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what does 'responsiveness' mean?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mytt88, Mar 27, 2013.


  1. Mytt88

    Mytt88

    Jan 18, 2011
    I recently overheard bassists talking about the responsiveness of their bass's and wasn't sure what they meant.

    I'm guessing how fast what you play is sounded through amp? Similar to lag/latency?

    Just curious that's all. Cheers
     
  2. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    for me it means that if I lay back and play lightly I can get a mellow but fat sound. if I dig in with my right hand it gets a harder more agressive snarly attack. rickenbackers, Spector NS2's do a great job of this.
     
  3. ^ what he said, and also for me how I can change the tone by moving my right hand more towards the neck or bridge, or use my thumb instead of index finger to hit the strings.
     
  4. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    I agree with both above. "Standard" definition is how quickly and efficiently a note responds to a minimum amount of plucking, picking or slapping energy BUT I also like to include tonal changes and dynamic range when evaluating overall Responsiveness.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Word to these guys.
     
  6. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    Thx Jimmy! Word up!
     
  7. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    You can use your fingers in all sorts of ways. Hard, soft, slack, precise, etc. on both hands. Some basses responds better than others to those types of changes and their tone and attack will better reflect the way you are playing it, which is why musicians like to rave about basses that are good in that regard.

    Some basses sound the same no matter how you play them, those are called plywood.
     
  8. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    Most definitely. Setup can also affect responsiveness in conjunction with your individual right/left hand technique. The late Bernard Edwards was a guitarist who played bass on Chic and many other 70's disco records, because Nile Rogers wanted to stick with guitar. Edwards would strum (not pluck) a vintage Stingray with his index finger as if he were holding a pick, sometimes until it bled! He still managed to bring plenty of funk though!
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Aw, my plywood basses rock.
     
  10. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Didn't say they couldn't rock!
     
  11. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Yessss... THIS.
     

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