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Newby to the forum and to basses, need some help...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ToddinTX, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. ToddinTX


    Mar 1, 2013
    I have heard great things about TalkBass but have just gotten around to joining so this is my first post. I realize the topic of acoustic basses has probably been discussed to death, but I have a specific question that hope you folks can help me with.

    I do some home recording of my music, mostly bluegrass, folk, and Americana. I would say my music falls somewhere between Tony Rice and Doc Watson, though I'm not nearly that good. I presently record using acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, voice, and very rarely electric guitar. My bass is a four string Samick Fairlane electric. I generally record a click track, then lay down the individual parts and then it's off to the DAW for mixing. So, knowing the above, here's my question...

    I would really like to just get rid of the electrics (guitar and bass) and go to acoustic only. But, my concern is that an acoustic bass guitar (I don't have room nor inclination for an upright) might blend in too well with the acoustic guitar. I do not record through an amp, I use individual mics. So, what do you guys think? Keep the electric and amp or go ahead and go acoustic?

    Also, any reviews on the Fender T-Bucket bass? My local dealer only sells Fender and Ibanez acoustic basses. The Fender seems louder and better made, but I am not that knowledgeable on acoustic basses, so steer me in the right direction!

  2. in a recording setting you can do pretty much what you want and have the acoustic bass guitar sit in the mix properly.

    An great example of ABG and acoustics (steel and dobro) mixed well would be "15 Keys" by Uncle Tupelo on their excellent album "Anodyne".
  3. You could always go acoustic electric and run it direct.
  4. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013

    I've never tried the T-Bucket, but I own a Fender Kingman acoustic that I use for my bluegrass group; it stands out pretty well against the acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle. Plus (as mentioned above) it's acoustic/electric, so you could run it direct.
  5. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Always record bass DI, but blow off the ABG and just use a real passive electric bass. ABGs are more trouble than they're worth for any purpose except possibly kindling.
  6. Avalon


    Feb 28, 2009
    Since you're into bluegrass and such, would you consider miking a washtub bass or maybe even a bass banjo? Sounds like what you want is some whump to underlay your jang.

    I'd think a washtub or bass banjo would do that pretty well.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry man, but I have yet to play an acoustic bass guitar I'd spend money on. That said, with the right mic technique and some mixing skills, you could make it work on a recording. But what I would do instead is get some gnarly old Precision or hollowbody for cheap, put flats on it and never ever change them unless they break, stick a piece of foam under the strings at the bridge to deaden them even more, and record it DI or mic an amp, your choice. That way, you actually have a usable electric bass plus get basically the same sound as an acoustic bass guitar only better.

    Or I'd buy an upright and learn how to play it if you REALLY want to get real with the old school country/bluegrass tones. Washtubs are awesome but can be difficult to be perfect with the intonation. May look simple but there's a pretty big learning curve to make them sound like music. Bass banjo is cool as well in its own ratty tinny way, but how many of them do you see floating around?
  8. ToddinTX


    Mar 1, 2013
    Thanks guys. Perhaps I should just keep the Fairlane and us it. Honestly, I'm just looking for some basic bass behind my acoustic. It doesn't have to be a thumpy upright sound, just something to anchor the music and give it some extra rhythm.

  9. Welcome to TB!

    I echo what others have said. I also own a Fender BG-32, very similar to a T-Bucket. It's good for two things; (1) when plugged in, it magnifies my poor technique and forces me to realize that I stink and (2) it's fun to noodle around with while watching TV because my favorite electric is incredibly quiet when unplugged.

    That being said, fill in your profile Bucko.:D
  10. Have you thought of using a bass ukulele? I saw a bluegrass group that the bassist used a bass uke, using a bose system for amp, and sounded JUST like an upright! Had to really look twice to see what was playing. Just a different direction thought...

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