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Anybody else really not care anymore?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Still thinking this through and want to reserve the right to change my mind at any time...

    Also not sure yet if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm choosing right now to see it as a good thing.

    Last night I broke out a bass I haven't gigged in years. My Warwick Fortress One.

    Lo and behold, it was hands down the band's favorite of any bass I've gigged yet. Gotta admit, it kicked some major butt. I loved playing it too as it's real comfy, balances well, has great action, and lots of versatility. So I'm driving home and I start thinkin...

    One day my Caprice sounds like the greatest bass on earth. Another day, different room, different levels on everyone, all of a sudden it sounds like a completely different animal. Same holds true for my Jazz, my Bongo, my Ric and every single bass I've ever played or owned. One day sounds freaking awesome, the next - who knows? Last night the stars were all aligned for the Warwick. When I take it to the next gig I may very well wonder, what was I thinking or hearing?

    That being said, I love playing even when I don't feel I've got the greatest sound I could possibly have. I'm starting to really feel like the bass means little to nothing. As long as it's set up to my liking, anything and everything I want can be found in my amp EQ and fingers - or not. Either it's there, or it isn't, and there's no way I'm going to have precisely what I like most, every time, in every room, with every band. Unless I'm playing in the same room with the same band every gig. That ain't happening.

    I'm really starting not to care a single bit about the bass I'm playing. Beginning to feel like I never want to comment on a bass again, too :) - which I've said before and I know makes some people here happy. This is one of the reasons I never really listen to anyone else's comments regarding a bass, also. It doesn't matter.

    I love all basses.

    And I don't really care anymore.

    At least for today :).

    How about you?
    Nino Valenti, SJan3, Rickter and 68 others like this.
  2. mrb327

    mrb327 Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    The “magic one day, but not the next” definitely holds true
  3. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I was gonna reply to this but, to tell ya the truth.....
    murphy, Max Blasto, MichaelT and 6 others like this.
  4. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
  5. I care about descriptive thread titles. Otherwise it’s like YouTube.
  6. If you're saying you prefer playing "bass" than playing a particular bass then I'm with you in the not caring stakes.
    FlatwoundFunk and joebar like this.
  7. I've found two basses that always sound great to me, but I play in the same room every day, except in the Spring & early Fall, when I might play on my back porch.
    Going forward though, I'm done shopping. These basses are IT for me!

    I thought I wanted to upgrade my amp, but that didn't turn out so great & I just lost money in the end. So, Fender Rumble is my go-to & may remain so for a long time.
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’ve never really much cared about what bass I’m playing as long as it sounded decent and wasn’t unbearably painful to play. I do have basses I prefer to play. And a couple I actually enjoy playing. But to me, any real magic there is, is to be found in the performance rather than the instrument itself.

    Maybe it’s a little bit of arrogance on my part. But I’ve always believed (and by now I have the track record to back it up) that I can wring a decent performance out of virtually any bass that gets handed to me, as long as it can hold its tuning fairly well.

    When I first started out, an old jazzer told me; “Don’t ever marry your instrument. If you're smart you won’t even go steady.”

    His point was that you’re “The Bass,” not your instrument. He said instruments get stolen, broken, lost, and sometimes have to be sold to get some emergency cash all the time. Life throws a lot of curveballs our way. So if you hang your entire identity as a player on a single instrument, you’re bound to end up being very sorry some day. He said to learn how to get “your sound” out of anything you play. Even learn how to get it out of something you don’t play. That’s what separates a musician from some guy who can just play something.

    Wise words. Glad I took them to heart.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Some people intentionally put non descriptive thread titles on some of their posts just so that more people will read them. Out of curiosity, ya know? And it works. Can’t stand those people. The Nerve!

    I give them at least a little credit though when they put it in a very specific forum, so ya pretty much know what it’s going to be about.

    :)... hey if I wasted a minute or two of your life, we’re even now :).
  10. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    I now just let the music dictate what i play. Lately that has been an upright bass. But yes i stopped caring much about what the bass was specifically as long as not a total piece of junk and something i am used to. There are so many basses that i can accomplish this with. I've also kind of just fallen into a "fender for everything" mindset and feel i can get the sounds i want out of a low level fender jazz by changing things in the processing chain.
    covermego, Ekulati and FlatwoundFunk like this.
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Bassists were not designed for bass monogamy
    Mnjoe, Doctor J, BK bassist and 11 others like this.
  12. I agree with you, one of my recents home made short scale fretless has one note, the F on the G string that is different than all the others. I don’t use this one at practice or venues, it’s primary purpose now is in trying to figure out what is the problem.

    All my basses in the privacy of my own living room sound great to me, every one is different, some in subtle way some almost radical. It hardly matters which one I use with the band all the slight characteristics of each almost vanishes in the mix and it just sounds like me.

    The Guild Starfire is not my favorite for just sitting around running through stuff, mostly because of it’s ergonomics, but I like it for it’s difference, the thing that makes it crazy is when it’s in the mix with the band, it cuts through in a way my other basses don’t and when recorded adds a dynamic I really love, it still fits, drives the tempo and melody but stands out in a different way, almost cleaner and less sterile at the same time. Most of my other basses I’d have a hard time picking out of a recording as they have such a similar “it’s me” sound to them. If the Starfire was at one end of the spectrum the old P-Bass and it’s sister the homemade mahogany fretless would be at the other end, and the rest of them closer to the P-Bass style, even the amps I use sound like me. I could easily get by with one amp, one fretted and one fretless but I would still miss the feel and dynamics of the others even though when played back there is hardly a significant difference. I could string up a washtub and it’ll just sound like me.

    Lately I’ve been using a lot more dynamics available with the instruments tone control, I used to set it and forget it at the sound check but now a days I am tweaking it a good bit more trying for more dynamics in my sound. I’ve added treble bleeds to most of my instruments for this reason.

    I am constantly rotating my basses, when I build a new one I’ll use it exclusively for a few weeks then it gets added into the rotation. I have 3 out of 11 that get little use, the first, my 1965 Framus Atlantik works but is basically none functional, the 5 string Warmoth parts bass is too heavy and I don’t like 5 strings, the Guild B-50 fretless is seldom used. The others are all in active rotation. For gigs and rehersal I bring one of the others, in constant rotation, 34” to 20” scale lenght either fretted or fretless.
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Play what inspires you to play, whether that is for feel, looks, sound, etc.
    SJan3, FiveStringer1, MEKer and 3 others like this.
  14. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I agree with this very much
    I believe a huge amount of your sound comes from you.
    A great example of this, is my brother who is an amazing drummer. To my ears, most drummers sound like they're playing on Tupperware- when he gets on a kit; even a bad sounding one, he can make it sing with tone and richness. Other people notice it too.
    I really believe it's something he channels.
    I've been playing long enough to know that the same thing happens when I play a bass; doesn't really matter which one- it sounds like me- and it sounds good.
    The other night I played a gig and my best friend commented that he mostly focused on the singers all night and not me. I told him that was a huge compliment- I'm doing the job right when I disappear behind the main attraction.
  15. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    You don’t eat the same food for dinner every day, why would you feel you need to play the same bass? Variety is fun, as is rediscovering the quality of a bass you may have neglected for some time.
    Marko 1, dabbler, BK bassist and 3 others like this.
  16. Hmm....nope. I still care.
    smeet and alaskaleftybass like this.
  17. nbsipics

    nbsipics Gypsy Bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Basses are often loved.

    But: Do they ever love back?

    And there's the rub...
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  18. aaronious

    aaronious Supporting Member

    May 23, 2011
    Denver CO
    I love all basses ~ Joe Nerve

    That pretty much sums it up for me.
  19. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I don't care
    kobass and nbsipics like this.
  20. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I agree.
    Having a "great night" playing bass is ... as you said... kinda like the stars aligning. The instrument itself is only one component, and not NEARLY as big of one as we like to think.

    The ROOM... now THAT'S a big part of it.
    IronSpatula, gypsyfelon, 40Hz and 4 others like this.

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