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Can a bass be "too nice" for your style?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ploonter, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Ploonter

    Ploonter Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Franklin Park, NJ
    Interesting question:
    Can a bass be "too nice" for your style of playing?
    What I mean is, if you have an "agressive playing style", can an instrument be so specifically designed for "softer play" that it doesn't respond well when played agressively?
    I'm not sure if I am explaining myself very well, so, here is what is "going on".
    I recently traded my Stingray for a Lakland Skyline 44-02.
    When I got it home and started playing it through MY rig, I noticed that it made all kinds of, "clicking" sounds.
    Turns out all the unwanted noises were coming from me-
    So, I began to play with more finesse, and all noises gone-
    Do I just need to raise the action?
    Any thoughts would be appriciated!
  2. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Aug 23, 2011
    Just raise the action. My touch is light....one bass is dialed in as low as it can get and the other is set just a hair higher. I get clack-clack from one and boom-boom from the other.
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Yup. Raise the action.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    What kind of Ray did you have that you get more clank from a Lakland? My Ray (2 band) has more clank than any other bass I have ever seen, it has a maple fretboard though.

    Are you going from rosewood to maple?

    And yes, raise the action or play softer and let the amp do the amplification.
  5. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Modifying your setup to suit your playstyle (or vice versa) is part of getting the most out of your bass. My main Carvin's action can get plenty low, but right now I keep it slightly higher than usual due to the more aggressive style I use with my current band. I could either play softer or just live with the extra "clack" -- it's always a tradeoff -- but higher action seems to better reach my tonal goals.
  6. I don't think a bass can be "too nice" for your style. However, after playing in some really crappy bars I've come to the conclusion that a bass can be way "too nice for a venue" and this is why it's good to have an inexpensive bass in your arsenal.
  7. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Brutalz requires high action.
  8. S6I6X


    Jun 25, 2011
    San Diego
    I agree that you should have your setup work for you but that doesn't mean you need raise the action to alter the tone. I like extremely low action, I play pretty aggressive and I don't like the click in my tone. As long as you don't have buzzing issues or it's so low that it's hindering the natural vibration of the string and causing a really weak tone, then play with your EQ a bit. Mess with about 4kHz and up. It really helps to know what frequencies affect what part of your tone.
  9. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I don't know about raising the action, but it might help.

    I had an Alembic Spoiler that certainly highlighted (in clear, sterile high definition) any slight mis-steps I may have committed in my playing. I spent a lot of time trying to dial in a less-craptechnique-revealing sound when I had it. It was like driving an F1 car when you're used to a minivan.
  10. Ploonter

    Ploonter Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Franklin Park, NJ
    You know, that's interesting. I hadn't thought about it but I used to play an Alembic Exploiter, it didn't "click", but I understand your, "less-craptechnique-revealing" reference.
  11. Ploonter

    Ploonter Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Franklin Park, NJ
    I just tried this-It really helped, and I haven't raised the action yet! Thanks!
  12. Of course! That's why some "connect" with some basses and not others. I personally like an "alive" sounding bass so I gravitate towards single coils JJ's.

    I wouldn't call other basses too "nice" sounding - I would say dead ;)

    If the bass isn't responding to your playing style and fingers - its not for you.
  13. Ploonter

    Ploonter Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Franklin Park, NJ
    This, I know.

    They should have a "stolen bass story" forum, so the next generation can learn from our "mishaps".
  14. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    You beat me to it - that's spot on. I take my modded L2000 to most gigs, but when I hit the studio it's the Zon every time.
  15. S6I6X


    Jun 25, 2011
    San Diego
    Glad to help :)
  16. Ploonter

    Ploonter Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Franklin Park, NJ
    I had a 2 band maple board as well-Mine would "clank" if I put stainless steel strings on it. I put some DR Fat beams on it, and that took care it.
    The Lakland has a very dark rosewood board.
  17. Ploonter

    Ploonter Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Franklin Park, NJ
    See, this is what I didn't want to admit to myself.
    I originally went to trade my Ray for an 08 NOS Am. St. P-bass. Then, I saw the Lakland, and I had to go start playing it........Everyone knows the rest.
  18. There's many many basses out there bro - play what you like. Don't force anything if you can help it. If the bass isn't responding to your fingers and ears, don't torture yourself into trying to make yourself like it, again, if you can help it. Sell her and get what you like.
  19. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I don't know if 'too nice' is the phrase I'd use, but I think some instruments are certainly not as forgiving of less than precise technique than others. It's a little bit like motorcycles, you can get away with being pretty ham-handed with your breaking/throttle/control inputs on something like a first gen Suzuki SV650, but ride a Ducati 916 the same way you might find yourself on your head.
  20. Ploonter

    Ploonter Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Franklin Park, NJ
    I was thinking there was a correlation here, but perhaps not?