Opinions - can a bass be TOO lightweight?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keith Guitars, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. No - the lighter, the better!

    45 vote(s)
  2. Yes - I need some weight for it to feel right!

    50 vote(s)
  3. I don't care. Light, heavy, whatever.

    27 vote(s)
  1. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    OK - here goes:

    Can a bass be too lightweight?

    Leaving aside questions of tone (PLEASE!), is there such a thing as a bass that goes too far with light weight?

    To narrow it down - let's keep opinions focused on the generally understood platform of normally-size 4/5/6-string, basically solidbody style instruments - not ABGs, mini-basses, or other fringe-style stuff.

    Also - why not post your idea of what's "heavy" for a bass, what's "light", and/or what's "Just Right". It would be interesting to see a sample of what people consider 'normal'.

    Fire away!

  2. MiJaKo


    Oct 27, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    I need to feel the vibration in the body, so for my own reasons, yes, a bass can be too lightweight.
  3. ShirazBop

    ShirazBop When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    Greensboro, NC
    Lightest I've owned was just over 8 lbs and felt really great!.. Heaviest ~11, a bit imbalanced and bottom heavy,.. Prefer mid 8 lb range though my new 5 string is 9.2 and I can't put her down...great balance, and a good wide neoprene strap makes all the difference. I think too light might detract from the feel of the instrument having substance and making it feel maybe too toyish...being totally subjective...
  4. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    I played some light weight basses but I didn't care for the overall tone of them. I like my basses around 8.5 to 9.5 lbs.
  5. I prefer heavier basses generally
  6. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    If the body is so light it neck dives even if front strap button is near the 12th fret, then Id say was to lightweight. Otherwise no. For me the most resonant easilly felt vibrations thru body and neck have been with lighter basses. Basswood and mahogany, & royal paowania? I prefer 8 and half pds or less for single neck bass.
  7. superblues

    superblues Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Lightest I've owned was a few ounces under 7 lbs. Lightest I own now is a few ounces under 8 lbs. Heaviest was nearly 12 lbs. It lasted less than 24 hours in my stable.

    I greatly prefer lighter weight basses. Just under 8 lbs is ideal.
  8. Kilometers


    Nov 7, 2012
    I think a bass should be light enough to be comfortable for hours and hours but heavy enough to not be moved around too much by your personal playing technique. Find those extremes and then you've got a lot of middle area to work with.
  9. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    the lightest bass I even played was a kingston heir, i think it was between 6 and 7 pounds (basswood)

    I thought it was great. I've thought about doing a warmoth out of basswood, but I don't know what regular neck would do to the balance
  10. Catbuster


    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    If the neck doesn't balance on a skinny strap, the body is too light. So is under 7 lbs
  11. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Lightest bass I own was just over 7lbs. and it was fantastic. Used to practice and play standing up for 3hrs before feeling dragged down. Had a P-Bass that weighed 13.1lbs... Could barely stand up with it for more than 20 minutes before pain started to set in. So, yeah, the lighter, the better (for me).
  12. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    As I get older I prefer lighter basses.
    There I said it, my dark secret is out now.
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Yes. I dont really like anything under 8 pounds. I think it balances better and just feels a certain way that influences me in my playing.
  14. RoeyHaviv


    Apr 1, 2011
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Vigier guitars, Pigtronix Effects
    My 5 string Passion Bass it about 7.5, I like it light but more important is how its balanced.
    A bass can feel heavier if it doesn't balance right.
  15. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member

    I think I really weakened my shoulder and lower back from playing a near 12 pound bass through half of college and a few years after that (I'm not a big guy at all)...went boutique and my current axe is 8.1 lbs...pretty light to be sure and is pretty well balanced, but even at that it hurts my shoulder after an hour? So yea, the lighter the better.

    On a side note: when you guys mention a good neoprene strap, which one(s) did you have in mind? I used the comfort strapp (wider bass version) on the 12 pounder for years...isn't that neoprene too?
  16. My favorite basses are really heavy. But lightweight basses are fun to play. My girlfriend's Jay Turser is the lightest bass I've ever felt. Must be 4 or 5 pounds. Feels like the body isn't even there. Because it feels like such a toy, it's a lot of fun to play when you're moving around a lot. Gives you much better control. But, my basses are all 8-10 lbs. or so.
  17. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    As light as possible without neck dive. I prefer light basses but I'd rather have weight than neck dive.
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    neck dive is indeed the limiting factor.
  19. Fuzzbassian


    Jan 12, 2012
    I need a bit of heft in my bass get a good feel really.I feel like I need that weight there to give me something really tangible to dig into,as my finger picking style is quite aggressive.
  20. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    Really, It doesn't matter that much to me, as long as I like the feel and the balance of the bass.

    If your bass is too heavy, you just need a Neotech strap! ;)