Bass for playing the leading role in a band

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Drzejzi, Aug 14, 2022.

  1. Drzejzi


    Aug 6, 2014
    Hi Talkbass.

    For a moment let's forget about supporting the band think about ourselves ;)

    I'm wondering which bass would be your choice for playing the leading part in a band. The goal is not to be buried in any mix and to always be audible, even on small speakers.

    Is there a better option than the bridge pickup sound of a Jazz Bass?
  2. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004

    You might prefer Fretless , 2band, 3band, Special, or even a 4 string or short scale. Maybe even a DarkRay. Ceramic, Alnico, or Neodymium pickups all get the job done . Pre Ernie Ball or Ernie Ball Era… take your pick. Even the import Sterling line can be winners . But you aren’t getting lost in any mix with a StingRay .

    I would go with a Stingray5 Special.:smug::thumbsup:
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
  3. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Yep, Stingray was my first thought as well.
    bassmike2010, bcouper, murphy and 9 others like this.
  4. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Hot pickups, think L2000 or Stingray.
    Passive, pure and potent.
    Reverend Thundergun.
    Not to mention, other bassists will be coming up to you and asking "Man, what is that?"
  5. OldShark


    Apr 18, 2021
    Graham Maby was very successful with his Ibanez with the Joe Jackson Band... ;)
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Whatever bass that inspires you to play music worth listening to...
  7. Drzejzi


    Aug 6, 2014
    Hm, I never played an original Stingray, but based on my experience with Ibanez ATK I would say, that Stingray-type basses have rich sound when played solo, but in a band they tend to cut through the mix with highs and lows rather than with mids. I read somewhere, that Stingrays sound best when they are around the mix.
    jre5, DJ Bebop and Bassplayer1586 like this.
  8. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    P bass
  9. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    Rays will punch their way through just about anything but it’s a very particular sound that might not work for everything. Chris Squire did the punchy lead bass thing with a Rick bridge pickup, and so did Geddy on occasion. Jack Bruce had a real punchy Warwick Thumb sound later in life, but he made his name on a Gibson EB-O. Fenders and lots of other basses will do something punchy when paired with a Tube Screamer variant, or really any mid-boosted drive. See: Geddy, again, and scores of others. He also used a Wal, a Steinberger, and a bunch of other basses.

    Instead of changing basses, you might have better success with putting some bright strings on your current axe, routing it through a low-to-mid gain, midrange-centric overdrive, and playing real hard.
    Doug P, Qlanq, marionobilio and 5 others like this.
  10. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Nothing better for Lead Bass than a Rickenbacker, plus the look always gets attention, if that’s your goal.
  11. Stewie


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Fender Precision worked for Lynott
  12. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    IMO you are describing a good rig. Most basses will sound good if your amp and cabs have definition, clarity and a well thought out EQ.
  13. Whatever Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead) grabbed for that performance. I tend to think it's more about the artist than it is about the instrument. Whether or not they have the alpha lead personality to pull it off.

    Perhaps a shorter scale bass that's supposedly easier to play, bends are easier and whatever else that has been rationalized as an advantage for shorter scale length ?
    Kaa and DJ Bebop like this.
  14. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    Any Warwick, preferably a Dolphin, Thumb or Streamer. In that order. They will cut through anything.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
    wizard65, Durham52, DJ Bebop and 2 others like this.
  15. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    And Sting...
  16. Jack Bruce played an EB-3, just sayin'. Big difference from an EB-0.
  17. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured



    Anything except the anemic Jazz bridge pickup tone.
  18. nonohmic


    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Ken Smith Burner HF sig
  19. teh-slb


    Sep 21, 2018
    A piccolo one, either of the Stratocaster or the Telecaster kind.
    iruyle and mikewalker like this.
  20. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Warwick Thumb, Stingray, Wal, Ken Smith, F bass, Dingwall… all known for cutting through dense mixes. Even my Fodera with humbuckers can chop your head clean off with the bridge humbucker solo’d and boost a bit of Mids and Highs with the onboard preamp. Strings can make a difference as well. I’ve found smaller gauge strings have more mid focus and “deeper” sound whereas thicker gauge tends to have a fatter thicker sound that can fill out the low end.