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What does "gospel bass sound" mean to you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bongostealth, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. For those of you who play gospel bass, in particular African-American gospel, I was just curious what some of you think a gospel bass is or how it should sound.

    For me, I love a burpy, growly, warm, and midsy sound. When I think about a good sounding "Black Gospel" bass, I think: Cirrus, Warwick, Ken Smith, Warrior, Tobias, Wyn, among others (at different points I've owned all of these except for Ken Smith and Warrior -- both absolutely on my GAS list). For my particular tastes, my favorite Black Gospel basses have pickups which are typically dual-coil pickups and have bodies made out of woods which provide strong mids and lows. For me, the heavier the better. Hence, Warwick is BY FAR one of my favorites even though they don't usually come with dual-coil pickups, but they have an INCREDIBLE growl.

    As for amps, I'm a newbie in that regard in that I haven't tried many amps at all. But it seems that for Black Gospel, some of the favorites out there are Eden, MarkBass, SWR, Epiphani, Aguilar, among others.

    What do you all think??? :cool:
  2. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011

    Chi-Town in the house, Im not a gospel player, but i think Sharay is awesome
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. Ahh yes! I've seen this clip MANY times and never get tired of it!
  5. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    right on, and for good reason. take care
  6. basslayer


    Jan 3, 2008
    Tyler, TX
    you need something that can cut through a hammond organ, so something active, or at least hot sounding pickups.
  7. Ibanez, huh? Interesting...
  8. basslayer


    Jan 3, 2008
    Tyler, TX
    I used an SR905 for a while and it worked for the most part. The string path is very narrow so it makes slapping a challenge. For gospel, I prefer the BTB if I am going for an Ibanez.
  9. basslayer


    Jan 3, 2008
    Tyler, TX
    As far as amps, I cannot say that I see anything really common. I saw one bassist playing a Phil Jones amp and it sounded pretty good.
  10. as for all, really varies over the years ....

    sting rays, sabres g&L 2K's have laid the foundation in the 80's until the boutique fivers started to show up. ken smith and tobias are 2 popular brands fivers became more widespread in the 90's / early 00's.

    late 70's hwkins family or james cleveland were with a P while the last 8 years have seen a resurgence of active J fivers.

    generally i would agree you need a broad band sounding bass to keep up with the choir and the b3. my best choice would be a lakland 55-76 and make sure you go through the house and stage monitors
  11. gzarate85

    gzarate85 Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Houston, TX
    MTD should be in the list for sure. I'm always seeing gospel bassist with an MTD in hand. Justin Raines and Andrew Gouche are two greats that come to mind. I also see a lot of boutique jazz basses in the gospel scene. Terrance Palmer went from using a Tobias to a Pavel Jazz bass and I see P basses in the mix too with other players.

    As far as the sound, when I think of what a gospel bass sounds like I think boosted highs and lows with scooped mids, for that distinguished slap sound that is very common on gospel tracks.
  12. lrhew


    Dec 8, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    My wife liked my Modulus Q5 with SWR Goliath 4x10 (bart-bart), but also Lakland 55-94 (bart-bart) with BagEnd 1x15. She was Jazz Keyboard in high school. I value her ear.
    Fighting off a B3. Both with SWR SM900.
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Best I ever heard was from just a generic P bass
  14. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    Soft and fluffy sounding Yamaha 5 string. Those Gospal guys know tone for sure.
  15. I love love love gospel bass tone! And I love seeing the different approaches that everyone has in getting that tone, especially when cutting through a Hammond B3 and a Leslie.
  16. basslayer


    Jan 3, 2008
    Tyler, TX
    Check out the Yamaha TRBJP. That is my go to for gospel if I can't play a four string because of the nature of the song. If I don't have to do any slapping I play my U-Bass. It's got so much bottom.
  17. What do you all think about the Musicman Bongo as a "Black Gospel" bass? I recently sold mine and I'm kind of kicking myself for it, but surprisingly not too much. I have yet to see a gospel player with one.
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    One of the absolute best players in my area uses a fairly inexpensive Ibanez Soundgear, he plans on buying a Warwick soon. For the last five or six years, I have used mainly Jazz basses of one kind or another.
  19. lancimouspitt


    Dec 10, 2008
    dayton Ohio

    That's what I think of,but I don't know too much gospel.
  20. irbass

    irbass Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2011
    Charlotte - NC
    I got chance to go in few a black church, and i love the sound, Black gospel, funk and blues are my personal taste. But I'm not a professional musician i play bass because i love it. I remember Ibanez BTB, Peavey Cirrus, MTD, and Ken Smith.

    If i get chance to play black gospel and i wish do that, I'll go with Yamaha TRB PII or Eliezer modern jazz bass made in the country i was born.

    youtube eliezerbass