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How do modern basses feel?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zelig.audio, Dec 2, 2017.


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  1. zelig.audio

    zelig.audio

    Apr 12, 2013
    I guess the title says it all, but I’ll explain it a bit more.

    I’ve always played Fender-style basses. Not all of them were original fenders, let alone actual vintage ones, but I’m always left wondering how a modern-style bass feels playing-wise compared to a regular Fender.

    I know very well the differences in tone, but not how they *feel* in one’s hands, if actually there’s a difference in this regard.

    (Maybe a preliminar question would be what’s a modern bass. I’ll leave that to each answerer’s discretion)

    Thanks!
     
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Typically skinnier necks with very flat fretboards. Bodies tend to be thinner too, IME.
     
  3. My best advice would be for you to visit a music store if one is near you. Test a few different basses to see how they feel. Also test them with a strap to gauge their weight.
     
  4. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Considering there are hundreds of different "modern" basses and manufacturers, there's no one answer. Each feels different.
     
  5. I may have misunderstood you but I thought you wanted a comparison of new Fender style to old Fender style. If so I would say go play a new Fender American Pro, I've played a few of them and they seem to be set up pretty well, a lot of new basses sit around the shop and need to be tweaked but no one ever does it so they're not usually set up optimum so they will not feel as good to you as they could after you set them up at home. I've been playing since the late 60's and really like the new basses although I like the vintage bass necks better or at least the J necks, they're rounder.
     
  6. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    You should go play some at a store.
    Your experience is better than any of our explanations.
     
  7. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Yes, this is the best answer. It really has to be felt to make most sense. I would recommend trying an Ibanez SR bass for comparison. Slimmer, flatter fretboard are things I've noticed.
     
    zelig.audio likes this.
  8. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Not Quite Right! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2013
    Whitby Ontario
    This. But you really have to try a few to see if it is what you like. I have a "modern" Schecter C4 Custom, active, thin neck, flat fretboard and love how it plays and sounds.
     
  9. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Virginia
    Ski jump or no ski jump...
     
    el_Bajo_Verde and mpdd like this.
  10. They use their hands.
     
    Old Blastard likes this.
  11. Have you never been to a store?
     
    pomegranesis and gebass6 like this.
  12. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    as said, they usually have thinner necks with a flatter fretboard radius sometimes even compound radius. they might have asymmetrical necks as well. they usually have more frets and because of this the body gets smaller which might make a difference in feel.
     
    zelig.audio likes this.
  13. bassstrangler

    bassstrangler

    Mar 2, 2015
    I much prefer a big chunky Precision style neck. I owned some skinny thin necked Ibanez 4 string basses. I don't own them anymore as the just weren't comfortable to play. I have a 5 and a 6 string Ibanez bass even though they are thinner they are easier for me to play than the 4s

    Lesson learned, stick with what's comfortable.
     
    zelig.audio likes this.
  14. bobba66

    bobba66

    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Like bony macaroni!:woot:
     
  15. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    They more often than not have closer to flat radius
    Skinnier neck
    the shape of the neck can vary a lot but it is far from a typical Fender-ish bass
    Body is more ergonomic, better contouring
    24 frets !!!
    Active/passive system instead of only passive
    Various pickup style

    In all, completely different ... if you want modern but Fender-ish ... a lot of brand do copy Fender and make them a lot better.
     
    zelig.audio likes this.
  16. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    "How do modern basses feel?"

    With all the self help advice distributed these days, they actually feel more like themselves, than they ever did...
     
    two fingers and zelig.audio like this.
  17. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    That's a very odd question, although it does speak to how much disdain Fender has for evolution in their products.
    Bass brands are very different from each other, so it is hard to really qualify what "modern" means when it applies to literally hundreds of different instruments with different builds.
    However, if we look a a more modern take on the basic Fender design, Sadowsky and Lakland have lighter bodies and necks that are more ergonomic. A lot of basses, and equipment in general, from the 60s and 70s believed that physical weight and size were measures of quality. With a little engineering know how, they can build similar sounding basses that don't destroy your shoulder or require catcher's-mit hands to play. More attention is also paid to avoiding neck dive.
    Far more "evolved" basses with have compound necks and curves in the body that make them for more comfortable to play. Because of computer aided mills and using lasers to measure parts for accuracy, there is a lot more consistency from instrument to instrument. The setups aren't always great, and the mechanical parts can be a problem, but there is far less of a chance of getting a dud right off the shelf.
     
    gebass6 and zelig.audio like this.
  18. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    Fender evolves. They've released dozens of new models over the years. No one buys them in enough numbers to justify keeping those lines in production.
     
    mdogs likes this.
  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    First of all, how does a "regular Fender" feel? An Aerodyne feels quite different from an American P bass, which doesn't feel much like a MIJ Mustang, which doesn't feel much like a Squier SS Jaguar.

    "Modern basses" are kinda like that.
     
  20. zelig.audio

    zelig.audio

    Apr 12, 2013
    Thank you for all the answers. Of course I've been to stores, but (1) where I live one does not find much variety in them and (2) I wasn't entirely sure about what would qualify as de facto modern, but I was thinking about those basses like Foderas and the like.

    One thing catched my attention in what some of you said, though: flatter fretboards make for more ergonomic basses. I always felt a bit of a discomfort on the base of my index finger when playing fingerboards of this shape and took it for granted that then it would be less comfortable for everybody. What do you feel about the flatter FBs that make them better to play?
     

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