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Being Poor

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by StringMan50, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. StringMan50


    Jan 12, 2004
    Has being poor held you back from becoming a good bass player. Has it kept you from getting good equipment to further your skills as a bass player?
  2. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I'm pretty poor, but I have some nice gear. It all depends on how you spend your money. I don't have a lot of expenses, no dependents. I don't go out drinking and whatnot, don't go to sporting events, etc. Most of my gear I buy used, it's not necessarily exactly my dream gear but its pretty close for the money. Not that this great gear makes me a better player. I still play pretty terribly.

    There are some awfully nice basses out there that can be found NEW for under $500, sometimes way under. Peavey, Dean, Cort, SX, etc. Used basses even cheaper. As for amps, there's used Peavey and the like - I got a pretty cool old Peavey bass head for $50 at a music store sale - or Behringer makes some amps that seem fine for the money, $300 or under. If you can scrape up $500, being poor is no barrier to learning how to play, and improving your skill. Some of today's legendary bassists learned on stuff that was absolute garbage - restringing cheap guitars, making their own largely nonplayable junkheap specials, etc.
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    1) Nope...not in the least. It's all in your head, heart and hands.

    2) It has held me back from getting good equipment...but as far as acquiring equipment to further my skills, refer to No. 1.
  4. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Wasn't Jaco always broke?
  5. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    The only thing consistent in life is change. Hang in there, you may find your cirmcumstances will allow you that better gear sometime soon, maybe not as quickly as you might want it to, but they may change nonetheless. Many years ago I started off on a Hondo II bass with contruction & playability issues too numerous to mention. Fortunately, through my life, I've had the opportunity to aquire some very nice basses. I sincerely believe the same will happen for you. Never lose sight of what's important to you and work hard for it, the rest will come on it's own.

    To quote Rush: "changes aren't permanent, but change is".

    Best Wishes & Good Luck!
  6. Here's how I see it. Financial situation does not necessarily hinder your ability to become better as a player. But, with financial surplus comes the means to buy some hard-core gear, which makes you *want* to practice all the more. I remember when I had my FIRST bass (a short scale Cort over 15 years ago) I really wasn't in to practicing too much. But as I was (over time) able to afford some better gear, I definitely found myself more eager to pick up my bass. Now, that's just me. I'm forever an underacheiver and needed that boost of a nice bass or great tone to push me. Now, I'm at a point where I LOVE my tone from my rig and I like to practice just to hear it!!! I've searched for that tone for a long, long time. If it wasn't for THAT I'd definitely be better than I am today. I do regret not practicing more, definitely.

    Does that make any sense? Hahaha.

    Oh, by the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Be safe, all.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Being poor always hurts and makes things difficult for anybody doing anything unless he or she is trying to go to prison or get killed. That said, being poor is just one of many obstacles that a person may have to face in life. Frankly, knowing that one is poor may keep you from making the great American mistake: living above your means. A whole lot of people own Glockenklang amps and Sadowsky basses or whatever through the magic of plastic, and if they are not careful, it will come back and bite them in the butt one day.

    Furthermore, the most important thing you can do to get better is practice and take lessons. One is free and the other is not too expensive.
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I think being poor can be an asset to musicianship, and I also think it has absolutely nothing, nada, not a single thing to do with how good or bad someone plays. Being poor and struggling can be a GREAT source of motivation for any art, not to mention how it lends towards being a much more colorful person than people who have everything handed to them on a silver platter. Not that people with money can't be equally as colorful - but I think there's a certain soulfulness that goes hand and hand with those who suffer a little more than the next guy or girl.

    Also, I'm becoming more and more convinced that being poor is nothing more than a frame of mind. If you consider yourself poor and believe it, you will be that way. If you consider yourself rich you will be that way. Sounds too simple to be true but 53 self help and affirmation books down the line I've learned it's true. I started out waay too poor to play anything but a crappy mustang bass I had. I now have a Warwick, a MM Sterling, a brand new Bongo that I obsessed on for 2 freaking years, a double bass, and a bunch of other cheap but fun basses. What I've done (and my history is in writing here) is just determine for myself that I'm going to have what I want, and do it responsibly with the help of the powers of the universe. Yes - I'm crazy, but as long as it keeps working, I'll stay crazy. Eventually I get what I'm after, regardless of how unlikely and impossible it seems. My band doesn't work over the summer, and we had no money to record a CD we really needed to record. Not only did we record an excellently produced CD, we had it mastered, packaged, and now have 1000 copies. We simply said "we're going to do this, no mater what." When we're willing and trusting - the means present themselves.

    I'll finish by adding that I've seen lots of people on Squier basses blow away guys I've seen on $2000 basses.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    [old codger]Back in '77 when I bought my '65 P-bass, Bassman 50 and 212 cab for $350 from a college buddy, I had to borrow the money from AVCO Finance. Let's see, the interest rate was something like 21%. But I paid my $15 a month and eventually owned it. As my playing got better, so did my income (from my day job). So I just bought better gear as time went on, but never worried about whether I had enough money. On the whole, I'd suggest living within your means (buying equipment you can afford), and do a good job at your vocation. Over time, you will creep up into an income bracket that will enable you to buy better gear than most pros.[/old codger]
  10. Roberto


    Dec 24, 2004
    I once knew a guy in university who had a very rich grandmother who supported him. He bought all the snazzy stuff u can imagine. Had this alembic for which he wanted the tuners to be just like the sloped warwick ones. Don't ask me why but he drilled into that beautiful bass and in the end he couldn't get it tuned properly. :crying:

    He once ordered a 6 str ken smith. Musicstore called to pick it up. We got there, he strapped it on and all he said was 'how does it look?'. I can't recall him playing it ever. He was a spoiled brat who couldn't play for $hit.

    My father always tought me to work for the things I really wanted, he never gave me a dime until I got the money on my own, then he'd give it to me. I hated it at the time but I've learned to appreciate the value of things much better.
  11. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I used to have little to no money. The big treat was to go out for dinner for pizza or chinese food once a month. I still played for hours every day for years to improve myself.

    Now I'm financially much better off. I have superb equipment. It hasn't made me a better player to warrant the purchase. But it's a passion and fun.
  12. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I think Roberto has it right. I remember playing my $35 guitar and thinking it was wonderful: I never thought, gee, if I just had a $2K Les Paul, my playing would be so much better! And all of us have known kids who were indulged by parents...when I had a Global jazz bass copy, and a very used Ampeg B15N (yeah, before they were "vintage"), I knew a couple of guys who had very NICE rigs someone else had bought for them. Needless to say, it didn't mean much to them, and they never went anywhere with their playing, because the gear was just another expensive toy. When you earn something you value it much more. To this day it is a big rush for me to buy something new without having to sell something else! This is not an attack on nice stuff: once I could afford it, I got my own expensive gear and still have most of it. It's human nature to not take seriously what is given to us.
  13. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    When I started playing bass it was a treat to get new strings once a year! If you broke one of those sh*tty but pretty coiled cords they had back then you didn't throw it away you fixed it! most bassplayers I know had a mitch match set off strings on their bass. Hell most of us where poor! Our meaning of alot of gear back then was having a small suitcase full of broken peddles, effects and cords. It made us better players because we actually had to fix the things we broke or find someone who could for next to nothing!

    Doe's the names Sekova,Univox,Teisco, Kent, Montaya, Electra, Carlo Robelli, Hondo, Kingston, (there are others) ring a bell? If they don't you have never been poor!
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    When we use the word poor, do we all really mean the same thing? I think what some of are calling poor is probably more like working class. If you are in a community or belong to a social class where it is pretty easy to get a part time job to pay for a bass as a high school or college student, you are not really poor. I'm not saying that you have it easy, I'm just saying that you did not experience poverty in its more severe forms.

    There are people in communities where there are very few jobs and lots of young people cannot find honest work. Many kids come from social backgrounds where they did not learn the social skills that allowed them to present themselves in a way that would make them attractive to prospective employers. Many of these same kids live in communities so strapped that they no longer offer music education, so these kids have an extremely difficult time learning music. As Mos Def recently said on NPR, the decrease in music education was a major factor in the way that Hip hop developed.

    As for the rich kid who had things given to them, that sounds like jealousy to me. Giving to kids does not spoil them, teaching kids not to work or to expect big gifts with no effort (good grades, helping around the house, keeping out of trouble, getting a job if possible, etc.) is what spoils kids.
  15. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I'm not poor.
  16. Stinkoman20xx


    Oct 19, 2003
    I think its not so much of being poor but having "cheap" equipment is what detriments people.when you have plan ol junk with a warped neck and everything all shot to hell you really dont want to mess with it.some of the best basses I ever had were cheapest. I never was held back by having cheap gear if anything it motivated me to play harder and to get my first job to work to get the better stuff and by the time I can afford i would have hopefuly been good enough to think I deserved the better gear. My case was my Ibanez 406 I had to have when I was a newb.
  17. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Im poor but through the simple act of selling everything i can on ebay, i got money to get myself a nice rig. My setup is now a Musicman Sterling through an Ashdown MAG300H into an Avatar B212.

    I got that and i dont have a job. Possible? Well, obviously yes.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md

    What the codger said.

    I think having no money made me appreciate anything I could get my hands on. Made me make the most out of whatever situation I was in. I'm actually glad I didn't have parents give me stuff that at the time I couldn't really appreciate.

    BTW my first store-bought bass IIRC was $70 with chipboard case...

    and I made payments on it. I loved that bass. Couldn't afford the Sears models (or even Lafayette) so I got mine from Western Auto. It looked like a Fender Telecaster.
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    You went out for dinner?