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Punk bassists using single coil P basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Down_Low, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Any punk bassist out there using single coil P basses (ie 51/Tele bases)? Or anyone know of any? I’ve been getting into a lot of Police lately, and thinking of building a 51 style P bass, but wondering how well it will work compared to the dual coil P.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Mike Dirnt
    Callused Finger likes this.
  3. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The pickup is different not better not worse than a P. Some prefer it. It can be more balanced across the spectrum. It doesn’t have the doink and big color the Ps have. Hey I love both. Your specific touch determines actually how excellent that pickup sounds to you. Our opinions here are just that. Of all the electric basses out there these can sound like uprights. Even with frets. Leo knew what he was doing.

    Steer clear, my opinion, of the quarterpound versions. They tend to have more and unnecessary output at the expense of the original tonal complexity of the single coil. I have not tried the hum canceling versions of the single coil but I next to never have an issue stage or studio. Fralin makes great pickups. The Muy Grande by Rio Grande is an accurate representation while having a wider frequency range.

    Listen to Jeff Beck’s second album, Beck Ola. You will hear a Telebass single coil through Marshalls. Spanish Boots is a particularly raucous tune. This is Ron Wood. A stellar bassist!
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I’ve seen plenty of them in 30+ years of punk shows. I always think they are cool.
    Ghastly likes this.
  5. Cliche I know but why does it matter what anyone else plays. Early 80's even cheap roundwounds were £12 - £15 here in Scotland, I got a set of Roto Tru Bass tapes for £5. Only comment from the band was " Where'd you get black strings ??"

    Fast forward to today I'm playing a single coil P-bass with TI flats for Screeching Weasel tunes. If you want to play punk on a single coil P-bass then do it.
    soktau, mbasile, Down_Low and 2 others like this.
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Well Punk says do what you want until it like other idioms starts saying you’re in you’re out.
    Wait! Is your bass down over your knees? :)
    Fxpmusic likes this.
  7. Plake

    Plake Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    Watt did for years but he dropped a thunderbird p/u in there. IMG_0296.PNG
  8. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I wasn't there playing in the very beginning of punk but pretty close. People played what they could get/afford. If there is any genre where what you play doesn't matter, its punk.
    Teijo K., HolmeBass and Oddly like this.
  9. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    gibson grabber is a single coil
    (couldn't afford a fender in the old days)
  10. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O))))

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Here's an excellent example of what the Telecaster can sound like live:
    JMacBass65 and ajkula66 like this.
  11. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Love it! Two Marshall Majors with 4 4x12 100w cabs. There’s that little known, untalented, never to be famous singer. :):):)

    First tune “All Shook Up”!!!!
  12. Thanks everyone, appreciate the feedback and the clips/songs. And while I agree with the “play whatever you want” mantra for all styles of music, the 70’s are long over and some of us playing punk rock now (still trying to hang on to our youth) prefer to have decent gear that sounds good.

    Mike’s P basses have a dual coil pickup, it just looks like a ‘50s P.
  13. It's not punk but a loud 3 piece rock band: Dusty Hill from ZZ Top has almost always used a SCPB.
    jhb138, Down_Low, Fxpmusic and 2 others like this.
  14. @Down_Low
    I don't see folks saying you should buy cheap but the 50's style P-bass is a simple thing. Put one together yourself.
    Key is a good neck.
    Body wood ? Fender used pine at one time so "tone wood" aint a factor
    2 saddle Vs Hi-Mass or BBOT ? That's visuals so your call.
    Pickups ? Folks always cite Seymour Duncan so here's some other options,these fellas are European.

    3 variants here from Haeussel
    Haeussel Pickups: P-Bass OldStyle

    4 or 5 from Herrick
    Tele '51' Bass Single Coil

    Just the 1 from Jess :)
    P-bass® 51 replica

    Hope 2018 is a killer single coil P-bass year for you
    blindrabbit and Oddly like this.
  15. I don’t play punk but did pick up a scpb last week. It’s in my avatar. It’s pretty much all I’ve been playing since getting it. It sounds a lot like a split coil P but with a little truer, more even tone across the spectrum because there is no interaction between 2 different coils (which tends to emphasize and diminish certain frequencies) imo.
    The stock single coil is susceptible to hum . If playing out you might need a noise gate or one of the humbucking options.
    They tend to have rather generous neck dimensions- so try before buy. The only other thing is that if you’re wailing away with a pick or slapping, there is a potential for problems because the pickup is unusual in that there is no cover over it in the general sense.
    Tooned, Down_Low and jonnybass1 like this.
  16. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Klaus Flouride of the Dead Kennedy's plays a Jazz Bass...

    Greg Norton of Husker Du plays a Gibson Victory standard.

    Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols played a p bass split coil...
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  17. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Doesn't playing decent gear that sounds good go against everything that punk stands for?
  18. It will be noisy, unless you put in one of those split-coil pickups hidden under a single-coil cover,
    then again if you're playing Punk, that could be something you just add to your sound
  19. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    Once your bass goes through an amp & a barrage of pedals & effects - it almost doesn't matter what bass you have. Once through the signal chain and coming out of a massive PA, you wont be able to distinguish a Fender bass from a Dan Armstrong plexiglass bass to a Spector bass.
    FugaziBomb likes this.
  20. Definitely the most ridiculous thing I've heard all day. You're either using a hell of a lot of effects, or you're just not listening.

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