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Best Bass For Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zoroaster03, Mar 22, 2003.


  1. I'm an aspiring jazz bassist whose looking for the best type of bass to play for jazz gigs while learn the upright. I've got my eye on the Fender Jazz Standard, five strings and no frets (brown sunburst & white pickguard, too), but I was wondering whether there are other brands of "jazz" basses I could start looking at. My music teacher plays drums in a jazz quintet and reckons the bass guitar has no place in a jazz band, but I've seen them before and they sound the same to me.

    Any suggestions?


    :bassist: Nathaniel.
     
  2. get a new teacher.
     
  3. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    It depends on your price range. Personally for jazz, Id get a Fender MIA fretless, but that will run you like $900-$1000. I think your choice seems to be pretty dead on. Awesome jazz tone with that bass.
     
  4. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Oh yea by the way...IMO, a bass is a necessity in a jazz group.
     
  5. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    nuff said
     
  6. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    You coudl look for a used japanese fender for about $400 or about that..tons of folks will tell you there diference between teh MIJ and MIA is not that big..the MIJ's really are good basses.
     
  7. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz

    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    BEST for jazz?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    nothing wrong with the teachers opinion. i dont like the sound of bass guitar in a traditional jazz setting either. too bad that's all i play.:bawl: when not muting and playing at fast tempos, notes tend to bleed. even when muting, the sound has more of a click then a thud.

    but, any fretless with high action and a neck pickup should do the trick.
     
  9. As a rule, I dont like the sound of bass guitar in a jazz group either. I'm talking about a regular neo-classic trio or quartet playing standards or similar. Obviously in a fusion group or some big band settings, bass guitar is fine. In a typical small group setting, upright has a bounce and timbre that bass guitar cannot duplicate, even in the hands of a very accomplished player. I play both, and would'nt dream of taking the BG to a jazz gig.
     
  10. Tsal

    Tsal

    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Sounds to me you need a nice set of flatwounds and perhaps a fretless P-bass :meh:
     
  11. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Place a piece of foam at the end near the bridge.. worked for Jamerson :D
     
  12. Best JAZZY bass?
     
  13. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    Bass Mule, why did you have to post that? I think I may be temporarily blinded by all that glitter.
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - you will find this opinion a lot - I go to Jazz gigs every week and over 95% of them are with Double Bass - in fact I have only seen 3 Bass Guitar players in small Jazz groups in the UK - out of the hundreds and hundreds of Jazz ensembles I have seen over many years.

    Most of the Jazz pros I have met/talked to also think the "sound" of the Double Bass is a big part of what defines the "sound" of of Jazz.
     
  15. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I agree with Bruce on that one. DB nails it.

    But, failing that, a fretless w/ flats would be a good option. I've found that TI Jazz flats give a good DB-like sound (well, as DB-like as you're gonna get on an EB).
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Not really - I don't agree on either of those! ;)

    Fistly I was only saying that a lot of people seem to think that - I like Bass Guitar in Jazz and have lots of recordings - but I think the opportunities are going to be severely limited.

    Secondly, I think fretless BG sounds nothing like DB and the "mwah" to me, is the opposite of the typical Jazz pizz sound - I also hate flats and didn't think the TI strings I tried had anything like as good a tone as D'Addario Slowounds!!

    I also hate the sound of BG players who try to sound like DB - I think the physics of string scale length is very much against you and that while open strings sound great on DB - I avoid them on BG - plus, naturally decaying notes sound great on DB - whereas again I am always muting on BG.

    I could probably think of several other ways I disagree, given time!! ;)
     
  17. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You always do :rolleyes:
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, if you go back and read it carefully, I think it's pretty obvious that was what I was doing - so I said - of the Jazz pros I have met/talked to - for example!!

    So - the original poster was talking about what his teacher said - so I was just saying that most Jazz teachers I have met, say the same thing.

    I often end up in arguments with them about this - all very civil of course!!
     
  19. abaguer

    abaguer

    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    No place for elec bass in Jazz?

    Steve Swallow did a pretty good job with one.
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I disagree - I think it's down to technique and what you play. I reckon I can get just as good a DB sound on a fretted bass with roundwounds - just by palm/muting and plucking with my thumb.

    But I think neither is a very good imitation of DB.

    PS - I really hate Steve Swallow's BG sound!! ;)