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Christian bassist's. What bass?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Mike M., May 13, 2010.

  1. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Hey, bro's. I'm really curious as to what type of bass you're using for your praise & worship gigs.

    Here's my situation. I'm 57 years old, am playing an MIM Fender 5 string Jazz Active Deluxe and have come to discover how much I've been "fighting" with it lately. For the most part I really like the bass because it has a great sound and can handle everything in the tonal range that I like. But the truth is that my hands are just not working as well as they use to (my fretting hand in particular) and I need to find something to fit the bill that has a smaller neck.

    I was thinking of trying a Spector Legend (if I can find one), one of the Schecter Elite models or maybe even an Ibanez 705. I know that Ibanez seems to go hand in hand with metal, but who knows? If it feels right to me why not? We do songs by Lincoln Brewster, Hillsong, etc, so I need something that can handle rock to slapping if needed.

    I'm going out this weekend to look, so any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks, and God bless.
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I play a Ric 4003 or a P bass depending on my mood and or the request of the sound guy. The brand of bass is really unimportant I think, get something that feels good and sounds good to you. If your church is anything like mine they do a whole bunch of electronic wizardry anyway.
  3. I play a Squier CV 60s Jazz, but really wish sometimes I had a Fender Precision Deluxe 5 for the low B and the active circuit for more versatility. I've played both active and passive 4s and 5s in the past.
  4. Rudyboy98


    Jan 25, 2008
    South Bay, CA
    I have played the following in my P&W teams:

    My go to bass is my custom Ramirez bass
    2nd: Fernandes Gravity 5
    3rd: Dean 6 banger

    I prefer a Fender 4 or 5 string. The MIM deluxe you're referring to only has an active circuit and not active pickups. Maybe that's the trouble you're having.

    A regular Fender 4 banger will do. Passive works just fine.

  5. Do you need a 5 string bass? A 4 string would naturally have a smaller neck. If you do need a 5 string, the Ibanez are not just for metal. They makes some good basses with nice, thin necks. Carvin also has some decent necks. Lakland necks are to die for, though a little more money than both the Carvin and Ibby's. Peavey Cirrus basses are nice, but 35" scale so they may still be a little challenging for you.

    You're doing it right. Go check some out and see what you like. You may fall in love with a Stingray or a Squire VM Jazz. Heck, you may even find a used Roscoe that'll fit your needs and a little more.
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    I agree with everything Capn said. Do you need a 5? Can you wait a while and save to get a better bass in the long run? How is your church setup, equipment wise?
  7. JumboJack


    Dec 31, 2007
    Jazz here.
  8. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I use a Jazz, a Precision, a G&L JB2 and an Ibanez SR505 in this context. Have also used a variety of Yamaha 5 strings as well. They can all work, it really is a matter of getting something that works for you and makes you want to play more....get the best feeling and sounding bass you can afford.
  9. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Thanks, guys. Yeah, I'd say a 5 string is a must because used in a LOT of the songs we play. When I used my 5 string in church for the first time everybody on our team was going, "oh, YEAH!!!" Even members of the congregation commented on how that low B gave everthing a new depth to our sound. Besides, I like having that added extended range as it comes in very handy.

    Equitment wise our church is setup pretty good. It's a big place (seats 1,150) and we've got a PA that can more than handle it. I plug directley into a direct box and we all have in-ear-monitors. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I don't but it's what we have.

    My Fender has been setup good, but I find the wider neck on that bass is a bit too much for me, plus I can't seem to get the action quite to where I would like it. It's on the verge of getting fret rattle when I play and I would still like it lower.

    What happened was this: Last weekend while at my local music store I tried out a Schecter Omen 5 string bass and was amazed. I was amazed because suddenly I wasn't "fighting" to play it. Things that sounded a bit choppy on my Fender flowed on this thing. But the real surprise was slapping. I'm new to slapping and have really been struggling with it on my Fender. Our team is learning "You Are Good" by Israel Hougton and Hillsong and the slapping part has been giving me a lot of grief. I tried it on the Schecter and wow, there it was. Not saying that I turned into slap master, far from it. But I could suddenly play it with ease. That right there told me that I've got to find something else.

    The only reason why I didn't buy it was because I want to explore what other options are out there. I don't like jumping on the first thing I find only to discover that if I was a little patient, something better was right around the corner.

    I never tried an Ibanez and that's one of the basses I'd like to try this weekend. Want to find something that has very low action without and fret rattle.
  10. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Try the BTB series from Ibanez.
  11. guitarded


    Oct 23, 2005
    I've used my Dingwall Afterburner with great success.
  12. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I have a 77 Fender Jazz , an Ibanez SR505 (my first 5 string) and my current go2 is a Schecter Studio Stiletto 5. I would say do what you did .. go to a store and try out different basses and get the one that feels best to you. Try different ones and try them sitting and standing with a strap.. bring your strap. Weight, feel and playability are my 3 main criteria. Looks are last because if it feels good and plays good the looks part is usually filled with options. My church uses Avioms .. and we do a lot of Israel.. and I agree with you about the 5 string. IMO a 5 string will eventually become the standard except for purists, diehards and guys with chops so monstrous they could bring down the house with 3 strings (That ain't me.. :D) . Those extra 5 notes really help.. and it opens up the range.
  13. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    I play a few different ones on different days, based mostly on that day's whim or whether I miss playing a certain bass and want to give it a turn.

    My most comfortable and versatile bass is a Warwick Infinity Set Neck (the cheaper one, which is chambered). It has a neck that's narrower than you'd be used to in the string spacing department, but slightly chunkier than you're used to in profile. I find really thin (front to back) necks are more likely to lead to fatigue than slightly chunkier ones, just like wide string spacing is more tiring than narrow.
  14. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    Try a Jazz 4 string tuned BEAD?

    Or maybe Squier/Fender short scale Bronco bass?
  15. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Ya know, that's an idea that I did consider....and it's a good one. But after looking at the songs that I currentley know I came to realize pretty quick that I use all 5 strings in all the songs we play.

    I went to the Ibanez site and looked at the BTB bass that was suggested. Looks cool and I like the idea of the 35" scale. The Schecter I tried was a 35" scale and it felt quite comfortable. I'm definatley going to bring my strap and I'm gonna try a bunch. The plan is to just play them at first without an amp just to see what each one feels like. If they don't feel right then why bother plugging them in, right? If I find that one that feels right then I'll plug it in for the real test drive.

    Any other suggestions are more than welcome!
  16. stix_clgi

    stix_clgi Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Accokeek, MD
    I can definitely recommend the BTB AND the Schecter Stiletto Studio, as I have owned a BTB and currently play the Schecter. Ibanez I think is pretty famous for having fast, extremely comfortable necks while providing a wide palette of sounds to chose from. You may like the Schecter's sound as it's a little brighter and grittier than the BTB, which has a somewhat traditional round tone. Again though, the BTB can bite too.

    You're going about it right though, try everything you can get your hands on and see what you like. Good Luck
  17. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    If you get a chance, try a Lakland Skyline series. Lakland necks just have a great feel to them. I have three Lakeys right now.

    That being said, my go 2 basses are both G&L L2500s - one fretless and one fretted. So I guess I would recomend trying out G&Ls also.
  18. I play a Hofner Icon at my church services. Does the job beautifully. A short-scale bass with a narrow neck is something you might want to consider.
  19. chunger


    Jan 10, 2006
    Albany, CA
    Chunger basses by Studio 939
    It's going to be hard getting the B string to sound full and clear without a chunky or reinforced neck.

    I'd suggest going after the action and getting your existing bass Plek'd or having a very competent tech level and re-crown the frets and either make a new nut or tune the one you have. If the frets are really dialed, you should be able to get your action playable at or below 2mm at the 12th fret at which point, you'll be able to relax your hands more. You mentioned that you like the tone you're getting from your existing instrument. The cheapest path to better playability would be to fix what you already have.

    The bass will feel completely different. I have never seen an out of the box MIM be able to run like that without fret work. The new Lakland Skylines are all Plek'd now. If GAS'in to upgrade, that might be a smart place to look.
  20. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    You may want to consider a BEAD strung bass. Hits the lows and keeps you fundamental.

    I mostly use one of my Fenders, but also my Carvin 5 and my Warrior depending on my mood.

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