A realization - maturity or honesty?
So, there was a time - like many of you -where I believed that you could never have enough basses, or gear. I had two amps, three cabs, six or seven basses, a full pedal board, etc.
Then, as my last band started winding down, I sat firm at four basses, two cabs (a 210 and 115) and one head and no effects other than a chorus pedal.
Now, I am back in the hunt for a band, I am down to one head and one cab (a 410) and am completely satisfied (for now) with the four basses I maintain. One is a Tony Franklin fretless P, one is an American Standard P, one is an American Standard J and the last is an AVRI P. I look at the classifieds here on TB almost every day, but nothing sparks my GAS - of course I still don't know why I am still looking at the classifieds, so perhaps there is a GAS leak. I see the new Dimension basses and know that two years ago I would be jonesing for one with no good reason but today I feel very "meh" about them.
I think the reason for this cooling off is multifaceted:
1. I always (thought I) wanted a Big Al bass - well not ALWAYS, I have been playing for 30 years. So maybe for about 5 years. I bought one and loved it for a week. Traded it for the AVRI. I learned that, for me classic is better.
2. I have quality instruments. Sure the Fender detractors will say even an American Fender is nothing compared to Sadowsky, etc., but all four of my four strings are Americans and, in my opinion, the best feeling basses I've owned. (This is not a MIM vs MIA thread! :hiding: ) I learned that quality is better than quantity.
3. Jimmy M said somewhere that if you have 2 basses or 11 (I am paraphrasing), you will still work as much as a musician. I think he's right. I also feel like I am no longer distracted by what bass to play but more focused on what song to play. I learned that an old friend is more reliable than new ones.
So, as I look around for a new band and practice on my own in the meantime, I am content with my current set up. Is it the fact that I am 43? Is it that I am not a working bar band bassist? Is it that I am placing comfort and familiarity ahead of GAS finally? Who knows. Not really looking for an answer, just posting a POV. Feel free to add your own.
contentment is a good thing. I think we grow up emulating other guy's sounds and each of us becomes a stew of his influences, and eventually gains his own voice. Maybe you've found your voice? I'm still searching for my bass soulmate, not sure if there is such a thing, maybe it's in my mind.
I have 2 basses, a tall stack, a pedal and a bunch of leads.. That's all I NEED, but every day i'm looking at gear for stuff I WANT.. I'm still very much in addiction stage!
When I took on the role of bassist for a local singer/songwriter, my focus changed.
Recording, I always return to one (maybe two) basses which are comfortable, familiar, and record well. Playing live, the same story, I always have a "safe" choice, and maybe one other as backup.
It's not that I don't LIKE gear, I love to look, trade, try new stuff, but when it counts, I just want to concentrate on the MUSIC, and I simply want the gear to be something I'm not having to worry about. I want it to become something transparent, I want to think THROUGH it, not about it.
I haven't bought a bass since 2005 (although I bought one then that didn't get delivered until 2008). I've never been a bass hoarder, maxing out at 7 at one point, but I got rid of 4 of those in the past year or two as well. I've always been a serial-long-term-monogamous-bass-player. I don't switch between instruments based on mood. I've moved through instruments based on project or as what I want to hear has developed.
I mostly have everything I want or need and don't really have much interest in other gear.
I'm with you, Fletz. Ever since getting my 60th Ann P, I really don't GAS for anything new.
Sure, there have been a few basses that I'd take if they were given to me, but nothing has really screamed "I must have this".
I've been playing since 1981, and have owned dozens of basses in that time, but at present a good P-bass is what does it for me, and I've got a great one.
I think it's a little of both. As you mature, and after you've gone thru a bunch of gear, you start to look more honestly and realistically at what you NEED. And for some of us, as we get older, priorities and life change. Family, kids, etc.
I had a lot of fun and learned a lot while going thru my worst GAS stages though.
I think, at least for me, it's a matter of taking enough time to try out everything that seems interesting before you can really know exactly what you want. So, you go through a lot of gear and GAS for a lot of stuff. And, eventually, you've tried everything that piqued your interest and then you can be content with what you have.
I've only been playing bass for less than 4 years. I've been through almost 30 basses. I had as many as 13 or 14 at once, at one point. Now? I have finally found what I really like and my GAS is gone. I'm down to 7 basses, with 1 for sale and another I'm considering to sell. I have 4 that are definite keepers and for different things. A passive fretless J, a passive P-style, a modern/hifi 5'er, and, my true love, bass for everything that doesn't require one of the others, an EBMM Sterling 5H. And then one other P bass that is my beater/bass-for-sketchy-situations.
And, as JimmyM implied, I think I could really keep my Sterling and any one of the others and be quite content - if I had to.
I'm inclined to think maturity. I have owned many, many basses and spent thousands of dollars on them. Most of these far exceeded my abilities, at the time. As time has passed, I've come to realize there are only very few basses I actually play. So those are the ones I'm going to keep. I look at the classifieds everyday, but it is getting harder and harder to pull the trigger, just because something tickles my fancy on that particular day. I have been paring down my stable to just the ones I play. I have a 1997 Lakland 55-94, a 2012 Fender American Deluxe Jazz V, 2008 Mike Lull PJ 5 and the crowning glory, at the moment, a 2000 Gibson Thunderbird Studio 5. These basses rotate fairly regularly as my favorites. I still own 4 other basses that get no play time. They probably need to go. I honestly see no need for me to add any other basses to the family. My wife thinks I've finally grown up!
I have been buying and selling like a madman for 6-7 years and have been playing for over 25 years.
After owning approx 100 basses (most $1000+ each) over my career and tried almost everything out there, I decided that I really loved a certain expensive brand and bit the bullet and ordered 2 of them (a fretted and a fretless). I sold almost everything else to fund the 2 basses and once I get my new pair I will only have 4 basses (I won't likely ever sell my 1972 Jazz or 1974 P).
That is all I need. Impressive coming from a guy that had 17 or 18 basses at one point.
I don't know whether it's part of maturity or honesty, but I know that as years have passed and plenty of basses have come and gone, I've developed a much keener sense of what I like and what I don't. There are lots of basses, amps, and effects that just don't interest me like they would have even five years ago.
I think it depends why you have the pile in the first place.
I think I got up to more than 10 but less than 20 at one point. I intentionally did so to find out what I really wanted to play.
I am down to one big boy rig, one portable rig that can still flap your pants, 4 basses with one on the build table. When that bass gets here in November, I will play one of two Dingwalls full time. Custom Grove stays because it's very personal. The 63 NAV P will stay because everyone needs to have at least one Fender P bass.
So two rigs, 4 basses with 2 of those basses doing 95 percent of the lifting.
Frankly, I played so many basses that when I found what I was looking for, I was happy to start hawking stuff left and right ! There is no need to look further. Same with tone from amps/pres and cabs.
If you're a collector or like hitting the stage or rehearsal with something different all the time, that's cool. For me, I have a couple that make my heart go pitter patter and I'm good !
I had 1 bass, a pre-EB 77 Ray, since 77. Then I found Talkbass a couple of years ago...
Now I have 5 basses, 3 of which don't get played very much, but I'm still constantly looking at the Classifieds, Ebay, Warmoth, etc...
Damn you Talkbass!
I never had less than 4 at any given point and found myself constantly trying to justify the existence of whichever 3 I wasn't using. I had to sell a few off earlier this year and narrowed it down to one very utilitarian Classic 50's P with upgraded electronics and a refin. I'm realizing that two is my magic number though and makes the most sense as far as having a backup goes. Thinking of grabbing a Classic 60's J or another RW board P.
For me, I think it's all about searching for a tone/playability combination that makes me content. I also don't want to own more than 3 basses. I see no need for me to have more than my P-bass, a P/J (or a Jazz), and a modern toned one like my Spector. I don't play fretless, so there's no need for one of those either.
Amp-wise, I know a 4x10 is what I want, but I'm still searching for that elusive head/cab combo that just WOW's me.
I'm at a similar spot. I've amassed a collection of mostly P basses just so I could have different colors lol. I have a few parts basses that I'm finishing up and I'm realizing that I can change colors/hardware/electronics on those without affecting any sort of value. However, now that I'm looking to downsize, I'm having a had time figuring out what to sell and I'm almost afraid of being one of those guys that says "I should have never sold that!".
After years of buying and selling I know exactly what scale length, neck profile, weight, pickups, woods, etc. I like. I only nailed that down after trying dozens of different basses.
G&L L2500 - Honeyburst with BEM board
G&L L2000 - Blueburst with maple board
G&L L2000 - Fretless - Honeyburst with unlined ebony board
All bought locally. All great basses.
These would have covered my gigs with no problem and I'd have virtually no debt and money in the bank.
|All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:59 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.