I was advised to use a Jazz Bass.. help!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pinta, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Pinta


    Aug 26, 2011
    My main bass is a Musicman Stingray, im recording in a serious studio with my band on September and we made some pre-recordings 2 weeks ago so we could each listen to our mistakes and play better for the record.

    2 different people, (whose opinions I respect greatly) suggested the band needed a "jazz bass sound". Last rehearsel I played with my jazz bass and i really enjoyed it's sound.

    I'm planning now to use the Musicman for live gigs and the Jazz Bass for rehearsels/recording.

    I'm wondering, what is the "jazz bass sound", why would two different people think the same thing?

    Thank you!
  2. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    I'd take whatever bass you like playing to the studio, they can eq it to sound like whatever they want on the album.
  3. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I find the MM sound to be heavier and more aggressive than the Jazz bass sound which is full of growl but thinner. I like your idea use the MM live because it will cut through with a nice aggressive tone. I personally prefer the MM sound, I wish I never got rid of mine. I love that thick trebbly sound
  4. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    Well, Marcus Miller has a jazz bass, and it makes a specific sound and is built with specific woods. Jaco Pastorius had a jazz bass, and it made a much different sound and was built with different woods than Miller's. I play a jazz bass, and it makes yet a much different sound than the other's jazz basses and is made with different woods than Miller and Pastorius and also wear old flatwounds. Plus, I'm no where near as skilled as Miller or Pastorius.

    See what I am getting at?

    My advice is don't put too much credence into what people say you should sound like. Listen to the sounds you hear your bass, fingers and amp create, and compare it to other things you like and let your sound and style develop based primarily on that.
  5. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    To heck with 'em all. Play a P-Bass.
  6. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    I disagree with that statement.
    You are not going to take a stingray into a studio and make it sound like a jazz. Ain't gonna happen.
  7. This. The Jazz is "smoother" the MM cuts through and has a certain buzz saw quality you can't just EQ out. Playing live you can get away with much more so can play the bass that feels better to you rather than totally nails the sound.
  8. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Listen to songs from Rage Against The Machines first album (Stingray) and then listen to the 2nd Album Evil Empire (Jazz Bass). This is the only example I can think of off the top of my head where u can here the contrast from the same player in tbe same band.
  9. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    This may be true, but a musicman with the same strings played by him will sound close enough for a recording.
  10. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    As I guy who loves both tones...I really prefer the sound of J in the studio lot more then a J over stingray type of tone. Its just appears to sit better.
  11. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I find the attack of the Jazz and the MusicMan to be the biggest difference in sound. An engineer can EQ all day but can't change the way the pickup sees the strings. MusicMan basses in particular have a certain attack that I can usually always identify.
  12. Also, check out One Hot Minute vs. Stadium Arcadium. Flea uses his Stingray on One Hot Minute and a Jazz on Stadium Arcadium.
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member


    I have owned over 70 different high end bases over the last 7-8 years and almost always record with a P bass. Engineers like them and they always sound great.

    Playing a Jazz or a P in the studio and playing live with a Gibson (Nikki Sixx), Modulus (Flea) or even Fodera or other high end basses happens all the time.

    Record what sounds the best and gig with whatever you normally play. Works for me anyways.....
  14. remainthesame


    Sep 24, 2008
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I have never noticed it before I read your comment, but you are right. The bass tones between those two albums are completely different. You can definitely hear that signature StingRay sound in the first album. I prefer the Ray
  16. I'm all about playing my Stingray live but for studio I'd probably use a P or a J. They just sound so good in a studio mix.
  17. Yup. This guy. But on topic, I agree with studio J and live Ray.
  18. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006
    I disagree. Neither a Jazz nor a P is thinner sounding than a Ray.
  19. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Honestly on a recording you can't go wrong with any of Leo's creations. The necks are pretty different between a ray and a jazz, I've never been particularly fond of jazz necks so given the choice between a mm and a jazz, i'd pick the ray.
    There are wonderful examples of both sounding great. I've never once listened to Tony Levin playing a musicman and thought he'd sound so much better on a jazz.
  20. DrSpunkwater


    Sep 17, 2012
    I have a Jazz with Lawrence J45s. It sounds very thick to my ears.

    If you like the jazz, by all means, use it in the studio. Both pickups on give it a strong grind that sounds slightly scooped. Very aggressive sounding for a passive instrument. But then again, you really can't go wrong with a jazz or a stingray since Leo designed them both anyway.

    Leo got it right every time.