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Any Brit Bassists buying "Guitarist" magazine since the disappearance of Bassist?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Apr 20, 2000.

  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I must say that I was almost ashamed to be seen reading the June edition of "Guitarist" magazine on the train this week! It now "incorporates" Bassist which folded after the May edition. It reeks of "Rock" to me in a way that Bassist didn't and I'm not sure I'll be able to bring myself to buy any more issues - I haven't played the CD yet either.

    There were some interesting comparisons - like reviewing the new Paul Reed Smith Guitar and Bass. Although I was struck by how ugly the bass looks while all the PRS Guitars I've seen (they're a favourite with Jazzers over here!)have looked really good.

    Nice interview with Richard Bona and good reviews of all the EA stuff - top marks for everything except "Value for money" in other words they are excellent but expensive! Yes we knew that.

    However - not enough bass-specific stuff to keep me interested and I am really put off by the image and feel - I'm not sure I want to be thought of as a reader of this magazine - anyone else feel the same?
  2. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Bruce - I bought a copy of the new magazine this afternoon in a rush. If I'd taken the time to look through it, I'd have saved my £4.99.

    I had high hopes for this "merger" between 'Bassist' and 'Guitarist' - the chance to actually hear some of the techniques section seemed like a dream come true. I never really thought that 'Bassist' represented good value-for-money (£3+ for not a lot of magazine), but what I wouldn't give to have it back!

    Techniques info. and transcriptions consist of a Thin Lizzy song (I don't really like rock) and an advanced harmonics-based piece, which I am unable to play properly to poor dexterity in the ring and little fingers of my left hand. The recording of the tune made me feel even less confident in my own skills - I feel utterly demotivated this evening.

    I always looked forward to getting a new issue of 'Bassist' - it gave a sense of "community" to British bassists, but we are now regarded as "lodgers" in the pages of 'Guitarists'. What are the chances of ever reading about some lesser-known players again? (including my own favourites, Norman Watt-Roy and Colin Hodgkinson)

    I can't really see myself buying another issue - I might as well borrow a copy from a guitarist friend and pay 10p to photocopy the couple of bass pages...

    A very disappointed David.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This is exactly how I felt - maybe I should write a letter to them on behalf of "non-rock" bassists!

    I think I will have to be content with "Bass Player" - gets later and later though. And a few Jazz magazines like Jazzwise, which at least sticks to music I like and has the odd interview with Jazz bass players.
  4. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Bruce - I e-mailed Steve Lawson the other evening, and one of the things I mentioned was how disppointed people were with the new-look 'Guitarist'. He was also disappointed to see 'Bassist' vanish off the shelves, but reckons that they didn't do too badly for their first issue in the new format - which I have to partially agree with.

    When you think about it, the bass-specific reviews numbered about the same as in 'Bassist', and there were a couple of interviews. The major letdown was the techniques section - nothing for the beginner or intermediate-level bassist. I know that Terry Gregory's 'Solo Performance' feature is back next month, but I just don't think that's enough. Have we seen the end of Paul Scott's very useful 'Reading Made Easy' column?

    The CD coverage was also very poor, I thought. I would have like to have heard the (ugly) PRS bass put through its paces a bit more (without the guitar!), and a test of the EA amp would have been interesting. Steve Lawson has just recorded a much longer demo of two Modulus basses for the next issue.

    I intend to e-mail Roger Newell to let him know what I think about the new situation and what I'd like to see in the future. I think it would be better for all concerned if bass-playing readers offer ideas for improvements, rather than just boycott the magazine.

    Incidentallly - Steve Lawson has just joined talkbass.com

  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I will probably still buy it - just hide it under my copy of the Guardian or something! I wasn't really complaining about what there was on bass, it's more that I just don't like the feel of all the guitar bits and the "rock" bias.
  6. Allo!

    Yes, it is sad to see the demise of Bassist! However, I know Roger is doing a good job and I know that you should all buy the latest copy (the one with the Beatles on the cover) as there is a picture of me playing the Status Buzzard on page 18!!!! We are currently building a bass to be reviewed at some stage in 2001.


  7. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I haven't bought 'Guitarist' for a couple of months now - the last issue I bought had Eric Clapton on the cover, and even then, it was only for Mark King's slap lesson.

    I do pick up a copy to look at when I'm in WHSmith, but I rarely see anything that would justify buying it (for me).

    Also, I've noticed that the Bass Centre's adverts (a highlight of 'Guitarist' in the past) seem to increasing include Parker and Burns guitars?!!!

    The Solo Bass section and Steve Lawson's Gadget Guru column seem to have vanished as well, thus reducing the small content even further. A real shame.

  8. I still miss Bassist magazine having had over three years of subscription's before it shut down.
    Although I've browsed through Guitarist a few times, there has never been enough in it to interest me or to warrant the £4.99 shelf price. However, I did used to buy it before Bassist was published. Good value at about £1.60 in those days, plus plenty of bass related articles and reviews.

    Nick, I will buy it to see the review on your new basses. Looking forward to it.

  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    As a guitar playing bassist I welcome the move. I did not buy Guitarist or Bassist while they were divorced. I used to buy TGM because it did both. I now mix and match with the odd Sound On Sound thrown in.

    I do agree that the bass content is low. The articles on the best 10 guitars and oh lets throw in 1 page for the best basses highlight the mismatch. Bass is such a big subject that mags are going to go with the popular choices.

    Most bands I have been in have had 2 guitarists.
  10. I feel indifferent about the return of Bassist to Guitarist- sometimes there aren't enough bass features in Guitarist, but then with Bassist there were many instances of articles on guitarists doubling on bass, which looked as if they'd been taken from Guitarist anyway, and also many articles on music business/tax etc. that weren't bass-specific either.

    having the one magazine also means that you can see all the ads, rather than expect advertisers to pay to feature in two magazines.

    even though I don't play guitar (very occasional use of acoustic guitar for songwriting and to help seemingly tone-deaf guitarists figure out parts :mad: ) I find the reviews of guitars and interviews with guitarists quite interesting- even the stuff on guitar technique can be helpful sometimes.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Wow - does this thread get the award for "resurrection"! ;)

    8 months gap between posts!

    I have now given up on Guitarist and don't even bother to look at it in Borders now. As I was mentioning in April, I think it's a rock/pop/indie thing now. Whereas Bassist had a variety of things of interest to any bassist; my feeling is that as a Bassist who plays Jazz, Latin etc, but not rock/pop there is nothing in Guitarist for me any more and it's probably cheaper to get the bus over to the Bass Centre in Wapping every so often, from where I work in London, than to pay £5 every month just to see what new gear is available.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    PS - I discovered recently that the Barbican is now regularly stocking "Double Bassist" (I couldn't find it anywhere before!) and I got the latest issue. This one issue had more of interest to me than a whole year's worth of Guitarist magazine.

    I also feel much better about buying and supporting a publication like this - which seems to be more about music, than gear.
  13. Well Bruce, I've only just found this thread so that helps explain some of the time gap - I guess I wasn't looking hard enough ;)

    I used to get odd issues of Guitarist before the split and I was a subscriber to Bassist. I think that the overall bass 'content' since the merger is not bad but I agree with you about the bias towards guitar-based rawk. Also I was not happy with lots of snobby guitarists giving Bass a hard time in the letters pages so I didn't continue my subsription. As long as the editorship of Guitarist fail to realise the importance of Bass outside mainstream pop/rock etc I am sure that you and I are not alone.

    BTW I have picked up more from these forums in 3 months than a year's worth of Guitarist.

  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually I was being a tiny bit sarcastic about the "Gap" - as I'm sure that Nick did this to promote his company - fine with me! I am always interested to hear about bass makers in the UK. ;)
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Nick - who have you built basses for in the UK? Do you have spec sheets like Martin Peterson's Sei basses or is it a case of anything at all?
  16. Hi Bruce!

    We are a brand new company which was started during the late Spring of this year- however, we built 8 basses (in our spare time!) for display at this years Music Live 2000 which went very well and attracted many players and very good comments from a number of `big name' makers, such as Rob Green from Status and Paul Reed Smith who remarked that they were the finest basses he had seen in many years!!! We produce a range of 6 different instruments, each of which is available in three different construction styles! However, being a custom builder, we welcome players' own designs/ideas and are willing to attempt virtually anything, and of course, adapt our own models per customer!

    As you may have seen, our website is currently under construction but we do have a Yahoo club


    which contains some pictures/options etc.

    Our first commission (for a customer in Norwich) is well under way and he has been very complimentary about what we have built thus far and we are receiving many enquiries which is fantastic!

    If you want a brochure, please send me your home address (email me at nick@ebasses.co.uk)


  17. Gary Dungar

    Gary Dungar

    Jan 1, 2001
    Hi Nick!

    Talk of the Devil!!

    Fancy meeting you here!! If any body was wondering Nick Smith (EBasses) is currently building an awesome 5 String bass for me. Details can be found at his Yahoo site he posted. I was looking at the EMG BQS & BQC 3 band active circuits on their web site Nick. They look really good. Anybody else tried these?

  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Welcome to TalkBass Gary - nice to have some more English bassists around and also people who fill out their profiles as comprehensively as that!

    I have looked at the Yahoo site that Nick set up, but do you mind if I ask you what sort of music you will be using this bass for and what you are hoping the bass will sound like? Is it mostly for the funk stuff or more towards the rock end of the spectrum?

    I notice you have Westone Thunder 3 basses - I had a fretless version in the 80s and it was one of my favourite basses ever! Great Sound! Unfortunately, mine got damaged in transit and it never sounded the same again, despite several visits to the tech at the place where I bought it; so eventually I traded it in for an Ibanez Musician. I've never seen another Thunder III for sale since! When did you buy yours?

    I have thought about having a custom bass made, but I struggle to know what effect my choices would have and how they would influence the sound. I know the sound I am looking for when I try a bass, but don't know how to describe that sound exactly, or what it is in the manufacture of the bass that defines it.

    [Edited by Bruce Lindfield on 01-02-2001 at 03:45 AM]
  19. Gary Dungar

    Gary Dungar

    Jan 1, 2001
    Hello Bruce!

    Thanks for your comments, I'm glad you liked your Westone bass, I've always been slightly embarrassed to tell people I actually thought my Westones were a lot better than so called pro-basses costing a lot more! I do believe the early ones were a lot better than the ones they later produced. Mine were made around 1980 so they are probably very early examples. I can remember waiting for ages for the fretless to arrive, it eventually came around new year 1981. The fretted version has two P-Bass pick ups and is 24 fret, the fretless has P-J configuration and is 22 fret. Nick Smith (Dr Bass of Ebasses) recently played the fretted Westone – any comments Nick for Bruce? Talking of Nick the new bass really had to be an all rounder, My playing is still funky so top is important (you can always take it away, but if its not there…!). Also it had to play like a four string, by that I mean the string spacing had to be close to that of my Westone, I hate tightly spaced strings. OK the neck is wider but Ian of Ebasses has made it very comfortable. I can’t speak highly enough of Nick & Ians time and trouble they have put into my bass, perhaps you can speak to Nick about any of your requirements in the future…!

    Have to do some ‘work’ now!

  20. Hello Gary!!!!

    Nice to see ya, to see ya Nice!

    Small world really!

    Just to let you know, Ian has now developed our original active circuit (as installed in the Toltec) further and it sounds much more potent, plus we also have the passive treble included as well as the new `phat button'!!! I think Ian is going to give you a ring in the next couple of days!

    Bruce - email me your home address and I will send you some literature on the range.

    Best Wishes



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