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Having more than one bass is a blessing and a curse...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tony G, Sep 10, 2008.


  1. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Sharing my time between my main two basses is quite the ride. I've always been the kind of guy that prefers to spend all of my playing time concentrated on one bass to get to know it inside and out. I played my MIJ 75 RI jazz bass from the day I bought in the late 90's to the day I got my MTD 635 in 2007. I love my MIJ 75 RI, but I fell in love with the low B and craved something to scratch that itch and semi-retired the jazz bass. The day I saw my 635, it was love at first sight. Then I got my hands on it and heard and felt what it could do. Again, love struck instantly. It was the tone I was hearing in my head. During the last year though I feel in and out of love with it for reasons that are too much to get into here, but I've pretty much decided that this bass is a keeper. Every time I pick it up these days I remember why I fell in love with it. I give you my MTD 635-24:

    [​IMG]

    Here comes the snag. In late 2007, I fell prey to the Talkbass boutique jazz buzz that was going on around here. I was also playing in a band at that time that I didn't really feel the MTD fit in with (even though nobody ever exactly complained about it) so I made the decision to put an order in for a boutique "jazz-like" bass. That bass was a Nordstrand Nordy vJ5. It was delivered to me in early 2008, and again I fell in love at first sight. It was exactly as I had pictured it would be and it was beautiful. I pulled it out of the case and played it and it felt like heaven. The neck is near perfect for my hands, and overall the bass is a dream to play. The first time I plugged it in however was a litte different. It was not the tone I was expecting. It is so dark and growly sounding that it caught me off guard. However, it's not like it sounded bad so I continued to play and play it. My Nordy vJ5 for your viewing pleasure:

    [​IMG]

    I currently play in a funky little instrumental trio, so there is a lot of room for the bass tone to be heard. The Nordy is thick and punchy with a nice tight bottom. It sounds great. The MTD is pristine and crystal clear, with a nice growly tone as well. It also sounds great. This is the problem. Both basses work so well with this band, and I can never decide which one to grab on the way to rehearsal or the gig. Having these two great basses is a blessing and a curse. I want to just stick with one for now and play it inside and out, but then I feel like it is a waste to just let the other one sit home doing nothing.

    This post is more about me just getting my thoughts out of my head, so thanks for putting up with it. Please feel free to comment if it strikes you to do so. :D
     
  2. YCBass

    YCBass Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    SoCal
    I hear ya Tony, eventhough I don't have 2 great basses... I am down to my Lull M5V and the thought of sticking to it and getting to know it inside and out is great and I really plan on doing that since I am a J guy and this is the best J I've had, but I feel like GAS might get the best of me soon... To avoid being in the same situation as you I decided that a good move would be a fretless, that way the 2 basses will be easier to separate from each other. For any given project I either can or cannot use a fretless.

    I plan on using my Lull for most of my projects, but I also have an instrumental jazz/fusion thing that I'm thinking a fretless would be great for.

    It's a good problem to have... I would use the musical context of the band to decided instead of bass tone if both your basses work... If this band lets you get away with playing more, soloing, chords, etc then I say bring on the 635!
     
  3. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I know you probably didn't mean it, but this is one of the stigmas I hate about owning the 635. I'm a pocket guy, sitting deep in the groove. I'm not really somebody who solo's, and my chord knowledge isn't what it probably should be. I just like to bring fat, funky bass lines to the table, and the MTD sounds great doing that. Yes, the high C might go unused quite a bit, but I bought this bass used (for a very good price I might add), not spec'd out for me so I'll deal with it.
     
  4. myrockinbass

    myrockinbass

    Jun 10, 2005
    I have a stable of basses I use (Fender Jazz, heavily mod'd P, warwick 5 string, fender sting, and now an Ibanez artcore) and I frequently rotate through in my band. It's always fun and different and more importantly I feel like I can use the bass that best suits my mood.
     
  5. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Some days I wish I never found TB and was still blissfully playing my Jazz bass. :atoz:
     
  6. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    I have 8 and I look at them differently.

    Sort of like a different suit for a different occasion to wear.

    I think playing something different all the time is good for your muscle memory. I have no proof of that but it makes sense to me.
    Some might disagree that your not giving a particular instrument your all...

    Jumping back and forth to me is refreshing.
    I even do it with amplification.

    I never focus on the basses themselves for to long, I often shut my eyes as exercise and play (through scales and modes to a click) then play along to something (insert here).
    This helps me know where I'm on the neck in relation to my what I'm hearing. The actual output of why we play them in the first place.

    Tony - Are you GAS free now as a result?

    I know I am (basically ;):bag: and I love it).
    Its kind of blissful in a Zen kind of way.
     
  7. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I actually have reverse gas, as I sometimes wish I could just go back to the days when I was blissfully unaware of talkbass and happily grooved on my MIJ 75 RI jazz. There were no preconcieved notions of my playing style or ability when I had that bass like there is now with the MTD and Nordy.
     
  8. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    Well...Can that be considered a new challenge for yourself?

    I mean that in a positive way.
     
  9. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Well, it should be. :D I'm not going to make any excuses.
     
  10. Your thinking too much my man. I went through what your going through when my Sadowsky MV4 came in (just a bout a month ago). I went through your situation, for all of about 2 days though. Heres the deal...
    I own 4 other Fenders, and honestly, I'm STILL playing my Fenders right along w/ my Sadowsky. I have a 75' RI American, modded w/ a BAII bridge, nails the Marcus thing down! I honestly play it about the same as I do my Sadowsky MV4.
    Now, according to the way your reasoning things out, I should only play the Sadowsky because its new and botique, ect... but I just don't feel the way you do. I'm in love w/ the Sadowsky, but when I'm in the mood for that 70's Jazz MM tone, I pick up the 75' RI without hesitation, and here's the kicker, I'm happy with no regrets! I enjoy the tone for that evening and groove with it. Trying to FORCE yourself to play one bass over another because you feel you should be married to it for whatever reason is... well, I just don't get it.

    One day your in the mood to play one, the other your in the mood to play the other. THIS IS NORMAL my friend! Pick the one you want to groove with, and groove with it without regrets.

    Here's what I want you to do. Next time you have a gig or rehersal, I want you to think about which bass your going to play, and do it all in about 5 seconds. Pick it, play it and enjoy it! Don't force yourself to be in the mood to play another because you just bought it.

    Again, pick what your going to play, and just groove with it. Get in that zone/pocket and forget about everything else...
    You'll groove with whatever is in your hands at that time.
     
  11. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I think it`s definitely a blessing. You have the chance to choose between quality instruments and that`s good.

    You can achieve different tonal variations with each one of them so that`s another plus.

    I usually find myself in a similar situation. Always try to give a little time to each one of my basses. After sometime of playing I`ve reached the point where I know which will sound better in each situation (both live and in studio).

    Most people in the audience surely don`t care about that differences and if you like them all, just relax and enjoy the fact of having toys to choose from.
     
  12. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Sound advice my friend. Thanks. :)
     
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Modern growl is right. Just play what you feel like playing. Your preference will just shift from time to time and it's no big deal.:)
     
  14. Tony, don't sweat it. Having two distinctly different basses is nothing but a good thing. I play 5ers primarily, although I love to play sixers as well. I only own one bass right now and it's a 5 string. I want to add a sixer to the mix eventually though as I like the way it makes my playing change. I can't solo to save my life and forget chording, I blow dog.:rollno: Like you I am a groover also and I love to groove on a sixer as much as I do on a fiver.

    The last sixer that I had was a Yamaha TRBJP, man I loved that thing. It grooved hard! Anyways, my point is that you have two very cool basses with very different tones and feels. Play the hell out of each bass, change 'em up, take 'em both to rehearsals and play different tunes with each. On the other hand, just work one bass for awhile and then switch to the other for awhile. There are no rules or expectations. You call the shots not TB or anyone else.:D

    I went through the same issues when I had a sixer in that everyone figured "oh man, this guy must solo like a mother if he owns this Patitucci signature bass". Point in fact, I just really dug it's tone and how it played, my soling in a word is awful - but I don't care, I still love to play sixers. It's your gear, your tone and your choice. Just play 'em and enjoy how amazing each bass is. Not to mention you have a very sweet rig as well. I have to say you have some very righteous gear my brother.

    Work that gear, don't worry about TB. TB is a great reference for bassists, TB is not the final word or defining authority on all things bass. You are blessed with two very fine instruments, anything after that is gravy.:cool:

    Cheers,
    Paul Theriault
    Bassjones
    http://www.myspace.com/paultheriaultmusic
     
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Yeah, sure you can't solo.;) I don't care if you can solo or not. You still have one of the ten best slap tones in the world!:eek:

    I agree about sixes being great basses for supportive bass playing. I loved playing a six when I had one, I never had to change my position!:D
     
  16. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    Thanks choad42 and Dr. Cheese. Guys like you are what make this forum great. :)
     
  17. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    It's no wonder people in less fortunate countries hate us here in the U.S. :bag:
     
  18. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    NY
    I figured it was a matter of time before somebody gave me the old "mom speech" about not finishing your dinner as there are starving kids in Africa. Yes, I spoiled by having a mass abundance of cheap, quality goods, as is America. Oh well.
     
  19. I owned my jazz bass for 11 years until I found this website.. now its gone and I am lost in the world.. :mad:
     
  20. I understand your dilemma and here is how I solve it. There are some days I like a nice fat, burpy finger style tone, and then there are days when I like a nice hot slap tone. When I wanted the burpy fat tone I brought my Tobias. When I wanted the slapper I brought the Valenti with EMG's. Now since I've sold the Tobias I only have the Valenti so that situation is non-existent in my life but there are still times I miss the tone of my Tobias. In the end it's all about what tone is in your head before you go to rehearsal.

    You could also get yourself a double gig bag and bring both. There's no law against that. I used to own 4 basses and I brought them all to practice several times.
     

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