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A good proggy bass guitar!

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Angelo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angelo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2012 at 06:51
Originally posted by Angelo Angelo wrote:

Rickenbackers sound great, but their awful to play - at least for me. I think Sturoc more or less nailed the issue - get a bass that feels good for you, and add the prog yourself.

For me, it's prog and blues all the way with either of these four beauties: Godin A4 fretless, Fender Jazz, Ibanez SR3005 Prestige and a Gretsch Broadkaster.
I have to admit that I replaced the Godin's piezo with a Hanson Chisonic, and the jazz has Hanson JSonics replacing the Fender pick ups. Sometimes changing a part is sufficient to make an 'ok'  bass into a 'yes!' bass.

I went a bit further than that. I got rid of the Godin altogether, and replaced it with a self assembled bass: Allparts fretless neck, ebony on maple with a black headstock, a Warmoth Z body in Black Korina, with a Black Korina top, Nordstrand Vintage P/J pickups, a Hipshot Vintage bridge and Schaller light tuners. See my avatar for the result... and I can assure you it sounds as good as it looks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheFarMeadow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2012 at 16:50
Ah the ole B301 - i had one once - sounded and played lovely, but I found it a bit unbalanced towards the neck. 

I agree it's all about technique - it's how you make the strings work. A good articulate bass rig is also important for live work. Playing is about comfort and efficiency. I use a couple of Yamaha TRBII 5 strings about 10 year old Japanese ones, with and without frets. Comfortable, not too heavy, play and sound great. Yamaha know how to deliver great value and consistency - worth checking out.

The TRBs have a 35" scale. Don't know if that makes a significant difference to string tension?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 25 2012 at 09:24
ALBERTO RIGONI---THREE WISE MONKEYS

JOEY VERA---CIRCLES

JON JOWITT-- the entire DARK MATTER album from IQ

Gimmie my headphones now!!! 🎧🤣
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angelo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 26 2012 at 06:03
I think you missed the point of this topic.... apart from that, you're right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 27 2012 at 22:06
Originally posted by Angelo Angelo wrote:

I think you missed the point of this topic.... apart from that, you're right.


You are right. I did. Allow myself to fix this.

If I may elaborate more keenly on how a bass should sound with in a progressive band it should

1) never sound like background filler
2) should be heard!! Most bass is muffled where guitar and drums take over. Bass should be heard loud and clear. The more recent Neo prog albums, IQ's DARK MATTER JOWITT is heard wonderfully and clearly and uses a Rickenbacker nicely on the track HARVEST OF SOULS. It's how bass should be!!

3) Lastly, should be distinguished. Bass should not sound repetitive or prosaic. John Myung of Dream Theater did a wonderful job on the latest DT record, A DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS. I could hear him loud and clear and his note composition was sublime. Very well done
Gimmie my headphones now!!! 🎧🤣
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sturoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2012 at 00:43
again: Remember Its not how many notes you play, but what you leave out.

and yes Far Meadow, that B-301 was headstock heavy for sure !

OP, Let us know what you ever did get ?


Edited by sturoc - April 10 2013 at 16:38
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Angelo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angelo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2013 at 05:29
I guess the OP should know by now, it's been 6 months....

@progbethyname: spot on, provided that you add that this (apart from the Rick reference) should be irrespective of the bass that is being used.


Edited by Angelo - January 20 2013 at 05:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote synthguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2013 at 12:04
For me Two basses come to mind the Rickenbacker 4001/4003 and the Fender Jazz Bass. Someone posted earlier about the mexican made jazz basses. I have one and it's awesome, granted I needed to tweak the set up on the thing, intonation/action, but if you're a hands on kind of guy/girl you can do it yourself. Mine plays very well now.
Wearing feelings on our faces when our faces took a rest...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2013 at 15:57
Originally posted by Angelo Angelo wrote:

Rickenbackers sound great, but their awful to play - at least for me. I think Sturoc more or less nailed the issue - get a bass that feels good for you, and add the prog yourself.
...
 
I'm wondering if folks are getting scattered on a Rickey ... what made Squire famous on them was not the bass itself ... it might have helped ... but the fact that he had some special wiring done on his bass that made things rather interesting ... and according to him and "Bass Player" when he was on, it was the start of "stereo" pickups ... he wanted the pick ups split so he could have them do different things on them! This will give the impression that the guitar is the trick, and it is not at all.
 
It's the person behind it ... plain and simple ... soyou gonna tell me that Chris can not make a cheapie Fender Squier not sound good? ... you don't know Chris!
 
And the so called "proggy bass" is really sad of a question ... and pretty soon folks will be asking for a good "proggy guitar" ... like the Fender Telecaster can not play anything out there ... sorry ... didn't mean to blow up the thread, but that's really scary ... spend your money on a Rickey and get disappointed because you don't sound like Chris! Because you did not find out why!


Edited by moshkito - April 07 2013 at 16:11
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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sturoc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sturoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 18:11
The Rick-o-Sound option has been around since the early 60s, Chris Squire did not invent it.

The original OP merely wanted advice on what instrument(s) would do well for the range of tones Progressive rock can demand.


Edited by sturoc - April 08 2013 at 18:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 21:38
OK, I've been playing bass since I was about 16...I'm 57, so that's uh, 40 years?

I've met Squire, Percy Jones, damn near everybody over the years.  Bass parts in prog music tend to involve rapidity, key changes, lots of movement up & down the neck....the signature basses also tend to sound "punchier" (more mid-range) than the thumpier basses of the '60s Mo-Town funk sound for example. 

Keys include:

a) easy playing bass - I have a 1973 Rick 4001, it's an excellent instrument, but it is also a full-scale beast, so I'm not as proficient on this as I am on shorter scale instruments like the Gibson Triumph (my main Prog bass), Guild JS-2 and others.  Squire played a fretless Guild JS-2 on "The Remembering" from TFTO, it is a fine instrument. 

Figure out your hand size by playing several....you own the Gibson SG bass, which is short-scale, so that may be what you want to focus on. 

b) strings - the signature prog-bass sound is generated from classic roundwound strings.  Many players (including myself) swear by Roto-Sound, but other strings can give you a similar, bright sound for less money.  I tend to play lighter string gauges as I get older, they are easier to press down and bend. 

c) manufacturer - as noted, the Rick is heavily used in prog, almost to the point of caricature!  Squire, Camp, Bennett and Strater all played one.  Other popular basses include the Fender Precision (John Wetton), Fender Jazz (Geddy Lee, Greg Lake), Music Man (Tony Levin) and various custom models (Percy Jones).   Note the fretless bass I'm playing in my icon....that's a Hugh Manson custom, similar to the bass used by John Paul Jones.  Manson makes guitars for Matthew Bellamy, Martin Barre & is the tech to Steve Howe, so seek out a local builder & see if you can make a deal!  

d) style - I play with both fingers and plectrum, but prefer to use a pick for speed, sound and technique such as "tremelo picking" (which emulates a tympani, listen to Squire on "The Remembering").  Sometimes I switch within a song, but I usually use a pick for its precision and clarity of sound. 

Here, this is mine!  No matter what, just play and have a blast!  There are no shortages of excellent instruments these days, and the Korean models today are nearly as good as Japanese guitars years back.  




Edited by cstack3 - April 08 2013 at 21:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 22:44
Simple (?) question for you bassy's out there...  the necks on bass guitars seem to be longer than those on regular guitars.  Why?  (In layman's terms, please!)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2013 at 15:30
Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

Keys include:
a) easy playing bass -
b) strings -
c) manufacturer -
d) style -
...
 
So, again ... you are suggesting that you would not do the same thing for a guitar, keyboard or drumset?
 
It's a bizarre question ... all guitar players would look for a guitar that is "easy" for their hands and fingers, or they would not be able to do their stuff .... everyone has favorite strings that suit their sound better .... many folks use special instruments built to their own preferable specs ... style ... wow!!!!!
 
It's the same thing ... the question is nutz!
 
How about asking next for a good "proggy groupie" ... ??? (... we could have fun with that one!)
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sturoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2013 at 16:46
Originally posted by infocat infocat wrote:

Simple (?) question for you bassy's out there...  the necks on bass guitars seem to be longer than those on regular guitars.  Why?  (In layman's terms, please!)


The scale (neck)  is longer due to the lower octaves the bass strings handle.


Edited by sturoc - April 10 2013 at 16:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2013 at 17:17
Originally posted by sturoc sturoc wrote:

Originally posted by infocat infocat wrote:

Simple (?) question for you bassy's out there...  the necks on bass guitars seem to be longer than those on regular guitars.  Why?  (In layman's terms, please!)


The scale (neck)  is longer due to the lower octaves the bass strings handle.
 
Again ... ALL instruments are different ... so what?  And it's like saying that the same bass can not be played in rock or any other music. And that is plain wrong!
 
Again ... let's talk about a "proggy guitar" next ... stop evading the idea and see the point! How about a "proggy drum set!" ... that would go over well! I like this one better ... a "proggy drum set" ... probably has to have 12 toms (like Carl Palmer), 437 cymbals like Bozzio, and ... where's the drummer? like Mike!
 
An instrument is an instrument and any of them can play a multitude of different things. So suggesting that the Rickey is proggy, is like saying that Paul McCartney is an idiot and using the wrong bass! Ohhh btw, there is more progressive stuff in those days on a Fender Jazz, or Precision, than there is a Rickey! Bahhhhumbug ... the Fender is not a "proggy" bass?


Edited by moshkito - April 20 2013 at 17:22
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2013 at 18:23
^ as off the plot as ever Pedro  LOL
 
 
Originally posted by sturoc sturoc wrote:

Originally posted by infocat infocat wrote:

Simple (?) question for you bassy's out there...  the necks on bass guitars seem to be longer than those on regular guitars.  Why?  (In layman's terms, please!)


The scale (neck)  is longer due to the lower octaves the bass strings handle.
That isn't the whole story. Like with a regualr guitars, the neck-lengh of a bass guitar can vary depending on the model (usually from 30" to 36") - often you will see these called short-neck and long-neck or short-scale and long-scale. This measurement refers to the vibration length of the string (distance from nut to bridge) and this length, along with the string tension and the string thickness (technically it is linear mass density, but that is proportional to the thickness, which is proportional to the weight) determines the note that an plucked open string will sound. In theory you can make a bass guitar with the same neck-length as a regular guitar, you would just need to fit it with heavier strings and reduce the tension.
 
This means that for a bass guitar to be in tune the strings have to be of a certain length, certain thickness and "tuned" to a certain tension. If we change the neck length we will need to either change the string tension, or change the string thickness to play the same note - both of these changes will affect the tone of the note (ie it change the harmonics). Usually on a long-scale bass you will used lighter weight strings and higher tension to produce a harder, more defined bass note to the softer tone of the short-scale playing the same pitched note.
 
Tone is the overriding factor, but choice of instrument is also deteremined by the length of your fingers - a long-neck has wider fret-spacings which can be difficult for short-fingered players.


Edited by Dean - April 14 2013 at 18:28
What?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2013 at 20:33
Can't say I understand all of that, but thanks for the explanation!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sturoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2013 at 09:02
Dean you touch upon a few good tech points there.
 Though infocat said in" laymans terms" which  I put simply,  as evidenced by his reply.
A violin vs Double bass, Mandolin vs guitar vs bass, on and on.

As for the moshkito .... Ya gotta lighten up abit here man. the OP is simply asking a question based on what he knows and doesn't know. He obviously has seen progressive bands that may use the same instrumentation and brand/models and likes what he hears. The good responses here direct him well but he will have to figure out what's good for him when he plays a particular brand, model , etc.

It's all about the sound/ music anyways.


Edited by sturoc - April 16 2013 at 09:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2013 at 11:38
Originally posted by sturoc sturoc wrote:

Dean you touch upon a few good tech points there.
 Though infocat said in" laymans terms" which  I put simply,  as evidenced by his reply.
A violin vs Double bass, Mandolin vs guitar vs bass, on and on.
Except that's not the whole story, nor is it the reason for the size difference. A bass guitar can be the same size as a regular guitar and still play an octave lower - the size difference is for the tone not the pitch and that's as "layman" as I can get.
What?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2013 at 15:00
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

Originally posted by sturoc sturoc wrote:

Dean you touch upon a few good tech points there.
 Though infocat said in" laymans terms" which  I put simply,  as evidenced by his reply.
A violin vs Double bass, Mandolin vs guitar vs bass, on and on.
Except that's not the whole story, nor is it the reason for the size difference. A bass guitar can be the same size as a regular guitar and still play an octave lower - the size difference is for the tone not the pitch and that's as "layman" as I can get.
 
I love it ... like ripping the Ricky in "prog" ...
 
I think it important to help folks know what the music is about ... but to state outright and blindly, that it is because of a sound ... is totally insane ... heck ... PFM and Banco even used the concert basses many times ... but that is ... being ignored! And not progressive? ... who needs an expensive Ricky? Ohhh heck, ELO played Cellos and other low strings too! We should really check all those pictures and how many Fender Jazz basses you can find ... and that is not "proggy"?
 
NOW, if the idea is for the person to buy one? ... I would tell him ... hard to suggest ... really is ... but these days the Bogey Man 5 string is becoming real popular, specially in the metal areas with folks like John Myung ripping the 5 and 6 string on these ... I probably would by a nice Stratus Graphite 5 string bass (similar to Guy Pratt's), or go with a nice Warwick 5 string of some kind ... if not a nice 5 String ESP or Shecter. My hand is too smal for a 6 string.  We haven't even got to the "Bitch" and some of the other experimental instruments that only Levin and a handful of folks are good enough, or, more than likely, brave enough to play!  The majority of rock/progressive bass, is not worth the discussion musically and you can teach any ten year old! We can exclude Chris Squire and the like in his early days, I suppose!
 
Ohhh ... btw ... if you want an even more "proggy" bass, even the "Bitch", or the ones that Levin and friends are playing around with, would be way more "proggy" than the ones you even consider!


Edited by moshkito - April 16 2013 at 15:24
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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