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Technical questions about bass guitar

Technical questions about bass guitar
January 19, 2011, 06:51:53 PM
Ok. I have never wasted space for something like that, but now I need help from people of which I know that they are competent in their METAL, and I know that there were similar thread about electric guitar. Other sources didn't even know what Death Metal really is, so they are wasting my time talking about how most bands uses drop D tunning (!) and quoting their nu-metal or metalcore examples.

I would like to know what kind of basses are used by Death Metal musicians (Immolation, old Suffocation, Incantation, old At The Gates, Morbid Angel, old Cryptopsy, Deeds of Flesh, Sinister, Monstrosity, Asphyx etc.), but even more than about certain models (as they're unaffordable for me) I'm curious WHAT KIND OF PICKUPS they use (humbuckers exclusively? is it as obvious and self evident as with electric guitars? or is there a wide range of preferences among Death metal musicians in that matter?) and HOW MANY FRETS they usually have.

Thanks.

Re: Technical questions about bass guitar
January 19, 2011, 07:11:07 PM
Humbuckers, 24 frets, I would guess.  Seems the most likely.

Next?

Re: Technical questions about bass guitar
January 20, 2011, 12:45:57 PM
I would like to know what kind of basses are used by Death Metal musicians

Basses are pretty varied amongst Death metal as a whole. I've seen everything from Fender P-Basses, Rickenbacker to $2000 customs. Fretless basses are pretty fun to play if you know your way around a bass. More important than the actual guitar itself would be the pickups and a decent amp.....

Re: Technical questions about bass guitar
January 20, 2011, 08:08:22 PM
Humbuckers, 24 frets, I would guess.  Seems the most likely.

The case is I'm not so sure about it. It seems to be more complicated.

More important than the actual guitar itself would be the pickups and a decent amp.....

Exactly. But what kind of pickup is more prevalent, more appropriate? Precision, Jazz or Humbucker? I have impression that Humbuckers are used by nu-metal and various modern bands utilizing one string droppings,  and relying mainly on sustain, that lame kind of heaviness or for heavier distortion on bass, while more developed Death Metal don't necessarily refrain from Jazz or Precision.

Re: Technical questions about bass guitar
January 20, 2011, 09:14:40 PM
If you really want to play some FAT ASS bass lines, you need a fretless 9 string bass with at least 32 frets.  Now, play a tap solo using only the tip of your cock and your left hand, occasionally smacking the low strings with your shaft and balls to get those Primus-esque slaps and pops. Just try not to blow a huge load all over your bass until the song is finished.

Unless you're planning on playing in the style described above, I wouldn't worry about the number of frets. Basses usually sound like shit (in a metal context) in the upper registers, and even bands with active bass playing  (like Athiest) spend little time in the extreme upper registers.  Sure, the majority of the fretboard is utlilized - but how many times does he play the highest note on the highest string with a striking musical effect that is relevant to the composition?  This may be disputed, but if you get a bass with only 20 frets I doubt you would miss the extra few notes you'd get on the high string.

Your other technical concerns are much more important, so I would forget about the number of frets and focus on these.

Re: Technical questions about bass guitar
January 24, 2011, 12:26:53 PM
There really is no easy answer to this. I've seen nearly every make/model one can imagine used - ESP/LTD, Ibanez, Fender, BC Rich and more "exotic" stuff like Warwick, or custom stuff, etc. Many DM bassists utilize some type of overdrive/distortion, others go for a clean sound, Pickups range all over from older-school J(Jazz) style pick-ups to newer buckers of this sort or that.

You really just need to experiment for the sound you want - the Bass make/model, amp, effects, strigs, etc., There's no magic to it...

Re: Technical questions about bass guitar
January 26, 2011, 05:52:07 AM
I've learned a few things in my time, so here's a few pointers;

I don't think there is really one brand of bass that is dominant in extreme metal. It seems like a lot of the Florida and New York death metal bassists used these random spiky basses of which I have no idea of the brands. Schecters are pretty solid (not a fan of the stock EMG HZs though), you can't go wrong with Ibanezes, or you could go for flash and get a BC Rich. Go above the first-level price range though, their entry-level electronics kinda blow. Or just go all out and get a Warwick. Warwicks are amazing and can give you any tone under the sun.

If you're playing with a pick don't use actives, it sounds too harsh and will cause clipping really easily. I'm pretty sure that contributed to frying my SVT350H. If you're using fingers anything goes, but I prefer the sound of two jazz pickups split evenly because it's really fat and clear and has a nice high and mid range.

Mids are your friend, they give you presence. Use them to give yourself a full tone. A lot of bassists think that it's just low end for the boom and high end for the clacking, but that's stupid. Maybe in other genres of music it may work, but in metal, particularly death metal, where the low end is the focus, you need mids. Same goes for guitars, turn up the mids on your guitarists' amps when they aren't looking.

24 frets are nice if you do a lot of tapping (I do), but otherwise it probably won't make a difference if you don't.

Using a little bit of overdrive and chorus can boost your tone and tone and give it a ton of definition. I learned this from a band that is generally disliked here but they start with a T and end with an L and rhyme with school.

Don't let guitarists tell you how to play your instrument, and if they do, just backhand them. They'll probably start crying and leave you alone.

There's my two cents, hopefully something in there helps.