ok, does a Music Man qualify as a "traditional" bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nostatic, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    central coast
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    As a follow-up to "all you need is a P-bass," or the do-you-need-a-traditional-bass conundrum, a related question for the masses. Do you think a Music Man qualify as a "traditional" bass for those gigs that call for it. I gigged a Sterling for a number of years in a bebop quartet of all things (doubling on upright) and it worked though I'd say it probably wasn't typical.

    Sonically it isn't a P or a J, but I found I could cop some usable tones. From a visual standpoint, since it has a pick guard and painted finish on first blush it looks Fenderish to the audience.

    Some might argue that at this point in bass history the MM is one of the traditional instruments along with a P and a J but I think he Fender hegemony still reigns.
  2. raal

    raal Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Minneapolis / St Paul
    IME, MM's are the standard when it comes to humbucking p/u's. i find applications where that sort of sound works better that sc's.
  3. Nobody

    Nobody Inactive

    Jul 14, 2004
    I'd say it's a modern traditional, a "moditional".
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  4. I initially thought yes but then remembered MMs are usually active.

    So with Fenders and old hollow bodies as the litmus for traditional, I'd have to say no.

    They do , however , kick much buttocks.
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  5. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Sure, if you want to.
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  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I absolutely think the StingRay qualifies as a traditional instrument. That is the main reason I still have mine - the idea that the P, J, MM, and dual soapbar are the four core bass configurations.

    EDIT: Not everyone will agree, but I think a Stingray does the warm, thuddy, vintage tone every bit as well (and in some ways better) asa P bass. I still prefer a P to a Ray, though.
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    In the vein I think it is meant, yes, a Stingray would be considered traditional. Certainly not a Bongo, but active electronics aside, a Stingray, especially one in Sunburst, will fit into any band looking for "that vintage" look.
  8. cronker


    Feb 13, 2007
    I agree in that I think a MM is one of those instruments that a top studio cat would be expected to be able to provide. If that is any kind of qualifier.
    After Fender, I would certainly say MM is perhaps in the next tier of standard basses.
  9. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    No one has balked at the Music Man in traditional situations. I've had a couple of record producers (nothing big or major) specifically ask for a Precision. Fair enough. Just looking for that P-bass look that makes them feel better. I get it.
  10. They do nowadays, having been around for nearly 40 years. They certainly aren't modern.

    When I think of what effectively the "archetypes" of bass are, I think of Stingray, Ric 4001, Jazz, and Precision (in no particular order).
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  11. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    Yes, a stingray will fit a traditional setting, but based on your comments about not getting along with P bass necks and geometry I would say "try before you buy". Stingrays have had different neck profiles over the years but they have more in common with a p bass than anything. (Unless you get the SLO neck).

    Given that you like the higher end stuff, why not take a look at a Lull or Sadowsky? I seem to remember you playing a Lull at one point, so you know how nice they are. :)
  12. I would definately say it's a Traditional. I guess it creeps into Modern with the Preamp and Modern sound in comparison to the Jazz/Precision. But it's Traditionl.
  13. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I consider The Stingray Traditional and very Classic. The Sterling also but not as much.
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  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The Stingray design is only sixteen years younger than the Jazz Bass. At least half of the folks who post here weren't born in 1976 when they first came out.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  15. topcat2069

    topcat2069 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Cathedral City Ca.
    Dave @ Gilley's.jpg
    YES... a StringRay is a traditional Active Bass. I got my 1st one in 1976 and played Country on it !... that's 39 years ago.... PLUS it was developed by the same guy that created the P BASS !

    P.S. I forgot to add that I used Gibson Observers Flat Wound Strings at the time.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  16. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    central coast
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I gigged a Sterling for a few years - 1.5" nut (4-string) and it is a great bass. I've had Sadowsky and Lulls as well, but ended up flipping them for one reason or another. At this point I'm seriously digging the Smith fretless so this is more philosophic wandering than anything. Though there is a Sterling 5 that I have an eye on...

    The other aspect of this is working on specific things with my playing and heading in some different directions. For instance I used to play only 5s, then went back to 4s to "start over", now have migrated back to 5 but still play 4. Along the way there was a 5-'er strung E-C and a focus on comping, and a period where I really wanted 24 frets. One good thing about recording every gig is that I can go back and listen to what I was doing and what worked and what didn't and figure out the variables. Usually it is operator error, but certain gear does tend to push you in certain directions if you want/let it.
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  17. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    A Stingray definitely does
    blindrabbit likes this.
  18. They bridge the gap between vintage and modern and do both pretty well.
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  19. eyeballkid


    Jul 19, 2009
    you know, I once saw a local craigslist ad for a heavy rock band that ONLY wanted a bassist that played passive basses and tube amps. While I love my passive jazz, and my tube amps I immediately thought "here's a bunch of guys that listen with their eyes", because I KNOW i could get as good if not better of a heavy rock tone with my Stingray as with any passive bass. If you measure "traditional" by "being awesome for a long time", yes, a Stingray qualifies.

    btw... Im all for having a good "look" for your band, and having an instrument that "fits" the music and band, but sometimes we all get waaaaay too caught up on visuals. I went to a show a few years ago locally where the opening band had real janky rigs and the bassist plugged in with this FUGLY pawnshop BC RICH looking knockoff and I thought "Oh boy, this'll be great!:rollno::rollno:". Hell, I felt like such a prejudiced idiot as soon as they started playing. Their bassist was a BEAST of a player with impeccable timing that drove the whole band into amazingness. Two songs in I didnt care if he had been playing a ukelele!! He was playing a "traditional" crap instrument, but that made no difference at all!
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
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  20. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Alnico yes. Ceramic no
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