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Best Bass for Country?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cougmeister, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Cougmeister


    Oct 1, 2012
    I've never been really into country music, but I've had an opportunity come up to play in a country group. I was wandering if you all could help me determine which of my basses would be the best for the job. I don't have any money to put towards a new one, so this is what I'm stuck with.

    Here they are:

    Fender Standard Jazz V (MIM)


    Schecter Stiletto Extreme 5


    Peavey Cirrus BXP 4

  2. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
  3. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    The 5'er. Especially new country.
  4. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA

    But the Fender fiver might fly below the radar if nobody counts the strings.

    I'm being goofy, but seriously, in general you will not encounter a more conservative group of players than country guys. They will be expecting to see a Fender 4 string bass, preferably a Precision.

    Really old school cats will not even want that, they will prefer upright.

    None of this is to say your basses won't work, of course they will, I'm just talking about the expectations and attitudes you're likely to encounter.

    If it's NEW country then it doesn't matter at all. That's just rock music with cowboy hats and you can use anything you like.

    All of this is IME and IMO (but it's true) :)
  5. kb9wyz


    Sep 8, 2008
    For the ones you listed, the Fender is the best. I would tell you to go to a Fender Standard P, though. You can't really ever go wrong with a P, but it is very appropriate for country.
  6. Don't you need two players for country bass? One on the upright DB, and another playing tic-tac on a Fender VI?

  7. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    Yes...if you're backing Conway Twitty.
  8. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    This pic wins the thread. Well played, bassman 314!
  9. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Anything will work. It's just the way a bass looks that will get you some chide remarks from purist snobs. In other words, don't play a BC Rich Warlock...
  10. For a bass that "looks" country, try a vintage Peavey T-40.

    Looks like (and weighs as much) as a barn door.
  11. Gotta agree with Sparkgod on this one.

    Really counts on what kind of country you're playing. Modern anything(within limits) can work. Old school, most people will want either a fender P or an upright.

    Some people are also not very particular about it. For my Outlaw country group I use an Ibanez ATK750 with a koa top. It's not very traditionally country, but it sounds great so my band members don't complain. We are only a dive bar kind of band anyways. I also use my upright which fits more into the actual look and sound, but I like playing electric more. So I switch off quite a bit.

    Basically out of those options the fender will be the best choice. Traditonal style, but the ability to go low for those modern songs. Would be alittle better with a P, but thats all personal choice.
  12. Really, just use one you like. In the end you have to be comfortable with what you're playing.

    My current role is playing in a Country band.

    My go-to bass is a Schecter Diamond P 4 string. It does the job really well for not a lot of money (comparatively). Plus it's very versatile.

    My backup is a Schecter Raiden 4 string and I've used it but generally the sound is not what people expect.

    The Fender will pull it off no problem. Lots of Country players have used J basses, although P basses are more the norm.

    If you're planning on doing any "New Country", a 5'er will come in handy. Wish I had one, it's probably where I'm going next. That Stiletto might come in handy, but if you're doing traditional Country it'll be a little too much.

    Of the ones you listed, the Fender is the clear choice.

    Remember, though, it's not so much about your equipment as it is your playing style. Coming from a hard rock/blues background I had to learn how to play differently. Mostly, quieter. And smoother.
  13. Isn't "Country" officially subdivided yet?

    Real Country- P Bass, treble rolled down but not off.

    New "Country"- Schecter.

    Just tell em the B is a fancy thumbrest.
  14. Cougmeister


    Oct 1, 2012
    It will mainly be new country that I'm playing, kinda get to make up my own stuff as we go. She's just starting up and is doing a lot of original work with just a few covers for now. Not that it matters, but I'm running through an acoustic 2x10 amp with a 600w head.
  15. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I did a country gig with a Nashville band for a couple of years and the bass I ended up using the most was a G&L ASAT semi-hollow with a maple fingerboard.
    For some reason it just seemed to work really well for the country sound.
    The band leader often commented that I had the best sound of anyone who had worked for him... but then, being a super nice guy, he probably said that to everyone!
  16. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    I had an audition for some fill in gigs with a country band whose bassist had to leave town for a few weeks. It was at a music store and I was recommended by the owner. At the time one of the bands I was playing with was a Hair Metal tribute band we started as a joke which actually became quite profitable. I had bought a cheap Bronze series Warlock for the act and the shop owner was doing some work on it. When I walked in to meet the country band the owner was gone and he had left my Warlock on a stand in the practice room.

    The country guys were in the room when I arrived and I had yet to bring in my gear from the car. After introductions I picked up the Warlock to give it a brief once over. It also had a fat strap with skulls on it that I had permanently affixed with washers to avoid buying straplocks for the cheap bass. You should have seen their jaws drop. "Is THAT your bass". I said "It sure is." I let 'em stew for about 30 seconds while they were pretty much speechless before I told then what was up and went to the car for my Jazz. Then it was all good and we laughed about it.
  17. With country music (especially the old-school country), for some reason, one would think a player would automatically gravitate towards the ol' trusty standby. A good ol' passive Fender Tele Bass, P-Bass, or a J-Bass. But, the majority of your big-name Nashville players,are using Sadowsky, Xotic, Nordy, etc. Now, I'm not sayin' Fender ain't in the running for "most popular country music bass". Not to bring it up again, like I said, back in the day, there wasn't a country player that wasn't playin' a Fender Tele Bass (God, I don't like those. Straight mud-machines, those are. Uh, no offense, but it's my opinion). And, they ALWAYS wore those damned bandannas around their necks. What was up with that?
    So, from what I'm seein' when I'm flicking thru the channels, is a bass that can cover a pretty wide swath of tones. From uber-modern, to some down-home passive thud. So, when it all boils down to it, it's a pick 'em. Just like it is with everything else in pickin' your gear out to gig with.
  18. Cougmeister


    Oct 1, 2012
  19. When playing country, I find having an extended range really leads itself well to the art. My Spector 5 does well, but the tone from my P just fits the mix better. I run it through an Octave pedal to get the lows I need.