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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grant22, Dec 24, 2005.
What are some good basses for church use in the $800-$1200 range?
If you include used basses, $800-$1,200 gives you a tremendous number of options. I would look at are Musicman Stingrays and Bongos, Lakland Skylines, Peavey USA Millenniums. All the basses I have mentioned are five strings. Check out MIA Fenders too. They can vary in quality, but good ones are very good.
I should have mentioned before, I have smallish hands, so wide necks are out of the question.
I think your choice would largely depend on what style of music your church plays, e.g., gospel, alternative rock, etc. The Lakland 44-02 and 55-02 are nice, versatile instruments.
We do just pretty much straight praise and worship, with a few hynms, but I hardly play on those.
Five strings are not out of the question if you have small hands. Check out a Stingray 5 (SR5) or perhaps and Ibanez SR505. These basses have fairly small necks and close, but comfortable string spacing.
Lakland Skyline? You looking for a 4 or 5 string? The model also depends what you're looking for maybe a 55-02?
So much depends on the style of music at the congregation(s) where you play. If you play mostly hymns in a congregation that is mostly over 40, something that looks nice (but not flashy) and can be played without the volume on works well For this scenario, just about anything with four strings will work.
On the opposite extreme would be a congregation that is heavy into extreme gospel. Take a look at Andre Gouche's 9-string custom bass as an example of that place's expectations.
In reality you should be able to use just about any well constructed bass, whether it's active or passive, whether it is 4/5/6 strings, and strung with rounds or flats. The important factor is to find the groove, resist the urge to overplay, be open to a low stage and/or mix volume, and be ready to transpose like crazy on the fly.
All the best,
i would suggest a Fender American Jazz Bass. It's a great all around bass and will fit the rocking jams as well as the slower ones. I play one in my church and it works great. The string spacing is smaller and the neck is thinner than the stingrays and the same as the ibanez. It really is a great bass, you could probably pick up a used one for around 700-800, and a new one for 1100.
I play in a couple of praise groups- one which plays a bit more alternative type style for a younger congregation (average) and the other for a bit older congregation. I play a Modulus q4 as my main bass. It is very clean, pure tone for hymn accompanyment or 'easy listening' praise stuff and gets growly when I want it to as well. Looks are 'sophisticated killer bass'. Used a Warwick Fortress and a Ric before I picked up the Modulus. The Modulus seems to fit better with the bands' sounds and is more versatile than the others (although I will still pull out the Warwick if I'm doing lots of younger 'thrash-worship' stuff.
I use my Peavey Cirrus 5 or my Peavey Fury V. I have also used some Ibanez and Godin basses. I think Rodent is right. Any good bass will do as long as you find the groove. I went to 5's because it allowed me to play in Eb without tuning down.
I play a Fender Jazz 5, Stambaugh 6 & fretless 4, Washburn AB-20 acoustic & a 3/4 DB. I have played Warwicks, Ken Smith, Yamaha & Pedulla in church. The sound man loves the Fender; no one else but me really seems to notice what I play.
Check out the Brubaker 4 in the classifieds. $100 over your given range, but it is a great, versatile bass with great looks and a wonderful feel. I owned it for a time, and have regretted trading it away. I use its "cousin" (my Brubaker NBS) for church playing. Looks the part, has great feel, and sounds awesome.
The soundguy in my previous church absolutely LOVED my sadowsky equipped jazz. Of course, no one else really notices, except that the basses look different.
Peavey Cirrus is also an excellent choice. They can be had used for the low side of your range, and play and sound pretty fantastic.
I've got to second the recommendations of a Stingray 5 or Jazz Bass. Those 2 basses were my main combination for years until I got my Lakland 55-94. Both fit extremely well in the mix for the band.
Also, I found a 5 string indespensible, particularly if the song was in Eb with a key change or two. Plus those low D and below voicings were awesome for song dynamics, especially when there was a gospel feel. If you do go for a five, try them out for yourself. Personally, I give the nod to the Stingray for its B and the sweetness of its dynamics. You just may need to dial out a bit of the sharpness.
My Stingray is the Tobias clone, the Growler 5 and it is fretless, which is another beautiful asset for worship music.
I use a Yamaha 5 string. A MusicMan would be nice, so would a Lakland. All the guys on the "gospel channels" on TV seem to use Ken Smith, but they are a bit out of your range.
Right now I'm using a Stingray, but I'm thinking about getting a fretless Jazz. We tend to play more upbeat stuff, but we're a small church. We don't even have a drummer right now! Against an acoustic and electric guitar and keys, I fit in well with the Stingray. The only beef I have is I have to boost the bass to get more substance since my Stingray tends to bring out the high mids more than anything else. Their necks aren't too big I wouldn't say, but if you have small hands perhaps you should look into a Lakland or Fender Jazz.
Define church use. Gospel, contemporary P&W, traditional hyms??
You can make anything work in church, really.
We have 4 bass players at my church, yeah thats right, FOUR! ...and we all play something different.
There are some excellent recommendations here. However many are not addressing the question. There is a lot of I play this or that. I have been playing gospel music for the past 26 yrs. and have seen many changes as far as instrumentation goes.
What style of music you play is an important factor, along with what type of sound you are trying to deliver. For example we do Fred Hammond, KirK Carr, Israel & New Breed, Donnie McClurkin ect. I recently parted with a Fender Jazz four string because it was being so neglected. For the material that we do I need a five string. So all my basses are fives and I may add a six soon. So I suggest that you play everything you can get you hands on in your price range, and decide what feels and sounds best for what type of material you are going to be playing. Fenders and Music Man are easy finds that's a good starting place, but again get you hands on everything you can the instrument only becomes alive in our hands.