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Getting a funk bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mogalen, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Mogalen


    Mar 5, 2013
    What would you recommend that's under a grand? I will play funk and soul type music. I've been seriously considering a fretless warwick basic class 4. I have a fretted bass for when the need arises as well as for my metal band.

    What would you recommend?

    Best regards,
  2. Everything depends on a funk influences. Robert "Kool" Bell was seen mostly with his Alembic, that I believe is too expensive for you. But as far as I saw a few other funk bands, I think that a JB would be a good choice.
  3. SilGarzaJr

    SilGarzaJr SilGarzaJr

    Mar 28, 2012
    North Texas
    Stingray - find a used one for under a grand.

    Good luck!

  4. KTFunkAlive


    Nov 28, 2007
    Funk & Soul = Jazz Bass. IMO
  5. If you want an Alembic you can probably find a used Spoiler for under 1000.
  6. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    The answer is p bass with rounds (See George Porter Jr.) but just about any stick will do. It has more to do with you than the stick.
  7. LennyPenny


    Mar 14, 2011
    Depends on the style of funk you're going for. I personally feel something Jazz bass-ish (basically anything with a bridge pickup) would seem more appropriate for fast, rather modern funk, whereas something Precision-ish seem more appropriate for boomy soul. So I'd go Jazz or some P-bass with a bridge pickup.

    I quite enjoy the Precision sound for virtually every music style. My apologies if this didn't help at all, I'm not educated enough on the subject of fretless.
  8. "Funk" can be anything from Marva Whitney to level 42.

    So your bass could be anything from a semi acoustic vox to a status.
  9. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Any bass can be funky, I would recommend a Jazz or P/J bass for versatility. I'm a big fan of the Tony Franklin bass.

  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I'd recommend something you're comfortable playing. The rest is up to you.

    There is no funk bass, there are plenty examples of unfunkiness on just about any bass you can come up with.
  11. Ian_Flash


    Jan 17, 2013
    From my experience, the Warwick basic fretless is one of the best funk basses around. It's got Growl, it's got excellent MWAHHH, and the Warwick passive P/U's will give very accurate Jaco tones. You can even Slap on it, just don't change the string type. The O.E.M Strings are Warwick S. Steel roundwounds, .045 - .105. Any other good brand of SS/RW will work, and the Ebony fretboard will hold up well under their use.
  12. bdywzbrian


    Mar 16, 2012
    NW Illinois
    HH or any active/passive?
  13. Mogalen


    Mar 5, 2013
    Sorry, I'm going to play stuff like James Brown, Tower of Power, Larry Graham... The occasional RHCP as well. I'm going to learn Jaco's Portrait of Tracy as well, which I will use as an introduction to the gigs my band does.
  14. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009

  15. bassfart


    May 5, 2008
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1363156756.863069. this cover all the bases.
  16. peledog

    peledog Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Nice bass. Probably not under $1k though.

    Old school vibe - jazz or P bass
    Harder funk - Music Man
    Hi Fi sound - Spector Rebop, active jazz

    All these can be had for under $1k each.

    It really is all in the fingers, the amp and your soul.
  17. IronLung1986


    May 19, 2010
    Exeter, NH
    those passive warwick corvettes are pretty good sounding and reasonably priced. i bet you could get a great burpy bridge pickup sound. i've seen them at several different guitar centers so finding one to try probably wouldn't be too hard.
  18. If you want to play 60s/70s style soul - buy a p-bass.

    If you wanna play modern soul and classic funk (LOL), buy a stingray or a jazz bass.
    You can simulate a p-bass sound on a jazz bass (nor exactly but kind of), but you can't otherwise.

    The jazz bass is the most versatile bass.

  19. Mogalen


    Mar 5, 2013
    Yeah, I'll aim for a fretless that I enjoy the sound of. I'll keep my current bass for the metalband. I just need to find my tone, the rest I already got.
  20. I do all of what you've said on a Stingray. I only really got into using one because I wanted to sound like Bernard Edwards. A 2 band or a 3 band in H or HH form will get you there - I would tend to use a 2 band but it's not essential. An H is bit easier to slap on than an HH.

    If you want a late 70s/80s sound other basses you could try would be Warwick; Ibanez Musician; Fender Jazz (active); or even a Wal (but probably out of your price range) - one of the funkiest bass players I ever heard was Alan Spenner - who played a Wal after the mid 70s. I believe you will be better off with an active bass to do this style because you need more punch than a pasive bass will give to give clear articulation of notes (witnessed by the fact that people like Nate Watts put their P or J basses through pre amps like Alembic in the studio - eg Sir Duke and I Wish - and used Stingrays later).

    However if you want to do Motown/Meters/earlier James Brown type stuff, possibly a P bass, but the others should be OK also. Note that some people (incl quite famous ones) strap outboard pre amps on their P basses doing this type of music.

    As other people have said, funkiness comes from the player also - so especially note lengths, spacing between notes are crucial - also other elements of technique like string attack and muting, and varying those, are important elements.

    You really are best off trying basses out and playing some of your favourite lines on them to inform your choice. I've heard people sound funky on Les Paul recording basses - so much of it is to do with the player. Pino's work with John Mayer Trio on a P bass is some of the funkiest you'll hear.

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