#1
I play Classic Rock, Traditional Metal, Progressive Metal, Thrash Metal, Melodic Death Metal, and a little bit of Death Metal. A few questions:

1. If you had to suggest 3 guitar brands (models are optional) that can play these styles, what would they be?

2. Same question for amps.

3. What are the amp wattage requirements for each type of setting (solo practice, band practice, small band gig, etc.)?

4. How important are 5 strings compared to 4 strings? I know some bands that play my style have 4 string bassists, so is it absolutely mandatory?

5a. Are bass pickups as diverse as they are for guitars? Meaning would a swap in pickups, even if similar in style, have a HUGE sound difference?

5b. If yes, what are the top 3 "Go to" brands/models for this style of music.


Thanks a lot in advance.

I'm not looking to upgrade right away, but I'm doing a little research before I need to.
#2
MusicMan Stingray+Ampeg SVT 7-Pro. That's about 4 grand depending on where you are...
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5. You didn't notice that there was no #4.
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#3
There's not really any such thing as a bass for a particular style of music. I've seen bassists in some ridiculously heavy bands using jazz basses, but equally you'll find a lot of them in country, jazz, soul (well, pretty much any genre out there).

This is simply because, unlike guitar, there's no such thing as a "metal" tone on bass. You can use a number of different tones in a number of different genres, it simply depends upon how you like to play. You can find "metal" basses, but they're not "metal" because of the sound, they're "metal" because the pillock that designed them thought it would be cool to make the least ergonomic instrument they could. Generally I'd recommend avoiding these sorts of basses, for the most part they leave a lot to be desired in the tone/playability/quality departments.

As such, it's simply impossible to recommend you a bass without any more information. You'll undoubtedly get countless posters telling you what their favourite gear is (see above post), but what works for Joe Bloggs won't necessarily work for you. There's simply no objective answer. Perhaps your best bet would be to find a song where you like the sound of the bass, or with a bass sound similar to what you would like to go for, and we can advise you on how to get that sound.

And indeed, the same thing applies to amps. Again, some amps try and market themselves into this sort of field, but often there's nothing that sets them apart from others tonally, and the majority of the bassists you're likely to see in the big metal bands will probably just be using a bass amp by a brand just as likely to found in many other genres of music.

As for wattage, it really depends upon how loud you're going to be playing. With it being metal/rock sort of stuff, the expectation is that it's going to be quite loud music I suppose, so with that in mind you probably want to be aiming for 200+ watts ideally (remember that bass amps need more power than guitar amps usually, as lower frequencies use more power to amplify). More wouldn't hurt. Watts aren't everything anyway, there are plenty of other things that can influence how loud your set-up is, such as cabinet design etc.

As for changing pick-ups... it's not going to completely change a bass. It'll give a slightly different "colour" to your sound, but it's not going to make a bad bass sound good. If you don't like the sound of a bass initially, I'd advise against buying it with the intention of changing out the pick-ups to achieve a different tone, and simply steer clear of it altogether. Buy a bass you like the sound of the way that it is.
#4
This gets asked literally 2-3 times a day now it seems, and almost exclusively by guys wanting to play metal, google search, skim the present articles etc.

From what I've said, nearly everyone will rehash what Ziphoblat just said. I'll just include are you playing in a bad or at home, and how much money do you have to spend, because again people tend to get excited when new people say they want to buy gear, and shout the most expensive thing they've wanted when a budget isn't mentioned.
#6
Quote by Ziphoblat
There's not really any such thing as a bass for a particular style of music. I've seen bassists in some ridiculously heavy bands using jazz basses, but equally you'll find a lot of them in country, jazz, soul (well, pretty much any genre out there).

This is simply because, unlike guitar, there's no such thing as a "metal" tone on bass. You can use a number of different tones in a number of different genres, it simply depends upon how you like to play. You can find "metal" basses, but they're not "metal" because of the sound, they're "metal" because the pillock that designed them thought it would be cool to make the least ergonomic instrument they could. Generally I'd recommend avoiding these sorts of basses, for the most part they leave a lot to be desired in the tone/playability/quality departments.

As such, it's simply impossible to recommend you a bass without any more information. You'll undoubtedly get countless posters telling you what their favourite gear is (see above post), but what works for Joe Bloggs won't necessarily work for you. There's simply no objective answer. Perhaps your best bet would be to find a song where you like the sound of the bass, or with a bass sound similar to what you would like to go for, and we can advise you on how to get that sound.

And indeed, the same thing applies to amps. Again, some amps try and market themselves into this sort of field, but often there's nothing that sets them apart from others tonally, and the majority of the bassists you're likely to see in the big metal bands will probably just be using a bass amp by a brand just as likely to found in many other genres of music.

As for wattage, it really depends upon how loud you're going to be playing. With it being metal/rock sort of stuff, the expectation is that it's going to be quite loud music I suppose, so with that in mind you probably want to be aiming for 200+ watts ideally (remember that bass amps need more power than guitar amps usually, as lower frequencies use more power to amplify). More wouldn't hurt. Watts aren't everything anyway, there are plenty of other things that can influence how loud your set-up is, such as cabinet design etc.

As for changing pick-ups... it's not going to completely change a bass. It'll give a slightly different "colour" to your sound, but it's not going to make a bad bass sound good. If you don't like the sound of a bass initially, I'd advise against buying it with the intention of changing out the pick-ups to achieve a different tone, and simply steer clear of it altogether. Buy a bass you like the sound of the way that it is.


Thanks, this answered everything pretty well.


Quote by onebetter

Also, the information you've given us is useless without a budget. Given a lack of budget I'm obviously going to recommend very nice and very expensive gear.


I asked for brands because I assumed this was the case and most brands have a range of prices.
#7
Quote by Immora
I asked for brands because I assumed this was the case and most brands have a range of prices.


Not all brands have that kind of range. Ibanez sure does. Carl Thompson sure doesn't.

My usual recommendation is a a MIM Fender Jazz. It can handle just about anything you throw at it moderately well, it's comfortable, and it's not a wallet killer.

Amps are a different story. The tone you get from amp to amp is hugely different. An Ampeg SVT will give you that tubey overdriven growl, but it'll also run you well over $1k. Gallien-Krueger makes some decent, cleaner solid state amps and are cheaper. Eden, Markbass, Fender, and Aguilar all make pretty goods amps, too.

But, again, I could help a lot more if I knew your price range.
#8
[quote="Immora
I asked for brands because I assumed this was the case and most brands have a range of prices.[/QUOTE"]

A budget is easier to make recommendation for, most companies have a wide range of items and that doesn't mean they are all winners.
#9
Didn't we used to have a bass FAQ for stuff like this?
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#11
w/e... i love numbered questions. <3


Quote by Immora
I play Classic Rock, Traditional Metal, Progressive Metal, Thrash Metal, Melodic Death Metal, and a little bit of Death Metal. A few questions:

1. If you had to suggest 3 guitar brands (models are optional) that can play these styles, what would they be?


-Ibanez
-Spector
-Warwick

2. Same question for amps.


-Mesa
-GK
-Ampeg


3. What are the amp wattage requirements for each type of setting (solo practice, band practice, small band gig, etc.)?


-Solo: 5w-50w
-Practice: 50w-300w
-Live: 100w- 1,000,000w

4. How important are 5 strings compared to 4 strings? I know some bands that play my style have 4 string bassists, so is it absolutely mandatory?


It's a personal preference thing. It'll also depend on what the songs call for. You can tune a 4 string to cover most of the ground a 5 string can. So, at that point, it's more a question of comfort, and the necessity of some notes.

5a. Are bass pickups as diverse as they are for guitars? Meaning would a swap in pickups, even if similar in style, have a HUGE sound difference?


They CAN. Not as much as guitar, in my experience, though. In most cases, it comes down to "Active vs Passive" or "Vintage vs Modern". However, STRINGS seem to make a much bigger difference on bass than they do on guitar.

5b. If yes, what are the top 3 "Go to" brands/models for this style of music.


-EMG
-DiMarzio
-Fender
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."