who lay it down and see what you like. I find that I pick up musical characteristics of the people I listen to frequently.