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Most appropriate Bass for Country/Country Rock/Folk


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#1 Rocker

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:08 PM

Most likely Fender Mex, 4 string. I have a hankering after a Precision but am now having second thoughts about a Jazz. What is the general opinion here about the most suitable bass for Country, Country Rock, Folk and Singalong music. Think Gene Watson, The Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel and Christy Moore.

My amp is a Markbass Minimark and, sometime soon, I hope to get a 15" external cab to go with it. Mainly to balance out an enthusiastic drummer!

Thanks.

#2 Burrito

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:17 PM

Having been on that circuit for 15 years, play what you like! The classic is a flatwound strung P-bass (or an upright) but we gigged this year with a guy who had a Rickenbacker 4001 and I've taken to playing my Gibson Thunderbird.

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#3 ambient

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:20 PM

I did a lot of gigs for a country band about 5 years ago. I was using a 6 string Zon, no one batted an eyelid. I played the right notes, the right way, and it sounded ok, that's all that mattered.

Edited by ambient, 29 July 2017 - 03:23 PM.

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#4 gareth

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

Jack Cassidy

#5 skankdelvar

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:35 PM

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#6 SpondonBassed

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:36 PM

A good set of lungs and one of these, emptied just in time of course, can get you by at a push.



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#7 skankdelvar

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:42 PM

On a serious note (badum-tish) if I ever went back to Country I think I'd string a P up as B-E-A-D.

It might make root-fiving in E and G a bit more convincing.

#8 stingrayPete1977

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:06 PM

Upright is a winner with audiences, they love 'em!
IMO

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#9 Andy_L

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:15 PM

I use a Fender PJ for country/country rock, with the P on about 80% and the J on 20-30% usually. Oh, and roundwounds.

Edited by Andy_L, 29 July 2017 - 04:44 PM.


#10 blue

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

The most appropriate bass for Country/Country Rock/ Folk is the style of playing, your understanding of the genre and the tone from your fingers.

Blue

Edited by blue, 29 July 2017 - 05:33 PM.


#11 Number6

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

Just get a bass and play it 👍
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#12 dmccombe7

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 05:35 PM

I would go for the P/J set up too. Gives you best of both worlds in my opinion.
I play with a band that does a lot of Blues Rock with the occasional Country rock type songs and the P/J fits it far better than my Jazz.

I do have a passion for my Jazz bass tho as it just feels better to play but band think the P/J sounds better. I generally have it set 50/50 pick up split and occasionally change the tone controls very slightly.

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#13 fretmeister

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:13 PM

View PostNumber6, on 29 July 2017 - 05:33 PM, said:

Just get a bass and play it 👍

This.

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#14 Jean-Luc Pickguard

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:20 PM

Any bass you're comfortable with.

In my americana band on various gigs with several root-fifth type songs, I used my precisions (fretted & fretless), an active jazz, a mustang, a musicmaster, a danelectro longhorn, an ashbory, a dean pace electric upright, an NS-Design CR-5M electric upright, a white epiphone thunderbird, and a natural epiphone thunderbird pro-v.

I'm not aware of anyone ever being offended by my choice of bass. Not that it would have bothered me.
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#15 lownote12

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:28 PM

I play blues and Americana (which is sort of folk) with a flat wound P bass but with a Tonerider pickup which just gives a brighter edge than the dull thump you might expect. Works lovely. I have also tried an active Sire in the mix and I couldn't get it sounding comfortable, a view endorsed by my team mates.
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#16 paul_5

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:57 PM

Anything with flats (or the tone control rolled back a little) ;)
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#17 Bolo

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 07:43 PM

The cheapest one you can afford.
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Posted 29 July 2017 - 08:31 PM

I used an old Mustang (rescued from a skip!!) with flats and it sounded just sublime.
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#19 paulbuzz

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 08:44 PM

This may be getting slightly away from the OP's 'what bass' question, but I've recently taken to using a block of foam under the strings near the bridge as a damper, for added thump. (This is with a p-bass with flats.)

This has helped greatly in getting a country-ish sound that's the exact opposite of the clangy roundwound sound I've always favoured previously!
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#20 timhiggins

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 08:55 PM

P bass ,old strings, tone low

#21 Dan Dare

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 09:07 PM

View Posttimhiggins, on 29 July 2017 - 08:55 PM, said:

P bass ,old strings, tone low

This makes a lot of sense. A lot of country and similar stuff is in D, to suit fiddle players, so tuning D-G-C-F is useful. I used a Jazz tuned this way for years in similar circumstances and it worked fine. Don't' think you need old strings necessarily, but flats a good idea - too sharp a tone best avoided.

#22 SpondonBassed

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 06:21 AM

View Postskankdelvar, on 29 July 2017 - 03:42 PM, said:

On a serious note (badum-tish) if I ever went back to Country I think I'd string a P up as B-E-A-D.

It might make root-fiving in E and G a bit more convincing.

I have thought about that more than once. Have you tried it and if so what was the effect on the overall set up - did it need much tweakage?

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#23 SpondonBassed

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 06:26 AM

View Postpaulbuzz, on 29 July 2017 - 08:44 PM, said:

This may be getting slightly away from the OP's 'what bass' question, but I've recently taken to using a block of foam under the strings near the bridge as a damper, for added thump. (This is with a p-bass with flats.)

This has helped greatly in getting a country-ish sound that's the exact opposite of the clangy roundwound sound I've always favoured previously!

I've wondered if the Stingray's damping system is any good for that...? Any owners use them?

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#24 FinnDave

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 07:50 AM

We play a few country type songs at some gigs, I use my Thunderbird, round wounds and a pick.
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#25 casapete

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

Been doing various country gigs for years, using either old Precision or Danelectro Longhorn.
Anything with plenty of thud will do the job!

#26 ivansc

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 08:35 AM

Blue nailed it. Its what you play not the instrument.

Several decades of country rock and straight country under my belt to prove it.
I have used a P/J, a Travis Bean, a Rickenbacker 4001 stereo and all three sounded just fine with me on the other end.
And remember that the number of songs that you will get to play that actually ARE just root 5 are vanishingly small if you are playing them right.
C/W is deceptive.

#27 Yank

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 08:50 AM

The foam under the bridge works for getting the thump, but it's more versatile to palm mute or in my case, thumb mute. I use fretless and flats, but any bass will do. It's all in how you play it and what you play (or don't play).

#28 lowdown

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:11 AM

Our two American friends, 'Blue & Yank' have summed it up for me.
It's how you play the style.
(Along with the Boots you wear).

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#29 Happy Jack

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:19 AM

View Postgareth, on 29 July 2017 - 03:23 PM, said:

Jack Cassidy

Confused ... did you mean David Cassidy or Jack Casady?
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#30 chris_b

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:50 AM

These days Country ranges from Jim Reeves to Jason Aldean and beyond.

From 4 to 5 strings, any bass will do just fine and the same bass can cover everything. Thud and clank can work but clarity is important.

But mostly it's how you play the song sound that counts, so just play good lines.
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