Do the most serious players have a bunch of basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OldSchoolFlats, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    Do the “big names” in bass have a bunch of basses they actually play?

    I remember BB King with Lucille (though not a bass-player), and Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten both seem to have a limited number of basses they actually play. I believe Jaco had one Jazz he favored.

    My question here is serious, since I don’t watch videos of the pros much: I mostly just listen to audio recordings.

    Just wondering. I have never played for money, but have played for fun off/on for decades. Never had more than 2 basses at a time.
    murphy likes this.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Owning instruments and playing many instruments are two different things. BB King had dozens of Lucilles over the years. Because of his mental difficulties, Jaco had problems keeping even one bass towards the end. Marcus has owned lots of basses, but he is a businessman, and when he performs, he does it with a bass he endorses.
    lomo, M.R. Ogle, Winton and 9 others like this.
  3. cxcxcx


    Mar 8, 2019
    Many big names have collections that range into the hundreds. However, like most of us, they find something that really works for them that they are comfortable with and they stick with it when the rubber hits the road. Nathan East and Billy Sheehan and have stacks of all types of basses you can see on Youtube pieces, but those guys have been playing essentially the same make and model bass for decades. Doug Wimbish has a sizable collection of lots of interesting stuff, but he’s been toggling between the same beat up Spector 4 string and 5 string onstage for the last 25 years.

    I’ve always seen Will Lee play all sorts of different axes. He was on TV with Sadowsky basses for ages. He kept those at the Ed Sullivan theater, along with some other types and brands. These days, he’s rotating Sadowskys, a Yamaha Nathan East, an old Precision, and Hofners, and old Fender Jazz, and Rickenbackers with his Beatles band. He has a larger collection not seen in public much as well.

    I just saw Darryl Jones with The Stones and he plays a Fender Mustang, an old Precision, a Kay hollowbody, a Lakland, and his own make of Jones bass during the show.

    Frankly speaking, it’s been my observation that a lot of big-name players don’t subscribe to even a quarter of the bass nerdery that your average Talkbasser does. They just play what they like and what the decision makers in their circles like and call it a day. They may have a big collection at home or in storage but stick with the familiar when it’s time to go to work.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
    gyppo, SteveC, Winton and 12 others like this.
  4. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    th-jpeg-53.jpg basscollection.jpg
    Glenn Mac, dasherf17, gyppo and 29 others like this.
  5. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    I’m not a collector. I’d rather have 3-4 basses I love that get regular play than a roomful of basses on stands.
    impacs, ryco, MarMar and 3 others like this.
  6. Jack Deth

    Jack Deth

    May 7, 2020
    Didn’t Steve Harris play the exact same P bass for many, many years (even refinishing it several times)? I’ve seen him pictured with a couple of other basses, but it seems like he didn’t have a large herd, at least publicly known anyway.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Not necessarily. Some are happy with one or two workhorses. Others amass huge collections because they can. But I have seen popular bassists play an entire gig with one bass many times.
    JackNasty, pcake, Artman and 11 others like this.
  8. west al

    west al Road Rex Supporting Member

    It can vary, just like anyone else.
  9. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    "There can be only one."

  10. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Even Floyd had multiple basses!
    Honkey tonk, mikeswals and pcake like this.
  11. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Of course but yes we do.
    bobyoung53, JimmyM and Kubicki Fan like this.
  12. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Yep... some folks are just bigger gear heads than others. :)
    pcake and SixtyCycleHum like this.
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Regardant the former statement : BB King had about 30 Lucille, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten both own and use at least a dozen basses.
    landrybass and murphy like this.
  14. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    So “herds” are the norm. Guess I need to get out more...
  15. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    A few weeks back I saw a video where Lee Sklar said he doesn't like having too many basses - he has one or two of his Dingwalls, one or two Warwick Star basses, and his heavily modded P.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Another factor is who endorses an artists. Nathan East, Billy Sheehan, and John Pattitucci are endorsed by Yamaha, a large corporation that can afford to give stars basses. The same would be true of Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller with Fender. Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten paid for their basses. Last I heard, Alembic only gave Stanley Clarke one bass, although I suspect he had deep discounts and easy terms of payment. I read that Victor Wooten was allowed a very long time to pay for his first Fodera (Vinny and Joey knew that Wooten would sell a ton of basses for them as he recorded and toured with his number one.)
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
    Obese Chess and murphy like this.
  17. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    BB King called all of his guitars Lucille --so there were many Lucilles.
    How many he had at one time?

    I don't know.

    But some players like to have a couple--so they have aback up--but mostly play one.

    Some have many--as seen with pictures of Geddy & John Entwistle...

    Having many basses or few doesn't make you abetter or worse player--just means you have more or fewer basses.
    lomo, Orangeclawhammr and Boomhowertx like this.
  18. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    He wrote in a thread on here that he had to sell a bunch of them... Covid's been rough to him, Dr. Teeth and the Mayhem.

    pcake, murphy and Jonny Reese like this.
  19. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Have and use are very different things.
    Just because one collects basses, does not mean they play them.

    Just like a car collecter. Or anything else.
    Usually the collection is just that. They have a collection. They have basses they play. 2 do not need to overlap.
    yodedude2 likes this.
  20. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    Like coin, stamp or even car collectors some or most famous (well to do) bass players have many basses. But only actually play a few. I don't have a huge collection but I enjoy building basses more than I enjoy selling basses therefore I have way more basses than I need to play on a regular basis.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 28, 2021

Share This Page