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Bass Confessions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have a few things to get off my chest. Hopefully this will spur some of you to make your own confessions as well, and maybe we can get a dialogue going and help each other through it. So (big deep breath) here goes:

    1. I sing the virtue of cheap basses because many of them truly sound great, but if I could afford it, I'd buy nothing but expensive boutique basses and pre-CBS Fenders. I don't feel cheated because I don't spend $5000 on a bass, but who the heck wouldn't want an Alleva-Coppolo or a Fodera? Hell, if I could afford it, I'd buy that $100,000 Ritter! Truth is, I probably could afford one or two boutiques, but I just can't justify it when I already have pretty much every bass I'll ever need and they're all good.

    2. I constantly talk about how I love Fenders and I think everyone should own at least one, but my Jay Turser Beatle bass gets more play on gigs than my Fenders. Why not? It's ultra-light, sounds massive, and I can always hear it no matter how badly everyone else tries to step on my frequencies.

    3. I claim to hate playing 5-string, but at home, it's almost always the bass I go to for practice. It's kind of a runner's weights thing, where you wear weights around your ankles when you practice so when you take them off you can fly. I still hate playing one onstage, though, and only use it if it's requested. Fortunately it never is.

    4. I want to play drums in a band. I started out as a drummer, but by the time I got old enough for bands, I had moved onto guitar and bass, settling on bass for the most part. I bought a cheap drum kit a couple years ago to try and get back into playing shape, but I never practice. Still, I'd love to do it and have a burning desire for it.

    5. I like bass but I really envy the guitarists I work with. They get all the glamour onstage. The spotlight always finds them, and people always tell them how great they play while they tell me "Your guitarist is great!" FU! Tell me how great -I- am or go find him!

    6. This is probably the most shocking confession of all---I want out of music. I'm sick of flying, I'm sick of being underpaid, I'm sick of driving home 5 hours after a gig in Miami, and I'm sick of being underpaid. I want to do talk radio. At least in radio, you only have to travel every few months when you get fired and hired by a station in another state instead of every week. One nighters in different states are the worst!

    BTW, no, I didn't have a bad night at my gig.
  2. geez man.

    only thing to save your musical soul is to make a local jazz ensemble. its the only way.

    you'll find in jazz everybodys in the limelight but nobody actually is, music is constantly challenging and fun, and if you compose a truly masterful piece then when someone starts to look up you'll know it was all worth it

    don't worry about money, what'll money get you that you can't get already?
  3. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    If you don't love what you're doing then get out; it's probably not going to get much better.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Dude, you're right about that. After 30 years, if this is as good as it gets, I want out. If I could actually get paid what I think I'm worth, I would probably love it. I love the actual playing of music. I just hate flying and getting underpaid.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A place to live and food.

    I don't know, the jazz thing sounds like fun, but at this point in my life, I have to play to make money. I'm kind of trapped. I make a decent middle class living doing it and I can't make the money I make in music elsewhere, and I own two houses and have a wife and two teenagers. So unless it can lead to paid gigs, I really can't do it.

    Now when I get a talk radio gig and I'm sick of cutting bits in a tiny studio and yelling at idiots on the phone, I would consider that idea. It's a good idea to rejuvenate yourself, but my enthusiasm for music isn't really in question. It's all the other crap.
  6. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I agree with your point about cheapy basses!
  7. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
    If you wanna get noticed as a bass player, stand up. You play some solo's on the bass yourself, you headbang, get into it, whatever. Sorry to say, but saying that the guitarists always gets all the glamour is often because the bassist doesn't do enough to get noticed, musically AND on stage.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I kind of exaggerated that part about the guitarists ;)
  9. JebSmells


    Jul 23, 2007
    no you didn't, it's all-the-way true.

    i had the expierince of being praised when i was a guitarist, and then the expierience of being a buffer for praise when i was a bassist.

    "I don't need a wheather man to know which way the wind blows..."
  10. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    1. Yup, some cheapo's sound fantastic!!!

    2. I would like to have a precision some day... Nice basses they are...

    3. I hate playing 5 strings, but I'm always in BEAD tuning!

    4. Then go play dru..... YOU WANNA BE A DRUMMER?!! :eek: :rollno: :spit:

    :p :D
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I agree with you 100% on point number 1. There are many cheap basses that sound great. I have played dozens of basses even at the sub $200 level that were fantastic! They may not impress your bass playing buddies, but the sound doesn't lie.; Just yesterday, a fellow I know who is ddep into the Wooten style who plays a Modulus Jazz, tried out my Millennium that I got for under $500, and I had hard time getting it back from him!:) I also agree that I would buy a bunch of boutiques if I had the money! Why not, they are beautiful, comfortable, and sound great! Last month, I really enjoyed a Sadowsky I played, it was one great soounding Jazz, my problem is that as good as it sounded, I just didn't think it was worth $2,500 more than a MIA Fender Jazz Deluxe.

    I agree about Fenders. A working bassist can't go wrong owning a P & J.

    I am the opposite, I often play a four at home and gig a five.

    Best of luck on your career, may be you have a bit of a mid-life crisis.
  12. wow jimmy...

    I'm with you on cheap vs. expensive basses for the same reasons...my most expensive bass is an $800 carvin that gets little play (its an AC40 and most of the stuff I do doesn't fit it)...my top 2 cost me $250 for the pair (including shipping costs)

    although, if I had a couple of grand, i'd spend it on a Lakland (even a tribute would cost a couple here in Australia)...I'm particularly fond of P/J's however...

    as far as 5ers...I don't own any, but I never felt uncomfortable playing one...for now, I just have one strung B-E-A-D for when I need it (which isn't often)...

    as far as the flying around making music...it's a lifestyle thang...I don't do contract and project engineering work for the reason of travel...I could make a lot more doing it, but I took a semi-decent-paying plant engineering job, because at 36 I moved to Australia and started a family and now at 42, I have 3 small children and a wife (at 35, I was living in America and had none of this)...

    I started out on drums, too and also migrated to guitar and bass, playing bass now 95% of the time...I sold my kit in America and have never replaced it.

    I never pursued pro music, because I never felt that I could make any money at it...besides, gigging is HARD work...but man it IS fun! I just love music, period.
  13. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Sounds pretty sweet to me! TWO houses and a middle class lifestyle? i assume you own a car (or 2) and you can support your children! I mean...are you looking to be super rich or something? You're a working musician...that means you go to work and make enough money to live. That's hard to do in the world of music! If you want more, you'll have to be a super rock star or something...but then you'll be on the road 6-8 months of the year and have to do interviews and things in different states (more traveling).

    Nobody likes their job. It's the bad parts that always stick out in your head, but really, is it that bad? You get to play music for a living! You know that the grass is always greener on the other side. I envy you when I get up at 5 am to go to my construction job...then come home and have to go out and play a gig on a Wednesday night...get home at like midnight or 1...then go back to work with 4 hours of sleep!!! Oh yeah, and I didn't get paid from the club...I played the show cuz I like to play music.

    Buck up lil camper!!!!:D

    PS: this thread should probably be in the Gig Stories or Off Topic section...not the BASS forum. :)
  14. I find most boutiques over the top style wise, like a hookers handbag
  15. rap138


    May 29, 2007
    south of Spain
  16. doctorjazz


    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    Confession: I'm always bitching about how I've never found a Fender whose neck I can play on comfortably. Last week I tried several Fenders at my local music store and I found a MIM Jazz that I actually liked.
  17. Two house? A family? Paid for by playing music (keyword here is "playing", you're basically getting paid to play, while most North Americans need to work to support their family)?

    Somebody's complaining with his belly full. I think going to work in a coal mine or a construction site for a few weeks/months would put things in perspective for you, I'm sure you'd pick your bass up for your next paying gig with a big smile on your face after that.
  18. motleystew


    Apr 29, 2006
    Lewisville, TX
    Cowboy up! This sob story reminds me of the the professional bass fisherman who had a "bad day" because the tire blew out on the boat trailer and he got to the lake 2 hours late! Your living a dream for most people..Get out if you want and get a "real" job like the rest of us, and like another poster said, you'll REALLY start to appreciate what you have! I just can't see why you'd complain other than this being a sleight-of-hand way to BRAG about making a living playing music and having two houses and all..Good Luck
  19. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I wonder how many of you dumping on JimmyM have been on the road. I did it for 10 years (but not in music) and it does wear you down a bit. Particularly if you have to fight to get paid almost every time you go out there. There is also the monotony of driving, restaurants, hotels and so on. He has a right to be tired of all that. Besides, he did say he really enjoys the good parts, such as playing live and interacting with the other musicians so he isn't complaining about the music.

    Different observation: It seems a number of us started on drums before moving to bass. I always wanted to go back to playing a kit and this last week I kind of got my wish. We are playing a 24 hour show as a fund raiser late next month and I will be playing the drums for the P&W portion of the show. Of course I am going to need to practice more as I kind of suck at it now (last time I played on a kit I was 15, now I am in my 40's) but it was really fun :)

    As for the boutique basses, I am there with you. If I had the money I would be owning several Sadowskys as a start :)
  20. forget it

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