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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Acoustic bass guitars - Anyone play one ?

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windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
Sep 14th, 2019 10:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

So one of the groups I have started playing bass with performs at some local acoustic open mics, some of which have strict rules requiring all instruments to be acoustic.

I have not thought about getting an acoustic bass before so if I did, what would I need to know and look out for ?

Flats or roundwounds ?

:)

digiboy
Contributing Member
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New York City

Sep 15th, 2019 04:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

Completely unplugged without a pickup or a mic on it?

They simply aren't loud enough. I think it's the physics behind the low frequency of bass notes. You need a larger sound box to reproduce low notes with any volume.

For an acoustic bass guitar, you gotta put a mic on it or install a pickup of some kind.
Otherwise you need an upright bass or a guitarron to generate bass notes with enough volume to compete with the other acoustic instruments.

Have you been to any of these "strictly" acoustic jams? Were there other bass players? Could you hear them? If so, what kind of acoustic bass were they playing?

BargeOn

CNY

Sep 15th, 2019 07:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Rounds. Phosphor-bronze is common, gives a nice tone, and easier on the neck, though I've seen them with nickle rounds.

Larger body is generally, but not always, louder.
It depends on the construction. Older Tacomas are some of the loudest I've heard.

Assuming you'll be miced, watch out for feedback.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 15th, 2019 07:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

I picked up one of these Ibanez ABGs for around $200 at GC It’s a parlor size bass guitar using the short scale Taylor type stings. The string technology for these Guitar scale basses is improving almost daily. The one I have is all laminated Mahogany, the guys talking about this bass say the solid top projects a little better, sounds better but is nearly twice the cost. It may be worth it. For a couple hundred bucks I feel it’s a great deal, it certainly blows away the Taylor mini, in my opinion.

It is actually viable in a small group of acoustics, It’s great for sitting around unplugged. It’s louder than my mid 80s Guild B-50. It comes stock with transducer and active control panel.

One Bass only forum has an ongoing thread about these and the string options available.

This is the one Iâve got

windmill
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Australia

older,better
Sep 15th, 2019 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

No amplification is to be used at the open mic.

But if I got one it would also have a pick up in it.



hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 15th, 2019 08:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve seen guys convert cellos to bass tuning, uprights are an option, still not a lot of volume but great sound pressure and projection.

I’m not sure I have the hand strength to play an upright all night long. I’d be trying to play the same lines I pull off on the electric or short scale acoustics basses. The one four, one five bass lines would drive be nuts in about 15 minutes, might as well bring my washtub “o)

Takes a bit of practice but is inexpensive

digiboy
Contributing Member
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New York City

Sep 15th, 2019 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hey Hushnel,
what is "One Bass only forum"?
Didn't show up on Google. My email is in my profile, can you please send me a link?

(This message was last edited by digiboy at 11:39 AM, Sep 15th, 2019)

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 15th, 2019 02:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

More like “one, bass only forum”

Check your inbox “o) Sorry about the typo.

iammr2
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Lower Slobovia

Pass me the onions..Yeah, the green ones
Sep 16th, 2019 09:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've had a Martin and a Fender. If they are adamant about no amps, I'd consider bowing out unless you're playing for yourself. No one is going to hear you. I've got a small Fender Rumble combo in case I need it now.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 17th, 2019 11:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

If it doesn’t have to be strings you could smoke them all with a Tuba.

I passed on the option when I was 12, had already played strings for 4 years, bass for two. Now I wonder if it would have been a good idea, I imagine my whole live would be different today, if I did. That would probably be a bad thing.

windmill
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Australia

older,better
Sep 17th, 2019 05:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Hushnel

Hadn't thought of that.

But probably dont have enough wind these days for the walking basslines I'm trying to do.

:)

windmill
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Australia

older,better
Sep 17th, 2019 11:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

So I played an acoustic bass for the first time today.

Do they come in 30" scale length ?
Can the action be at the same height as an electric bass ?


windmill
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Australia

older,better
Sep 18th, 2019 12:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

So the people I'm playing with have found an acoustic bass for me to play and have asked that I play a song we haven't played before.

Now I just have to come up with a bass part for the Boxtop's The Letter by friday evening.

the thing's you do for fun :)

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 18th, 2019 08:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve covered that tune, shouldn’t take ya more than one or two runs at it, pretty straight forward.

There are a few 30”ers out there. The acoustic bass action needs to be a bit higher to get the top to move enough for decent volume. The newer string technology is moving these instruments in a more viable direction.

The ibanez I’m playing is 25.7” scale. The strings have a soft core, designed for proper tension to get the top to move. The traditional Acoustic bass used the standard bass strings like an electric bass. They had to build the acoustic box strong enough for these strings which kills the tone and volume.

The small Taylor bass was designed around the new string technology, making the guitar scale bass more viable. Some guys are using these strings up to 30” scale length. It’s included in the discussion I mentioned above.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 10:13 AM, Sep 18th, 2019)

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Sep 19th, 2019 10:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think the only acoustic bass guitar that is loud enough to play in a group setting unamplified is the old Ernie Ball Earthwood bass. They haven't been made for like 30+ years, but they're still out there used.

...for example

digiboy
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New York City

Sep 20th, 2019 07:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I think the only acoustic bass guitar that is loud enough to play in a group setting unamplified is the old Ernie Ball"

I remember those EB's. I don't particularly like the sound he's getting in that demo. First thing I would do is put some flats on that beast, hoping for less twang and more guts.

windmill
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Australia

older,better
Sep 20th, 2019 05:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Played the song and another jam tune at the open mic.

Acoustic only. The bloke ruuning the show moved the one microphone being used around so that the bass could be heard.

it was a bit of fun.

Thanks for the help.

:)

Rick Knight
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St Peters, MO USA

Busy doing something close to nothing
Sep 21st, 2019 07:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

"If it doesn’t have to be strings you could smoke them all with a Tuba."

I once saw an electric band in New Orleans that had a tuba instead of a bass.

digiboy
Contributing Member
****

New York City

Sep 21st, 2019 12:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

"smoke them all with a Tuba."

Taj Mahal CD "The Real Thing". Terrific New Orleans blues with some powerhouse tuba playing, seriously! It's a great album.


Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Sep 21st, 2019 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

"...I remember those EB's. I don't particularly like the sound he's getting in that demo..."

I have to agree with that, the guy doing the demo seems like a rock electric bass player with no feel for how to get the most out of an acoustic.

The Earthwoods can sound better than that with proper strings and technique.

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Acoustic bass guitars - Anyone play one ?




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