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Do I need a beater bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Simple as that. I have more solid body electric basses then I need, or maybe even want. I got everything covered for my needs and then some, and even after that, I have a beater bass I keep under my bed with crap electronics, pickups, and jack and it needs a new finish desperately.

    I keep it around for the possibility that I'll want to upgrade it, but even then I would upgrade it to something else I don't need. Just the fact that I have it, makes me want to upgrade it.

    The only reason to maybe keep it is that I don't know how to solder and I really should know how for when I want to install new pick-ups, shield a bass, or repair a connection. And that would be the bass to hone my skills on.

    Other than that though, I don't have any use for it.

    Should every bassist have a beater? I feel like they should, but I have no idea why.
  2. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    I don't think we have the same definition of "Beater"..
    My beater basses are the inexpensive ones with upgraded goodies..the ones that you're not afraid to take to the less-savory gigs..cheap,but still fully capable..

    But to answer your question,I do think everyone should have a capable "no worries" bass.
  3. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    You already answered your own question.

    Yes, you need one.

    Why? You ask.
    Well you need to practice soldering, you need something to practice anything on when something new comes along.

    Of coarse I learned everything on a 62 Fender Jazz. So technically you can learn on anything but be careful.

    Or avoid careful and just keep that beater around.
  4. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    i always have something cheap to play with and hot rod ...see if i can make it close to the quality of one of my $$ basses or guitars ....i enjoy it ....i change pups, nuts, take finish off necks, route for more pups ....
  5. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Need? No. But they can definitely save your butt.
  6. I take my beater bass to places I would feel uncomfortable taking my better basses to. If something bad happens to it
    then it's "oh well".
  7. I feel way more at ease leaving my frankenfender p bass unattended at an unfamiliar bar then I would my stingray.
  8. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Quick question for the OP: Is it your first bass?

    If it is keep it. If not, do whatever feels right.

    The only time I can think of that you absolutely NEED a beater is if you're stuck playing some grimy bar that you probably shouldn't be playing in the first place. Like the other posters have said it is nice to have a worry free bass for frequent gigging so that it can take the abuse instead of your really nice basses. That being said I am perfectly happy with my Squier P-Bass special. That little PJ just rocks and it makes me happy! :D
  9. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    I like having the massive POS bass around for when I have to play outdoors in questionable/freezing weather. It's also the bass that I would lend out if someone were to ask for a loaner.

    If it disappears, explodes, cracks, falls, catches on fire, is rained on or is ran over by a large vehicle, oh well. Better it than my "nice" basses.
  10. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I have 2 beater basses... one is a mim fender the other is a cheap 40$ sx i snagged on craigslist spent another 10 on painted flat black and wired to be stereo... pretty sweet 50$ bass if you ask me... 7671813116_f31c2c62fd.jpg
    IMAG1989 by spaz21387, on Flickr
  11. scrimjer


    May 20, 2012
    I bought my basses in the wrong order, a hofner beatle bass,3 years later my 50 dollar affinty p bass.the basses feel so differant, but i do really get a kick out of the p bass, i dont feel im going to snap it in half, hahah
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I agree on all counts. I think the OP has mixed up "bar basses" and "project basses". A bar bass is one you can do a dive bar gig with and can go to the John and not feel paranoid. But while cheap are fully capable. For example my GSR206 Ibby, Fretted and fretless SX in 5strings and even my G&L tribby.

    Project basses may or may not be cheap (but often are) and are just waiting for the time to try out the ideas you had percolating when you bought them. For example my Squire PJ was a project bass. My 6 string SX Fender clones are project basses to play with the classic Fender but with 6 strings idea. And of course my Wishbasses are all project basses. The current active project is my SX 6er which is acquiring an ebony blank plank fretless fingerboard for an educational project to see if the Steve Bailey idea works for me. With a cheap beater project bass you can test ideas without spending an arm and leg. And if the idea wasn't so hot, you still probably have a usable bar bass.
  13. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    I wouldn't consider any of my basses beaters and I don't really have any uber inexpensive ones that would be considered that anymore(squier affinity, etc.) but I think it's important you have basses that are "users" and typically more than one in case one is getting work done, you aren't out of commission.
  14. Well, the thing is is that for the most part I am a bedroom player, I have auditioned for original and cover bands and have realized it's just not my thing. So i don't need a bass for grimy bars, or leaving it at the rehearsal space or anything like that. Every couple of weeks, I do jam with some other musicians and just a bunch of songs to chord sheets for a couple of hours, but I bring in my other basses for that.

    And no, it is not my first bass. I actually bought it not too long ago to upgrade into a sweet unlined fretless, but realized I might as well stick the unlined neck on my Squier fretless with Lindy Fralin pups and a hipshot bridge.

    And thinking about it, I don't really need to learn how to fix anything anytime soon. i don't plan on changing any of pickups and none of my jacks or pots need replacing, except for this beater bass itself. But what? To sell it, I should refinish it (I stripped off the paint as part of my hopeful fretless upgrade), and then I'll sell it for $100? Doesn't seem worth it.
  15. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    Yeah, doesn't seem worth it to me. You might as well sell it as is now or part it out; At least that's what I would do.

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