can a bass be set up like a Stick?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jammadave, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    hey guys -

    so, for melodic stuff I've been considering a Stick or Warr or the like, but I can't help but wonder if the same end can be achieved with a 5/6 string bass, given the proper setup?

    (note: I *have* done a search and didn't hit on exactly the info I'm looking for...)

    Anyways, i'd need to see if i can get super low action, low tension strings, and a straight neck to happen together. Playing all Warwicks, I'm also privy to having the adjustable nut so that should help me get everything level, is this a correct set of assumptions? I'd want to be able to hoist the bass up vertically and play it nearly identical to a Stick, with very little effort and virtually the same action on all frets/strings. (buying a stick would be more $$ and more wait-time, so I figured i'd give it a shot)

    Hit me with recommendations!
  2. Hi

    While I would expect you could get your bass set up with an ultra low action etc; it won't behave quite like a Warr/Stick IMO.

    Having tapped for some years on my basses, when I got my Warr Artisan it was just a different animal for the tapping technique. It just seems more responsive to the technique for me. After all the pickups and pre-amp and all the other little details are optimised for this style of playing.

    Having said all that Emmett Chapman started his whole tapping adventure by up ending his guitar so I guess it's possible. Then again he did go on to design the Stick !!

    Good luck in your quest.

  3. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    yeah, the more I think about it the more it seems like "well, you can drive your pickup truck a hundred miles an hour all you want with the right tires and tuning, but it still ain't a sportscar."

    I owned a Stick SB8 for some time actually, but wasn't able to use it in a rock context so I gave it up - Just thinking about it in a new light these days I guess.
  4. Dave, pick up some of the soundtrack stuff from the "Blue Man Group". The Vegas show had a stompin' band onstage and lots of the music had the bassists on a stick.

    Pretty cool, ethereal, rhythmic groove.
  5. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    That's what got me back into wanting to play one - saw BMG on the Complex tour TWICE last year. Best concert I've ever seen, bar none!

    And as an aside for those who saw The Complex, I'm definitely in love with Annette Strean from Venus Hum. She is probably the best singer I've ever heard, as well.
  6. bound


    Dec 28, 2003
    Jersey, Baby!
    I had to make a bridge with guitar spacing, and a new neck, and it worked okay, sorta. i now have a Warr guitar Raptor, and I've played a few of my friend's sticks. I definitely prefer the Warr, but the stick does get that weird cool stick sound, it just doesn't do much else. Don't worry about low tension strings, most everybody uses GHS boomers on their touchguitars. Check out for sets. the biggest difference is the action, it's crazy low, and flat, almost. like the stiring height off the board is almost the same at the nut and the 24th fret, or at least not as much difference as a guitar or bass. you'll also need some sort of dampener under the strings between the first fret and the nut, to keep that side of the string from ringing when you tap, but you probably knew that from tapping before. An idea you might try is tuning in fifths, that'll give you a lot more range for melodies.
    PM me if you want, i'd be happy to help, i've tried quite a few odd things with tapping and altering my basses for it.