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BEST BASSES FOR CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by holuoch, Mar 13, 2009.


  1. holuoch

    holuoch

    Mar 13, 2009
    I am in the market for a versatile bass for jazz,gospel and funk. Alot of gospel stuff like Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin genre as well as SHOUT. Any ideas on what my choices are? very much appreciated. 5 OR 6 strings. Are bolt-ons better for gospel than neck throughs?
     
  2. adamrobertt

    adamrobertt Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Kingston, New York
    it's called what ever the hell your preference is.
     
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Nice way of putting it.:scowl:

    holuoch, knowing your budget would help us make some recommendations.

    Neck through or bolt on are really your personal preference. The church I go to plays a lot of urban gospel stuff, even though we are a small church in a whitebread town in Arkansas. Our Pastor is also our worship leader, and a formidable pianist. He likes to do hymns with a blues feel, playing harmonica while comping on piano, and all of our more modern stuff is very urban influenced. I have used bolt on, hybrid, and neck through, and all have worked equally well IMO.

    A good starting place is a used Peavey Cirrus. They won't break the bank, you can usually get one for around ~$900 - $1100 in our Classifieds or on Ebay, depending on the woods.

    As prices go up, things like Roscoe, Zon, Nordstrand, Sadowsky, MTD, Dingwall, Ken Smith, and Fodera work very well, but there are a lot of other brands I haven't mentioned that do the job.

    I primarily play a Nordstrand SC5 (hybrid), but also play a Cirrus (neck through), a Zon (fretless bolt on) and Lakland Skyline (bolt on), and they all do the job well.
     
  4. black.rose1402

    black.rose1402

    Jan 10, 2007
    For low budget, I'd say an american peavey cirrus, very good quality instrument and a tone really close to one of the leading brand in gospel: Ken Smith.

    If money is not a problem, I would suggest A Ken Smith or a MTD.

    These 2 brands are leading the bass in gospel.

    A fender jazz bass is also a good choice (a 5 string because in many gospel settings, you need a low b)
     
  5. 3506string

    3506string

    Nov 18, 2004
    Lawton, OK
    It's hard to recommend a bass for a specific genre esp. an umbrella like contemporary gospel. I play contemp. and traditional gospel almost exclusively and it is more of what kind of character you want to bring to the music. One suggestion is to get a versatile, non mid shy bass that is comfortable to you. I've played a Squire, 2 rogues, Alvarez, and now a modded neck thru Brice Z6 and they have all worked in the genre. Some basses of my fellow bassist in the area are; Fender Jazz 5, 5 string Music Man, Conklin GT7, RWG 6 string, Rogue 5 string, Lakland, MTD, Ibanez, etc. and they all sound great in the gospel arena. If you check out the thread "Urban gospel bassist whats your setup" thread you will see the wide variations of player preferences. So its really about what you favor.
     
  6. serein2j

    serein2j

    May 25, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I personally use the Stingray and Jaguar for my CCM services. I use either one of them depends on the style of the music.
     
  7. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I play a Knuckle Quake string 39" scale detuned to A. Most of the southern gospel songs that I play are in the key of Eflat or Aflat. Having the notes on the first fret all a half step below standard tuning makes playing in those keys easy
     
  8. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    photos please my good man!
    I'd have to say this bass would be a good choice for praise music...If I was playing this beast, I'd be saying "Jesus Christ" while trying to stretch into every position!


    photos please!
     
  9. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    Believe it or not playing it isn't anymore difficult than playing any of my other 34" basses. Here are a couple of pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Racine,Wi
    I've played quite a few different brands but the growing standard seems to be MTD and Ken Smith. Fender 5's are widely used in the Chicago area too. One thing I do know is that 4 strings wont cut it for me, lots of Gospel players really utilise that low B.
     
  11. Bardley

    Bardley

    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    +1 on the Cirrus.

    And as said earlier, Smith or MTD if budget is no problem.

    It's hard to beat a used Cirrus for the $. They sound great!
     
  12. Stee Flo

    Stee Flo

    Dec 7, 2007
    VA
    Another vote for a Cirrus. Used they are one of the best values for the quality you are getting. They got that hi-fi Smith tone going on if that's what you are looking for. The Cirrus has a really nice slap tone for Gospel.
     
  13. If you're on a low budget maybe the Cort/Elrick JP5 or RB5 might work for you? I'm really tempted to upgrade to one of these after I read all the highly positive reviews on the board.
     
  14. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    What I Think:
    • Ken Smith (bolt on or neck thru)
    • Roscoe (fretted or fretless)
    • Peavey Cirrus
    • MTD 535 or 635
    • Fender Jazz 5
    • Musicman Stingray 5

    I'd suggest playing around with as many of those as possible before making a purchase decision. There are others like various Ibanez and Yamaha basses that I'm just not too familiar with that can also probably do the job. But since you specifically speak of the Fred Hammond / Kirk Franklin type of sound, consider that Fred used / uses Ken Smith and Fender, Maurice Fitzgerald uses Fender, MTD, and something else I can't recall (Warwick?), and when he was with Fred Hammond, Terrance Palmer used Peavey Cirrus. Now he uses Pavel.

    What I Play:

    • Alembic neck thrus
    • Roscoe fretless (bolt on)
    • Devon 5 string J bass clone (bolt on)
    • Fender Jazz 4 string
    • Marchlewski 5 string neck thru

    I really do just play what I feel like playing at service that week and my sound is my sound. Sometimes I tailor it to a particular song. If we're doing a lot of slow moving ballad-type stuff, I take the Roscoe fretless. But I'll also use that for walking patterns, fast or slow. I strongly prefer 5 strings. I bounce back and forth between neck thrus and bolt-ons from week to week, so I clearly see no tonal advantage there.

    Peace,

    James
     
  15. My brother-in-law's Tobias killer B 5 string does a really good job. The MTD he is about to buy sounds even better, though. We also have a Warwick thumb that is just ok, IMO. Hard to say, we are running direct into the P.A. and they have all the low end in just the subs, and all the high's EQ'd out. Old folks :scowl:...

    But, what I said still applies as we do play live through better equipment...
     
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I still don't get the 'genre specific' basses thing. Honestly, how many folks can afford an MTD or Smith? Especially young cats starting out?! I say find a bass in your actual price range (unless you got it like that) and play them all and choose whichever sounds good to you and is comfortable enough for you. True, there are a lot of MTD's and Smith's out there but it's sort of 'well "enter name here" plays one so I must have it. I see quite a lot of other brands. There are a ton of Laklands, Yamaha's and Ibanez' out there. Fenders and Stingrays too.
     
  17. Word... My Fender Precision Lyte will go toe to toe with the Tobias and Warwick that I or one of the other bass players use. I just don't use it much because the 5th string on those other two is so handy for so much of what we play, as was mentioned in a similar thread.
     
  18. DistantTremor

    DistantTremor

    Nov 29, 2007
    I'd suggest anything with a rich low register tone that has a warm growl. It's a very smooth and tasty sound, and I think that characterizes the gospel attitude, while being sufficient for jazz and funk.
     
  19. holuoch

    holuoch

    Mar 13, 2009
    Wow!! Thank you guys for the replies. I am going to check out Peavey Cirrus 6 and an MTD. I think Ken Smith is over priced for my budget which is 2K. Now What is th best rig value for money, assuming I get a Peavey Cirrus 6 . My church is probably 200 people on any give sunday that comfortably fit the hall, no much extra space left. Probably 40ftX40ft.
     
  20. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    My Cirrus 5 is my church goin' bass!
    fampic2008d.
    cirrus_blue_1.
    cirrus_blue_2.
    There, that should inspire you. There's a 5 er in the TB classifieds for $700 right now! (not mine)
     

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