Do you own a beater bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stewie26, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Do you own a beater bass? I mean a bass that you can abuse and don’t have worry about. I own some very nice basses and I am somewhat anal about making sure they don't get dings and scratches during rehearsal and gigs. It is a lot of work keeping your basses looking pristine. On the other hand, I have this one bass that I practice at home on almost everyday and if it falls over or gets dropped, I figure it just adds more mojo to it. My beater bass is a Yamaha that I bought new like in 1998. I was waiting for a friend at GC and just happen to pick up and start playing a $239 Yamaha to see what a $239 bass played like. To my surprised it played great, was well balanced and had a 1-1/2" nut that felt like a lighter version of my J bass so I bought it. I had an artist surfer friend do a paint job on it. The best part of owning a beater bass is you just play it and forget about it. No worries. Please post your thoughts, and if you have them, pictures of your beater.

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  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Wow, your beater looks better than any of my basses :atoz:

    I try not to abuse any of my basses, but I also don't baby them. They all have dings and dents, so I don't worry about one more.
  3. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    Yes, I always keep a "beater" in my stable. :)
    Currently I lent out my beater bass (a cheap Shine PJ bass), and I think it will get sold... I just bought a DeArmond Pilot with the intention of defretting it (to have a fretless beater), but it just plays so nice I don't have the heart to pull the frets out. It's becoming my new beater bass for sure. :) It's just great having a bass that you can bring to wherever and do whatever you want on it, lend it out to youngsters who wants to try, and so on. :)
  4. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    I periodically buy basses intending for them to be beaters, but, if they're worth playing at all, I tend to start working on them and tweaking them, and pretty soon, I start wanting to take care of them! Even sub-$100 close-out SX basses have engendered that feeling.

    I do have a couple that, while good basses, are pretty banged up, so I don't have to worry too much about them getting more chipped or scuffed. One of them is an old Peavey Fury that I paid $135 for, so I suppose it counts as a beater, although once I got it set up, it turned out to have one of my favorite necks ever.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I am not comfortable regarding any tool as a "beater". I just don't handle equipment in a way that lends itself to casual damage. IMO all that results in is creating an unreliable tool - and I don't want one. So I take care of all my basses.
  6. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    I have an old Aria Pro II with active EQ, that I've beat up pretty hard. Used to be my main bass for years until I discovered short scale basses and the fact that it had way too high action (which of cause could be fixed easily).
    I never play it anymore though. But if I needed the sound of a bass smashed to pieces some day, I would have no regrets to do it to this bass.
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My Franken-Hoppus is not only a beater, but it's my main bass as well. I bought it pre-abused off of E-bay and I find having a bass that already looks pretty rough to be quite liberating. As long as the neck doesn't snap off, there's really nothing that can happen to it of any consequence.

    It's an added plus that she plays and sounds like a dream!
  8. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I bought a beater bass (Squier active deluxe 5) but, I ended up liking it enough that I really don't want to beat on it.
  9. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Got a free beat up MIM jazz, so I beat it up more
  10. My nicest bass- a Stambaugh 6er- is somewhat a beater; being my first custom I'll always keep it, so I'm not concerned w/resale value & I actually like the legit battle scars. I don't deliberately abuse it but don't worry much about cosmetic wear. That pretty much goes for all my axes- I'll take very good care of a new-to-the-harem piece, but once she's *in* I ride her hard & don't put her away for weeks. :)
  11. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    One man's beater bass is another man's working bass. My least babied bass is the one I gig the most, one of my Roscoe Beck V's. While I don't toss it on the ground, I never worry about scratches or dings or the like. I just try to avoid hard impact. Work tools are for using, not babying and worshipping.
  12. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    my 75 P/J. Don't mind the scratches, sweat, wear n tear. It's a real workhorse!

  13. I used to never bring my expensive bass out. Kept it at home for prac, but when I played a show or band practice I'd bring my MIM P bass. Now I bring my Lakland every where I go. Its more important to me to A) play the same bass all the time to really be familiar and know it inside and out and B) whats the point of owning a nice bass if its not gonna see action. Its like the old yenta's that my mom is friends with in Brooklyn(she's one too, haha, that won't let you sit on their couch) If ya got it, use it, you only live once. Thats just me though
  14. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I think basses with a natural wood finish make great working-beater basses. I have dings the dents the size of a quarter and they really don't show up unless you are holding the bass in just the right light. Has Phalex mentioned above, it is also very liberating not to worry the cosmetics.
    I have a 1992 P-Bass Deluxe Plus, which is almost mint. I do use it at gigs but I am very protective. I do respect you guys who say play it and don't worry if you get a ding. I am just not their yet. At some point, when I go to sell my basses, the next guy is going to get some clean basses.
  15. LSquared


    Jul 28, 2009
    SW Illinois USA
    I used to have a Peavy Milestone II that I got off Craigslist for $100 (with hardshell case) as a backup. I eventually sold it to a friend whose daughter was wanting to learn bass.
  16. I can't beat the #$%#$% out of my SX PJ one, layers and layers of poly and sturdy design, dammit.
  17. FenderBassist

    FenderBassist In the land of drummers, the bass player is king.

    Oct 28, 2005
    Gilbert, AZ
    I bought a used Ibanez Blazer online a few years back, someone had stripped the original finish and painted it black (kept the original white pick guard). The paint job didn't look as good in person than it did in the eBay auction pictures but it was presentable. That's as close to a "beater" as I've ever had.

    Played well, sounded "ok", came with a Duncan pup (QP), used it for a little while then got rid of it along with all my other heavy ash-bodied basses. I think I donated that one to a church advertising for cheap used gear.
  18. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    My #1 bass is the Dirnt body/'51RI neck Tele-P I built. I use it more than any other because it sounds the best (even better than my original '68 P). I don't abuse it, but I'm not worried if it picks up some scratches and dings along the way.
  19. nickbass79


    Nov 11, 2009
    North Carolina
    Yep! MIM Jazz with upgraded EMG PUPs and 2 band EQ.
  20. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    Yes - a '71 P Bass and a '78 Jazz Bass. Naturally worn to hell, so any more doesn't bother me.

    I have a Lakland 55-02 which I try to keep pretty.