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Certain Basses To Certain Genres?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SlapPopBass, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Recently a friend of mine mentioned in passing that certain bass models and brands tend to be more suited to specific genres, such as how Squire Precision Basses are more suited to genres of music such as jazz and funk while others like Cort or Rickenbacker are more suited to rock and heavy metal. Is this true? And if so, would anybody mind explaining why is it so?
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Lol, best bass for metal in a nutshell :bag:

    There's is no hard rule for this. Anything goes. There are certain sounds we associate with each genre (though this varies wildly also) so there may be some go-to basses that can deliver what you're looking for without fiddling knobs.

    But there is no classification of basses to genres as such. Eaten back to life by cannibal corpse was recorded with a fender p, for example, and what was the dude in death playing again? Oh yeah fretless. So we have two prominent bassists, webster and digiorgio (sp?) who both don't adhere to this or at least didn't for some time.
  3. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Play different genres of music to your friend and ask him to identify the bass being played.

  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    J basses for jazz, P basses for music requiring more precision.
  5. You can play aggresive music with non-aggresive basses, but I don't think it works the other way around. Would you play blues on a Ibanez K5?
  6. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    In my (comparitively) limited experience, there can be a very general truth to this in live situations. Certain pickup configurations can sit in the mix more/less optimally. However, processing can nullify a lot of these basic tonalities. In the studio, I just don't think there's a realistic limitation. Play what you like.
  7. You're friend is wrong. Play what you want, how you want.
  8. I feel this way too. Play what you like. Certain situations are going to negate how a bass will sound. On stage most basses are going to sound like anything else unless you have something really fancy and a rig that will give you a different cut in the mix.

    I would use anything and everything for any genre. Which I do. The only things that I wouldnt use for specific reasons are certain hollowbodies or trebly/high toned basses. As long as I have a nice classic bass tone that can be heard I am ok with it. I use my Ibanez for Coldplay, Motown, Pink Floyd, Weezer, Sublime and it does me just fine. Its a bit different sounding to me. But it works. At the same time I would use my Jag for all that too. IMO its preference.
  9. If you want to nail a particular tone it helps to have the right tool for the job.

    eg: Want to play Motown? Sure you can try and cop it with any bass but it's going to be far easier, and sound more accurate if you pull out a P with flats.

    If you're playing original music there are no rules. I would audition a few different basses for a new band to see which fits best with the particular line-up, instrumentation and genre.
  10. Staredge


    Aug 7, 2010
    Germantown, MD


  11. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    You might want to reconsider after giving Lance Lopez a go.

    Saw them at Rockpalast Germany (televised concerts) and his bassists, from what I can gather by live and studio recordings, rock active 5er jazzes. Mellow sounds different. A K5 can't be that hard to reign in in the right context.

    So basically, yes I would.
  12. I volunteer at a theatre that mainly features acoustic music. It is mainly "Americana", but occasionally we have jazz and other types of music. Many types are used from four to eight strings, solid or hollow bodies as well as ABGs, fretted and fretles, Squiers to boutiques like Ken Smith, Alembic, and Renaissance, which I was even allowed to play. They all sounded fine because the players could play them. I haven't kept track, but if I had to guess which type was used most, I'd have to say that Jazz basses were used the most by the acts that used an electric bass.

    I left out double basses. Bassists bring those, too.
  13. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy


    PS: Steve Harris (Precision bass + flats) agrees too
    steve harris_iron maiden.

    :eyebrow: sorry (that's the perfect bass for Metal)
  14. Considering the K5 has a 3 band preamp with a midrange frequency control, there's not much i wouldn't try to play on one.

  15. I think the appearance or style of a bass is more at home in certain genres, but whatever tone you like (and your band/listeners...) is just fine. Would you play worship music with a B.C. Rich (maybe an Eagle), probably not. Would you play metal on a hollow-body, probably not. But if it works for you then who cares. I think a Jazz or P Bass can work on anything!
  16. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    A lot of it is band perception.

    A few years ago I helped a few former members of The Atlantics form what later became a band.
    They took one look at my Steinberger Spirit 5 and judged me on multiple fronts.
    They told me because they had toured a zillion years ago with The Cars etc... That they were an authority on which instruments were appropriate for Rock.
    I refused to buckle to pressure then they fired me, and promptly became a real band with a name and crappy local gigs and everything.
    I assume the cat that replaced me on bass was both more reverent of Boston Rock Dinosaurs, and played a Fender 4 string (which was the pressure they placed upon me).
  17. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Claudio Golinelli
    vasco rossi.
    here pictured with Vasco Rossi and one of the lead guitarists in the band, Maurizio Solieri (the other is Stef Burns, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta)
    is famous for his Steinbergers
    yet sure plays some serious hard rock

    this was an old (1987) bassbreak (feat. Vasco Rossi, Massimo Riva on rhythm guitar (RIP) Maurizio Solieri lead guitar et al...)

  18. 4dog


    Aug 18, 2012
  19. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    In my years do playing bass (44 years) when I'd see a country band where the bandleader's wife played bass (either because that wife caught the bandleader cheating, or the bandleader simply roped the wife into playing bass) the bass would be a Hofner Beatle bass plugged into a 50 watt Bassman...the bass channel.
  20. This.