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Jazz on a Steinberger??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DWBass, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    How many of you do or do you know anyone who plays jazz music on a Steinberger?? I'm asking because I'm watching BETonJazz and dude is playing a Steinberger and it just looks weird to me!! Do you think a Steinberger is truly functional enough for a jazz or advanced musician in general?
  2. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be. It's like when Eddie Van Halen was playing Ted Templeman's acoustic and he was surprised Eddie could play it. Eddie said that of course he could play it. It has six strings doesn't it?

    BTW, Sting played the hell out of a Steinberger during the Synchronicity tour. I'd say it's "truly functional".
  3. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
  4. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Ornette Colemans bass player, and I'm sure I'm probably butchering his name, Jamualadeen Tacuma used one for years! Nothing wrong with his playing? He also plays on James Carters (Sax) "Layin in the Cut".
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    That may have been him as James Carter was the sax cat playing on BET!
  6. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    My Steinberger has served me very well as my primary bass since 1989. Now that I've got a new toy (Lakland DJ5), it's gathering some dust, but I'll never get rid of it. :D I'd say it's one of the most "functional" basses I've ever played, and it's a snap to get a great tone out of it.
  7. What Moo said... I have an 80's M-series,which was very versatile and rarely got out of tune. LISTEN to it rather than get hung up on the headless thing.
  8. RG


    May 11, 2000
    central Illinois
    I'm playing a Steinberger Synapse and it does real well on some of the jazz/swing type tunes we do. I find it to be very versatile especially with the magnetic p/u and piezo p/u.
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I own a Cort B2A 'Steiny' copy and although it's a great sounding bass, it's not that comfortable for me to play. It just seemed so out of place in a free jazz setting aesthetically speaking of course! You know......suit and tie and.........low slung Steinberger!
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Who plays "Free Jazz" in a suit and tie!!!??? :eek:

    That seems much more jarring an idea to me! :confused:

    It's not exactly "Free", is it?
  11. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Surely the whole thing about a Steinberger is "functionality"?
  12. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I don't even think functionality is an issue. One can play jazz on a Fender Jazz or a Wishbass. Certainly the Jazz would sound better, but they'll both function well enough to get the job done. Maybe one would be more awkward to play than the other, but that's more personal preference than functionality.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Jerome Harris who has played bass with Sonny Rollins is another Steinberger player.

    Steinbergers were very high end and cutting edge when first introduced. As usual, flooding the market with cheap import versions (the Spirits from musicyo.com) while stopping production of the "real thing" has tarnished the brand image.
  14. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I agree entirely, either would get the job done. But not necessarily equally well.

    What I meant in my original post was that Ned Steinberger's design philosophy back in the early days (early 80's, IIRC) was to build a no frills instrument where each component was as effective/efficient as possible for its given function. This was done by having a pretty ruthless rethink (fairly obvious, this :eek: ) of traditional component design and materials and taking advantage of modern advances in these areas.

    That's not to say the bass hasn't got any aesthetic appeal, BTW - I think the Steinberger design has an appeal all of it's own, precisely because of that "functional" approach.
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Aesthetically, I can see it in any other situation but jazz. It just looked weird to me. That's not to say it's not a functionally enough bass for an advanced player as proven by JT who plays them on the regular.
  16. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Good thing Monk Montgomery and James Jamerson didn't worry about that when they picked up the Fender way back when!
  17. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    If you were stranded on a desert island with only a Steinberger and a full-size 1700s Italian upright, and had an opportunity to paddle a makeshift raft 500 miles to the nearest mainland, which would you use as your paddle?
  18. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    Now it all makes sense!
  19. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Is this a trick question? :D
  20. I think that they look really great - better than some boring old Fender jazz/precision.
    They are also very versatile instruments - they are a real bass so why not play jazz.What a silly question. :hyper: