Help With GAS and Frustration

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by _HunterB_, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. _HunterB_


    Jun 18, 2018
    I'm hoping this thread will be helpful to more bassists than just myself. I have a big problem with GAS, so much so that I find myself angry and depressed when I lack a certain tone I'm after. Ill buy a bass, convince myself that it's all I need, and a few weeks later Im GASsing for something else. Except for maybe a pickup swap in one of my basses, I love the sound of everything I own. Still, I can't escape the constant GAS for new equipment. A little GAS can be fun, like for a new pedal. I think that's what drives us to improve our tone. However, mine seems to be out of control. It seriously makes me ridiculously pissed off when I can't get X sound, and it makes me feel a disgusted with myself as a musician. It's making me have to spend time away from playing, and I'm not having that. So to all my fellow bassists, how do I cure this? I really want to just enjoy what I have, and focus on being a better player. Seriously, someone please help me out.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Stop telling yourself another bass or pickup will improve your tone. It doesn't improve it. It only changes it. Improving your technique is what actually matters.
    theduke1, ruju, Krizz and 4 others like this.
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Focus on developing your own tone, not chasing someone else's. Then in 20 years we can have threads discussing how HunterB gets his amazing tone and if we should swap the pups out on his signature model.
    theduke1 and _HunterB_ like this.
  4. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Amps, pre-amps and judiciously-used pedals can really expand the tonal range of whatever bass you play.

    But I agree that hard work and focused practice (always with a metric reference: drum track, metronome, whatever) will make you a better player long before churning a bunch of gear will.

    Unfortunately, there are no short cuts.
    _HunterB_ likes this.
  5. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Finding yourself in the street, squawking like a chicken in your underwear a few times might do the trick.:thumbsup:
    _HunterB_ likes this.
  6. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    At the risk of being a backroom shrink, some of what you describe are common features of clinical depression. Your tone may not be the only think you're fighting with, and professional help can start as close as your family doctor. Beyond that—and I was serious about the previous advice—those of use who've been around for a long while know that a great bassist sounds like s/he does virtually regardless of the instrument and electronics. It's in the musicianship and the skilled and experienced hands. Do as much playing and practising as you can and don't sweat the tone thing. Really. *Your* sound will follow in good measure. Best wishes.:thumbsup:
    _HunterB_ likes this.
  7. alack


    Nov 20, 2000
    You do know hanging around here is not a good way to fight GAS?
    _HunterB_ likes this.
  8. I find one of the best cures for GAS is simply installing fresh strings. Of course, if you like the sound of old dead strings this advice won`t help.
    5fingerfrenzy and _HunterB_ like this.
  9. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Join more than one band and learn songs outside of your comfort zone.
    _HunterB_ likes this.
  10. Resonance129


    Feb 15, 2011
    I can actually relate to a degree.
    My advice, although maybe a bit hypocritical, is to stay away from TB, Reverb, GC, Sam Ash,etc.
    Seeing/hearing all the different basses and arrangements, talking about them with other bass heads... It only makes it worse.
    Hopefully, someday, we'll both be able to find the "golden bass" that dissolves the GAS.