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Do you think our first bass has an impact on what we like later on?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by twc1313, Sep 6, 2017.


  1. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    This might not apply to everyone, but I'm interested in what you all think. My first bass when I was 14 was an Ibanez passive P/J. Since then I've owned more basses than I'd like to admit (P's, J's, Rays, Birds, MIA, MIM, MIJ, active, passive, vintage, custom shop, boutique, etc). I always come back to P/Js.

    I've been through years of not having P/Js, but any time I play one, something just clicks for me and it feels and sounds right. This isn't a thread about the superiority of one type of bass over another,nor is it about brands, just if your first type has had an impact on your overall preference.

    I wonder if there is something about being young and only having the one bass you can afford and spending years on it that somehow leaves something in our psyche?

    Do you gravitate towards the same style as your first bass?
     
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Not me. I got my first bass in February 1971, a late '60s Jazz Bass. I traded it away for a different brand and model of bass a couple years later. Over the decades I have had a few other Jazz Basses and/or similar type/style of bass, only to sell them and find something more to my liking/needs.
     
  3. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Do you remember if you were unhappy with that bass while you had it, or was it more of an epiphany when you first played a rick? Or was it more a "I can't afford a rick now, so I'll play any bass, but someday I'll have one" kinda thing?
     
  4. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    There might be something to that. My first real bass was a carvin 5 string. I've had a bunch of basses too but I find myself liking 5 strings with active preamps best, just like my old carvin (which a friend still has so I still get to play it every once in a while).
     
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    My first Rick was no more expensive than the Jazz Bass, in fact, it was the same exact price. The Jazz bass was my first so I had nothing to compare it to before I played my first Rick (the 4005WB I had for 38 years). I do know that the neck felt too thin, and probably due to the very narrow nut the neck started bending upwards around the first 3 frets, or so, making the action difficult to get around. Given the Jazz Bass was a top of the line instrument it certainly wasn't a case of "I can't afford a rick now, so I'll play any bass, but someday I'll have one", actually, I had no knowledge of Rick basses until a year after getting the Jazz Bass, so Ricks had no influence in my choice of beginner instrument, so to speak. :D

    I have owned a few other Jazz Bass necked instruments: two 1972 Jazz Basses, an AV '62 Jazz Bass, a California Precision Special (Jazz Bass neck), and a G&L JB-2, but in the end I found the ergonomics difficult to deal with. Rickenbacker (and other basses, like Martin Keith basses, and Alembics) just feel like home to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    Dean N and J-Bassomatic like this.
  6. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    Holland
    This was my first:

    image.
    (Egmond, still have some parts)

    This is what I use now:

    DSC02526.
    The Series I is semi hollow, so that would be closest to the first :D
     
  7. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    So you've always had cool basses :thumbsup:
     
    FC Bass likes this.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I definitely see the similarity between Egmond and Alembic. :woot:
     
  9. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    lol, so no comparison at all, other than you seem to like unique styled basses!
     
  10. Katthestar

    Katthestar

    Aug 4, 2017
    My first bass was/is a Fender PJ Special (passive). I think I may have bought it more because I liked the color and I figured Fenders were where to start. I played it for about 8 months before getting another bass (which was only because the Fender needed to be set up, and I hated not being able to practice while I waited for it). I wanted an American made bass, but I didn't want to spend over $1,000. I went on eBay and looked at Guilds. I'm from and live in RI, so the Westerly ones tend to fascinate me. I saw one in a cool blue color that no one had bid on yet. I put in a bid, and no one else bid on it. That is my Guild X-702, which has a two single coil pickups like a Jazz bass. I really love the thin neck, and it's lighter than my Fender. It helps that it has flatwounds, so the sound is different. I wanted something that would sound different from my Fender, because I knew I would be keeping that one. I've since developed a bad habit of wanting to buy any Guild bass I see, which led to me buying a busted up M-85 II. Long story short, my second bass has influenced my purchasing much more than my first. Though when I buy a bass, I tend to think about the sound it will give me and how thin the neck is. I might enjoy Fenders more if the necks didn't feel like baseball bats in my hands.
     
    pjbassist likes this.
  11. My first bass was a p bass, I hate p basses now. Not to be contradictory but maybe that one had an adverse affect on me.
     
  12. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Contradictory is good! Would you say you prefer any style over another now?
     
  13. Yes, I like a j pup placement for the slap tone and a mm style set up for the punch. But I grew up in a vacuum on bass.
    My first bass was a p bass copy, my second was a 5 string ibanez, then my main for years was a tobias growler. I got used to the necks on those so I play similar necks now.
     
  14. ThePresident777

    ThePresident777

    Oct 6, 2013
    Does it have an impact on what we dislike later on?
     
    tlc1976 and twc1313 like this.
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    First bass was a Hondo P bass. My first "good" bass was a Rickenbacker. I play a Roscoe Century 5 and 6 now. Not sure what that means.
     
    lowplaces likes this.
  16. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Good point. For some of us the second bass could be that moment where we finally feel like we have made it.
     
    Leiria, 4dog, pjbassist and 2 others like this.
  17. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    No. My first bass started life as a P-bass copy and I modded it to be more like my Rickenbackers.
     
    ThePresident777 likes this.
  18. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump

    Jul 17, 2004
    Might be something to your theory . My first bass was a Mexican P.
    I've tried many more non P basses than I care to count or remember .
    I keep coming back to basses with P pickups. I have a Precision with rosewood fretboard and flats. My other bass is a P/H maple fretboard with rounds .
     
  19. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Feb 22, 2013
    Bangkok
    I don't think so. Many people's first bass or guitar were pieces of crap (mine included).
     
  20. TheLowDown33

    TheLowDown33 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    NJ
    Not my true first bass, but my first "real" bass definitely did. It's a BTB785 and it's grown with me. Anything I play that has a different neck kind of feels strange. I have non btb basses, but the two I have are just home.
     
    Mister Boh and KIL0117 like this.

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