Fender Jazz bass for metal?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by bkit13, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. bkit13

    bkit13 SS.org Regular

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    Pretty new here, so excuse my ignorance on anything "obvious"

    Been looking to record some bass tracks in Drop C, and was wondering what thoughts people had on using a Japanese Geddy Lee Jazz bass with a 34" scale length, as well as any ideas on the best strings to use. Getting a new bass isn't really an option for me at the moment, and the GL's skinny neck is ideal for my feeble guitarist hands.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Mwoit

    Mwoit SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, it'd be fine. I think the bass guitar itself isn't super important in achieving a tone (although it depends on the genre), it's more about what you run after the bass.

    I personally use Kalium strings only because they're long enough to fit on my basses, but using new strings in general before recording is ideal.

    What sort of bass tones do you want?
     
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    If I might offer another perspective -> If you run your bass pretty much clean, then the instrument itself (and the pickups) make up the majority of your tone. That being said, those Geddy basses sound great IMO. Given that the Jazz V is also 34", and it sounds fine in B, then you should be able to handle C just as well, with the right gauge of strings.
     
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  4. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    The bass will be fine. Kalium makes great strings and could provide you with the perfect set for your tuning, but I've been hearing about a lot of long turnaround times from them.

    Many commonly available B strings are on the light side (~.125) and could easily be tuned to C instead.
     
  5. bkit13

    bkit13 SS.org Regular

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    Cheers for the replies! I'm generally looking to achieve a fairly standard grindy metal tone that melds in nicely with modern mid-focussed metal guitar sounds. The main issue I really have with the bass isn't so much the sound - I've achieved fairly decent high gain sounds with it before in standard and drop-D tuning (its a 4 string bass) - It's really the drop in string tension when tuning down to Drop C that is giving me problems, mainly from a feel perspective but also sonically to an extent.

    I'd counter this by putting heavier strings on, but the standard "heavy" sets don't seem to take it far enough, and I'm concerned that using the low 4 strings of a 5 string set will be too much for the skinny neck.
     
  6. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    What heavy sets have you tried?

    If you get a very light 5 string set, you should be able to use the bottom strings with no problem. For example if you throw away the .040 from the D'Addario EXL 220-5 set, you're left with .060 - .125 which sounds roughly right for your tuning. That's a little heavier than most "heavy" 4 string sets.

    To perfectly balance the tension for drop tuning, you might just want to buy single strings and assemble your own custom set. Otherwise you'll most likely end up with significantly less tension on your low C than the other strings. Kalium does make balanced sets specifically for drop tuning, though...
     
  7. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I use a Jazz bass in drop B with no issues. Just be sure to use an appropriate string gauge for the tuning and dial in your preferred type of tone :yesway: I use a 145 for B, but I also like a fairly heavy feel. You should be fine with a 125 as mentioned above.
     
  8. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    I used to play a fender aerodyne jazz bass with a 5 string set in drop A and it held up fine. And Imo the necks on the aerodyne basses is definitely narrower than most j basses I've played, but that could all be in my head. If you're just looking to upgrade your bass and get "better" tone I really like the quarter pounder bass pickups from Seymour Duncan. Apparently the pole pieces being twice the size of standard bass pickup pole pieces makes them better for high gain and low tunings but idk how just changing the size of the pole pieces could affect the tone that much. I did notice an increase in output and more articulation, but that could just been because I swapped out the shitty stock pickups with the SD's
     
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  9. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    C is a semi-tone from B. Get a low B string froma 5 string set.... a .130 for the C... as for the other strings, go to a string tension calculator. I did it once, but I dont remember what I came up wiht. Dont remember if it was something like a "light 4 string set" and ignore the highest string as you would be using the low .130
     
  10. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I actually really like Jazz basses for metal, mainly because of the single coils. For low tunings, it really cuts, and you don't have to worry about too much bassiness.
     
  11. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    You can use any bass for metal.

    As for strings, assuming CGCF, you need custom gauges with the lowest string beefed up by roughly .010 to compensate for the drop. Almost all 'heavy' 4 string sets are for an all-fourths tuning which will make your lowest string loose.
    Use a string tension calculator like D'Addario's 'String Tension Pro' website: To discover what per-string tensions you like, and to design a set with those tensions in CGCF, then it's best to buy single strings.

    Using the lowest 4 of a 5 string set is bad as 3 of those will be tuned up by 3 semitones.
    If you must use a 5 string set use the BADG strings and omit the E. This will actually result in a fairly even tension. However this is a waste of money and metal and possibly more expensive than 4 singles.
     
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  12. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    I use a Fender Aerodyne Jazz and an AmStd Jazz V for metal in C Std and B, respectively. Sound phenomenal. I use 130s for both, just drop the G string for the Aerodyne... or rather, I order a similar set to that from StringJoy (130 100 75 55).
     
  13. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I use a Squier Deluxe Active IV bass as my main bass. Added in a set of Duncan QP's and its legit. I heard people talk shit about the QPs for years, but shit they nailed the sound I wanted.
     
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  14. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    That sounds like a Davie504 challenge!
     
  15. bkit13

    bkit13 SS.org Regular

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    Cheers for all the advice :cheers: Having had a look about at individual strings versus a 5 string set for the gauges I'm thinking of it looks like they're relatively close in terms of price, and 5 string sets should be more readily available and overall more convenient.

    I'm leaning towards 65-130 (with the 45 being scrapped) for the drop C tuning, I'd be curious to see what people reckon on that. From my experience with regular guitar strings, I like things on the heavy side, playing in anywhere between E standard and drop C on a set of 10-60 Rotosound Dark Zones on my "strat", so in turn I'm leaning towards the heavier option for the bass, but I'm assuming those experiences probably won't translate 100% - I've seen a few above saying the they're using the same sort of gauges I had in mind, but what are other people using on 34" Scale IV strings in D standard / drop C?
     
  16. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    ^this. keep in mind that for standard tuning regular string set are VERY unbalanced tension wise so for a drop tuning it will be even worse if you use the BEAD strings tuned to drop C. 130 is fine for the C but the rest of the strings would be hella tight and prone to warp a neck
     
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  17. bkit13

    bkit13 SS.org Regular

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    I see the idea behind this, but that would mean effectively using a regular bass IV set on the higher strings in D standard, which is going to be much too loose for the feel I'm after.

    I had a go with the D'addario string gauge calculator and it came up with this, which is essentially the low 4 strings of a 5 string set - does anyone have an experience using these "string calculator" type apps?
     

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  18. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    you do realize the standard sets D and G strings are already much too tight in standard tuning ?
    ok, so you already have the bass right ? what is it tuned to right now ? E standard and strung with standard gauges ? 105-45 ?
    ok so try tuning up the EAD strings to GCF and after try tuning down the ADG strings to GCF and make up your mind about what feels best for you and more importantly what doesn't break your bass skinny neck.
     
  19. bkit13

    bkit13 SS.org Regular

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    Currently it's tuned to E standard with 55-110 (55-70-90-110), which the neck has no problem with and which feels fine to me - I like the feel of the higher tension, and tuning down to D standard would necessitate heavier strings to maintain that feel. I'd guess based on past experience that to get a comparable feel in D standard I'd need a 65-120 set, and then for drop C that'd take me to 65-130 (65-80-100-130). This happens to equate exactly to certain light 5 string sets (the d'addario light V set). Any thoughts on that?

    EDITL: Granted, I see that those gauges are at odds with the previous screenshot I sent, so fair enough on that
     

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  20. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    fair enough, i still think you'd be better off with a balanced string set

    [​IMG]

    also, if you're fixed on getting some d'addario i'd recommend you get the stainless steel ones, much better longevity (imo the nickel ones are only good for a couple of weeks a month max), but again that's just my opinion
     

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