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bass for funk sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by obi, May 3, 2010.

  1. obi


    Apr 12, 2007
    midcoast Maine
    I'm a relatively new bass player. I have been playing (and loving) upright bass and play some Beatles stuff on my Rogue violin bass. I've just started trying to get some funk sounds but slapping is NOT working with this flatwound stringed Rogue. I don't know enough about basses to know what to look for. Active vs. passive, J vs. P basses. Any advice?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The largest percentage of great funk, whether slap or fingerstyle, was played on stock Fender J and P basses. Passive. Of course you can get great results with many other basses and variations, but if you just want a classic funk sound then the basic J and P will do you good. Which to choose? Well, that's just personal taste--there is no right answer.
  3. badboy1984


    Mar 27, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I don't play funk myself but i could tell that Passive or Active will work.

    Two type of bass comes to my mind when it comes to funk sound. Jazz bass and Musicman bass.
  4. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Envelope filter will help too.
  5. rptrsn2


    Feb 21, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Endorsing Artist: Aurora Strings
    deluxe p works for me, prefer it over a j but thats all opinion. j or p is seen more than anything in old 70s funk
  6. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    What kind of funk? There is a ton of funk music that has nothing to do with slap.
  7. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    You've got to define which funk you're in...

    Old school?

  8. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    +1. I myself prefer the Jazz (for both the feel and the sound), but you need to try some basses out and decide for yourself. For Jazzes I would suggest checking out as many as you can but I imagine something with a maple fingerboard might suit you best (if you're particularly interested in slap). The Fender '75 reissue is passive and can sound great, while the Marcus Miller and Deluxe Jazzes are active. Keep in mind that it isn't just a case of which model you prefer - each individual bass will sound a bit different from the next and it often pays to "try before you buy".
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    If you are going to slap then it is hard to go wrong with a musicman bass.
  10. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    +1 to Music Man basses
  11. You can play funk on just about any bass ( maybe a violin bass with flats is pushing it...) but its all up to your taste.
    Lately i have been diggin' the sound of my passive 80's Fender P w/rounds. It's all up to you, really.

    A Jazz or P will get the job done, especially for old skool stuff. For a more modern funk sound, look into brands like Spector, Warwick, Ibanez etc. It also doesn't hurt to look into musicman either, although, not a fan.
  12. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    The Musicmans I've played (Stingrays and Sterlings, at least) had way too much low end drop out when I'd switch from fingers to thumb. Sure, they had lots of upper mids and highs, but the low end would just go out the window when it came to slap. Maybe I'm the only one who has experienced this...
  13. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007
    All Warwick Basses have Good Funky-Fingerstyle sound! IMO
  14. rptrsn2


    Feb 21, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Endorsing Artist: Aurora Strings
    +1, main reason i boughta mia deluxe p over the MM
  15. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    fender jazz or copy of said design.
  16. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Kinda of beats "What's the best bass for metal" thing.

  17. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    the only way-passive j, just like bootsy and larry graham
  18. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    You're not. You have to bump the low end up. I don't like slapping on my Ray 5 much. I prefer a Jazz Bass for slap. P's sound pretty good too, but aren't as versatile where tones are concerned.

    My first choice for a funk bass would be a Jazz.
  19. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    Nope, I rarely slap for just this reason. To me it is not punchier at all, it sounds thin and annoying. To me I said, when I play it. I however, am not a fan of the active, roudwound, smooth jazz or gospel slap (pop really) sound. Larry Graham I can dig, Marcus still gets a deep tone to me even though it's bright, Louis Johnson to an extent, but these guys didn't learn it as a "technique," it's the way they heard bass working. I can't hear it that way when I play.
  20. If you listen to Marcus or Larry or Louis…they don't slap most of the time…they slap for funky breaks and accents, mostly…that said, Marcus CAN deliver some THUMP with his thumb…I've found that the bass has a LOT to do with this…

    believe it or not, the $300 Squier Jazz Deluxe Active basses can deliver a SERIOUS low-end thump...

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