Bass Collecting = Cosplay?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, May 6, 2021.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    I have been a fan of single coil Precision/Telecaster basses for years. I always thought they looked cool, and two great players, Verdine White and Wilton Felder, played them. I just found myself thinking, I like these players, why not just play their music? Getting close to their exact sound is cool, but not as important as playing their music correctly, and I do not need to buy a lookalike bass for that. I am not trying to be these players. I do not need to lose 160 lbs, go shirtless, and get an Afro wig to play “Shining Star” and “Devotion” like Verdine did in 1974.

    Let me clarify, Verdine was not wearing a wig, but I would need one to get that look!:laugh:
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Like old school drag racing, run what you brung!
  3. bass12

    bass12 Blistering barnacles! Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I think there’s some value to Marcus Miller’s notion that it was better for him to basically stick to one bass and learn to get what he needed from just that particular instrument, rather than jumping from bass to bass. The endless search for tone can be fun but it can also distract from (arguably) more important things.
    chris_b, wmmj, 20GLJazz and 29 others like this.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Like I said in my original post, after a certain point, were are just role playing instead of learning.
  5. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    I had to come to the same conclusion about Musicman Stingray basses. I’ve owned a few and had to let them all go. I like them when some of my favorites like Louis Johnson , Bernard Edwards, Paul S Denman, and Oscar Alton and Allen McGreir played them. But I just can’t stand them in my hands. Don’t care for the feel or the slap sound.

    Im happy to cover their bass parts with either of my 3 Jazz basses or my Pbass. They just feel and sound right to me.
    chris_b, stingray69, sonojono and 5 others like this.
  6. redstrand


    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    You're not wrong, I'm thinking about unloading a boatload of basses as it is. (Already did the pedals and amps)
  7. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    This has certainly been my experience. I’ve been guilty of going through a lot of basses. I switched from guitar to bass in 1999. I quit playing in 2000 and didn’t pick it back up until 2015 IIRC.
    It has really taken me until this past year to figure out what I like and don’t like . I’ve discovers that I prefer Jazz basses and need at least 1Pbass with flats. Once I figured out wood combinations, pickup placement and preference , strings, and neck specs I was done . 3 seems to be my sweet spot and bare minimum .

    4 string 70’s Jazz alder /maple
    70’s Super Jazz 5 alder /maple
    60’s Style Pbass with flats
    sonojono, Pet Sounds, bassicg and 3 others like this.
  8. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I’d rather play a bass I love than try and copy a certain tone. Frankly I like taking a line on a very different bass than mine and see what comes out, make it my own. We have over a hundred songs in our cover band playlist; I’d need at least 6 or more electrics and a DB on stage if I was to try and cop every tone! :laugh:
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Indeed. In my party band, we play such a wide variety of genres, that if it can't be done with fingers, picks, and the on-board actives, I'll get close and not worry about the last 1%. No amount of extra gear is worth that 1% on stage to me.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    There's some truth in that assuming you and Marcus Miller share the same opinion of what's "important" when it comes to playing music. Because an awful lot depends on what you're playing bass to accomplish. If your goal is to be a red hot first call studio cat, play with the greats, or be dubbed Bassplayer of the Year, then extreme focus is the surest way to accomplish that. But if your interests lie outside the scope of a career, and are more directed by a simple love of music and a desire to explore, then that advice has less relevance.

    Bottom line: Know who you are, what you're doing, and what you do (or don't) want to accomplish in life. Being a fairly inner-directed person, I'm not concerned nor interested in external acknowledgements and affirmations. I'm more the Zen type, doing my own thing and playing my own game. As a result, I'll never be famous - or considered one of the greats. But I am a pretty good bassplayer who's enjoying the path I've chosen in music (i.e. beginner's mind and a perpetual student) so playing different basses (and instruments!) isn't an actual distraction or deviation from my chosen path.

    And yeah, Marcus Miller is a truly awesome bass player. So if you aspire to his pinnacle, then it's a wise dog who heeds Mr. Miller's advice. :)
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    Cabrodante, Queue, sonojono and 9 others like this.
  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    The benefit of fewer basses is more room for pedals. If you angle your amp in to a corner wall there's a nice place to pile up all the ones that don't make your board.
    JES, HolmeBass, 40Hz and 4 others like this.
  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    There are many of us who do not need to go shirtless. Good P.S.A.
  13. Hop Jam

    Hop Jam

    Feb 16, 2013
    Birmingham, AL
    In this article, Oteil Burbridge talks about being himself within the music and not trying to play or sound like Phil Lesh as it relates to his gig with Grateful Dead iteration “Dead and Company.” It’s a great take on what is in essence covering someone else’s tunes while bringing your own musicality to the song. Having listened to a lot of his work in that band I can tell you I am very glad he has taken this approach. I love Phil Lesh but there’s only one of him. Same is true for Oteil. He’s bringing something new and awesome to the tunes.

    Dead & Company Bassist Oteil Burbridge on John Mayer, 'Intimidating' Jam Sessions & More
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
  15. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    i can do both.
    i have my own bass styles but i also like the looks of other instruments owned by celebrities. gilmour’s black strat comes to mind. i have basses that look like simon gallup’s precision and stingray, peter hook’s yamahas (his eccleshall looks amazing too), but i also like ibanez SB basses, which nobody plays. i also have a lot of charcoal frost and transparent blue basses and not because of any player’s instrument.
    mikewalker and Hop Jam like this.
  16. If you lose 160 lbs and start posting shirtless videos, I may click on one sometime.
  17. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Do it, post video! :woot:

    It is cosplay at a certain point. A bass is a bass in the mix; there's really only so much variation possible, and a lot of that can be accomplished without changing basses IME.

    But that doesn't stop me from wanting one of everything. I never had much gas for the original spec P / tele bass, but I can see the appeal.:thumbsup:
  18. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I so agree with this. I wish I would have kept my last Warwick thumb and just learned to live with the five strings and 35” scale ( it was a special order for the 35” and $300 up charge ). I love the basses I have now but the thumb really fit my music and that’s all I play now. My endless gas was getting the best of me. Expect for another thumb gas is gone. I’m otherwise happy with my gear.
    Hop Jam likes this.
  19. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Shirtless? It has long been my dream and the nation's nightmare that I play a 1-sock gig à la Flea.

    That said, for a different take and as one who does not aspire to play anyone else's songs like them, and plays mostly original material, switching basses makes me play differently.

    An 8-string vs. a P vs. a J vs. 2 humbuckers vs. a two or three stringer vs. fretless vs. a headless vs. passive vs. active and all of them vs. a T-40 encourages my musical schizophrenia, which for me is the point.

    But I admit, my mileage always varies.
  20. JoshS


    Dec 30, 2018
    This has been criminally underaddressed.
    I think if you did this, it'd be the most entertaining review yet! :D
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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