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Are Your Basses a Direct Reflection of Your Personality

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassHappy, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. OK

    So some have multiple instruments, others have found their "holy grail" in a single one, and those seem to be worshipping in large numbers at Temple Fender, mostly in the P Bass Department.

    So the question is - are the more quiet, restrained, conservative "follower-type" personalities drawn more to the conventional bass choices, such as Fender P and J? While the more adventuresome and outgoing "leader-types" drawn more to the unconventional boutique offerings with different body shapes, active pickups and exotic woods? Is there any truth in this? Is there a correlation between the nature of your personality - way you are wired - and the bass(es) you choose to buy and play?
  2. Not in my case, anyway.

    I've been through many basses over the years but settled on a Thunderbird. I wasn't driven to it because of looks, but how it played and sounded. Aside from that, I play two Squires and they sound great.

    I think you'll find a lot of players who stumble into the bass world and develop their style and sound around the first thing they pick up.

    But for every person like me, you have a Bootsy Collins!

    Attached Files:

  3. Neek


    Nov 26, 2008
    South Florida
    I would argue that the only time choosing an instrument is not a reflection of your personality is if you are forced against your will to choose one. Or maybe if you settle for an instrument you don't like (for whatever reason).

    But in the spirit of friendly discussion: I have never thought about what my bass guitars say about me. I think of myself as conservative and introverted, as opposed to being a "leader-type", and I own a Fender J clone. But I also own a handful of basses with flashy colors, painted fretboards, light-up knobs, figured wood, gold hardware...

    Something in my mind finds those instruments appealing. Maybe it's that I'm a nerd, and if I can look at an instrument and say "that's pretty neat" then I have already justified the purchase in my mind.
  4. novello


    Jun 21, 2013
    Don't mean to be rude to anyone... But I've never got those who are proud of having someone else's name written on their instrument... Of course I'm not speaking about the luthier/manufacturer name/brand... I'm speaking about signature instruments.

    Two categories:

    Cheaper/budget signature instruments: it seems that both the manufacturer and your "hero" are deliberately fooling you. Of course there may be tens of other reason for buying an instrument coming in your price range, but I would not choose the signature one just cause the other guy's name on or behind the headstock, or even on the catalogue, would make me feel silly.

    "Custom shop" / overpriced signature instruments: even if I thoght that "combination" would give me the tone I want, I'd rather get one made by a trusted luthier for much less, and it'll bear only the luthier name and my choices, even the copied ones.

    Don't see how you can look "cool" with someone else's instrument. IMHO! Has anybody ever said "whoah, your bass/guitar is just like XYZ's! you must know what you're doing"

    And yet I know so many aspiring musicians in their late twenties going after some asian-made laminated-made guitar, well willing to drop the extra cash, thinking their "heroes" really invented/added something unique to it, and that'll be coming out from some city-sized asian factory as well.

    They see a violin bass and say, "Whoa, it's got the holes just like Noel Gallagher's guitar!"
    I'm serious, True story

    "Buddy do you know anyone who can paint a Union Jack on mine?"


    "music" cosplaying.
  5. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I don't think so. I like to experiment with unusual things and oddball instruments. Basically, if I see anything weird I MUST HAVE IT.

    But over time my stable is more full of modded Fenders because, well, they are so easy to mod.

    So if you are thinking a Fender is the mark of a traditionalist.... Doesn't apply here.
  6. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I have trolls on my 8 string, so... not at all!
  7. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Wow. What a flawed starting premise! So if you prefer a Fender, you're a "Follower"; whereas if you play something else you're a "Leader"?? Nice...
  8. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    It's only style & preference, not personality.
    And I like sig basses because they're good not because I'm pretending to be jack casady, Reggie, or Sting. Good basses.
  9. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Right. Jimi & Jaco played common instruments.
  10. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I tried a 7-string yesterday. I got lost. Couldn't deal
  11. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010

    So what do you think of the guy who likes Fenders, but prefers really thin necks playing a Geddy Lee?

    Or a guy that likes the sound of a P bass, but prefers the shape of a Jazz bass playing a Hoppus?

    You know, my custom parts bass bass a Hoppus body because I wanted a Jazz bass with only one pickup and not a P, but I also didn't want an unsightly rout by the bridge... I don't really care one way or the other about Mark Hoppus or Blink 182, but I really think I would like a Geddy Lee neck on it.

    I'm just picky about my basses, and I just think those guys were on to something when they were designing/modding theirs.

    And for the record, I'm a huge Geddy Lee fan, but I'd hate to have a black bass with a white pickguard.
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    "Are Your Basses a Direct Reflection of Your Personality?"

    To some degree, yes.

    My playing is more so.
  13. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
  14. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    I have two Carvin 6 strings basses ( fretted and fretless )

    and I'm not in front or whatever ... I hate to be put in a "role" box or told where I should be in a mix. I just think this is bad and this is way everything soud alike and too caught into that box thinking.

    I just play music and my voice is the bass but it doesn,t mean I won't play solo, that I won't throw chords during a song, that I won't play a melody even if there is a guitar or whatever high pitched instrument.

    I'm not someone that speak loud or speak that much either.
  15. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Let's see I have a five string fretless arch top semiacoustic bass, I have a custom-built five string Jazz with a precision pick up, I have a wish bass, I have a strange custom coffee table eBay cheapo, I have a Kay upright, so yes my bass collection is indicative of my personality… High intelligence schizo!
  16. Sorry for the flawed premise, but I suppose you are right. That was not the best "personality" trait to use. I think most folks get the premise of what I was asking, hopefully without being offended.

    The question naturally begs for generalization which is always a slippery slope.

    For example Sting is an amazing band "leader" and he chooses to use vintage Fenders. So, maybe the question is more about "introverted "vs"extroverted" personalities?

    Is that better?
  17. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Don't think it has anything to do with it, at least after a few year's experience finding what one likes.
    It's more a tonal choice, though looks matter very much to most everyone, yet it's extremely individualistic what part of a overall look appeals to each person.

    It's not something that you can put in a neat box or demographic.
  18. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    My equipment reveals me as a bass player.
  19. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    I have multiple basses. I also have multiple personalities.
    Right now i'm a 17th century British sailor
  20. I'm definitely a function over form guy. That said, I have a gorgeous Roscoe bass. As I keep telling people, though, when I bought it I didn't even notice how it looked. I was so stoked to just put basses in my hands and play that I went through a lot of basses - and a lot of much more expensive basses, at that. I kept coming back to the Roscoe because of how it felt in my hands, and how I heard every single little thing I did, good or bad, come out.

    Once I'd decided, I had a good look at the finish... wow!