1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Don't covet thy father's goods…?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by keyofnight, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. keyofnight


    Jun 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Dang…it's been a long time since I've posted. Hey guys! :hyper:

    When I started learning to play the bass years back, my father was excited: not only was I the only one of his kids who took interest in playing a musical instrument, I was the only one who took up his instrument of choice. To this day, it's probably the only thing he and I see eye to eye on. He even told me he always wanted to play a five string like I do—he just never had the time for it.

    When I started playing, I started looking at the gear he had laying around. The most notable gear: his old fretless Guild bass. I wasn't sure what model it was, but it's a hollow body. After looking around a lot, I think it's a 60's Starfire bass of some kind with that lovely red top and two chunky pickups. I haven't seen it in years, though. Even still: I want it, and I might just ask for it.

    Would that be a terrible idea? He's not playing it, and I would probably take better care of it than he does right now. It's hanging up at his office as a display item.

    How many of you covet your parents' old instruments? How many of you have asked for them? How many of you were successful?

    How about you folks with kids? When would you start giving them your instruments?

    (Lots of questions. :)
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Just ask if you can borrow it for a night. If he's reluctant, then it has sentimental value to him, so play it once, take care of it, and give it back.

    BUT... he just might see if you're really into it and let you have it.

    Take the chance. Ask to play it some night. You'll know pretty quickly if you've got a chance to get it.
  3. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Telling him youd like to have the bass would be fine. My parents like lots of kids parents, didnt play any music instruments. If I had kids who played instrument, Id arrange for them to go to them on my passing if not before.
  4. BboogieXVII


    Feb 4, 2013
    Yeah, take it for a test drive (your father isn't really using it anyway) and if you really dig it, let him know.
  5. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    If he has it in his office it might be there for a reason, he likes what it says about him or something. But sure, it never hurts to ask.

    I did not covet my father's instruments because he played the baritone horn.
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Test drive. Yep.

    Give your father the chance to be the "Hero Dad" and offer it to you, let him think it's his idea. Hope he doesn't read TalkBass...

    If you just outright ask for it, it might come off as "spoiled brat" LOL!!!
  7. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA
    You caused me to blow a snot bubble.
  8. Ces_art


    Jan 6, 2013
    Houston, TX
    From the four basses i keep with me and play, three belong to my dad. I've taken care of them, fixed all the problems they've had and played them with care. I will probably give them back to him at some point but for now he's not playing plus he still has his Ampeq upright baby bass (he plays salsa on it). And he supports my musical endeavours.

    I'm talking about a 90's yamaha 4string, a Rogue violin bass and a 5 string Spector (which i'm in love with). I also have an Epi Thunderbird, but that one I bought myself. And my GK amp is also mine. Yeah, i do covet my father's goods!
  9. crobasster


    Jun 16, 2009
    My son started playing,and I lend him my Precision:

  10. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I've always let my two sons borrow any of my basses or guitars if they wanted to. They were always very respectful of my gear, and treated it accordingly. They're in their 30s now, and still borrow my gear on occasion. But one of them is in the Border Patrol in Texas. If he was closer, I'd borrow HIS Modulus 6-string! ;)
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    After some fussing and sparks flying my Mother finally got my dearly departed Grandfather's old banjo from my Grandmother. Now she's looking for someone to give her lessons down in her neck o' the woods.

    Back when I was in seventh grade my mom left her band (A punk band, no less! There's a whole host of stories from that experience&#8230;worthy of "The Tell" but not in this thread) and asked me if I wanted to start learning drums on her kit. Too bad I didn't get the urge to play for another three years, because I would've loved to have her Pearl Drums set. Not just any set either. For those who "bang them drums" it was a six-piece with chrome-plated shells and a ton of cymbals. I still kick myself for that, but at that particular time, it was the right decision. Still&#8230;<sigh>
  12. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    My dad didn't play.

    One of our guitar players showed up the other night with his father's early 70's Strat. Setting aside it's remarkable condition, his tone was incredible. He just flat tore it up. For whatever reason, it touched me as I witnessed a kind of family tradition thing. It was really cool.

    I would approach your dad with great respect and ask him if he would be willing to let it go. I would also offer to pay fair market value for it. It's the gentlemanly thing to do.

    Avoid the entitlement thing like the plague.......not that you appear to be that way.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    My dad doesn't play, but if he did, he'd only own one and it would be in perfect condition and would never leave the case when he wasn't playing. And he'd be bewildered why anyone else would ever need more than one. And he'd never let me touch it ;)
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    This is how the conversation should go:

    You:" Hi Dad you know I knew I wanted to play bass after seeing that old fretless you have "
    Your Dad:" Really? That old thing? I haven't played that in years I think that neck is so bowed it could have been in the movie Braveheart "
    You: " Now that's funny( laugh but not too much) I was wondering if I could get her restored for you (new strings and a setup) and make her good as new I want you to teach me how to play a fretless "
    Your Dad " You know son that's actually a great idea I would like that very much now do me a huge favor and take the garbage out "
    You " Sure thing Pop sure thing "

    Cut and scene you can thank me later. :)
  15. I say ask him. If it were my son (or daughter) I would let them have any of my basses or guitars except my L-2500 (goto gigging bass). As long as I knew they would be well looked after and appreciated.

    My dad played harmonica (not blues harp), when he stopped he gave me his very nice chromatic that was his pride and joy.

    When my son started playing acoustic guitar, he was using an old classical nylon strung. As soon as he got past 3 chords I gave him my (almost new mid priced) steel strung acoustic which he played through college and university.

    He eventually gave me it back and it has certainly seen some action. It had acquired a few minor dings and varnish damage and a glue joint had parted on the soundboard. I repaired it and it now hangs on my workshop wall and gets played daily.
  16. keyofnight


    Jun 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Serious, man. My dad and I don't have a lot of connections between us. We're very different people and it shows. Right now I'm trying to gather what good memories, heirlooms, skills, and connections I can before I don't have parents anymore.

    I won't play the entitlement card&#8212;it would be a lie anyway. I really just want to play with an instrument that *means* something. I could save up $2k and buy some "vintage" thing I have no emotional investment in, but I'd rather throw my hours into the axe my father threw his hours into. At least then we'd have *something* in common.
  17. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Every family is different, and I don't know what yours is like, but... Asking him to leave it to you after he's gone is totally fine. Asking him to just give it to you right now is very bad form. If it was in the attic or the garage, that's one thing, but if it's hanging in his office, he wants it.

    How old is your father??
  18. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I'd reckon it already belongs to you, you just don't know it yet.

    Your dad might be waiting for a special time or event.

    I would not ask to own it. Maybe just how it plays.
  19. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Still, it's not like he has it in the case in the attic. He took the time to put it in a prominant place and it might mean something to him you can't guess. There was a lot about my parents that I never knew and wouldn't have ever come up until I had kids of my own and conversations about life before and after parenthood started. He might like that you are interested in it, but if you dn't have a lot of connections he might rather keep it himself.

    Be tactful how you ask, maybe just ask if he ever thinks about playing it anymore or if he knows if it still works or not. Better to start a dialogue about it and playing in general than trying to find some way to just ask for it straight away. He may end up offering it to you, at least to try, or you may get the sense it is something he wants to hang onto for some reason.
  20. Ask him if you can borrow it cause you'd really be interested how it sounds. It would bring back some good memories of back in day. Most likely he'll let you borrow it with the understanding that you take care of it. My son is a gifted musician who's recorded 2 CD's that both charted on Billboard and plays in a local Mega church. He's a very multi-instrumentalist who's also a very good singer . He's used most of my coveted guitars and basses in church. Why let them go unplayed when they can help bring joy to him and others. These guitars and basses will ALL be his someday and he might as well start lasting memories with them now. :)

Share This Page