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Do I need a "good" bass for auditions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yonni, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Any band that puts the bass your playing above you personally and your musical ability, is a band I would not want to be with.
    Bass Viking and Yonni like this.
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Surprisingly most gear heads don’t know Jack.
    Rezdog, MobileHolmes and mcnach like this.
  3. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    Another "Audition Gear" story just came to mind. The same one where my Sadowsky P/J caused such furrowed brows and pronunciation failures, I was given a hand with my gear to my car (unwashed, paint faded, long standing minor dents, well and truly superseded model) to hear "Ahh that's a muso's car"

    So I guess you could say pretty much everything matters :D
    Afc70, mmon77, EagleMoon and 2 others like this.
  4. Nice! What is the head?

    I too have a Boss GT-1B. I'ts in my closet. It's a hell of a piece of equipment. I fear it. I am trying not to go9 down that perceived "rabbit hole".

    To answer your question, we still live in a Fender world so to speak. I broke down and purchased two MIMs (P and J) and an awesome MIJ Bacchus Jazz this past year. People know the sound. Plug and play.
  5. CoffeeLove

    CoffeeLove Supporting Member

    Skills first, gear 2nd. Your MIM Pbass is just fine, I doubt anyone will get close enough to see the country of origin, or even care. Be an amazing player, and the rest will follow.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  6. BeefPie84


    Mar 29, 2019
    I have a parts Jazz that looks very expensive. I spent time building it myself and not only does it look badass but it sounds badass.

    Do you think they'll care about the fender waterslide decal on the headstock? LOL.

    I made this bass because I never had a jazz bass my entire life and it's really fun to play with the Precision neck I put on it. (Jazz necks weren't for me).

    I achieved my goal and not only getting something I personally love to play but also something that looks really nice and can be gigable for weddings and the such. I believe that every player beyond a regular hobbyist should have a bass just for this purpose: classy, auditions, and high-end gigs.
    Rezdog and Yonni like this.
  7. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    I'll go with "it depends." The unfortunate reality is that quite a few folks are going to judge and do care. I think there is some minimum threshold of gear you probably need to audition/play out (doesn't make weird hums, is properly intonated, sounds reasonable), but clearing that threshold isn't that hard. But folks do judge. On the other hand, showing up with cheap/weird gear is a good way to audition them too. Decent players/people can look past the gear and hear the player. I've been playing a fair number of blues jams lately, and everybody is kind of checking each others' gear out. Most of my stuff is a little off the beaten path (I usually show up with a warmoth J or a early 80s MIJ P Copy), and I can tell that some of them look down on them. And typically the guys that look down on them are lousy players, and don't know anything about gear anyway. Unfortunately, in an audition setting, you are fairly likely to get judged on gear by people who don't know much
    Yonni likes this.
  8. Adjectives

    Adjectives Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2017
    Seattle, Wa

    That's a great quote.
    groooooove likes this.
  9. i think two fingers nailed it in the first response. i was one of those judgmental jerks. I played with an indie rock band for awhile and one day forgot to bring my MIM fender jazz to practice. the drummer (who was an amazing guitar player and just playing drums in this band because guitar players were a dime a dozen...) let me use his squire jazz. I honestly thought it would be a major downgrade and wondered why a skilled player had such a cheap monster in his arsenal. It was WAY nicer playing and sounding instrument than my mexico made fender. Later I got my hands on a beautiful Corona California made jazz, and I still preferred the Squire. I tried to trade my US instrument for his beat up squire and he said no. He knew he had a rare beast on his hands. I learned later that he had a collection of parts-casters that he had carefully curated. He was the guy that taught me that tone was in the fingers. that said, I have had some bad instruments that sounded and played like crap. the point is that there are decent instruments out there that good players can make sound just fine. I try not to judge these days... but I'm still going to be a little skeptical if some shows up with a $120 dollar purple build-a-bass.
    Rezdog and Yonni like this.
  10. byacey


    May 16, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    The bass shouldn't enter the picture. How does the guy play, and what does his tone production sound like? Of course tone production can be limited by the bass and amp, but it shouldn't be a factor in evaluating the talent.
    Yonni likes this.
  11. Auditioning is like corting. If they don't like what you have to offer it won't be love. Unless you are doing it for money. That's a different subject though.
    vvvmmm, Swerve and Yonni like this.
  12. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Supporting Member

    Good call! o_O I am definitely bringing this to my next audition...
    MynameisMe, FrenchBassQC and Yonni like this.
  13. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I haven’t read the 9 pages of replies but Im sure this has been said...

    Do you need one? No
    Will if affect the audition? Maybe

    I can go go audition with a $2000 Fender Custom Shop bass, take the bass home and put all the guys into a Squier Affinity P, and give the bass to my friend for him to go audition.

    They will sound similar, and even if we both nail the playing (or he plays better than me), I’m willing to bet that 90% of the time I get the offer over him because of the appearance of professional vs. beginner gear.

    It’s not right, but it happens.
  14. Depends on your dating scene :)
  15. MrUsefulAlien


    Jun 10, 2011
    Prague, CZ
    It's strange to me that people would self-sabotage an audition by being defiant about a generally accurate indicator, such as the one you just pointed out.
    I like franken-basses these days, but I also have some US fenders, Lakland and warwick basses.

    For most players, the gear is indicative of their level of commitment to the craft, that includes cheaper basses that are absolutely killer, you need to know a thing or two to find those gems.
    There's no moral victories if I show up to an audition with a bass not suitable to the genre, get rejected, then complain that the people hiring are rigid.
    They wouldn't accept me being sloppily dressed or looking messy, nor having terrible attitude just because my playing is a redeeming feature.
    Afc70, Yonni and lfmn16 like this.
  16. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    The op said nothing about showing up with a bass not suitable to the genre. The post was about showing up with an entry-level, or "cheap" bass to an audition.

    And who gets to determine what bass is suitable for a genre? I've seen progressive bands where the bassist plays a 4 string Fender, and I've seen blues gigs where the bassist plays a 6 string hippy sandwich bass. As long as they do what they're supposed to do, play what they're supposed to play, and sound great, why would you care? I've played traditional country/honky tonk gigs with my Warwick Thumb 5. No one in the audience cared, but they did dance all night.

    My only exception to this would possibly be tribute bands, because there's an expectation of staying true to the original artist in that case.
    mcnach, Yonni and equill like this.
  17. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz "My arms are too short to box w/ God." J.R. Cash Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    On the other hand if a guy shows up for an audition and whips out a 7-string with 12 knobs, stripes of exotic wood everywhere and asks for help to haul in his stereo rig while he fetches the first portion of his pedalboard... Yeah, in that case I could see an audition with a rough start.
    James_E, Yonni and mmon77 like this.
  18. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    The people doing the hiring. :D
  19. TinIndian


    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    If you can play it shouldn't matter what you're playing on as long as it is not a pile of junk that isn't working properly. I recently bought an import Peavey Millennium 5 because I wanted a cheap beater. I ended up using it at my last show and I'll use it again.
  20. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    Touché :thumbsup:

    However, if you choose to base your hiring on superficial criteria, you may miss out on a great player.

    I feel that, in that case, there is a moral victory because if you turn me down based on the brand of bass I play, I don't have to deal with a superficial brand snob.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    Yonni, mcnach and equill like this.

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