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Has gigging turned any of your basses into closet queens?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IotaNet, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. I am not the consummate gear whore/GAS king but I have spent some time trying to be one. I started playing bass a few years ago but never played out. I was happy in "Madison Square Living Room." ;) Last year, I started playing as the backup bassist with my church choir and all of that changed.

    Our choir plays a LOT. In any given month, we may play 4-5 "away from the church" engagements -- and I end up playing on a lot of them. After a year of this, I've discovered some interesting things about my bass collection and the realities of playing.

    As you can see, I have some nice basses that are pretty versatile. The champ however, has turned out to be the Bongo. One of the things about playing in different churches is that you don't know what you're going to have to deal with until you get there. And quite often, we don't bring our own bass amp, so we get stuck playing through whatever happens to be there.

    Over the past months, no matter how bad the accoustics, no matter how crappy the sound system, no matter how strange the setup, my Bongo has always come through. I really think that it's all about the the 4-band, 18V preamp in this bass. I can EQ this thing to get just about any tone I want/need.

    Need some pillowy bottom? Cool.
    Need some in-your-face-thump? Got it.
    Need some cut-through-the-mix mids? No problem.

    About the ONLY thing I can't get it to do is that high-end sizzly SPLANK (Think Marcus Miller Jazz) that could be useful sometimes but that's more of a slappers tone and that's not my deal. That said, if I put some DR High-Beams on it, I could probably get that too.

    The interesting thing is that due to the versatility of my Bongo, my other three basses stay home more and more often. Although I can't bring myself to sell them, they are getting pretty darned lonely.

    Anyone else have the reality of gigging turn some great basses into second-class citizens?

  2. John127


    Nov 13, 2007
    New York City
    Funny you brought this up. I've been using only my 4s for a couple of months. Some gigs for variety, my semi-hollow for the sound and look. Took my Bongo 5HH to rehearsal last night and it was like hearing that bass for the first time. The clarity and punch of the tone is just unreal.

    Anyway, to answer your question, no, I still do use my other basses just to play something different, for a different feel, but I doubt I'd record with something other than my Bongo.
  3. Rev.Dr.


    Oct 4, 2007
    Metro Atlanta
    :DIotaNet I've had the same thing happen. For me,my Lakland 55-02 gets almost all of the gig time. My Ken Smith BSR5, 08 Fender MIA Standard Jazz V, and Warwick Corvette V spend a lot of time at home. The Lakland is not the "best bass" in the group. But it is the most versatile of the basses in my hands and gets the job done night after night. By the way, my bandmates also prefer the Lakland . I think the Sylines are good; but this one is special.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It makes sense that you have ended up using one bass most of the time. You are not in a studio getting called to do radically different tones in different genres. You are playing urban gospel all the time, the only difference being the venue. Under those circumstances, it makes sense to have a number one tool, and to stick to it.:bassist:
  5. Honestly, my Ernie Ball Sterling has been a closet queen ever since I bought my Carlo Robelli. Of course, I've added 5 more basses since then, but I really don't want it to get messed up. It's a first year Sterling(1993) and was truly my first good bass. I had traded it in at one point in time only for my brother to buy it from the same music store b/c he didn't want it to get out of the family. I eventually bought it back from him and played it as my only bass for a few years. It's a once in a blue moon gig bass, but my main recording bass.
  6. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    some of my more vintage stuff is just better for recording purposes so it stays home. On the gig its a P bass and/or a stambaugh 5.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Belive it or not, my BTB 5 is my go to bass. All the others have been back ups since I got it. I haven't played anything other than that one live in several years. (Although I recently got a MIJ Jazz and I think I will have to take her out soon.
  8. I only use my Fender Jazz DLX now...
  9. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    This hasn't completely happened to me, but for awhile I consistently grabbed my MIA Jazz with noiseless Fralins for similar reasons. It always got the job done, regardless of venue, material, etc. For me, the noiseless pickups help the versatility, and while I preferred my Precision for some stuff I played in that era, the Jazz was slightly better overall.

    I were in a playing situation like yours, when I wasn't always sure of the rig I'd be using, I'd do the same thing. It would be all J, all the time. I wouldn't need to worry about getting to boomy with a Precision or SB-2, because I could just favor the bridge pickup, with no hum.
  10. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Yes, unfortunately. I gigged my MTD 635 on every gig for just over a year after I first got it. But ever since I took delivery of my Nordy vJ5 and got it set up with the right electronics package for me, my MTD either sits home, gets backup status, or is used for a couple of songs just for the heck of it.
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Tony, it's not a bad thing that your MTD gets very little playing time. The fact that certain basses turn into closet queens is just proof to us gear hogs that we don't really need as many basses as we want. Most of us could get by just fine with one bass. Two for a backup makes sense, and even those of us who are really fulltime pros probably need only four basses tops.

    That said, I think everybody wouldn't mind a huge John Entwistle style collection if we can swing it!:D
  12. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I have been thinning out my group for the past year or so for just that reason .... too much stuff sitting around that I'll never play. I even sold off my MIJ Power Jazz Special that I had always swore would never leave my stash (and BTW, I don't miss it at all ... ;))

    Three basses get all of the attention. My FBB's (fretless 6 and fretted 7) go with me to every non-jazz gig. My Barker fretless 5 does the jazz dates. I'm in the process of selling off a Brice Z6, which will only leave the three workers, a fretless '68 Goya J 4 string and a Dean Stylist hollow-body 4.

    This is the smallest number of basses I've owned in the past 15 or so years ..... :cool:
  13. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    I've had Ibanez sixers, Fender Ps, a single coil P my granddad gave me, a Warwick Corvette Fretless, and several others that have come and gone because in the end I always go back to my Marcus Miller Jazz.
  14. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I'm not sure I would consider myself a gear hog though. :D
  15. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    My current stable is pretty well-rounded, which is to say each item has proven useful, necessary even. But I've gone through a lot of basses to get it where it is. That involved letting go of some real beauties that I thought would be family heirlooms... until I tried to gig them out. :p
  16. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Not really for me, since the pass-or-fail criteria of a bass, for me, depends on how well it records in the studio and how it sounds live.

    I tend to use a P-Bass for most things because its hard to get a bad sound out of my setup with a P-Bass. I always carry a small head with me (SVT-3Pro) which is usually fine if I don't know what I'll be playing through. I used to use my Mesa, but its big, bulky, fragile, and it weighs a ton.
  17. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Since I play mostly R+B and Big Band, the Rickenbacker has been 'resting' for some time. I do love that bass.
  18. HoJ


    Apr 15, 2009
    What strings do you use on your Bongo?
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Sorry if the hog bit was offensive. I think you are a two bass man if I remember correctly. Speaking for myself, I would love to own a dozen or more basses if I had the money and the room.;):bassist::p
  20. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    +1 for the Bongo!

    I had one, sold it. Everyone I played with kept asking me why I got rid of it since it was so great. I played a friend's Stingray, it brought back the memories... now I have a Bongo again. It's a great bass for any and every gig!

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