what makes a bass snappy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steve_man, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    I was wondering how to get a quick snap from your strings.

    also what are drawbacks to basses with a lot of snap?
  2. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    by snapp do you mean pluck or pop i.e. slap pop
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

  4. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    i think thats your answer. brudda:bassist:
  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    In general terms, virtually every element could contribute to the snappiness of a bass. The body wood, a bright/trebly fingerboard (like maple), the pickups (active single coils/multicoils vs. dark, passive buckers or splitcoils), the type/brand of string, the freshness of those strings...are they brand new or do they have 8 months worth of sweat, oil, and grime on them, the type and size of frets, the amp/speaker cabs your using (a vintage Ampeg 8X10..no tweet...powered by an overdriven tube head isn't going to SNAP like a Phil Jones rig, etc.).

    A potential downside to a bass that one might consider "snappy" would be that is it could sound thin. The ear might perceive the instrument as having less bottom, or a less than full, even tone, if one characteristic is overemphasized....like the treble frequencies contributing to a bright, snappy sound.
  6. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    sorry guys not as in the tone snappy but as in the playablility snappy.
    eg. quick string response
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Okay. Thicker core strings.
  8. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Light guage Rotosounds!
  9. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    Strings with more tension or hexcore rather than roundcore? I dunno if that would help you, but the strings would be more taught and i think that would make them more snappy.

    I wonder if a Moderator will read this thread and move it to... Strings.. hmm..
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Not enough sleep and too much coffee. :D
  11. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    what about angled head stocks or a high bridge settings. does this actually increase string tension?
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    NO. Neither does string-thru-body or extended headstocks. To increase string tension, you need to (1) use heavier strings or (2) increase the scale length or (3) tune the bass higher than standard pitch.

    That said, I'm not sure how much increased tension corresponds to "snappiness"...
  13. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    Well, if the strings were a tiny bit more taught, wouldn't you thuink they would be a little more "snappy" and a little less "floppy"?

    It's too trivial of a question IMO.

    The fingerboard makes the strings seem more snappy IMO. My stingray IS snappy. Ash and Maple. Brand new strings on it equals ultra-snap.

    But, back to strings, think of an elastic. You know how you can put and elastic around your thumb and finger, then pull it back with the other hand and snap somebody with it? Well, the further you pull it back, the tighter the elastic gets ansd it is gonna snap alot harder. If you have no tension on your strings, your gonna have to pull (assuming a pop) that G string way off the fingerboard to get any snap out of it.

    I dunno.
  14. Mids make my bass sound snappy.

    Try more mids?

    Unless you're talking about making it feel snappier, in which case lighter strings usually do the trick.
  15. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    IMO the fingerboard seems to have a lot to do with it. I find maple f/b's (esp with swamp ash bodies) to be particularly snappy. Also, Wenge seems to have quite a bit of snap...

    I've never done any 'scientific' comparisons, though -- maybe the luthier forum would bring some more insight.