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? for those who are into tapping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by queevil, May 2, 2010.

  1. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    First of all let me say that I'm not sure that this question belongs in this sub-forum because it's more about basses and other equipment related to tapping rather than the technique itself. So, if the mod needs to move it then that's understandable. I just thought I may get more useful answers in the technique forum.

    So, here's where the question begins. Man, I really love tapping but my current bass is somewhat limited in what it allows me to do with the technique. I understand that no piece of gear can make up for bad technique or a lack of talent but I'm pretty sure that my fretless Fender J bass with heavy guage, high tension strings and action that will only go so low is hindering my ability to do things that are a bit more intricate and technical. It plays wonderfully but when it comes to tapping it just kinda fights me the whole way. Yes, I know that some awesome tapping can be performed on the fretless but I think that's an exception rather than the rule. Michael Manring is a great example but I'm not him and I don't have the money for a Hyperbass. Plus, even if my fretless J could be made to be more suitable for the technique I would like to keep it set up the way that it is. It's my only bass right now and I really love it. It works great for what I do with it.

    So, in the next couple of months I'm pulling the trigger on another bass; one that's more suitable for tapping. My question: what are all you tap masters using for basses to execute the technique. I've been a diehard J guy for a long time but I'm willing to look at other options in this case. I've seen people tap with a passive J but they were all using some kind of preamp box like the Sans Amp. What strings do you use and what guages? Low, medium, or high tension? One bass that I've had my eye on is the Spector Legend, the one with the set neck. It costs a bit more than the regular Legend. I've never been a huge fan of onboard preamps but I could make an exception in this case. I'd like to keep it under a grand preferably around $700.

    So, can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks a lot everyone.
  2. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    I've been tapping for a while now, and I use a Bongo 6 HH right now, and It's absolutely awesome, not just for tapping, but also for just about everything else related to bass playing.
  3. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    Hey we have a local band here that is phenomenal and basically every song is 85% tapping. The bass player plays a Warwick rock bass.
    Heres the link you can check out if you like it, the basses are pretty cheap.
  4. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    Whoa! That is cool.
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Honestly, I'm anything but a "tap master", but I definitely share your love of the technique, and of the cool things you can do with it! In fact, I find it much more interesting and more musically flexible/expressive than slapping, any day... :cool:

    In terms of gear and set-up, I would think that a passive, fretless bass with heavy-gauge strings is about the last thing you'd want for tapping. I would suggest:

    1) fretted - not fretless bass
    2) high-quality active electronics (preferable but not mandatory)
    3) light gauge to medium-light gauge stainless steel strings
    4) medium to medium-tight tension
    5) low to medium-low action

    Other factors, such as bolt-on vs. neck-through instrument construction would not factor as nearly so important, as long as the instrument has good sustain... :meh:

  6. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    + 1,000,000

    Thanks for the quick replies so far everyone!
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    Entwistle tapping

  8. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California
    whoa. Sounded like a non-death-metal version of Augery.

    and to the OP, there's not really a "best" bass for tapping, you just need something with frets and low action. find a bass that you're naturally comfortable with, and the tapping skillz will come with it.
  9. Definitely concur with a fretted, low action bass. My rickenbacker feels great for tapping... my cheap fretless P/J with high tension is basically freakin' impossible to tap on.

    I would throw one more variable in there, and that is I feel jumbo or larger frets will help with tapping. I was a guitar player for a long time before I decided bass was my thing, and even on guitars I could tell the difference in quality of tapping based on the fret sizes.

    In my opinion, since you're getting all the sound from making the string strike the fret and hopefully sustain I believe tapping might be the most demanding technique on your equipment. Pressing down with your digits just won't ever get the same power and force as slapping and popping which can really drive from the wrist. So the more help your instrument can give you to leverage the strike (less resistance in string, further distance to drive force after contact with fret) the better I say.

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