Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

What bass do I need for worship music?


bradh716

Recommended Posts

I am a guitar player. I have an opportunity to play bass with my church worship team. Problem is, I need to buy a bass first. I can't go high-end but I don't want to end up with junk. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Any advice on brands, type of wood, length of neck, 4 string or 5 string, neck-through or bolt on, is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I almost always agree with Jeremy - and I do this time as well...mostly.

 

Lately, I have been playing 4 string and loving it. I find I don't really miss my 5 string at all - except at church. It's the only place where a 5 CAN come in handy. I still use a 4, and I have a D-tuner on it so I can still get a low Eb and D, but the only place where the thought crosses my mind is at church.

 

Just something to consider.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends on what music you'll be playing.

 

For folkie/traditional stuff a 4 string like Jeremy suggest is fine.

 

Some praise & worship stuff requires a 5er, though. And I'd definitely go with a 5er for any kind of gospel.

 

Ask your music director. If he/she doesn't know you should be able to figure it out by looking at the sheet music. Or you may be able to figure it out by listening to reference recordings.

 

You can even get lucky with the current Squiers if you want to save some money. It sounds like you've been playing guitar long enough to know how to spot things like warped necks, dead spots on the neck and other things that would make a bass unplayable. Play all the basses of the same kind at the store to find the best made one. And you can always upgrade things like the bridge and the electronics if you want.

 

If you want something that's going to hold value for resale, like a Gibson Les Paul, then you're going to have to spend quite a bit more.

 

Also, resist the temptation to get a short-scale bass if you can.

 

What will you be using for amplification?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum bradh716.

I like Jeremy's suggestion of a 4 string MIM Jazz bass - or a Precision too. You could get a great bass for under $400, maybe under$300. Or, for about the same price you could get a MIM Jazz 5 string.

I find that I like to play my 5'er in church more than not. A lot of the songs we do can use the lower string. If you're more comfortable with a four string, then go with that.

Let us know what you get.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"What will you be using for amplification?", That's the other thing that I have to get squared away. I need to find out if the church will want to run the bass straight through the PA. There isn't much room on the stage for amps. Whatever the case, I need to have an amp at home and might as well get one that is gig-worthy. I'm open to amp advice.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, a 5 string might be a good idea, though it will be little more confusing when switching from guitar.

 

I play my 5 string all the time when playing Jewish worship music. About 3/4 of the music is in the key of D minor, so having low D really helps.

 

Yeah, there's a chance of confusion. An EADG is more familiar to a guitar player. Not a deal breaker though.

 

As much as I love the Sadowsky 4, I may start bringing my Yamaha 5 to church again. So much stuff in D and related keys. While the D-tuner works, it isn't nearly as convenient as the B string. Maybe I'd like it better with different electronics...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Jeremy, but I'd say go with a P Bass rather than a Jazz. They are simpler, quieter, and make every bit as good a sound. I would also stay away from a 5 string unless you really feel the need for one. You'll transition from regular guitar to bass a lot easier if you don't have to constantly remind yourself "Oh yeah, that's a B on top, not an E".

 

If you aren't gonna use an amp onstage, get a small preamp, or an amp modeler, (Bass Floor P would work, or Bass POD XT Live would be better, POD X3 Live would be best, and cost the most) AND make sure your monitor system will handle a bass without blowing the horns on the speakers. Some will, some won't, and it's a lot cheaper to buy an amp than be forever paying for replacing the horns or drivers in your monitor boxes. There are a number of amps that are small, monitor box-shaped affairs that run from 30 to 100 watts. I suggest a Hartke Kickback 12. They are compact, have enough headroom that you can hear yourself over a set of drums without pushing it so hard it sounds bad, and they are less than $400.

 

Many blessings to you and your congregation.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I love the Sadowsky 4, I may start bringing my Yamaha 5 to church again. So much stuff in D and related keys. While the D-tuner works, it isn't nearly as convenient as the B string. Maybe I'd like it better with different electronics...

As much as I'd love to own a Sadowski I'll bet you're glad you kept the Yamaha Steve.:smile:

 

Brad, it could be more confusing learning to play the fiver - oar knot! Learn to pluck with your index and middle fingers and rest your thumb on the B string until you need to play it. Try a four and a five if you can, then decide what's more comfortable.

As for an amp, the Fender Rumble 100W with the 2x10 cabinet is a lotta bang for your buck. A friend has one and it holds it's own, even outdoors. If you need more out of it you can always run it thru the PA.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re 4 string verses 5 -

I have been playing a 5 string for a number of years now, one of the main reasons I like it (besides the sub-E range) is fretting/note access. Instead of moving up and down the neck as much, switching between 1st and 2nd position, I can stay in 2nd position and move across the neck. Example: pinky finger frets the 8th fret/B string for G, easy to get index finger on 5th fret/E string for A, etc. That being said, you may get a better tone from 1st position notes due to fact that a longer length of the string is vibrating - a little cleaner. Depending on what bass, your approach, amp used - somewhat of a trade off.

 

Just a thought -

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I'd love to own a Sadowski I'll bet you're glad you kept the Yamaha Steve.:smile:

 

Yeah. Although I may try to get electronics in it that are more in line with the Sadowsky. Not Sadowsky, but something similar. I was tempted to get a Sadowsky 5, but I just can't justify 2 of them when my car is a pile, the house is cold and the utility bills keep coming - as does day care. A couple hundred for a preamp or pups isn't so bad. It's not like the Yamaha is a bad bass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mention your church worship team - there are lots of variations. Some are more guitar oriented, play lots of songs in G, D, E (or maybe capo up from those). Others are more keyboard or horn oriented, and play in Bb, Eb, Ab, etc. I have played bass in our church worship group, starting 5 years ago (although I play mostly keys now, because of fretting hand cramps), I started with my old 4-string Gibson RD Artist, but bought an Epiphone Les Paul 5-string for all the stuff where being able to drop down to Eb or D and still stay in the lower octave was real helpful. They only made the Epi 5-string for one year, but it has a very good sound, you should be able to locate something good for $300 or so.

 

Amplification - unless the church has a really high end amplification system, you are probably going to be better off with a separate bass amp than trying to go through the house system. Being old-school (but not over abundant money), I went with a Trace Elliot amp and both 1x15 & 2x10 cabinets. The 2x10 would be enough by itself in a lot of environments. If you are willing to look around locally and on EBay for used stuff, you should be able to come up with something good at a moderate price. (I also have an old Fender 2x15 cabinet - since bass is not very directional, it can be stuck away some distance from the amp where it is out of the way).

 

You've gotten some good advice already in the thread. You've got a good attitude, you will be blessed.

 

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are willing to look around locally and on EBay for used stuff, you should be able to come up with something good at a moderate price.

In the past two weeks I've seen more than a handful of MIM Jazz basses go for under $300 on eBay, shipping included. For a few dollars less, but sometimes not, there's the newer Squier lines, called 'Vintage Modified' and 'Classic Vibe'. They're pretty good also but I think the MIM will hold it's value better if you have to sell.

 

 

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Jeremy, but I'd say go with a P Bass rather than a Jazz. They are simpler, quieter, and make every bit as good a sound. I would also stay away from a 5 string unless you really feel the need for one. You'll transition from regular guitar to bass a lot easier if you don't have to constantly remind yourself "Oh yeah, that's a B on top, not an E".
Yes. I respectfully differ with my learned colleagues who aver that one needs a 5-string for worship music. Often used in that context; more fun than we deserve to drop down below low E, rattle the floorboards, and tingle the nether regions of the faithful; but not required.

 

In your situation, switching from guitar, K.I.S.S. - "Keep It Simple, Saint!" BTW, switching from gtr. to a P Bass to play in church is how I was seduced by the awesome power of the low end, many years ago. You've been warned...

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as 'what bass to buy for Worship', I'm pretty much on board with the suggestions so far. I play on a worship team, and I use a used P bass and it works just fine. There really is no specific model that is better suited for worship than another. so don't be afraid to try a few of different flavors until you find one that fits well.

 

For amplification, there are a few things to check out. One if the PA (especially the monitor system) can handle it. If they are only using one monitor mix, odds are the bass will wind up being pushed out in favor of vocals and other stuff. So check on that. Another thing to look into before dropping green on an amp, will you be allowed to have it on stage? Some worship teams get real nervous when someone wants to bring an amp because the sound guys have less control of the sound. It's better for us as players to have more control, but then you have the 'it's too loud' battles going. If you decide to get one, again there are some good used gear deals to be had. I'd go with a 100W or so small combo with a kickback cab and a DI out. I've used a rig like that as a stage monitor before with good success. It's small enough it looks like the rest of the stage monitors, it's loud enough I could hear what I was doing, it's quiet enough the sound crew didn't gripe too much and the few times I needed it as a stand alone amp, it was ok (not floor shakingly loud, but ok).

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You really should have a small amp so you can hear yourself and not be at the mercy of the monitor mix. All you really need is that will fit behind your chair or maybe underneath your music stand. (If you are sitting and/or reading music).

 

Some people think Jazz basses are easier to play than Precisions because the neck is a little thinner. Others like the P-bass better because it is simpler. One volume, one tone and you really don't need to use either one of them. Just plug it in and start playing and you always get an acceptable sound.

 

Since you are a guitarist, you may want play it with a pick (use a heavy one), but eventually you should switch to fingers to get a fatter sound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I need to find out if the church will want to run the bass straight through the PA.

 

if my experience applies, they almost certainly will want to use the bass direct. one time i was actually encouraged to bring my amplifier and after having me turn it sideways and then all the way around, they eventually asked me to turn it off completely and go direct.

 

awesome.

 

robb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once had someone show up for lessons with an Alembic Series I bass who had the strings wound the wrong way around the tuning pegs. And they were flatwounds.

 

I told him that flatwounds on that bass was like gangster whitewalls on a Ferrari.

 

Lessons did not go well, since he already thought that he knew it all.

 

But nice to know you still had an open spot in your schedule for someone else who wanted to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For amplification, there are a few things to check out. One if the PA (especially the monitor system) can handle it. If they are only using one monitor mix, odds are the bass will wind up being pushed out in favor of vocals and other stuff. So check on that. Another thing to look into before dropping green on an amp, will you be allowed to have it on stage? Some worship teams get real nervous when someone wants to bring an amp because the sound guys have less control of the sound. It's better for us as players to have more control, but then you have the 'it's too loud' battles going. If you decide to get one, again there are some good used gear deals to be had. I'd go with a 100W or so small combo with a kickback cab and a DI out. I've used a rig like that as a stage monitor before with good success. It's small enough it looks like the rest of the stage monitors, it's loud enough I could hear what I was doing, it's quiet enough the sound crew didn't gripe too much and the few times I needed it as a stand alone amp, it was ok (not floor shakingly loud, but ok).

 

I only use small amps. I used to use a Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T combo for just this purpose. Works great. I now have a Shuttle Max 12 and 112 cab but I still tilt it back and usually face it at me or as a side fill. It also works great for stand alone gigs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why is a P easier to play than a J ? Just curious since I have a J and am slowly looking for a P.

It's actually that a 4 string J is smaller at the nut (1 1/2") than a 4 string P (1 5/8"). Not a lot of difference but noticeable if you have shorter fingers like me. It's enough that I can grip the J neck more easily. After playing a 5 string the Jazz 4 neck feels effortless.

 

Chad, I'm not saying he HAS to have a 5'er for worship, just that if he's accomplished as a guitarist it might not be much different for him to start learning a 5 vs. a 4. It's not that hard to convert.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 strings for simplicity, as Chad suggested, although the P or J decision depends entirely on your taste... pick one of each up and try it at the music store.

You will most likely be going direct, most churches do, both for platform space reasons as well as the "It's too LOUD" factor, as previously suggested in at least one post... be prepared to have a very hard time dealing with the soundman over your monitor and house mixes... I'm just sayin...

I also recommend pickng up a bass POD of some sort to use as a direct box, or perhaps a Sansamp BDDI. It's nice to have the extra options if you need it, and you can adjust your sound quite extensively, which is nice if you don't have the luxury of an amp to carry your tone. I use a POD X3 Live in church for bass as well as acoustic and electric guitar. It does a great job as a DI and does everything else I ask it too as well. A little on the spendy side but I figure it's worth it for a tool that will take care of all of my needs, pedal-wise.

As far as the bass itself, you can't go wrong with a MIM Fender, for the price. If you search a little on the forum you'll find quite a few comments on different basses; browse through and hopefully you'll gain a little insight.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck.

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know someone who spent $25,000 on an Alembic Series II for worship music. So I guess there's that.

 

He's also a complete idiot in my opinion.

 

Yeah, but he's a rich idiot if he can afford that.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UPDATE:First of all Everyone's input is immensely appreciated. I will keep checking the post. I am learning alot. I went to Guitar Center and tried out these basses: MIM Fender P, Fender Jazz, Schecter 4 and 5, 5 string Ibanez($750). I felt most comfortable on the Ibanez. Although the Jazz had a distinctively nice sound up the neck. On the 5's I wasn't hitting the B for the E like I thought might happen. The only thing I can forsee having to work on with the 5 is keeping the B and E silent while on the other strings. I think I should go with a 5 because I don't want to be without it if I need it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...