Confessions of a stupid bassist

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Biddy, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. So, I DID do a search and didn't find exactly what I was hoping for...

    The short version of the story is that I traded a 1978 Fender P-bass for a used Washburn ABT Force 5 string bass & a used 60 watt Fender Bassman amp... stupid.

    I've played for years but never really payed any attention to the fact that some things have value. I basically inherited the P-bass and didn't like the sound or playability... I was young. I never played the thing. I'd had a MIM J-bass that I'd sold during one of my music hiatuses.

    Anyway, some of the wife's classmates (Medical school, tight bunch) were looking for a bassist and she mentions me, and they're interested. I hadn't been playing but was intrigued (the lead guitarist went to Berklee before medical school). I went to the local music shop to get the bass checked out (lot's of dings and needed a setup), AND to look for an amp. Well, the guy knew what I had and I had no idea. So after some chatting we made the deal... Oh, and after trading all that I still had to pay him another $160.

    I know, I know I screwed up. But here's the thing. That 5 string Washburn was fun to play and exciting, my first time playing a 5 string. It got me more into music than ever before... I've played for years but never seriously. I got WAY into the music, and it's ultimately changed me for the better.

    I still regret letting that P-bass go, but here's the ironic thing. It's been a few years since that mishap, and since then I've upgraded. I went to a different music shop (I'll never go back to that low-baller!!), to try out some Fenders thinking I'd want a J-bass... guess what I fell in love with right off the rack... a 5 string P-bass USA. So here I am, full circle. I play everyday, I love it. I can't imagine not playing. I'm hooked.

    Hard lesson learned but I can't help but think I somehow made all the right choices...
  2. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    You did.

    The right choice is what makes you happy to play, not what you can brag to your friends about or what can put cash in your pockets.
  3. ByF


    May 19, 2009
    What's your point? You traded a bass you didn't like for a bass and amp you did like, and it got you playing again. A '78 P-bass is not exactly the holy grail of bassdom.

  4. lexxmexx


    Apr 7, 2008
    Don't fall into the Fenderitis trap.
  5. I guess my biggest regret has to do with the financial part. I simply didn't know what I had and took a huge loss on my trade-in. I know I shouldn't expect much... but if I took the time and had a little patience I could've got more for the bass itself and then turned around and bought more.

    The big issue is that I traded away something I had no idea about. But the saying is "buyer beware."

    I'm not dwelling on this at all. Just thought I'd share with the Talkbass community to see if others have made similar stupid decisions and how they turned out in the long run.
  6. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    I do similar things with video games, but not instruments.

    Except trading my Aira Sinsonido, a Yamaha Pacifica, my Ashdown Perfect 10, and my Yamaha guitar amp for a drum kit.

    that was a bad move on my part, but we needed drums to entice a drummer for our band.
  7. no1likesme


    Dec 26, 2006
    Shepherd, MI
    meh, IME there is nothing really special about old fenders.
  8. Ern


    Jun 2, 2009
    >You traded a bass you didn't like for a bass and amp you did like, and it got you playing again.<

    And that's what really matters.
  9. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    Wow I didn't realize Fender hate ran so deep.

    I think the point of the OP is he could have sold the Fender. Bought the bass he liked and pocketed some scratch.

    Instead he paid $160 for the privilege of losing a grand.

    Maybe you should check the hate at the door.

    I wonder if they guy posted a story about trading a Ferrari he hated for a truck he loved and lost $190k on the deal you would be a little more sympathetic. I'ld bet you wouldn't post something so asinine as "well you love the truck so good deal, stop complaining".

    To the OP. Sorry you got taken man. Glad it all worked out in the end. It sucks when we get hit with life lessons like that but something of that sort has happened to all of us at some time or another. I like to console myself with the thought that I paid the money to the guy to learn never to make a bad deal again.

  10. Kraken


    Jun 19, 2001
    Aylesbury, England
    My take on this would be that, ok you lost out on the value, but in balance you discovered a passion for playing that wasn't there before, which I reckon is worth more than any bass/amp/whatever.

    I've never really put much stock in 'vintage' equipment anyway (this is my opinion, I am entitled to it, you don't have to agree) so I reckon you probably came out on top with that one.

    Glad you are playing and enjoying it!

    Now post us some sound clips of your playing!!!
  11. blockinlay


    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    Not a big deal. Water under the bridge, don't beat yourself up about it, and all that. The value of vintage dropped by half or more in the past year, and many that invested in a vintage guitar are singing the blues too. Can't sell them either, because no one's buying.

    I don't care much for three bolt necks myself, or Fenders from the late 70's. Heavy and heavy on the finish. You did good in my opinion because it got you back into it and you never liked that bass. You can still find late 70's basses for cheap from time to time, so don't let someone tell you they are worth an exorbatant amount of money. They're only worth what someone is willing to pay. I wouldn't harbor bad feelings for the guy that you traded to. He's got to make a buck too. You live and learn. Glad to hear your happy and still jamming.
  12. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    I understand "he's got to make a buck too" but I don't like it when I get jammed and they make their buck (plus a bundle) because I was their innocent lamb. I mean, where's the alpha-male pride??? I'm sure that dealer was working hard to contain his glee once the deal was in the works.

    Like others have said, I sympathize with the OP for getting the short end of the stick. Nobody did anything wrong, but I wouldn't deal with the guy again either.
  13. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Well it's a lesson learned, no? I'd say that in the end you came out a better man, because you rekindled your passion again. Sure, it cost you way more than it should have, but there's a lesson in that as well.

    I traded in a 6-string Yamaha TRBII and paid a nice sum (on top of the bass) for a new MIA Fender Jazz (Marcus Miller signature). When I did, I told the guy I'd paid way more for the Yamaha than I did, and I got what in my opinion was a fair deal (he actually offered me more than I had paid for the bass, though it was still less than half of the market value). It's the nature of the game, and I'm sure both he and I made some sort of profit. That said, I knew what I was bargaining with so I would have known if I'd got played.

    Reminds me of this kid who walked into a music store once with his mom, saying he'd like to play bass. Actually his mom did, she did ALL the talking (makes you wonder who wanted to learn to play ;)) and she pointed at this beautiful (slightly beat up) '60s Fender P and said "What about that one, that looks old, is it expensive?" Made me chuckle, but then again I don't know the first thing about cars either, so I could be suckered into any kind of deal (possibly by the kids mom, if she happens to be in the car business :))
  14. Thanks Rav, I think you got the point from my OP. I know I'm not the only one to make such a hasty choice AND to have learned so much from it!

    I was basically just thinking out loud to the Talkbass community... kinda like therapy!! is WAY cheaper than therapy.