A genuine question for bassists...
(Please excuse if this first part sounds like a personal ad)
As a bassist of 27, I have recently found myself maturing musically and personally.
As I'm getting more and more diverse with musical work, meeting more musicians than ever (some of high profile), I find myself interested in the PEOPLE who make music, as much as the music itself.
My gig is this: work weekdays, gig any combination of fri/sat/sun (days or nights), back to work.
During the year, there may be a few times when i tour - Narooma Jazz festival, Broadbeach Blues, Western Australia, etc - off work for this time.
I have recently bought house & land & am awaiting our first child.
My gear (the same for the last 5 years or so) is '95 Musicman Sterling, Sansamp BDDI, '86 Gallien Krueger 800rb, English Ashdown ABM 410 (4ohm).
My question is this:
I love browsing new gear on ebay, gumtree, etc, etc. HOWEVER - despite my desire to branch out & experience new, exciting gear (basses, pedals, amps, all of it) - I simply cannot bring myself to spend any money.
I immediately think - car, petrol, mortgage, baby expenses, food, electricity, finishing the yard, sabing for babies' school...etc, etc.
I love browsing opinions & images of gear on Talkbass - especially from those who have a wide range (sometimes mountains worth) of basses, amps & pedals they can play with - my question to these people is what lifestyle situation are you in?
Now all things aside (I know my gear is reliable and of decent quality) - I am genuinely asking how these players are able to acquire this many goodies?
Are they regular session players and see these as mainly tools?
Are you spending a great deal of a disposeable income?
Are you post raising kids & enjoying the fruits of your labour?
Are you a touring player and have a great selection for different bands?
Are you a gear junkie who can't get enough of fun goodies?
Do you run a store and get cost-price deals?
Do brands throw their gear at you because you're a big, famous rock star?
I don't mean to pidgeonhole anyone or sound negative in any whay by asking this question - I am genuinely enquiring out of pure curiosity :)
Please don't be shy in answering - if you love to show your gear, or have a lot of it (or the complete opposite for that matter!) I'd love to hear what lifestyle/musical situation you are in.
Thanks guys and gals!
We're all whores. Gear whores.
Do not doubt yourself and label your common sense as a flaw. Revel in it.
I'm a student, I work the few days a week I can, to pay for rent and stuff. I gig when I can, but yea, gear takes a back seat to living. On a purely pragmatic level, my old peavey amp, thunderbird and p bass are all I need. I get excited about gear, but never really have a burning NEED to acquire it. I think this is because I am realistic about my needs.
I have acquired all of my gear, sold it, obtained more and traded by chance of what works best for the situations at hand. I am a full time touring musician and have always seen gear as tools and paint brushes.
In my opinion, it is smart to think of taking care of your family first in purchases. People are the most important equity we have on this earth. And finding as much joy in those who make music as well as the music itself is the best way to live these lives we do!
Not sure if that is what you were looking for... But that's my take :)
I'm a mature bassist who's been playing for 37 years. I get less gigs than you, which is down to me and my commitment. I have 4 excellent basses and I really don't need anything. I'm very controlled about what I spend money on. I also play drums so this means double GAS. As an older guy I have reasonable wealth and so I could afford to spend more.
However, I'm still lusting after various things, which make no sense in the cold light of day!
I have been playing bass for more than 6 years now. I have only one very good bass at the moment that killed gas for me. If the future allow, I´ll take the plunge for an Adamovic Halo, but for now I´m super happy with the Adamovic Saturn I have.
I play music for praise God and also for my own joy, I don´t get to earn money out of it but the oportunity to express myself through this beautiful instrument is a real blessing. And if God permits to earn my life playing bass, so be it! :)
I'm a fulltime single father who used to gig....
... just happy anytime my son thinks bass is cool :)
BTW - my son got to see / hear me perform at a festival in downtown Spokane a few years ago, I think we'll both remember that forever...
Interestin' thread so far
I recently turned 40 and 10 years ago I embarked on a strange
state career (I'm here in Italy the equivalent of an IRS agent).
Before that, I was a private consulencer for another 10 years. I earned more back in those years than I do now as an officer.
Just I switched to save time for myself and for buildin' up a family raisin' children and so on.
I've a beautiful, sensitive son by the name of Andrea Edoardo, the one cited in my signature
He's two years old now but he can barely remember a time when mom n'pop used to sleep together, for I'm divorcin' and my wife left a year ago.
I've been playin' the bass for 20+ years and been thru many many basses, and amps, and stomps...
On my profile there are the ones deservin' to be mentioned: many more went under my scrutiny and just felt apart
And I don't mention gear like head n'cabs. I think I traded nearly 10 combinations in the past 5 years only, you figure...
So: a normal life, a normal wage, a normal spare time musician: why all of this stuff?
As I once told my wife: "beware when I'm after music. It sure means you disappointed me..." oh yes she did. Many times. Finally she ended up leavin' me and takin' our only son with her
I love looking at the gear folks offer for sale on these forums, but whenever I consider buying I always find myself thinking that they really have nothing to offer that I don't already have. So like you, I end up not spending my money.
I've been doing this off and on for 40 years. The Leo J I bought for $125 in the early 1970s. I still have it .
I tend to lok for bargains and don't fear buying used or going for a clone or one of a kind piece.
That being said I would have been much better off sticking to one bass one amp for the last 40 years.
I just turned 60 and am in classic "sandwich generation" territory: parents in 90s and in ALF or nursing home, son nearing college age. Providing for family comes first. Always. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now, and have been brushing up my chops in anticipation of leaving the rat race. I have pretty much the same equipment I've had since the 80s but have been researching gear and have almost pulled the trigger on a few things. I'm pretty cheap and prefer buying used due to depreciation.
Don't be too envious of the guys with walls full of equipment, chances are there's a maxed out credit card holding it up.
I considered myself blessed, here is a short story about how I can afford my gas.
I lived the vida loca until I was 20: drugs, girls and rockanroll baby !!... When I was 21, I decided to go back to school, mainly because I was tired of working in a factory making minimum wages. I finished high school when I was 22, went to college and seven years later I graduated as CPA ! I was 27 when I got my first job in an office: air condition, computer, hot chicks wearing nice cloths :)... I worked hard, got some promotions, got married when I was 33, when I was 34 I moved to the US where I work as business analyst, I was 38 when I got my MBA... My day job paid is good so I can afford to provided to my family, save some money and of course buy gear that I don't need, the job also give me the opportunity to tour the world, 38 countries an counting , so I dont need to be in a famous band.
All I can say is that nothing comes without sacrifies and hard work.
I work full-time protecting the environment. I get paid just enough so that, after family expenses are taken care of, every so often I have enough extra cash to get myself a new bass or cabinet or whatever to keep myself entertained.
Hence, the Thunderbirds are multiplying. :)
As long as I have the reliable gear and spare bits 'n' pieces that I know I'll need when someone calls me out of the blue to go and gig somewhere, I'm happy enough.
(This extra cash comes last in line after a half-decent holiday for us once a year, keeping cars on the road and all the other day-to-day stuff. There were a lot of years where I couldn't afford to splurge on gear, so I didn't.)
I'm a somewhat older bass player on a fixed income. Just enough to pay my bills pretty much. I had one bass and a OK practice amp, but wanted more. I am interested in playing in a band again after a long hiatus, so I managed to scrape together $180 to buy a used 100W 1x15 amp and also got a used Fender MIM 5er ($380). It was a real stretch for me. Could I afford it? Well, not really, but I had to have something I could audition with and got the bare minimum. I certainly don't plan on buying anymore gear for a while. Do I have GAS - of course. Will I suffer - maybe a little.
I am a single (widower) father of two young girls. I played a lot when I was young, but gave it up after I graduated college to pursue my career as an actuary. Twentyfive years later I picked up the bass again because my girls started taking music lessons. I realized then how much I enjoyed it and then I found this website. I think I started out wanting just one new bass. I lost track of how many one bass turned into. I am just fortunate to be at the stage of my life where I am able to take care of my kids, have their future expenses already taken care of and have a few bucks on the side for fun money.
I work full time have one combo, one bass that is most excellent. I record, played live and anything else with this set up. Nothing else needed as far as im concerned. If I need a different sound the studio Joe puts it in. If its live the sound guy puts it in or it is not heard. I don't like pedals so I stay away from them. Just my passive pups and combo amp.
WALLACE...PLEASE CHECK YOUR PM's
I don't have a TON of gear, but I do have some redundancy... Most of which I get used. In fact, I only recently (a year ago) purchased a brand new instrument- I've always bought used (and usually in bad shape). My first amp was a trade for a case of beer. My first bass was $100. Even now, with a nice Rickenbacker and Yamaha, If I get GAS, I look at Craigslist or ebay and see if I can salvage or build up something. I just got a decent Yamaha fretless that way.
FYI, I am recently married, work full time and am trying to buy a house- so money is a little tight. Nothing wrong with thinking before you spend.
jg919, you go RIGHT on thinking about mortgage, bills, diapers, etc., etc.! Too many people get caught up in what I like to call "Googlemania".
They buy a piece of gear and think, "Hey, this sounds great!" A few months later they begin to think, "Hey, this sounds like sh!t!"
Sure I'd love to buy a larger bass amp, and someday a new Rickenbacker 4003, but for today in the here & now, I'm great and I'm not in debt! For everything I want to buy toy-wise, I have an envelope that I keep in the safe. Every month I put a little bit away. Every time I have even an extra dollar in my pocket, I put it away. This is how I save for stuff I want without breaking the bank!
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