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Beginner bass for slap

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IGeeky1, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. IGeeky1


    Jan 13, 2014
    Hello everyone. I'm a guitar player that is going through a bass phase. I currently have an Epiphone viola that I really like for picking and Paul says I look dashing playing it.

    But, I also want to work on finger and slap. I was looking at the Ibanez GSR200 as it is often recommended for beginners. I also have seen written the neck is thinner though . Is this "thinner in relation to the spacing between the strings (my Ibanez Les Paul copy certainly has a bit less space between strings than my Gibson)? If so it may not be ideal for learning slapping I would think, is this thinking correct?

    As an alternate I was looking at the musicman SUB Silo3 or SB4. Like the Ibanez price better though :)

    Other thoughts are welcome
  2. hanales


    Jul 12, 2003
    Youngstown, OH
    How much do you want to spend? That makes a difference.

    On the low end, the Peavey Grinds are pretty good for a cheap bass and you can find used ones for a song, and they are quite slappy.
  3. IGeeky1


    Jan 13, 2014
    $300 top, not adverse to used whatsoever... the less the better :) My music tastes vary but these are some favs. Beatles, GnR, RHCP, Linkin Park, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith. Original work is more in the Beatles/Cheap Trick neighborhood.

    To be fair my $200 Epi viola sounds great to me with the Roto 88 strings so I figure I may not even know the difference between a $250 and a $2500 bass.

    Yamaha RBX374 is also on radar does it have a more "normal" neck?
  4. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013
    Depends on what's "normal" to you. My advice, as always is to go and play basses in your price range and see what tickles your fancy.

    I've never played any of the basses in the the GSR series, but I have an SR600 (another Ibanez bass), and I love it! :bassist:

    Interestingly enough, the GSR series basses actually have a wider neck than the SB4 at the nut (according to Sweetwater's specs). I can't find any info on the SB4's nut width, but it's modeled after the pricier MM Sterling, which has a Jazz neck (1.5 inches at the nut). The GSR might be thinner front to back, though, as Ibanez is famous for their notoriously thin necks.

    As for string spacing, I can't find any detailed information. :meh:

    Nice taste in music. RHCP's Flea played a Stingray for a good portion of his career, and the SBMM SUB line (that you're already looking at) offers the Ray4, which is a Stingray model. The necks are thinner at the nut than the traditional Stingray, but I believe thicker front to back than the SB4. Again, not familiar with the string spacing, just throwing out another option.

    And, just for comparison...

    SUB RAY4

    SUB SB4
  5. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I don't know the string spacing of the bass in question, but yes, in general a thinner neck will have a tighter string spacing, and yes, tighter string spacing will require more accurate technique when slapping. But I play a notoriously tightly-spaced bass (a Carvin LB76) and I can slap it just fine. I wouldn't worry too much about string spacing. Whatever you end up with, you'll get used to.

    As for a model, the Fender Jazz is one of the classic choices for slap. You say you want to get off cheap? These Fender clones are highly regarded on this forum (although I've never personally tried them) http://www.rondomusic.com/URSA2MN3TS.HTML

    Also, you will most likely want to string up with stainless steel roundwounds.
  6. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    +1 on the SUBs, great basses for cheap
  7. Derail: My dad's epiphone viola was one of the first basses I ever played. Still love that tone and weight.
  8. IGeeky1


    Jan 13, 2014
    Thanks all sounds like I am not bad off any way, will play and then decide between that and best deal.

    Hmmm...Ibanez SR300, Musicman SB4 or...Fender Jazz.

    Out of curiosity there appear to be quite a few Fender Squire Jazz models is there a particular one better than the others sound wise or is it only a "looks" thing?
  9. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Ibanez SR300 is a winner.

    Active pickups so you can get nearly any tone you need.
    Narrow string spacing which is good if you come from guitar

    Everything you need as a step up bass
  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I've had all 3 of what you listed above. I've had 2 SR300s, a Sterling Sub Ray4, Ray 5 and a Fender MIM Jazz.
    Based on your musical preference, which is pretty close to what I like- the Sterling is probably closer to the sound you're looking for. That punchy, crisp sound- that lends itself well to slapping. Bassist from Linkin Park uses a MM Stingray, Flea used to play one too. If you buy a used Sterling Sub Ray, they usually go for under $200.
    In terms of string spacing, neck width, the Sterling Sub Ray is a perfect balance imo.

    And no, an Ibanez SR300 cannot emulate a Sterling Ray 4 sound for slapping - I have both so I can and have compared them. Just can't do it , it's a great bass too imo, - it's got a great sound, but for slapping, the Ray beats it by a country mile. Look at all that slapping space behind the pickup! lol
    As mentioned above though, try all and other basses too.. don't take our word for it. :)

    Attached Files:

  11. IGeeky1


    Jan 13, 2014
    Thanks, cant' beat a comparison of all three. Problem is I can test the fender squire vintage modified 77 jazz locally, as well as a Ibanez SR300 but the local GC only carries the $1k+ Musicman basses for some reason, not even an R14

    from what i see the SB4 or Ray 4 look like $250. As a side, how do you like the Ray4 for general fingering (not slapping) vs the SR300 ? This will have to be multipurpose for me. I really am leaning toward a walnut Ray4
  12. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Ray 4 is great for fingerstyle or pick playing
  13. IGeeky1


    Jan 13, 2014
    The orange Sr300 sure is pretty but I really like the walnut Ray 4 looks too. It is a bonus that the finish looks easy to change at will if so desired on the body as well :)

    Thanks everyone! Maybe I will call and see if GC by chance got a Ray 4 in to try...course I can't slap but somebody there certainly can :)
  14. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013
    The Ray4 is awesome. I played one at a local GC, and it's a really high quality bass for the money. If you want, here's a GAK review/demo of the Ray4 in comparison to a more expensive Musicman Stingray.
  15. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I recently got a Squier Classic Vibe Jazz for a helluva deal. This thing is an excellent piece of work. It sounds like something I should've paid a lot more for and is easily within the MIM Fender Jazz spectrum, sonically speaking.

    As far as "slap" goes, I'm sure some credit goes to the new Elixirs I put on it, but it's got some great "grit" when slapping, but at the same time, it's nice and mellow when playing more traditionally.
  16. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    As posts above had said, the Ray is good all round, not just for slapping in fact it's my current go to bass. I do have a five string Ray in that Walnut satin finish- it does look nice. There's also a honeyburst satin, a blue satin, a black satin finish if you're looking at those satin finishes in particular. Personally, I like a glossy finish on my all-round bass, as the finish seems hardier imo.

    All the bass choices you have listed are pretty good to be honest with you, definitely all worth a try. They're all good for someone starting out, as an all round practice or even gigging bass but all at a reasonable price. It'll all come down to a matter of preference.
    I do love Ibanez and Fender basses but I have to say the Sterling Sub really surprised me and wasn't expecting the quality and sound at that price point.
    I was at GC and tried a whole number of basses that were within my price range about a month ago- had a budget of $600. Kept coming back to the Sub Ray and was actually a little annoyed by that because I was willing to buy a more "expensive" bass and had the money (for once in my life), but the best sounding for me was the $285 Sub. So rest of money I gave to my wife to buy something for herself. It was money from proceeds of selling off some of my other basses, but heck, she put up with me and my basses, it was the least I could do. :)
    Again, just a personal experience.

    Also to answer your question why your store doesn't seem to carry the Sterling Sub Ray... if it's anything like my local store they're selling those Sub basses pretty quickly - they did have one to try there, and only had a few in stock in the black satin finish, they were completely out of any of the other finishes.. The store had to place an order from a GC store in Tennessee ( one of the only ones that had a new boxed mint green finish in stock at that time) and have it shipped to my house.
  17. IGeeky1


    Jan 13, 2014
    Well they had a Ray 4 there today (MaxDsuty was spot on, I was told they sell fast). I tried the Ray4, Ray SB4, Fender VM Jazz 70, Fender VM Jazz 77 (they had no VM Precisions) and a couple Ibanez...SR300 older and new, and a SR400. Also had a decent player play a couple of the same riffs on each.

    I liked the feel of all except the Ray SB4, world of difference there in build quality in the $40 between it and the Ray4. It was OUT

    The Ibanez 400 was nicer than the 300 but both gave me a middle of the road feeling sound wise. Didn't care for the older SR300 (pre cap pu) very much at all. I guess they didn't seem to have a personality to me. Hey I'm a noob so maybe that should have been the sign of a good thing! lol

    Between the Fender VMJ and the RAy4, I felt the Ray4 had more "defined" bass, and the Fender more defined mids. But they both had a personality and sounded very good to me.

    I pretty much decided my wallet was going to order me a Ray4-WS (walnut stain) They didn't have one in the store and I didn't place the order on the spot.

    Went home and found a local store with a demo Fender VMJ 77. It was spanking new except for a few marks from being demo'd. I had my head on the Ray so wasn't going to cave easy. I wanted to save at least $100 or I'd get the Ray, got it for $162.50 out the door.

    You know, the RAy4 will keep nagging me and maybe, if I keep practicing, Santa will help at the end of the year lol

    THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! :hyper: