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Are you happier owning only one bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by black.rose1402, May 23, 2018.

  1. Bottom 4

    Bottom 4 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2018
    New Jersey
    5B50DA5E-FA80-4D56-B7C1-F77F5C54B385. I think the more appropriate question for me anyway is can I be happy with one bass and the answer is YES, I can and it would be the P bass on the right. I’m the original owner and I’ve had her since I was 16. 40+ years! She’s my go to. A back up would be the 62 custom shop in the middle. Today I own 7 basses. With the exception of my 65 jazz I’m the original owner of them all. I emphasize that because I typically lock in to those basses I buy new and usually turn the used ones.
    WillieB and BK bassist like this.
  2. BK bassist

    BK bassist "Apollo's Ghost" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    Pure class right there my friend!
    Bottom 4 likes this.
  3. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    When all I could afford was one bass I was happy with one bass. Now I can afford more. So I'm happier with more. :D
    zoonose likes this.
  5. I've been happy with 1 bass for many years now...basically because I couldn't afford another one.We are selling a house. As soon as we do I am ordering a Kiesel P5. That will be my last purchase. I believe it will be my "does it all" bass.
    Frodolicious likes this.
  6. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    There is no "does it all" bass. Hey, I had one bass for years and years (pre-TB). It was a 4 string Japanese Fender clone. I played it for all gigs and all kinds of music and never much thought about it. So was that "happiness"? No. The only word I can use for it was "musical stagnation". Well that's two words but you get the idea. As some point I got bored with the same old same old and want to see if there was more to bass life. So I stuck a toe in the world waters with a 5 string. And no things did not go well with it. I didn't like the tone, I didn't like the wide neck, I didn't like all kinds of things about it. But it was an exploration into (for me) uncharted territory and that was fascinating. So little by little I began to learn about what else there was in life beyond Fender. 5 strings, 6 strings, 7 strings, Fretless, doubled strings, acoustic bass guitars. and so on. Now there are 20 basses in my herd and more importantly I know exactly what each one of them can and cannot do. So was I happier when I was dumb? No, I don't think so. I just thought I was.
    Cliff Colton likes this.
  7. To me, basses are like wrenches. You can get by with a Crescent adjustable wrench and loosen nearly every bolt. But, it sure is nice to have a 9/16" open-end sometimes.

    For lots of bassists, I think a P or a J is that Crescent wrench. Works very well for lets say 98% of gigs. Right now I'm up to 5 basses. My #1 is currently is an EBMM SR5 HH. To me, I can probably play it for 75% of what I want to play. To me, I CAN NOT play Guns N' Roses music without using my Duff McKagan Jazz Special. It just has THAT sound. I'd say I could use it for 50% of what I play. I'd call it my 1" wrench. 1" is a pretty uncommon size, and that bass is somewhat of a one-trick pony.

    The real question is...would the audience care what the exact tone of my chosen bass is. Probably not. But as long as I'm the one playing, I'm going to make it sound how I want. And if that means owning/schlepping multiple basses, then I can't have enough.
    BK bassist and WillieB like this.
  8. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    This thread is now stale. Always someone comes along to display their two dozen high end basses and no opinion. Yes or no? Why? That's what I'm looking for. Thank you, goodnight, unfollowed.
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I had just one fretless four for over twenty years. For the decade before that I had that bass and usually one other, which pretty much never ended up getting played. I'm at three right now, but any one of them by itself would suffice just fine.
    Morrighan likes this.
  10. I am agreeing more and more currently own 8 am looking at selling 2
    LouBass likes this.
  11. With the right bass I could be but it would take some real convincing.
  12. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    At the start of last year I realised I had accumulated six basses. This year there only two. I haven't noticed any difference as I hardly played the four I sold. They were great basses but were just being "stored".

    I've spent most of my playing life with just one bass so I still get the feeling that owning two is an extravagance!
  13. LoTone

    LoTone Clean as an Entwistle... Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Quebec, Canada
    I own 15 basses right now and it is bothering me silly. I have some basses stored in closets that I never play. I often dream of one bass that would fulfill all my needs. But, it's not about need. It's more about enjoying gear for the sake of gear. I need to see a shrink...
    WillieB likes this.
  14. One is ok if you don’t mind changing strings after every song.
    BK bassist likes this.
  15. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    I’ve been at two for a few months now, and I’m thinking about turning one back into cash.

    One would do it for me.
  16. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i'm kinda on the fence, i could sell the vintage bass, before it needs a major neck overhaul for some pretty good cash, or i could just keep it around and transition to the 90s bass as the workhorse, you never can tell
  17. McFly


    Sep 14, 2016
    Melbourne FL
    I don't think I'll ever own more basses than I can play. I have 4 right now, with one down
    waiting on a neck replacement... I play all of them regularly (minus the one for now).
    I don't ever see becoming a collector, or a hoarder (j/k) because just knowing it's
    there isn't a good reason to get it, for me.

    I still get envious of someone elses room full of basses. It's bass overload! If they have the
    means... good for them. There are certainly less attractive things to crowd a room with!
  18. I don't play enough to justify more than one bass. I'm getting a P bass with a j pickup at the bridge.My wife is backing me with this purchase as long as it's my last. I'm going to have to quit reading talkbass because I drool over lots of basses people talk about and pictures people post.
  19. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    A PJ is a great place to start your bass collection! :) Yes, I've got one. It's only a modded Squier but it gets the job done. But these days I tend to prefer my USA
    G&L L2500 fretless for my go-to universal bass unless I really must have a Fender-shaped headstock. I presume you are talking new and considerable money given ruling from the boss. While this makes sense for a go-to bass (My G&Ls cost plenty and they were used!) a lot of my collection isn't like that. Point is if you hang around the right places long enough amazing deals fall right into your lap. And the proper way to look at them is they are "lessons". Buying a certain kind of bass and living with it for a while lets you learn all about what it can and cannot do. Once you know, if it's not for you, you just sell it and consider any money you lost (you may actually come out ahead if the first deal was killer) as paying for an "eduction". Do this long enough and you start to know all kinds of things about basses. The other side of the coin is when you only have one bass and your goal is musical. You want to live, breathe, sleep, and eat that bass until you feel naked when it isn't in your hands. It's all about woodshed and learning how to pull every musical nuance possible out of that one instrument. Both these "educations" are valid and either can keep you from "musical stagnation". How much you play has nothing to do with it.
  20. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Don't we all. Hey I know the feeling, I haven't played my 8 string forever! And sometimes I think why is it still around? And I know the answer to that one. Because within a couple weeks of me selling it the phone will wring and it will be someone calling begging me to join their Cheap Trick tribute band. This is just how life works. I have a number of 6 string basses but haven't been in 6 string mode for a while now. Same deal. You KNOW the minute I sell one off it will be exactly the one I'll need for something. So Hey, I pull them down periodically and give them a workout so I don't get too rusty and just love them for what they are and know I got 'em if I need 'em.

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