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Good bass guitars for finger style in metal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ferdugan, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Ferdugan


    Jun 30, 2012
    Hey fellas,
    I play metal, and I'm looking into buying a new 5 string bass. I use my fingers, as I was never very good with a pick, nor was I ever really interested in playing with a pick. But my guitarists INSIST I should use a pick because they say they like the sound a pick produces, and that it is more pesent and what not...

    But I still refuse to go that route. Finger just works for me. So, I've been attempting to emulate the "pick" sound with my fingers by striking strings harder and turning the teble up a notch. The bass I use now just doesn't cut it. It's a lower grade Schecter Damien 5. I need to upgrade.

    What would be a good 5 string bass that would suit the sound I'm looking for? I don't have a huge budget, so I'd have to limit my price range from $800 to $1200.

    Thanks a lot guys!
  2. ChiefHoghead


    Jan 20, 2013
    You should Get a Bongo 5HH. I've got one and play metal with both fingerstyle and pick. Bongo is extremly versatile. G&L L-2000/2500 would also be great!
  3. Some suggestions id say would be to check out the ibanez atk basses in that range, music man, maybe carvin too. Something with an mm style pickup at the bridge.

    Keep in mind that its impossible to get the "played with a pick" sound without using a pick.

    If you definitely want to upgrade, try looking for metal bass players who use their fingers and see what they use. If that doesnt work for you, you could try to convince your guitarists to change their eq to give you a little more space in the mix.
  4. Ferdugan


    Jun 30, 2012
    Thanks, cheif, for the suggestions.. I'll check them out!
    And Toolmybass, I have been digging deep on the the Legend. I've been a fan of spectors from watching Dan Briggs shred on his.
    I first looked up the NS 5XL..... then I saw the price... ouch.

    Much appreciated!
  5. ChiefHoghead


    Jan 20, 2013
    I can confirm on MM and ATK since I've got ATK300 and recently had a Stingray 4H. You might also consider Jazz/Jaguar/Precision. I use them all and they are great in metal music. Turn up the low mids and add some tube grit and you are good to go! I think most traditional solid body basses will be great as long as you EQ your amp right to get the sound you need. I don't see any problem with fingerstyle in metal... Dig in hard and add some treble/presence to provide some extra "snap". Off you go;)
  6. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Something that is comfortable to play, the hardest thing about playing Metal for me is endurance. 7 minutes of jumping around playing Steve Harris gallops can be pretty tiring, especially when you have a drummer that likes to increase tempo throughout the song.
  7. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009

    Getting a pick tone from fingers may be a tall order. Perhaps low action, more treble and a compressor would be a good first step before getting a new bass. Even new pickups and preamp may bring some more spark out of OP's Schecter.
  8. NOT


    Jul 15, 2011
    You probably wanna go with an active bass. Jackson basses are very underated and reliable. I just put strings on my old Jackson CMG after not really playing it for a year or two. This thing sings! It really cuts thru the mix (Pick or fingerstyle) unlike any of my passive basses.
  9. what kind of metal? there are plenty of metal guys here, you can get detailed and we'll know what you're talking about.

    the pick thing brings me back to the type of metal. tremolo picking is an iconic part of death metal and black metal. I was replaced in a death metal band for refusing to tremolo pick, now a lot of guys here might get up and arms over that statement, but they were specific in what they wanted and i refused so they found someone that would do the job they were looking for. no hard feelings.

    what exactly is wrong with your schecter? what don't you like about it? that being said with that budget you got a lot of options especially if your willing to go used, which i highly suggest.

    personally I used a MM stingray for death metal, metalcore, and a radio rock band. I now use a MIM fender jazz five in my "heavy southern metal" band. both have netted me compliments. on my tone and how heavy my bass was.
  10. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    If you want to cut and be more present, picking harder is not the solution. Your amp and EQing are also more important than your bass. If you're dead set on a new bass though, I recommend Warwick or Spector. Those Schecters, ESP's, Ibanez's etc. which are always touted as metal basses are far too clean and hi-fi sounding for metal, IMO. A Warwick or Spector, or even a Fender will be far more aggressive and cut better.

    If you haven't seen this thread yet, I suggest checking it out now: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f21/d...-make-fingerstyle-playing-heard-metal-378173/
  11. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    Tell the guitarist to play his instrument and you'll play yours. Ridiculous. Guitarist don't know anything about good bass tones anyways.
    Most of the best metal bass players play with their fingers. If your looking for dynamics in metal music, fingers is the only way to go. You need a little clank, lower your action or dig in a bit. Need a nice warm sounding thump.... You got that too. Playing closer to the bridge will give you a more "pick like tone". I would explore your playing technique before I spend a bunch of money chasing the perfect sounding bass.
    If you allow your technique to become the sound and not the bass.... Your on your way to becoming a great bassist in any genre.
  12. aruperu


    Jan 3, 2013
    I'd go with classics.

    Jazz Bass is okay with metal, i'd say great. Just listen to Opeth recordings, especially their Deliverance album, their bassist always uses JB's and fingerstyle. Awesome sound, just the way it should be. Though sometimes uses precision basses @ live gigs.
  13. A great 5 string for metal is a Steve Harris P-bass. You'll just have to pretend that low B string is there when it's really not.
  14. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
  15. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I don't know ... I think a good preamp like a Sansamp will do the trick most of the time ... well each time I looked up the gear of some extrem metal bass player they all have it.

    Also ... I'm surprise most people when they say metal it is still like Iron Maiden ... I think more of :

  16. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    All the basses listed will work. Personally, I'd go with a Spector P/J for metal, with a Fender Precision or Jazz a close second. Warwicks are excellent but very polarizing- you either love 'em or hate 'em.

    None will let you get a pick sound with your fingers. That bass doesn't exist because you can't do it. If you like playing with your fingers and like the sound, then that's all you need. Trying to get an impossible sound is a waste of time and will divert your attention during practice from more important things.
  17. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    I can't play with a pick either , but i can double thump with a thumbnail with meat on it.

    Thumbnail and flesh almost perpendicular to the fingerboard.

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