Budget short scale for Motown?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FourBanger, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Arighty, I've been slowly getting to know my 400+ neighbors here at the grad school housing complex and I ran into a gal who wants to start playing the bass.

    She is Korean, small hands but not like a child, and she has become fascinated with motown music. She particularly likes the way the bass "keeps the music dancing while the men sing" and would like to learn to do that so she can impress her friends back home as well as her own enjoyment.

    She doesn't want to spend a lot, being a poor grad student and saving for when she goes home, and really struggles with a 34" bass. I know there are many inexpensive short scale basses out there like the Bronco and Jag SS and Mikro, etc but can any of them pull off a decent motown tone? I'd be happy to buy her a different set of strings like flats as a gift if that would help.

    Chances are she'll play direct into a Mac.

    Edit: fixed the title for you ;)
  2. Luke S Mouse

    Luke S Mouse Guest

    Jun 5, 2009
    I would think the Squier Jag SS would be worth a try.
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    You need a P with flats to nail the Motown sound and any amp can dial in the sound. There is a Bob Babbit post on nailing the motown sound on his website and that is basically what he says.

    The only short scale P's I can think of are budget stuff, I learned on a short scale Regal P. It was some cheap Korean made bass and I have never seen the brand again.
  4. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
  5. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Reach seems to be the issue.

    If it were a budget shortscale or not learning to play at all, which of the cheapy shorties would you recommend?
  6. yookh4u


    Jul 28, 2010
    Maybe Squier Mustang Bass + flats will do the job...
    30" Scale bass with P Pickups.
  7. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland

    Feb 11, 2003
    + 1

    These are nice basses for the money.
  8. Guitalia


    Jun 7, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    I have plenty of 35"-, 34"-, and 30"-scale basses, but for the last 6 months I've been using my 28"-scale 5-string Ibanez Mikro almost exclusively for gigging. The quality is amazing for the price.
    The only quirk with the bass is that it has two Jazz-like pickups and two volume controls, so the volume controls have to be at the same setting to work as humbuckers.
    Short-scale flats on a 4-string Mikro should get her going.
  9. I'd go for the Squier VM Mustang, I've got one and with the tone rolled off the pickup height finetuned, can get a real deep sound that'd work well enough for Motown.
  10. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Epi ebo
  11. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    This. Or an Epiphone Allen Woody. Look for used.
  12. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    There is a short scale squire jag with a PJ configuration. I would go with that. It is a P after all.

    The other thing I would try to find an Ibanez Artcore bass. They made a solid body version for a while called the ARTB100. It looks kind of like a Les Paul. Is Short scale. And sounds awesome with flats. I had one for a long time and loved using it for that thumpy kind of sound.
  13. George Mann

    George Mann Inactive

    May 27, 2012
    Currently, no short-scale that I am aware of can provide the correct sonic properties for Motown.

    You may be able to wing it with an EB-series.
  14. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt

    Jan 22, 2006
    Danelectro w/ LaBella flats. EZ to play, light, cheep and it thumps very nicely. Longhorn, single cut, whatever.

    PS- a piece of foam rubber under the strings back by the bridge for a mute will help any of the above sound more like it.
  15. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Bear in kind that I don't think what we are shooting for is "sounds just like Jamerson" but more along the lines of not sounding too much like modern slap, funk, Jaco, Fieldy etc etc etc.

    Leanings towards a P is all she would expect it need to sound like.
  16. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I recommend a Squire Jag shortscale. Just roll off the J pup, set the tone pot to half (if desired) and put on some GHS Precision flatwounds (cheap-ish but good).

    That should get it close.

    $150 or less brand new.

  17. George Mann

    George Mann Inactive

    May 27, 2012
    Then let me inform you that most short-scale P's are limited to midrange output. Powerful humbuckers are what you seek!
  18. George Mann

    George Mann Inactive

    May 27, 2012
    I have a Jag SS fitted with Chromes. The Motown sound is completely out of its reach!
  19. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Bronco with Hot Rails then?
  20. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Cause the Chromes are too zingy(?). Dial off the J pup and put some old flatwounds (not chromes) on there and I think you'll be close.