BEAUTY: got a gibson thunderbird IV?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jtauban, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. jtauban


    Oct 28, 2003
    I've been willing to buy a good bass for a while, but here in Abu Dhabi, it's tough to find that>

    Yesterday I came across a Gibson TB IV from 1994 that's been lying in its case in a shop. Last Price is 3500 dhiram (=950 $), and it's "brand new"

    Well I ask for a bit of information on it. Is it only a rock bass? Can I play funk, walking lines...
    Is it reliable? If you bought one, would you advise me to do so?

    It's hard to find anything about it on the net, so if anybody could comment on the pros and cons for it, that would definitely help me.

    Also, since i'm not a serious bass player yet, some advice on what to check for at the store would quite help me.

    I mostlt play drums, keys, guitars and do vocals, but i've been working on a friend's Ibanez Sg for 6 months before he left. I'm looking for a great inspiring instrument, to play and record mix of funk soul hiphop jazz pop
  2. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    Well... I personally like Thunderbirds, but not everyone does. Some things to know:

    - Because of their neck-heavy design, they tend to neck-dive. This is less of an issue if you wear it high enough that your forearm rests on the top of the bass.

    - All-mahogany means a thick, somewhat dark sound. Cuts through a mix well, but the only way to get a really bright tone from these is with fresh strings, preferably stainless steel. I don't know how expensive strings are in Abu Dhabi, or even what's available to you, so keep that in mind.

    - The old ones used to have a weak spot at the headstock; breaks were common. If this is really a '94, then it won't be an issue because they fixed this by then.

    - At the store: look for cracks, or the bridge posts pulling up. Hold the bass up like a violin and look down the neck; make sure it's not twisted at all. Ask the shop if they'll set it up for you professionally, and guarantee the setup (if they screw up, they fix or replace it).

    Style-wise, you can play anything you want on it. They are mainly known for rock, but Bootsy Collins (Funkadelic) has used T-Birds on some of his records, and a bunch of blues rock and folk rock guys have used them too. Most people who own them love them; in fact, I'm trying to find one myself.

    Good luck.
  3. jtauban


    Oct 28, 2003
    thanks for these informations!

    What about the price? Is it a good deal?
  4. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    If it's really "like new" and comes with the hardshell case, then yes, it's a good deal.
  5. jtauban


    Oct 28, 2003
    thank you again

    I went back to the store, asked to have it set up, and got an even better deal on it, with afew extra (strap, strap lock, jack cord...)

    Then organised a jam session at home to celebrate!
    I LOVE this bass. Probably the best instrument I ever owned. and what a sound! I recorded it straight into the mixer, no EQ needed, warm tone, deep and very defined yet, the best balance.

    Well thanks again, your information helped me make up my mind.

    No I have a stupid question (?) I usually play with two fingers, and the thumb resting on the top of a pick-up.

    My thumb doesn't move, and I (very) sligthly bring my forarm forward to reach the bottom strings.

    I read somewhere that the thumb should follow the other fingers ( i. e. rest on the D string when I play the G string) I tried that but it feels slow and uncomfortable.

    Is my way of playing wrong ? Will I be more exposed to injuries in the long run? Should I change it even though I feel comfortable with it?

    Well, any advice will be welcome
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Same way I play and frankly, no injuries in three years. Proper technique? Means almost nothing to me, I've got my style and I'll stick with it.
  7. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    If you are comfortable playing that way, and it doesn't hurt when you do it, then stick with what you know works. There are infinite different ways to place your hands, just like there are infinite differences between bass players.