Why does everyone use Fenders?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by batmilk, Oct 14, 2012.


  1. batmilk

    batmilk

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Not to hate on Fenders at all, I love the way they look and sound and would definitely love to have one...

    But in the world of indie rock/alternative rock/shoegaze/etc, it seems like every single bassist uses some kind of a Fender (and almost always uses a pick).

    I'm going to be starting a shoegaze/dreampop band with some friends and I play a 5 string Warwick Corvette, and I can't help but feel somewhat out of place, not that it will bother me much, but I just don't understand the fascination. I also can't use a pick to save my life, so that's another thing.

    Is it actually a specific tone these guys want or more of a fashion statement?
  2. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Their idols used Fender...

    That's about it...
  3. Righteous Thunderer

    Righteous Thunderer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Location:
    Victorville, CA
    The common statement on here is that not everyone uses Fenders and that it's a horrible blanket statement. That being said, probably around 90% of local bands I've seen have used Fenders or Fender knockoffs. I think it's because they're readily available and are time proven. I stayed away from them until I recently picked up a Squire VM Jazz, and I love it. I bought it for the above mentioned reason, time tested and proven design.
  4. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Because they are good, easy to find and very reliable.

    Not that other brands aren't, but you know...
    I could type a whole book about economics, competition of the market and this sort of stuff on why Fenders are used the most.
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  6. batmilk

    batmilk

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    It's interesting you said that, because my first bass was a Squier VM Jazz which I've sort of neglected to play since getting my Warwick. I think overall the Warwick is a better instrument (imo) but maybe the Squier would suit the music better?
  7. JoeVictim

    JoeVictim

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Play what you got and don't worry about looking cool. If you make the bass sing and you do it with something different, that will make you a standout. Just do what you do! :bassist:
  8. Jason Hall

    Jason Hall

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    Beaver County, PA
    I think this goes under the "use what you like" section. If you're happy with your warwick, then that's fine, they're great basses. I recently picked up my first fender precision bass after using ibanez and peavy basses. My reasons were pretty simple... 1. I wanted a maple freboard and few manufacturers have them in their bass lines and 2. I like how balanced a fender feels, my ibanez felt like a giant toothpick and never sat on my body right. The fender has a larger body and hangs perfectly. As far as what everyone else uses... go try one yourself and if you want it and have the funds buy it.. honestly though most people won't even tell a difference. It has to make you happy first and foremost.
    stevie p likes this.
  9. Righteous Thunderer

    Righteous Thunderer

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    Jan 25, 2010
    Location:
    Victorville, CA
    I've owned a fairly large amount of Warwicks, and I absolutely love their sound. I would love to get my hands on another one, but poor financial decisions etc, etc. You just have to get what calls to you. If I could trade in my Jazz for any of the Warwicks that I used to have, I would do it in a heartbeat. Now, would I trade a Fender of similar value for a Warwick? I'm not really sure on that one. It would depend on what I was playing.
  10. A-train

    A-train

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    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    San Antonio,Tx
    I think that they are so common is because A. They have fairly cheap entry models that sound good for a beginner right away and B. Because almost every other guitar company makes some kind of fender copy or aftermarket addition so you can go into any music store and easily buy a replacement part for anything on the bass. Try having an emergency and need to buy a piece for a Spector or Warwick bridge in the middle of Texas at the local mom and pop music store or even at Guitar Center for that matter.
  11. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

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    Sterling, CO.
    Disclosures:
    Sales Representative for Zane Guitars.
    I believe a lot of people use Fenders because when they first came out, they truly were groundbreaking in there design and function and for the longest time, were the only thing out. As a result, every well known bass player played one. Those fans them copied what they played and so on down the line. Today, it is no different. People mainly buy Fender not because they are the best but because other people buy them. I personally don't really care for Fender. I don't dislike or hate their stuff but I prefer Music Man more as well as a lot of other brands. A lot of other basses are better made, have better functions or versatiliy and are all around much better basses and for the same price and in some cases less money.
  12. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

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    because the cool vintage guilds, gibsons, and voxs are getting really old now and collectable
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass

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    Sacramento California
    Your statement right there is your answer. Many other bassists share your sentiment.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    First of all, play what you like and don't let anyone tell you any different. That being said....

    The reason many of us play Fender basses is that the Fender tone is what's in our heads. Many of the songs we grew up listening to were recorded on Fender basses so the tone of that instrument sounds "right" to many of us. It's really that simple. That tone has become an industry standard of sorts. I gig with Nashville artists who come through my area sometimes. I don't dare show up with my BTB 5. The tone they are looking for is a Fender bass for the most part. It's what they like and what they expect. Who am I to tell a Nashville artist what tone they SHOULD like? Many Indie people are the same. They have gotten used to how a Fender bass sits in a mix. It fits (in a lot of cases) with the overall sound they are going for.

    Here's the thing. If you want to play music for other people (a "gun for hire" so to speak) you should probably grab a Fender (or something like one) when you get a chance. You don't have to play it all the time. But it's a tool that you should have available. Once you have earned a reputation as a pro that can be relied upon, you can show up with whatever you want.

    Now, if you only intend to play in bands that you help run or are all original, then find what you like and to heck with anyone (including me) who tells you that your bass is "wrong".

    Doing your own thing = play what you want.
    Working for others = have a Fender available if you need it and they expect it.

    No biggie.
  15. DaniKettu

    DaniKettu

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    I think fenders precision bass and jazz bass are simply the best basses that are in the price range most can afford. They may or may not compare to high end boutique basses. That's really matter of opinion but they don't cost nearly as much as boutique basses.

    Also the way that p-bass fits to band context and cuts through the mix is a huge thing why they seem to be most used basses in music world.
    villis and Macko Sire like this.
  16. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

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  17. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass

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    That is some of the best advice you will ever find on Talkbass.
    Redrama and kegtujosh like this.
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

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    Herd mentality.
  19. Audiophage

    Audiophage

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    Jan 9, 2005
    A friend of mine plays in a quirk-folk chamber-pop band and uses a 5 string corvette.
  20. El Raro

    El Raro

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    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Same reason why so many people flock to the Nike brand of clothing more than any other. Its an iconic brand that's renown for quality and reliability. As far as the basses are concerned, the majority of famous bass players throughout history have used or are still using Fender basses. Its not to say that the Fender tone is better than any other bass tone...but its the one most people are exposed to when listening to their favourite bands. So, naturally, the aspiring bass player will see this bass in the hands of their idols, hear the bass through their music and eventually say "I want a Fender so I can sound like *such and such*".

    Not to mention that Fenders are available in just about every music shop you come across. They're like flies...you just can't get rid of them :p

    I only recently got my first Fender but I was always interested in them. I love the way it plays and sounds so I'm happy with it. However, given the choice between a Warwick and a Fender, I would take the Warwick...no contest. The Corvette is essentially a souped up Jazz Bass with more balls. I don't think a Corvette in a shoegaze setting is that farfetched. A local band here by the name sleepmakeswaves play a lot of shoegaze/post-rock music and the bass player sounds amazing with a Musicman Stingray. Just some food for thought.
  21. johng999

    johng999

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    I have several basses, including a Warwick Corvette 5, which is a great bass in it's own right(I have made very good recordings with the Warwick). I have played Fenders since 1969 - I like the way they feel and sound. Many "boutique" basses sound good on their own, but don't cut it when gigging. They get lost in the mix. I never have that problem with a Fender.
    It is also highly dependent on the type of music you are playing, and you as the artist as well.

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