Funky sounding bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by suraci, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. bass12

    bass12 Grace under pressure Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Brazilian, not Italian. ;)

    Great playing on that track. I think the StingRay 5s are difficult to beat for the price tag. I prefer the sound of Jazzes overall but I don't have much experience with Fender 5s. I'm sure there are some out there with decent B strings though.
  2. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Thank you. It was a shot out of the blue. I still recall that urgent phone call to get down to the studio.
    But that bass line Man is that a test. I can't think of a more difficult line. I am not referring to the first few phrases... but to continuously play it over those chord changes. for 6 minutes, the creativity involved is taxing. It starts on Em... I recall a Gm... and frankly have forgotten the rest. I have not listened to it much since 1974..
    Stanley sounds so darned good on the rest of the album.. I feel his sound is generally quite superior to my sound. But there are a few spots in my playing where the low notes sounded really good. I know, I dislike the opening phrases tone, but some of that basses low notes, esp on open strings ( E and A ) seemed to kick butt nicely.
    I never attained full status as a 1st call session bass player.. For 20 years I was a second string player in that scene. The best players always had a great sound, and could find cool phrases.. and then this.. they were able to repeat those phrases in just the right way.
    In my case, I varied too much.. I come from a jazz background. On a good day, I sound good.. but I always was impressed with my peers. The Godfather, James Jamerson- Will Lee, Chuck Rainey, Anthony Jackson, Tony Levin, Stanley later Marcus, and others.

    I was in a similar situation a year later.. where the great Tony Levin and I actually share a track... Moonlight Serenade on "Whirlwinds". I play bass for the melody at beginning and end, and Tony backs up all the solos. You can hear the difference in bass tone. Also a short Levin solo at 6'03".

    Maxdusty likes this.
  3. Fretless1!


    Feb 19, 2007
    I'm not a slapper but one of the best I know is Marcus Miller so I'd look in to a Fender Marcus Miller 5 string.

    I'm mostly replying to say how much I really dig this tune. Nice job, sir! :bassist:
  4. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
  5. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    That's a fabulous track.

    In general, funk is more about the playing than the tone. I've seen all kinds of basses you wouldn't expect used in a funk context (there's a pic of Larry Graham with a semi hollow floating around). It also depends on what style of funk. Rocco Prestia was super funky on a P, but that wouldn't be my first choice if you wanted to slap.

    That said, for me, when I want to play what I think of funk, my go to is either a stingray or a Jazz type. Under a grand, you're looking used. Used Stingray 5 might even be a tad over a grand, but would be worth considering spending it. I own a Stingray 2 band 4 string with one pickup, and an active J type. The 2 band one pickup isn't super versatile (it has a lot of tones in it, but mostly ones I don't like). But it has the greatest slap sound you can make when I set the EQ where I like it (bass dimed, teble up about half. That said, if I were only going to have one bass, it would be some sort of active J. Still a killer slap instrument, and crazy versatile.
  6. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    MTD 535, if you have the budget. MTD Kingston Heir if you don't.
    Brother Goose likes this.
  7. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    This sounds like 'Carol Kaye with a pick' funk.

    Mark76 and hobosong like this.
  8. AngelCrusher


    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I like everything listed here, but another really nice option would be a Bacchus craft 5 string. They make the sadowsky style J bass - active, great for slap. But they are less expensive. The necks are super fast and thin. The Japanese really got into slap/funk machine Jbasses and make some damn good ones.
    bass12 likes this.
  9. bass12

    bass12 Grace under pressure Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    "When you guys say Stingray 5... I am a bit lost as far as which years of the Stingray. I know over time there are all sorts of subtle changes in a model.

    So if you would not mind.. can you pin down years and designations on the Sting ray 5?
    I know next to zero about Stingray - I recall a Sterling, Is that Stingray?
    I have seen a number of Music man basses in Guitar Center so I am bit confused what you guys are pointing me towards.
    Thanks very much.

    Music Man is the company. It is owned by the Ernie Ball corporation. The Sting Ray is a particular model (as are the Sterling, Bongo, Caprice, etc.). In terms of specific eras, I'm not the one to ask. I had a couple of StingRay 4s in the late 90s and have liked the 5s I've tried since then. As I mentioned, I prefer playing Jazzes and there are a lot of good ones out there to choose from right now. It really depends on budget and availability in your area (unless you're prepared to buy without trying - something I'd avoid if possible).
  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    EBMM (Ernie Ball Musicman) Musicman (now owned by Ernie Ball) is US made and of the highest quality. There are different kinds of Rays, 2 band EQ (Classic), 3 band EQs.

    SBMM-(Sterling by Musicman Man) is the brand Ernie Ball uses for their offshore manufactured instruments sort of like what Squier is to Fender but quality is higher on the Sterlings in comparison but still not up to the US made Ernie Ball Musicman. Priced lower, you can tell the difference between the two, but it's not drastic.

    To confuse the matter even more so, there is an Ernie Ball Musicman US made Sterling MODEL which differs from the Ray model in having a smaller body and a few sound differences. So Sterling is both a brand and a model.

    There are also SUB models, both EBMM SUB (US made - now discontinued) and the SBMM SUB (made in Indonesia) which are on the low end of the Stingray totem pole. These are the budget variants, the EBMM SUB is sought after because parts and quality make it essentially a US made EBMM Ray made in the same US factory. Just cheaper paint job, painted neck, pickguard, slab body and 2 band EQ on the active version yet typically can be found used for under $500.

    Totem pole goes something like this in order of quality:-
    bass12 likes this.
  11. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    There's basically 2 types of Stingray 5ers, the original single 3 coil ceramic humbucker (only in the current 30 Anniversary model) and post 2008 models which have alnico pickups and come in H HS and HH configurations. Old ceramic ones sound not only more in your face but also thicker (and having owned a modern Sterling HS, also ceramic, I'm guessing it has to do more with redesigned preamps), still nothing you can't find your way out of with the onboard EQ (if you want to, we're still talking signature Musicman thickness).
  12. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    SVT or B15 for the amp. Ampeg fridge for the cab. Fender 4 string P for the bass, with stock but broken in strings.
  13. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    While I can understand the Stingray argument for slap, I don’t quite like them personally, so I’ll say a Jazz bass or variant. Not necessarily Fender - e.g. a used Lakland Skyline Darryl Jones 5 can be had for 1k. But really, try a bunch and buy one.
  14. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Can we switch the topic slightly, over to different flavors of slap tone?

    I have never slapped, which sounds weird, even to me. But one big reason is tone.
    I have to hear a tone on a bass and bass rig that moves me.

    Well I am reminded all over again ( I have taken long hiatuses from bass, but not music )
    how I like the deep slap tone. Maybe deep is a relative term. not exactly deep, but check this out..
    one of my favorite players is of course MMiller. But actually when I think about it.. at least for the sound coming from headphones, his sound is not low mid enough .
    I think my ears go way back to a Precision slap tone from seventies.

    Ok, so can you guys venture some opinions on different flavours of funky tone?
    Maybe even add some specs to the star players.. arbitrarily like... "Marcus slap tone focuses partly around 180 hz and the top of his slap is 4000 hz.

    Maybe this is a crazy idea, but if you feel it.. mention slap tone in these terms.

    Oh, I almost forgot.. I slapped through a big fridge SVT cab ( 8x10 ) and i think the bass almost didnt matter. Those 8 speakers all in your face.. create such a nice eq curve ( is that the correct term for it ?) I was really loving it.

    My problem is ability to not get injured lifting... has anyone ever used four small cabs to mimic 8 10's??

    Thank you all.
  15. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
  16. Funkgong


    Feb 28, 2018
    I hesitate between two Suhr basses which are the following.
    Knowing that it will be a bass intended for the sound Funk and the slap in particular.
    The first Suhr is a bass with an alder body and a rosewood fingerboard.
    It is second hand at a good price and I can therefore, by the intervention of a luthier, move the bridge pickup which is in position 60's to put it in position 70's.
    The second Suhr is new, with the body in swamp ash and the fingerboard in maple.
    It will keep its bridge pickup position in 60's though.
    My question is: in your opinion, for the funk/slap sound I'm looking for, which bass do you think is better?
    One with the body in alder and the fingerboard in rosewood but with the bridge pickup position in 70's, OR, one with the body in swamp ash and the fingerboard in maple, but with the bridge pickup position in 60's.
    thanks for your answers.
  17. Jack Deth

    Jack Deth

    May 7, 2020
    Sterling Ray35 5H perhaps?
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