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Sound VS Feel

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fleawanabee, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. fleawanabee

    fleawanabee Guest

    Mar 26, 2002
    Orlando, Florida
    as you probably know guitars feel and sound different, and me and my guitarist always argue which is more important the sound or the feel. I personally think that sound is more important but he differs. What do you guys think is more important and why?
  2. Sound and feel are both important. If your bass sounds like crap, but feels good to play, you still sound like crap.

    OTOH, if your bass is an uncomfortable hunk of junk, but sounds outstanding, you are not going to want to play because of the way it feels.
  3. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    If I had to choose, I'd choose feel anyday. Remember, to the audience, a bass is a bass is a bass. If they hear it at all.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Feel and sound go together IMO, you make it sound like you had to sacrifice one for the other, but in fact they complement each other.
  5. jvasquez18


    Sep 23, 2000
    S.E. 323, 13
  6. well, for your guitarist (i'm a guitarist), feel is sound, because an instrument that's easy to play is easier to do vibrato on and phrase correctly. maybe a little different for a bass, from my (little) experience there
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - there is a big difference. Most guitarists nowadays, hide the natural tone of their instrument behind huge amounts of distortion and anything up to dozens of different effects!

    Whereas for bass, there is nothing to beat the tone of the instrument. They live in different parts of the frequency spectrum and most effects only affect the range where lead guitar works - but you need a more "fundamental" bass sound in the mix, to make everything work and not sound light in the "bottom end".

    So good bass tone is important, and that's why I'd pay a lot of money for a great-sounding bass, but I know from experience that with enough effects, I can get my Squier Strat to miimick any guitar sound you get on most "popular" records!! ;)
  8. Refuse to choose. Go for both.
  9. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    If I had to choose between sounding good and feeling comfortable, I would quit and become a classical oboe player.
  10. IME, you can't separate the two. If your attack/fretting isn't fine because of "feel", (and/or setup), those deficiencies will be apparent. Equally, if the sound components of the bass simply cannot produce desired tones, it's a dead end.

    Joe Osborne or one of the other studio masters legends, (can't remember which), said he was doing a session and this incredible bass sound was leaking into their studio from the adjoining studio. He made it a point to find out what the hell the guy was using. He caught that bassist in the hallway and found the guy was using a truly P.O.S. Teisco del Rey.........(as someone who tried Teisco's in the 60's, their sound was truly bad news by today's standards. But it was "acceptable" in those days when clarity/ presence/treble weren't so critical).

    However that cheap bass must have allowed the player to pluck and fret as well as he wanted. His name was James Jamerson.
  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    they are both equally important to me. I wont buy a bass that doesnt sound or feel good. If its uncomfortable to play, then its not worth buying, if it doesnt sound good then whats the point in buying it?

    Feel IMO also affects tone to some extent. If you've got a good feeling bass its easier for you to play with feeling and convicition, and this affects your tone as well IMO.
  12. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    They are both important, and I believe if you are paying out $1000+ for a bass, it better suit both very well.

    Ultimatley though, I think that feel is the most important because if an instrument is uncomfortable to play, it will hinder your playing abilities. I remember that I played this Samick strat knock-off. Not that I'm a great guitarist, but I know a few things. I just couldn't play the neck because the neck was so crappy on it. Granted, the pick-ups didn't set the world on fire, but that didn't bother me nearly as much as the fact that I couldn't get any decent riffing going on goes the neck wasn't fast enough and the strings wouldn't bend for S***.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've read other stories, where session players have told about picking up Jamerson's famous Fender bass and have been horrified that they coudn't play it at all! So - dead thumpy, grungy strings and an action so high they couldn't even hold a string down beyond the 5th fret!

    I mean it just depends what you are used to and what helps you get your sound - but if you're talking about something to actually play, then I'd always prefer my bass over any of those that Jamerson used!
  14. good sound should have a good feel too.
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