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Does This Make Me Less Professional?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Angel Switch, Oct 17, 2013.

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  1. Here on Talkbass, most people know what they want in a bass. Thin or wide necks, gloss or no gloss, specific string spacing, scale length, balance, action, etc. It's spoken of frequently, for obvious reasons. Everyone has their opinion and knows what they like, and that's okay.
    But here's the thing. It's not that I don't know what I want. It's that I don't care (about most of it). I know I like a 34 or 35 inch scale, and I like a smooth, glossless neck and body. That's about it. String spacing, action (to a certain degree), neck radius/width, none of that has ever really bothered me or mattered to me. I know there's no final answer to this, but I want to see what you think. Does that make me less professional? Is that ignorant of me? Is it a blessing? What are your thoughts?
  2. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    I don't see why not having strong preferences for any of those things would make you less professional. If anything, it seems like it would make being a bass player easier for you.
  3. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    If your choices/preferences allow you to express yourself through your playing, then that's all that matters.

    IMO we (bassists) obsess over things that matter little in the larger view.. Joe Listener doesn't care what wood your bass is made with, doesn't care if you prefer 34" or 35" scale or whether your bass cost $150 or $3,000...

    Can you groove? Does your playing ADD something to the music? Can the equipment you have allow you to do this? If so, then that's all that matters. Don't sweat the details..

    Focus on substance first.. Style is a distant second.
  4. I often wonder if the people who worry about the details the most - are the people that play the least. I mean, if you have nothing better to do, then you have time to get all fiddly about details.

    Do carpenters get all weird about the finish on their hammers, or do they just grab one that smashes nails well, do the job, and go home?
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I'm about 4 years in to playing bass, but I'm not really in a band and I don't really gig. 2 good friends of mine are working bass players that gig at least twice of week, and neither of them could tell you what kind of strings are on their basses or the difference between a P and a J. They could play circles around me but I know waaay more about basses than they do. I don't think it makes them unprofessional or me a snob. Some people just don't care much about details. Different strokes and all.
  6. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    your attitude, playing ability, people skills, and dependability determine your professionalism. I don't think anything else really matters.
  7. It doesn't make you less professional, it makes you more tolerable. :D Seriously, I feel the same way sometimes. I don't care about the specifics, if the bass feels good in my hands and on my body, and it's playable I don't care about the specs.
  8. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    If you can play on any bass regardless of specs & setup, then you're prolly more pro than a lot of us :)
  9. I just care about details and nuances because I do like my hobby and my "technician" mentality brings me to know all possible details. Do I need this? No. Am I slave to this? No. It is my own mania and it does not hurt anybody. Is it necessary all of this to play comfortable? Yes and not, in the sense, that if I can then I select what is best forme, why not; if it happens I only have a Mim j around it is perfectly the same. Do I care about others opinion? Well: not! ;)
  10. I agree with you, I don't know the details, I just know I like a bass or I don't. It's all about how it feels in my hands, how it plays and how it sounds. I have found I have loved basses with very different caractoristics.
  11. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    No, some people focus WAY too hard on the gear.
  12. MrMinstrel


    Oct 17, 2013
    I'm with you, Angel Switch. Every bass I pick up, from the $150 cheapos to the $10,000 Alembic I jammed on recently, always sounds like me. When I pick up a new bass, it takes about 10 minutes for my brain to adjust to differences in string-spacing, action, neck taper, radius, etc. So what does it matter? It doesn't. Play them all and go with your gut.
  13. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Get a fearful

    *oops...wrong thread*
  14. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    Some people are detail oriented, and some aren't. I have no clue what my string spacing is, or my neck radius. What I know is when I pick up a Cort or Ibanez (for instance) the neck feels way too skinny for me. So I put them down and play something else. No need for me to quantify each detail. The truth is in the feel.
  15. intheory


    Nov 17, 2009
    SW Florida


    I base everything on feel and sound. I'm pretty uncomplicated in that way...but I do have ridiculous GAS as well... ;)
  16. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    +1 We (meaning, "me") also have to fight the tendency to try a bass once and if it doesn't feel "just right" (too often, "what I'm used to"), we rule it out. Layering on too much obsession with the details, it can lead to a lot of overthinking. My long and boring experience has taught me that just getting used to a particular neck feel, scale length, string spacing is often worth the time. Let's face it - there aren't any basses out there that require nine foot long 10mm wide fingers. To illustrate - I always loved the sound of the Modulus Q5 (35" scale), but a couple of times, trying them they felt uncomfortable to my short fingers. Finally after years of trying to make my fingers happy with short scales, I switched primarily over to 34". I happened to try a Q5, and like Little Red Riding Hood, it felt "just right". By overthinking it all, I probably did diminish my effectiveness as a musician.
  17. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha & Grosbeak. I’m Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    +1. If it fits you and your playing, then that is the only thing that matters, and makes you all the less a snob.

    I've had plenty of different basses, different necks, pickups, feels, etc. I've had an equally good time playing many different ones.
  18. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    When you look at a photograph, do you think 'nice photo!' or 'what type of camera was used to take that photo'?
  19. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    No it doesnt make you less professional. I knew nothing about gear and played the same bass for the first 22 years of my playing. I could play pretty well and thats all I cared about. I didnt have any preferences about my instrument either. When I got back into playing again in 2007, I joined TB and I started learning more and more about gear. Now I know alot about gear thanks to TB and have developed preferences, but I dont go overboard.
  20. +1

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