Create your own jazz band. Pick your instruments.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by René_Julien, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. acoustic upright bass (double bass)

    22 vote(s)
  2. electric bass fretless (as TBer please specify wich)

    17 vote(s)
  3. electric bass fretted (as TBer please specify wich)

    13 vote(s)
  4. piano

    25 vote(s)
  5. electric guitar (solid or hollow body)

    19 vote(s)
  6. acoustic guitar (nylon or steel string)

    4 vote(s)
  7. harmonica

    6 vote(s)
  8. trompet

    19 vote(s)
  9. other brass instrument (please specify)

    6 vote(s)
  10. saxophone

    26 vote(s)
  11. clarinet

    5 vote(s)
  12. other woodwind (please specify)

    2 vote(s)
  13. drums or percussion

    32 vote(s)
  14. organ (please specify type)

    7 vote(s)
  15. other instrument that doesn't fit in above options

    6 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    I thought it would be interesting to see what other people (musicians) think are the most suitable instruments in Jazz music.

    The reason why I'm asking: I'm thinking of starting a small jazz band.
    So far it's only me and a female singer. We only practiced some folk and pop songs where I played acoustic guitar (but I can't play that very well on guitar).
    We also tried some song from Norah Jones, because we are both fans of her, and decided that's the style we want to go. Perhaps even more upbeat jazz, or typical european jass with 3/4 beats.

    So we're gonna search for some other musicians. But we don't really figured out how our band setup should be.

    I considered piano or saxophone, but I'm still in learning process of those instruments.
    Clarinet I can play (since I was 9), but I decided to stick with bass in this project.

    So that is an additional question: what bass guitar choices do I have. I want a fretless that can produce a warm sound. (I'm a bit gassing for a Warwick Infinity NT semi-hollow.)

    Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    (Also, if you have a band setup in mind and selected in the poll you can also specify for wich subgenre within jazz.
  2. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Voted Drums, Upright, Electric Guitar, Piano & Trumpet, but it's all depending on what type of jazz. This is my preferred setup for straightahead jazz. I don't play myself, but this is what I like to listen to the most.

    For Norah Jones inspired soft jazz, I'd pick drums or just some percussion, upright, piano and nylon (not steel) string acoustic. Perhaps a trumpet or sax as well, but I wouldn't consider it necessary.

    For funkier jazz/fusion, I'd choose drums, electric bass, rhodes, hammond or wurlizer, electric guitar and sax.Perhaps a moog would fit well too.. :)
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    The Classic Jazz lineup for me is the Miles Davis Quintet :

    Trumpet,Tenor Sax,Piano,Double Bass and Drums!
  4. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    It would be too much of a hassle for me to start learning upright. And I don't even know how expensive an upright is.

    A bass I can hang around my body the way I'm used to, but I want to make an acoustic like sound.

    I favor piano, saxophone and harmonica as instruments on their own, but I don't have experience with those instruments being used in a jazz band setup.

    My favourite is that kind of soft jazz like Norah Jones, and the more instrumental jazz (but not with modern fusion sound).

    Thanks for the feedback Deacon_Blues.
    (it wan't useless this time ;))
  5. How about an acoustic bass guitar?
  6. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    I thought about that. But I don't know what's on the market.
    Music stores here in Belgium don't offer that much. I can order much, but there isn't much to try out.
    We have 2 big stores that offer much, but it's a long drive for me, and since I don't have a clou what I want yet.

    An acoustic bass guitar. I have to amplify that for the larger gigs right?
  7. You'd have to amplify an acoustic bass guitar even for the softer gigs anyway. It's the quality of the tone of an acoustic bass guitar, not the volume, that'd be looking for.
  8. jweiss


    Jul 5, 2007
    Park City, Utah
    Get yourself a Rob Allen fretless. Works great for straight-ahead jazz!
  9. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Any bass would probably get the job done, but upright would still be the best I think.

    You could probably get started well with your fretless. Otherwise you could try out a fretless acoustic bass guitar. A month ago I tried out a semi-acoustic Godin fretless that was nice, maybe something like that would work for you too?

    Then the ashbory basses with silicone strings are said to have a very upright-like sound. I would feel silly using such a bass on a gig though. Check the site
  10. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Fretted Fodera, Piano, Trumpet, Drums....

  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    No bass guitar is going to come close to the sound of Double Bass - it's just such a different instrument, much larger and hollow.

    Acoustic bass guitars are nowhere near and as far as I can see are really just gimmicks for rock stars to use on "unplugged gigs" - they have no practical purpose and I have never seen any pro Jazz player use one.

    If you really like Jazz - then 99% of the best recorded and live material includes Double Bass!

    I tried to play Jazz on bass guitar for many years, but gave up resisting and started playing DB a few years ago - it really is "the Sound of Jazz"

    Basically - Jazz with BG = Fusion!

    Straight ahead Jazz has Double Bass.
    Preventer likes this.
  12. jweiss


    Jul 5, 2007
    Park City, Utah
    Rather than focusing on trying to exactly replicate the sound of a double bass for jazz, focus on getting a pleasing mellow tone that is reminiscent of the double bass and sits well in a jazz mix.

    The key features for this IMHO are a fretless fingerboard, piezo bridge, chambered body and tapewound strings. You will not be able to replicate all the different tones that have been associated with a double bass simply due to the size difference, but it will sound quite close to a double bass amplified with a piezo. Think Ron Carter.

    And of course play the instrument in the style of your favorite double bassists.
  13. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Yeah, I'm a bit weary of acoustic basses myself.
    I tried an acoustic bass in a music store some years ago, thinking I could use it for just practice at home.
    But like you said, it is just a gimmick. The better solution back then is just a small practice amp for my electric.

    I very much like the sound of the double bass in jazz. But I'm afraid it's difficult to learn.
    I like to walk around when I play. :) That's the metalhead stil in me. :meh:

    Okay, double bass is probably the best,... if you are a purist. But if that's not an option is a hollowbody electric better than an acoustic?

    It's a choice between the real deal acoustic sound and an electric signal shaped to make a beautiful warm sound.

    I don't no what I'm gonna do. It's not urgent, but I really wanna go through with it.
  14. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    That's probably the way I'm considering doing it.
    But I'm first gonna study the style more and practice a lot. Before I buy another bass just for jazz.

    But, to double bass players.
    Do you really consider bass guitars and double bass a completely different instrument.
    Or can you make a good transition learning DB aside a bass guitar? (I'm not talking about soundwise.)

    And thanks so far to all who voted. It's nice to see the results.
    I always thought the saxophone was the most jazzy instrument, but it's not as much voted for as I thought.
    And I don't like trompet or electric guitar in jazz. But then these instrument get quite a few votes.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I do even more with Double Bass - you have to stand up really and move about!

    Whereas often I found with bass guitar in Jazz there is a tendency for guitarists to sit down and I felt sort of "conspicuous" if I was standing....:meh:

    I think the thing is not to obsess about the instrument and concentrate on the playing style - some of the best Jazz BG playing I have heard was on Fender Jazz basses.

    I have heard people playing hollow body BGs and for me it didn't sound noticably different to a solid body.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - different technique - different everything! Only similarity is using bass clef when reading!

    So I struggled for many years to get the sound I was hearing on my favourite Jazz CDs, using bass guitar - never sounded right! :meh:

    But a few months after buying a DB - there it is!! - that sound and feel, I had been struggling to achieve for 7-8 years!!
  17. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    That's also what I admitted in a previous post.
    I have a beautiful Fender Jazz MIM fretless which I didn't use much for the styles of music I've been playing up 'til now.

    I know, it's more wise to use this bass then be obsessed with what I believe (and prob are wrong about) is the most suitable bass.
  18. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Steve Swallow, the great jazz bassist/composer who is often credited with compiling the Real Book, plays an acoustic bass often. He also plays with a pick. :eek:
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    No doubt, although I really like the 'sound' that Dave Holland's 5-tet puts out with the sax & the absence of a piano (although, granted, Steve Nelson can come like he's playing a Fender Rhodes).
  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    IMO, as soon as the ABG gets "plugged" becomes an EB.
    There's also the electric upright bass...should be easier to get a "feel for" for someone that started on the electric bass...IIRC, some can even be slung horizontally (like an EB). Expensive, though.

    BTW, maybe it's me...Norah Jones, to me, is Pop/R&B.