what makes a bass sound generic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lanzealot, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. I've read some threads and reviews all over the internet that says this particular bass sounds generic and all that... (particularly, most of them says that to Carvin basses).

    How do you know a bass sounds generic? What makes it sound that way? I haven't really played a lot of bass and I'm still actually starting to learn how to play the instrument.

    I know that it depends upon the preference of the player but then as a beginner, I'm still exploring on what kind of preference I want to in a bass guitar.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, guys!
  2. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Every thing sounds generic to me, in a specific sort of way.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Terms like generic mean nothing in a musical instrument sense. Just look for a bass that makes you want to play it and all is well.
  4. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    IMO and IME, the player is what makes a particular bass sound generic. I have heard people play $3000.00 basses that sounded lifeless and I have heard people make $200.00 basses sound fantastic. It is really in the hands and ears of the beholder. My advice to you is to play as many basses as you can, in every price range, and decide what works best for you. Also, there is nothing wrong with Carvin basses, they just aren't for everyone. Actually, NO bass is right for EVERYONE. Good luck.
  5. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Don't believe the hype. Get the best sounding and playing bass you can afford and take care of it. You can't go wrong.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Generic bass playing.
  7. +1.

    I don't think anything could potentially be more generic than a Fender P bass......and yet there's so many people doing very amazing things on them.
  8. Shearstown


    Oct 15, 2005

    I think that may be because where so many peope use them that is what most regular bass recordings sound like to you. If most people played a Fodera and someone played a p-bass it might sound like a brand new thing to you. Maybe that's it no one knows for sure.
  9. That's why I chose a Fender P for my example.....so many recordings......yet still so much originality is being done on them.
  10. Shearstown


    Oct 15, 2005
    'Twas a good example.
  11. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown Supporting Member

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT
    In my mind, a generic sounding bass is one that doesn't have a tone that's easily identifiable as all its own. Whereas, I think, Rickenbackers and P-Basses and to a lesser extent (because they're so widely copied and they're a bit more versatile), Jazz Basses have the strongest character of all.
  12. can you elaborate it a little further? I'm kinda confused... sorry, just got out of bed...
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    what makes a generic sounding bass? a generic sounding amp with little definition and really muddy.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    A pair of J-bass pickups. :bag: :D

    Used to be a single split-coil P-bass pickup!

    P.S. Generic can be good.
  15. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown Supporting Member

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT
    I'm just trying to say my take on it is that if you're listening to a bass that you can't tell what kind it is with your eyes closed, you're moving into generic territory.

    I'm learning from this thread that it's a lot more subjective than I originally thought. Kind of like punch and growl.
  16. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    another +1. Never got the term myself, when applied to tone.

    Maybe it's another word for "boring", which I take to mean that the tone doesn't inspire the player with the complaint or "get him excited".

  17. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    +1... I think this is what most of us mean when we say generic. A jazz bass sounds like a jazz bass. A P like a P. A Ric like a Ric. A Ray like a Ray. A generic sounding bass can still sound great, but I generally think of it as one you can't say "that's an (insert)" immediately upon hearing it.

    "Unspecific" would probably be a better term. "Generic" sounds deragetory and isn't always meant that way.
  18. dead strings and a poor setup
  19. marcopalla


    Aug 31, 2005
    what makes a bass sound generic (plain)?

    In my opinion when you ear a song and you think: "eh? is there the bass? yes, but what's playing? ah, nice riff, but I can't ear every note" I think is a bassist problem, not a bass problem, every good player trys to give a particular color to his sound, isn't it?