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Advantages of accoustic bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bdengler, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    :help: Is there any special advantage of an accoustic bass guitar than, say, a solid-body fretless bass guitar? I'm moving away from playing an upright bass at church because of health reasons (arthritis). Our folk group director suggested I try an accoustic bass guitar as striking a happy medium between bass guitar and capturing some of the accoustic flavor of the upright. BTW, the upright had to be amplified, so there was no intent that I play an accoustic bass guitar without amplification.

    Electric uprights are out of the question because I need to move to a shorter string length. Thanks for your thoughts on this, Brian.
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    ABGs like my Tacoma Thunderchief give you that familiar fast-decay "plunk" that you're used to with your upright, even when amplified. That's what I love about mine. Try to get that kind of decay on an electric, you won't find it. I love it.
  3. If you still want to go the electric route i have found that the new Lakland hollowbodies have a very good doulble bass sound to them when you blend to the neck pickup and work the EQ a little, you should give those a look.
  4. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Thanks for the quick reply on the quick decay that you're experiencing on accoustic bass guitars. Would I be better off with a fretted or fretless version? :confused:
  5. Make sure you play as many acoustic basses as you can. I play double bass and the acoustic basses I have played have been VERY uncomfortable on the hands. Make sure you're not getting something that is going to make your arthritis even worse. I'm sure if you get a nice one it will be fine though.

    p.s. Is your arthritis coming from playing double bass or just natural causes?
  6. Hi Brian,

    Just wanted to share (as a fellow church bassist).

    I have a Fender A/E that is a semi-hollowbody that looks like a late 50's p-bass. It has a piezo p/u under a traditional saddle as well as a magnetic p/u (they can be isolated or blended). It is fretless and I have it strung with the original model Fender black tape wound nylon core strings. It plays sweet and has a very uprightr sound. I love it! Occasionally you will see these for sale on the web or e-bay. They were made for about 3 years in the early 90s. I also play upright, and the Fender is really easy on the old paws!

    I borrowed a fretted Washburn AB (the one with the diagonal soundhole cuts and the florentine cut-away) and strung it with black tape covered roundwounds (from Carvin). It had a really nice sound, but it a longer scale then the Fender (more reach).

    I have not played one, but the acoustic /electric that Carvin sells really gets good reviews and can be had fretted or frettless.

    Hope this helps! Grace and Peace - Doug
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I'm using a Tacoma cb10 as well. Mine has the fishman electronics rather than the baggs. I use the onboard to dial out fret clack and deal with feedback and run the output through an ART Tube EQ to add some warmth. It is definately not an upright but useful none the less. Out of the basses I tried, the Tacoma was the best thing going up to a Taylor ... the Taylor was around $2500, the Tacoma was around $650 used in a case.

    You really need to play some of these basses for a while though. The shape of the body takes a little getting used to and you might be trading one bad skelatal deal for another ...

    As a possible option, there is a Yamaha thin-line style bass in the Gear For Sale at www.TheDudePit.com. Looks really interesting. I don't know the specifics of the model but I suspect it is both mag & piezo. Definately has a mag pickup mounted but uses an ABG bridge.
  8. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    ole Jason: the arthritic condition can be tied to double bass playing. It started 4 years ago. I had a DB with a very wide neck and a teacher who liked to push the "open hand" (four finger) approach. Plus I have a tendancy to squeeze the heck out of the neck (yes, I'm a type-A behavior type). I think the combination of the three set on the condition. My family doctor says it's arthritis; a hand surgeon who looked at it says tendonitis. I'm not in massive pain; the joint aches after playing.

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