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Violin Bass for Metal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheBassmaster27, Nov 8, 2018 at 8:40 AM.


  1. This has probably been asked before, but does anyone think it can be done? I have always loved they way violin basses look, but i play mostly rock and metal, and there are feedback concerns. I personally think the smaller neck might make chords and soloing better. And some say that the feedback isn't even a big deal. Thoughts?
     
    Ellery likes this.
  2. If the body is sealed (no f-holes) like a Hofner, feedback should not be a problem, and violin basses do come in black finish, so that aspect of metal can be covered as well. I cannot offer any opinion regarding whether the sound will be appropriate for metal.
     
  3. ICM

    ICM

    Apr 29, 2013
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    A Hofner Contemporary 500/1 in black would be the perfect answer!
     
    Quantized Harmonic and Oberst like this.
  4. Did it with a fretless douglas violin bass with d'addario black tapewounds... actually sounded pretty badaxe… the rest of the band members weren't digging my Jack Bruce tones though... was mean and thumpy with my overdrive... lost a lot of note definition and cut through... but oh the glorious low end... thinking about picking up an igniton series club or violin to try again...fretted this time,with rounds...
     
  5. bearfoot

    bearfoot

    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    HELTER SKELTER!!!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (or was that the Rick....who cares......)
     
  6. pcake

    pcake

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    mikewalker, HaphAsSard and todd burns like this.
  7. C_Becker

    C_Becker

    Mar 30, 2017
    Germany
    Having owned an Epiphone Viola, I don't think it will work all that well.
    Short scale and the overall construction lead to a rather thumpy, old school tone.
    Not much treble and overtones which help you cut through the dense mix of a metal band.
    Pickups are rather low-output as well IME.

    When I think "metal bass", I think tight, trebly and a bit dirty - all of which a violin bass usually isn't.
    It could work with some heavy EQing, stainless steel roundwounds and heavy attack I suppose. How well I dunno.
     
  8. fermata

    fermata

    Nov 10, 2015
    Get one with a center block--Hofner CT, Epiphone Viola, that type of thing--and string it with rounds. Favor the neck pickup for massive, subby lows, or favor the bridge pickup for bite and grind. Once you get used to violin basses, most other basses sound anemic by comparison.

    Some videos and other info in this thread: Hofner Violin Bass playing metal??
     
    bearfoot and HaphAsSard like this.
  9. ICM

    ICM

    Apr 29, 2013
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Fun fact: it was actually John Lennon playing the Bass VI on this track!
     
  10. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Um... have you HEARD Paul McCartney's cover of "War Ensemble"??

    Sounds pretty good to me.
     
    fclefgeoff likes this.
  11. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Yeah, it might look a little weird, but I'm thinking it would work OK - probably need round wounds on it, though. I have a Starfire violin bass (Chinese generic one) with old rounds on it. Sounds pretty good that way; be even better with new strings, though... I'm not a big Metal fan, but, yeah, that sound would work. The only real drawback, IMO, would be the bridge. 2-piece floating bridges don't usually respond well to ... vigorous ... playing styles. Unless you want to play "Where's my Fricking bridge?!?" on-stage, you might have to pin it in place - like a lot of Gretsch guitar players have to...;)
     
  12. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I would be SO into hearing this. You will have a very distinctive sound.
     
    2tonic likes this.
  13. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Guns n' Roses, Soul Asylum, several other acts) has been known to use a Hofner violin bass from time to time. Not quite metal, but he's been in some rockin' bands.
     
  14. Bob Daisley used a 500/1 on Flying High Again off of Diary. Not sure if it was used on any other tracks.
     
    Selios and Lee Kirkham like this.
  15. Adienn7

    Adienn7

    Jan 26, 2007
    I say gothic metal for sure.. But you active pickups and roundwounds it'd work better
     
  16. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI

    Apr 3, 2018
    The guy from Carcass used to play one back in the day. I think that's a pretty firm indicator that it can be done.
     
    Mister Boh and Will_White like this.
  17. 2tonic

    2tonic

    Dec 22, 2015
    Why not!!
    The first rule of metal is there are no rules! :roflmao:
     
    mikewalker likes this.
  18. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    Just giver!

    I play only 500/1s and I use them for everything. You can get a very distinctive tone with the hollow bodies, with no feedback, and a contemporary tone with the CT series due to the sound block (as others have mentioned).

    I'd say give it a shot and see if you like it. That's the only way you'll know.
     
    ICM likes this.
  19. Goteky45

    Goteky45

    Oct 30, 2009
    Portugal
    I have tried it in a Hard Rock project. The low end was so mesmerizing. It really made everything sound really full. But that was it. Big and thumby but not much high end content. I had rounds when I did this but the drums and guitar just drown any clank or grind the little hofner produces.

    Still, just try it. It's a great sound and it can work. Although if we're talking about modern djent, agressive, Darkglass type of metal, this is far from ideal
     
  20. 48thStreetCustom

    48thStreetCustom

    Nov 30, 2005
    Colorado
    Felix Pappalardi kinda did it.

    upload_2018-11-8_18-17-42.
     
    Bruiser Stone likes this.

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