pick up for tapping

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by klemmo, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. klemmo


    Nov 26, 2001
    I play with a one handed (my only hand) tapping technique. Recently, I switched to a lighter gauge string and found it really facilitated an ease of playing but my tone went to crap. Presently, I have emg select passive pick-ups. I was wondering if anyone could offer any guidance in selecting pick ups that would restore a rich low end sound instead of this nasal thing I got going. While I am at it, I should add that I broke out this cheap Electra bass I haven’t used in 10 years and was blown away by how much better it sounded and how good the slender neck felt to play on. Could it be that a cheap plastic composite neck could offer better tones for tapping?
  2. For big and warm I don't think you can go wrong with the Duncan Quarter pounder P pick up. It will blow away EMG Selects. Lighter gague will eat some tone. You may also want to consider replacing the nut on the bass if you went to a really lighter gague, the string slots could be too loose.

    Do you have any sound bites of your technique? If so post 'em I'd like to hear it.
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Fretboard hardness and neck stiffness are even more of interest when tapping.

    A heavy, passive pup will give you more warmth, while a lowimpedance, active pup like EMGs will "emphasise" clearness (which BTW is preferred by most tappers....;) )
  4. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    If you are only tapping, I'd definitely recommend the light strings, and then adjust other components to get the tone back. Like decent pickups (I hate the Selects myself), and you can probably raise them so they're fairly close to the string - not so close it chokes it but high enough to get back some volume you lost with the lighter strings.

    What's your current bass? If you ever see a PBC Electro-Mute bass check it out. It was designed by a guy around here Dave Bunker, with tapping in mind, it has a switch that mutes the open strings so they don't ring while you're tapping. I remember he sold a number of these to one-handed players.
    I think they were high-quality too.
  5. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    if you have the cash.. get a piezo bridge... tapping sounds amazing IMO through piezo's... listen to The album "a show of hands" by vic wooten, a couple of songs there are tapped on piezo's
  6. klemmo


    Nov 26, 2001
    Thanks for the all the helpful information. I am not sophisticated enough to put a sound bite of my playing on the net. I think in recordings it is not really that evident that I am tapping as opposed to other techniques but I play mostly with jazz combos. At present, I have a bass that a shop put together for me several years ago. It has a rosewood neck and all the heavy-duty hardware but it is nothing special. The problem I have with the lighter strings in not output but quality of tone. I think I will have to go back to heavier gauge strings till I figure out whether to buy one a new bass or try and put together a bass with a slim solid neck and better pick ups. For anyone interested you can actually buy bass tapper strings at http://touchstyle.com/strings.html . I sent away for some but I got the feeling they are not going to sound that great until I get a better bass. Also for those interested there is a short article about how to adjust your bass for tapping at http://traevoli.com/tapbass.php3 thanks
  7. CEM

    CEM Guest

    Nov 3, 2001
    Cincinnati, OH
    Have you considered a Chapman Stick? I believe that these were made for tapping. I don't know what kind of pickups are on them. As far as I know they are sorta pricey too...
  8. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    They have three pickup options available, standard Stick pickups, EMG single-coils, and a new set made by Villex I think. I only have experience with the first and they of corse work very well for tapping, with a sharp attack to the sound.

    Fewest amount of strings you can get (without a custom anyway) is 8, however. :) The Stick Bass is tuned BEADGCFBb regularly (custom tunings abound however).

    The web site www.stick.com has prices, but if I recall the total tab on a new Stick or Stick Bass is around $1600 (including case). Not cheap, but not pricey either. The pricey option would be a Warr guitar :) but they are very nice too.
  9. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy Bongo destroys villages and does my laundry Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    Hey, geshel (and klemmo) Austin Douglas Guitars are a cost efficient option with 8 strings. With the right setup, and instrument, a tapped bass line can sound as full as a plucked or picked one. As a matter of fact, my 8-string Warr Guitar has more bass output (buckets of it) than my conventional bass guitars.

    Sticks are cool too ;)