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Best Woods for Slap / Rock / Funk Bass ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by David-Adler, Apr 12, 2001.


  1. David-Adler

    David-Adler

    Feb 28, 2001
    Bonn, Germany
    Hey everybody,

    I´m still thinking about a bass - mostly for funk - that has a good slapping tone.

    I thought about a Maple Neck with two Mahogany Stripes (to add a little warmth) and a Birdseye Maple Fingerboard (for the Pop?).

    But combined with what ? Alder ? Maybe Ash?

    What do you think ?

    David
     
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you don't mind the bass being heavy, northern(hard, not swamp) ash is about as bright as it gets. Great for slapping. Solid maple is also very bright.

    Maple is my preference, I think that the low end is a little better. JMHO, of course.:)
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I agree. Ash or Maple. My Maple Clover is very articulate with an amazing full range sound, my Ash 78 Jazz has that Marcus sound with zero mods.
     
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Definitely solid maple. Walnut isn't bad either, actually. As for the fretboard, maple works, but IMO, ebony is far superior.
     
  5. dblbassted

    dblbassted

    Mar 21, 2001
    Memphis, Tn.
    For slap, I would definately go with an ash/maple setup..... Good bottom, sparkly highs.
     
  6. For slap and pop
    • Fingerboard: maple or ebony and not rosewood
    • Body: southern/swamp ash over alder
    • Neck: depends on neck-body joint, whether bolt-on, set neck , or neck-through.
    Personally, I love to slap and pop and chose a Sadowsky 4 string jazz bass: maple fingerboard on maple neck with a swamp ash body and maple cap. The figured maple top is quite thin and probably doesn't affect the tone much. The tone is die for! As far as I'm concerned, the slap and pop thang starts and ends with Sadowsky basses. :D

    But Whooten often uses a set-neck mahogany neck and body bass with rosewood or ebony board. Clarke use Alembic set-necks when he made his mark.

    Don't forget the pickups and most important: your hands and style will greatly affect the tone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    Stanley Clarke was one of Vic Wooten's biggest influences, so that could explain their similarities in sound and both using set-necks.
     
  8. I have a Lakland 55-94 with a rosewood fretboard and, when I slap, it gives me a sound that's reminiscent of Victor Wooten's. It doesn't have as much of the high/low ala Marcus Miller but it sounds more organic to my ears. I think 'woods that sound best for slap' is subjective but I do hear people state basic rules (no rosewood on the fretboard) that I don't totally agree with. The bottom line is how the variety of woods, electronics, hardware, and bassist's technique work together to create a sound.:)
     
  9. I agree. The above post probably says it best.
     
  10. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I still think maple body/neck with an ebony board!
     
  11. RS

    RS

    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I've come to the conclusion that there is too much variablity in the design, pups, and even wood type itself to say a given combo is always good for slap.
    My MIM jazz with a rosewood board is better to my ears for slap than my ash/maple Mike Lull.

    Also there are many types of slap tones. You have to decide what slap sound you want. How much treble and bass is acceptable. I like a thick slap tone, old Larry Graham style. There's a modern ultra scooped slap tone, Claypool effects ridden slap tone, ultra clean Stanley Clark tone, Warwick slap tone, etc.

    RS

    ps- I think large frets usually help
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I like a big, well defined low end, strong mids and highs with bite but not too much bite.

    For the kind of slap sound "I" like (and it's really all about "me" , isn't it?;))...I'd choose an Ash body, Maple neck/board, BOLT-ON neck, two pickups, probably 20 to 22 frets. Active electronics optional but not neccessary.

    Something like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. nanook

    nanook

    Feb 9, 2000
    Alaska
    The best slap sound may not even be wood. The Cort Curbows are great slappers and the body is composite.
     
  14. funkmasterskilit

    funkmasterskilit

    May 12, 2000
    I have a warwick thumb 5, and it is probably the best bass I've heard for funk, and just the best all around sound in general. I've heard other people talk about the composite basses such as cort curbow, and the slap sound doesn't even compare to the bubinga wood that is used for most warwicks. Now don't get me wrong, I have a cort curbow fretless and the sound is great, but it isnt exactly what I would look for if I'm gonna be slapp'n. So if you want a good bright sound for slap, and a nice deep smooth low end to compliment it try either bubinga or ovankol woods.
     
  15. Starrchild

    Starrchild

    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    hey brad is that bird maple or ash?and can it whistle?LoL.
     
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    My Warwick Corvette FNA has a killer slap tone. It has the wenge neck and fingerboard.