Best bass for Ska

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PUNXBASS, Dec 1, 2005.


    PUNXBASS Guest

    Apr 23, 2005
    hey yall,
    im starting to play alot more ska now. Just wondering what your opnions were on that popish sound from ska players like Streetlight Manifesto, Less Than Jake etc. I know a good bit play five strings. Ive got no more than like 650. I play a Fender P lite right now. Any suggestions? :bassist:

  2. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    IMO P-Bass or Stingray.

    Although pretty much any plank with at least 4 strings will work.
  3. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    I'd say Jazz, Stingray, or some sort of P+J.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I played/toured in a third wave ska band for a few years and played a Fender Jazz...for old schools stuff I had a fretless jazz, rolled off. We played with countless bands, and saw an endless variety of basses, but the Fenders were definitely the most popular.
  5. Marcus

    Marcus Guest

    Dec 26, 2004
    NYC & Vancouver, BC
    I concur with what was said above. A lot of third wavers however really go with Sting Rays, Sterlings, or Deluxe Jazz bass'.
  6. rowyco


    Sep 24, 2004
    Traverse City, MI
    If you want to get Roger's (Less Than Jake) sound, he plays Stingrays and Sterlings.
  7. I definately say any EBMM or EBMM styled bass. Jazz basses also work, but for ska, I think that signature SR sound just dominates!

  8. G&L L-2000, L-2500
    or Fender Jazz
    or Fender P-deluxe
    or Fender Roscoe Beck
    or Ernie Ball Stingray, or Bongo
    or Just about any decent JJ or PJ that you can put your hands on...

    ska is a style, not a sound...but for ska you want something that is clean and punchy with a little edge for cutting through...

    I think that some Warwicks would also do a decent job in the Ska department...

    but IMO the best sound I've heard on a bass for Ska is the Yamaha BB415, BB615 and all the older 80's BB's. Just the right mix of bitey growl and punch...
  9. Matt Wong from RBF plays a 5-string 'ray...

    to me, Reel Big Fish IS Ska
  10. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars

    Just pick what suits you best
  11. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    I just gotta add my 2c. My 16-year-old dragged me to see Reel Big Fish a couple of years ago, before the trumpet player left. I was excited, partly because I did like the bass lines on the records. I was very disappointed. He could have been playing a uke, because you could not hear a single note of the bass lines due to the HORRIBLE sound. Not a note.

    Which brings us to the question. Pretty much any bass will do. Not just because of this experience, but because the FOH sound determines it all anyway. It's in the bop, not the sound of the bass.

    Desmond Dekker IS ska. Toots and the Maytals. Having seen them all, I came away thinking RBF just doesn't hold a candle.
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    You're both wrong. The Skatalites is ska (backed up Dekker, the Maytals (the ska stuff is all pre-Toots-&-the-Maytals, and ALL the 60's bands). They were THE studio band in Jamaica from pre-ska through rock-steady.

    Ska is also Specials, Madness, English Beat, Selector, Bad Manners.

    It's Japanese, Norwegian, Irish, Spanish, German, African, North & South American, although rarely in the islands anymore.

    Ska is also the Toasters, Scofflaws, PieTasters, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Operation Ivy, Thumper, and any number of 3rd wave and post 3rd wave band, old school, new school, punk-ska, etc.

    The whole point of ska is that it's a 'big tent' and there are good bands in ALL the areas.

    Y'see, that's why it's hard to pick a bass sound. I've heard it on EUB, UB, ERB, and of course good ol' EB.
  13. Im gonna agree with the using a stingray as well...although the bassist from Fishbone uses a Warwick and that's kinda cool
  14. +1 for a sterling, either that or have you tried an ibanez SR900? That's what I always grab when playing reggae or ska.
  15. I'd go for a nice traditional Fender Jazz.
  16. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Of all of the ska bands we've played with, the Stingrays sounded the best. Matt Wong never ceased to amaze me while we were on tour. As for the newer wave ska, Horace Panter is God!!!! :bassist:
  17. jetsetvet

    jetsetvet Inactive

    Mar 24, 2005

    .....and correct me if I am wrong but Horace Panter has always played an old Fender Precision. Funny how no matter what comes to play, the old P-Bass still works great in most situations. I have a few basses, but my '66 P is home bass (sic)!
  18. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    True indeed. It's the Swiss army knife of the lowend.
  19. Fishbone and English Beat was the music i grew up on. I think all it comes down to is TALENT, rather then the bass you're playing.
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    Burning Skies endorses this message.