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Thread: Which bass to slap

  1. #1
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    Question Which bass to slap

    Hey everyone my name is Oleg. I've just joined this forum and have been reading around the threads a fair bit. You guys are awesome at giving information so i thooght i might ask a few things myself.

    At the moment i'm in the process of getting some money together for a new Music Man. I played a stingray at a shop and fell in love with it instantly so i kept playing it untill the shop had to close for the day, which was about 2 and half hours.

    I love soulfull slap lines like in the piece called 'The Sun Don't Lie" on a Marcus Miller album. A slow groove with a slap line, it is awesome!!!

    Anyway getting to the point now, i've definately decided to go for a music man bass and i'm just wondering which one out of the Stingray, Sterling and the Bongo is the best for slapping on. One that not only feels right but has that low end punch and the clear funky top end.

    I found that the Stingray had good sound but getting around the fretboard takes a bit of effort and to set the sound up from slappy to low and punchy takes a bit of time. So i'm wondering whether the selector switch on the sterling would make that easier.

    Thanx

    btw, Aussie Mark i love your bass collection!!! and i also noticed that your band is based in Adelaide which is where i live.

    Anyway guys keep entertaining the crouds and making em feel the groove.

  2. #2
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    Have you tried the Sterling? The neck is a lot thinner. I'm not exactly sure what the pickup selector does and how it affects sound, but that has been discussed a few times and can be answered with a search.

    Right now I've got a Bongo 4, which is just plain awesome. Some people say slapping is a bit harder, but I've adjusted to the neck pickup position and my technique (or lack thereof ) and slapping isn't a problem anymore. However, I do enjoy that extra space on Stingrays and Sterlings, as I admittedly don't have the best form when playing.

    Edit: You could also consider a Bongo with a single humbucker. Some have said it to be the unsung hero of the Bongo line. I haven't played one, but it does have that extra spacing for shoddy slappers like myself.

    I'm not sure dialing in tones is that hard on any MM bass. For Stingrays, at most you've got three knobs for bass, mid, and treble, a volume knob, and maybe a knob for piezo balance. Seems straight-forward to me. Likewise for the Bongo, with the division of mids to low mids and high mids. The only trouble I'd have in dailing in a tone (relatively speaking, of course) would be on a Sterling and Stingray 5, both of which have the pickup selector thing. But all in all, I've found adjusting for a tone I like on any MM bass, except the Silhouette (I've never played those), has been both extremely easy and fast.

    Anyway, I hope that helps. Welcome to the forums and post pics the bass you get!
    Last edited by midopa; 11-15-2004 at 07:18 PM.

  3. #3
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    Well, it's times like these I feel proud to be such a slapper.

    Now then, I don't have an actual Stingray, though my SUB's design is pretty litterally exactly like it(omitting the unshapely body and what not) so basically I know what it's like to slap on one. Not to mention the countless hours I spend at my music store playing with them. Now then, I also so happen to have a Bongo4 HH in my possession, and I play slap on both of them. I find the SUB...

    The SUB: Is great for simple slap. You're right, the neck is a bit bigger, and so to get around real quick requires a bit more effort. Also, I find with the bigger string spacing, doing a roll or triplicate will end up being a bit more difficult. Though, the body's still nice and heavy and stays where you want it, so overall it has a good feel to it, and a lot of soul. The tone is also fantastic. Simply pump some bass and maybe a add or take away(depending on the situation) a bit of treble and you've got yourself a mean motha plucka. It's got that deepness that we love to hear from a good slap tone. Also, thanks to that Amazing MM pickup and the Mid, it's got those nice, glassy highs that really come through like there's no tomorrow. The only problem I have with the tone ever is that it's a bit weak on ghosts and tapping, so for that I tend to prefer the hotter P'uped basses like...

    The Bongo4 HH: Now, this is pretty funny, because there's that big motha of a P'up right where we're all used to slapping, and I admit when I first started it didn't quite make me happy ot have to squeese my fingers betwixt the P'up and the neck. Now, though, I actually prefer to slap on my Bongo, and want to buy an HH Bongo Just for it's great slap value. Firstly the neck is smoothe like velvet, so moving around is not a problem, and also it's slightly smaller than a Ray's neck so that just makes it all the more appealing. The string spacing is also smaller than a Ray's and so that makes it perfect for the above mentioned techiniques. Now, the tone, is wonderful. The thing I enjoy about the Bongo so much is it has Bottom End To Boot. It seriously pounds out the thump like there's no tomorrow. Couple that with the midy MM P'ups and a bit of treble and you've got one hell of a weapon on your lap. Now I won't go too into the tone because with a Bongo that could take forever, but basically, even on it's most basic settings, the Bongo has slap tone to die for! Now, the P'ups are also great for slap. These motha's are Neodymium, and though that means nothing to me, I know it makes a difference when you can feel them pick up the slightest ghost. These things are hotter than hell! Definately what I use for slap and tapping.

    Now as for the Sterling and SR5, I don't own either. However, any day now my Sterling should be arriving*fingers crossed for tomorrow* and so, just judging by the string spacing I'm sure that'll become my slap bass. In the meantime, I hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    there's always the single H bongo

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatduckk
    there's always the single H bongo
    Hi Jack!

  6. #6
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    Never say that in an airport

  7. #7
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    Hello Oleg! And welcome to the board! In a little under a year I own (3) Music Man basses thanks to this forum. I love slapping on both my SR5 & my Bongo 5, although currently my SR5 is my go-to bass just about every time. You should try out as many as possible, each for 2.5 hours if you can, then decide which you like best for the music you'll be playing. As most here will say, you really can't go wrong with any Music Man.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    Thanx a lot guys thats heaps helpful. Why study when you can just talk to someone in a forum So much info!

    I'm gonna try and get my hands on a bongo and a sterling sometime in the next few weeks and see what happens from there. Now i know what to look for in all the guitars.
    Thanx once again!

    Keep grooving

    Samingo, slapping is awesome isn't it? I love it You seem to love it too, thats cool. thanx

  9. #9
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    Be very, very careful in here. You will soon find that you either own or want to own more basses than you ever imagined it was possible to acquire. Welcome to the Forum!
    Starting to think about returning to bass playing in the very near future.

    Larry

  10. #10
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    Welcome to the forum, Oleg

    Sorry that I didn't pop in here sooner to say hello, but I'm an old vintage guy who doesn't/can't/won't slap, so the title of the topic scared me away!

    Great to see another Adelaide resident here - that makes 3 of us now. I wonder how many other cities in the world can boast MM Forum membership at the rate of 3 per 1,000,000 head of population?
    Cheers
    Mark

    2009 black/tort Big Al 4 SSS

    My bands -
    Richard Madden band
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggaffa
    Thanx a lot guys thats heaps helpful. Why study when you can just talk to someone in a forum So much info!

    I'm gonna try and get my hands on a bongo and a sterling sometime in the next few weeks and see what happens from there. Now i know what to look for in all the guitars.
    Thanx once again!

    Keep grooving

    Samingo, slapping is awesome isn't it? I love it You seem to love it too, thats cool. thanx

    Both basses are great! i have a sterling andive played a bunch of bongos...
    my opinion is that if you dont mind how the bongo looks, then its a superior bass. stingray vs sterling is a harder choice and you should probably save yourself the headache of deciding and get both

  12. #12
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    Some people here will just answer : " bongo rules !"...And they are right !

    I play on a 4 HH, and the sound possibilities are so various that you can really get the slap tone you want. To my opinion the neck is easier to play as on a Stingray (I' ve never tried a Sterling). I didn't had any problems with the spacing between the neck and the pup's.

    Try on of them, and then make your choice.

    MNF

  13. #13
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    funny story, i went to try out all 4 basses (ray, Bongo HH, Sterling, SUB) and i slapped around on them for a while, when i finally got to the bongo, i tryed to pop a few quick notes, and my pinky got caught under the string when i pulled back...

    ...long story short, i now have a broken, post dislocated finger


    having said that, it was worth it to get the tones out of the bongo that i did. man they are sexy.
    2003 SUB, 2008 JAZZ, 2008 STINGRAY, NC410 COMBO

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky
    funny story, i went to try out all 4 basses (ray, Bongo HH, Sterling, SUB) and i slapped around on them for a while, when i finally got to the bongo, i tryed to pop a few quick notes, and my pinky got caught under the string when i pulled back...

    ...long story short, i now have a broken, post dislocated finger


    having said that, it was worth it to get the tones out of the bongo that i did. man they are sexy.

    WOW I assume you are not kidding, I have never heard that before. I can only imagine how that must have felt. Hope it gets better
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  15. #15
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    Atleast it's your pinkie! I had trouble slapping on my bongo 5 at first becuase the pickups were soo high and the action was tall enough to drive a truck under. The bass still sounded awesome but I quickly lowered the pickups and action and now its my favorite bass to slap on.

    Andrew
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