1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Too heavy fenders

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ssbbass, Nov 24, 2000.

  1. ssbbass


    Nov 24, 2000
    After 3 years of passionately playing my fender jazz bass, my left shoulder has given out (shooting pains down my arm and across my neck). It's obviously too heavy for 4-hour gigs (and my 128 lb female body). Any suggestions? Any one know of a lighter-weight bass with a similar sound? A certain type of shoulder strap that provides more support? Weight-lifting exercises? I tried sitting down at a gig last night but those sultry blues just didn't have the same effect from a stool.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You might try an American Deluxe Jazz bass ... the body is a bit down-sized. Another solution would be something by Pedulla ... the Rapture J2 or Rapture PJ come to mind. Also, for a little more jing, the ThunderBass/ThunderBolt basses are the same size. These are really small basses with monster tone. The Raptures I have played really get a great J-style sound. My ThunderBolt fretless has plenty of tone too. A friend of mine who is small of stature bought a fretted T-bolt expressly for its compact size.
  3. mark


    Apr 7, 2000
    I think the Reverend Rumblefish is supposed to be pretty light and sound someting like a jazz. They look like pokemon characters though.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Also, you might look at the Japanese made Fenders from the 80's and early 90's. Most have basswood bodies and aren't very heavy. And there's always the Precision Bass Lyte.

    I also think this is my hundredth post. Should we celebrate or something? :)
  5. ssbbass


    Nov 24, 2000
    Thanks for the great list! and Max, I am honored - my first and your 100th. Do you have any leftover turkey for the celebration?
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I'll back up Munji on the Rapture suggestion.

    I am a big guy, but I don't like heavy basses.

    I play a Pedulla Rapture J2 5 string. I love Jazz basses, and theis is like a great Jazz bass on steriods, with the addition of a killer low B string. The 4 string models are awesome too. Bartolini pickups and preamp, no hum at all, captures all of the classic Jazz tones, plus with the active bass and treble, gets a lot of other useable sounds as well.

    And the best part, this 5 string weighs 1 1/2 lbs LESS than my alder bodied MIJ Fender Geddy Lee Jazz.

    I love the Fender, but I can't play it for hours, it is too heavy. Not a problem with the Rapture.


    Unfortunately, these pictures don't do my baby justice.
  7. jrock111


    Oct 10, 2000
    I don't know what type of wood your bass is made of or what your budjet is, but the MIM standard Fender basses are made of poplar, which I believe is lighter than alder and ash. Just change the pickups and the flimsy bridge and you got your self a pretty good bass. As far as shoulder straps go, I seen a harness type system that uses both shoulders to offset the stress. I think I seen it in a catalog from MusiciansFriend. I never tried it though.
  8. membranophone


    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    you might want to look for a Comfort Strappe.

    These things are wide as heck and are made of neoprene rubber. they are very comfortable, but somewhat expensive.
  9. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Light bass? I use a Fernandes Gravity (the more expensive model, I don't know what the cheap one sounds like) I's very light and sound very good. I tried a sardowski the other week (a bass instructor at MI has a really nice one) and surprised me how light it was. Two tips...hope you find something you like :)
  10. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Oh don't even try a Stingray 5! My stingray is Really heavy :) The Hofner Beatle bass very light...but you have to like the sound of course.
  11. ssbbass
    Have you thought about a Fender Lyte.
    Made in Japan, P/J pickups, a great jazz type neck and only weighs 7 pounds.

    Carol Kaye is now using the Lyte as her main Bass and says it's the best bass she has ever owned and the only bass she plays now.
    She posted on her site that it wasn't given to her by Fender but that she actually bought it.
    I have owned one for a month or so and must admit it's a pretty good instrument.

    Carol Kaye's post.

  12. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I have a Stingray5 and '79 jazz - the Stingray is maybe 2lbs. lighter - does not sound too much but makes a huge difference. While I can stand 3 hours and more with the Stingray, I have to sit down pretty soon with the Fender...

    As posted already, not only size and shape but also the wood makes a difference and as many basses are available made of different sorts of wood you have to keep that in mind.

  13. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Yeah, wood is definately the answer. That, or the size of the body. The American Deluxe Series from Fender has basses with slightly undersized bodies. You might want to check out a new Stingray, they've gotten relatively light (9 lbs.) in recent years. I also tried out a Fender American Vintage '62 Jazz Bass yesterday, which was surprisingly quite light, but it's one of the pricier Fenders.
    From what I hear from others, swamp ash is lighter than alder, so you might want to look into basses made of that wood. Basswood is also quite light. Whatever wood you chose, you have to keep in mind that different woods will also yield different tones.

    Ohhhhh, I love the heavy basses. I want a heavy weight American made Fender, but I don't know which one to get. Anything under 10 lbs. doesn't cut it for me.
  14. One word: DANELECTRO!!!!!!! :D
  15. Sampoerna

    Sampoerna Guest

    Oct 9, 2000
    W. KY, USA
    The gear suggestions are great, but ssbbass -- have you talked to a doctor about these pains? You might have injured yourself sometime.

    I feel for you, I'm 120 lbs. and my Squier P-Bass is mighty hefty (to me). But I'm not willing to get rid of it at this point -- smaller basses feel "puny" to me. I've found that stretching exercises (look on the 'net) before playing have helped keep me from getting as sore.

    Just some thoughts.

    But, then again, I'm not gigging or using my bass for hours at a time -- I don't have enough endurance (or skill) yet. I may feel differently about my gear once I reach the point that you have. :)

    Surely there's some fitness-oriented folks or weight-lifters here who could give us some tips!

  16. Both of my electrics are heavy so I use a Comfort Strap. People say they are expensive but I bought mine for about $45.00 Canadian (about 28.00 US). I wouldn't think of using another strap now.
  17. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    I've been lifting for 20 years, and I still can't move my friggin' Peavey combo upstairs by myself...

    As suggested, think about a lighter bass. Assuming your bass weighs around 10 lbs, proportionally it would be like me wearing a bass that weighs over 15. That would kick my @$$ after four hours, and I'm in shape and have years of experience lugging around a 35 lb. sousaphone. You can't fight gravity - it'll win every time. I don't know how much ol' Leo weighed, but I'm guessing it wasn't 128 pounds. Like everything else, the bass was probably designed for a 175 lb male (lucky me), and you're paying the price.

    There are lots of folks that make lighter basses, but if you're sold on Fender, the Lyte sounds like a good option, and won't break the bank.
  18. ssbbass


    Nov 24, 2000
    Okay - After, unsuccessfully visiting two local guitar stores and Sam Ash, I'm heading out to the GuitarCenter today to check out the Fender Precision Bass Lyte - sounds like it might be the answer (Fenders are 50% off this weekend, so they advertise). I'll check out an American Jazz Deluxe while I'm there, although they look alot like what I already have. I've ordered a sliderstrap dual shoulder strap from the Musicians Friend (they don't show a "comfort strap"), I'm keeping my eye on Thunderbolts on e-bay (your photo is beautiful!) but they only have 5-strings right now. I'm enticed by the Reverend Rumblefish - but wish I could find one to try. As for Musicman Stingrays - they intimidate me - something like the Harleys of the bass kingdom...awesome...I'm not yet worthy...

    And as for my shoulder - I'm seeing a doctor on Monday - there's definately something wrong with it... but it can't be permanent - just gotta watch that overzealousness...
  19. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    But it's not as dangerous to play one if your not too sure about your ability... ;)

    Don't even think that. It can be very inspiring to play a good instrument (but of cause this is a question of what you like)
    There may be one argument: cash, but you could look for a used one...

  20. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Ill third the comfort stappe. I got one because my 14 lb bass was heavy...but now it feels extremely light! I can play the things for hours without discomfort. I love the strap!

Share This Page