What does it take to get a hefty G string sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Smithberger, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I am tired of fighting a muddy B and a weak G. Other than Dingwall (which I tried and kinda liked) is there a way to get there with pickup choice and/or placement? I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I need to find a reverse P or a slanted neck pickup like the Warwick Jazzman or the Reverends. Thoughts?
  2. What bass are you using? You could try a thicker string gauge and raising the treble side of the pickup slightly
  3. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    you could try plucking the string closer to the neck.
    Technically, the point halfway between where you fret it and the bridge saddle gives the fattest sound.
  4. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I went from a .45 G to a .50 G...problem solved, for me anyway.
  5. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I am now alternating between a Hanewinkle Jazz five string and a 2008 Fender P5. I have tried adjusting the pickups ad infinitum. I can get close, but I would like to be able to move up in pitch and keep some guts in the sound. It's not just volume I am trying to match. Flats have gotten me close, but then I lose the low strings.
  6. same problem on both basses? P&J Basses usually keep sounding fat all the way up on the high strings... Amp/cab issue maybe?
  7. Sounds like your EQ is fighting you. Try less low-lows and more low-mids. The G string thrives on low mids.
  8. fontez5


    Apr 19, 2009
    Columbia, IL
  9. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player

    Jun 12, 2008
    1) A better G string - either thicker, or more ferromagnetic in its composition.

    2) Better pickup height. If you can't raise the G string poles by themselves, you can, as DT points out, bring the whole treble side of the pickup toward the strings. Lowering the bridge saddle of the string itself could also help, but you can only go so far with that before you get into uneven feel and fret buzz.

    3) Compensate with technique. Pluck the G harder and/or closer to a resonant node of the string.
  10. TMBTC


    Oct 18, 2009
    try a short scale.... g string is much better sounding on one.
  11. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    ^^^This. Plus one other thing to try. 45* bends at the Saddle & Nut might help. That gives the string a little more contact with the bass.
  12. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    A large part of the problem is the inherent insufficiency of bridges concerning the G string. Compared to the rest of the strings, the G string saddle is usually extended farther and is lower for the crown radius, so the break angle over the saddle is shallower. This contributes to thinness of tone and lack of sustain due to insufficient "coupling." On my custom bass, the string through body is drilled so the G string is almost perpendicular going over the saddle through the body. This gives solidity, heft and sustain.

    The opposite is true for the B string. It is usually in a bind, both figuratively and literally, at both ends, and the pickup is in the wrong spot. There needs to be a fairly shallow break angle for both the saddle and nut to promote overtones, and the pickup should be in relatively the same position as the D-G segment is on a P-bass to get the proper balance of fundamental and overtones to get the most out of a B string.

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