Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Holding Me Back?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sock Justice, Jul 1, 2002.


  1. So, ok, I'll get right into things. Here's my problem: I think my current setup, bass wise, is seriously holding me back. I own a very, VERY worn Jackson C5-P Bass, that I purchased from MF two years ago.

    The B string flops around like you wouldn't believe, and has officially been deemed "a way too expensive thumb rest." Unfortunately, this is pretty much the case for the E string, as well. The action is (literally) painfully high, and not at all a joy to play. It takes so much work to fret a string, after about 30 minutes or so of playing, I just have to put it down and walk away.

    I'm not claiming to be a good bassist, or even an OK bassist...frankly, I suck...but I should atleast be able to enjoy playing, right? My old MIM Fender P-Bass Keeps warping on me every few months, as to the point of unbearable rattle, and I have limited transportation to a music shop to get this fixed, over, and over again. I'm pretty much without a bass to play, it seems...

    I know, the instrument doesn't make the musician, but I'm wondering, when is it (if ever) acceptable to label something detrimental to your musical growth?...I just feel like I should be submitting my bass to the Surgeon General for multiple warning labels...

    Any advice? Should I bite the bullet and get something new? I can't figure out a way to get the action any lower...the lower it goes, the more rattle I accrue...

    Thanks Guys.

    -Dave

    P.S. Moderators, sweet sweet moderators...I have no clue to where this really should be. One of you guys needs to slap me around until I figure out which forum to post my topics in...
     
  2. Darrelpr

    Darrelpr

    Feb 2, 2002
    Texas, USA
    If you feel that (whatever reason) your instrument has become an obstacle to progressing musically, then yes, it's probably time to look for a replacement.

    But, do some soul searching and be sure that you're not subconsciously using this as an excuse to succumb to a GAS attack. ;)

    Good luck!

    darrelpr
     
  3. In my experience, great players can make anything sound good. However, when you're learning, you need an instrument that will at least do the basics well. Otherwise, it's frustrating and you end up blaming the instrument for your lack of growth.

    If a better bass will take away excuses for not practicing, get a better bass - quickly! :)

    Good luck!
    Jeff
     
  4. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    two word:

    professional setup


    your basses will sound and feel much better.
     
  5. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Don't fight it, man! Get another bass. It's only natural.
    Doc
     
  6. I had considered the thought that I may just be making this up to whine myself into buying another bass...but I seriously doubt that's the case. This is the only bass I've bought, besides my original Fender, which was a gift, and I only laid down the cash for this one, so I could try my hand at a Five string. I really wish I would've known more back then, or knew of this site...things would've been so much easier. Thanks for the reply, it's much appreciated.

    -Davism
     
  7. Jeff,

    It's not that I'm a complete beginner...or that I don't practice. I'm in a unique situation which allows me to practice hours a day, if I so wish it...and a lot of times, I do. I've learned a TON in the past five years (how long I've been playing)...I feel I'm still growing, and expanding...just maybe not at the right speed? I don't know, maybe I'm expecting too much out of myself there, and blaming the bass for my shortcomings...either way, the resultas are still the same...practicing hurts...and I know it's not natural, because I've played a ton of other basses, as well as my Fender which has a great low action, when not terribly warped.

    ...I don't know, maybe this gives people a better perspective on where I'm coming from...but, thanks a lot for your reply, Jeff, 'twas very cool of you. Now if only I were rich...

    -Davely
     
  8. Yeah...I suppose I should bite the bullet, and attempt to find a ride to the shop...sucks not having a car...

    -Dave
     
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California

    Exactly.

    A couple of days in an experienced repairperson's shop and your bass will feel like a new one.
     
  10. my first bass, a washburn XB-100, has serious neck bow that i've never been able to take out with the truss rod. this meant i had to play a lot harder, and while one may think this would have the same effect as practicing your baseball swing with a donut, it doesn't. it just made it HARDER to play a good bass, because i would play too hard and get fret noise. but when i got over that, i started playing better than i ever had before.

    so my point is, yes, your basses may be holding you back. it's said that a good workman doesn't blame his tools, but this ain't supposed to be work.
     
  11. Yep! diffently sounds like it is time for a new bass to me.:rolleyes:
     
  12. DHC,

    Yeah, I think that's pretty much what's going on with me, here...so, first I'll take it to the music shop (which probably means a 2 mile walk to the bus-stop...and I get winded eating waffles...) and see if that can't work a miracle on the thing. I seriously doubt they will be able to bring it back from the brink, but who knows, right?...and if that doesn't work, it looks like I'm going to have to smash the piggy.

    Thanks for all the input, guys, much appreciated...if I ever get rich, free ice cream for everyone!

    -That One Kid
     
  13. Another thing you probably want to do if you take it to the shop is to watch what they do, and ask questions. Obviously, you're not going to be able do as good a job as an experienced guitar tech, but basic setup stuff like adjusting the truss rod and the bridge is something every player should try and learn. It's not really that complicated, and since most basses undergo some seasonal changes to some degree as the humidity goes up and down, it's the kind of thing that has to get done on a regular basis anyway. Being able to do it yourself will save you money, as well as let you try out different setup variables to see what really suits you best.

    Mike
     
  14. and you know, if the neck isn't fixable, you might consider just buying a new neck. should be cheaper than an entirely new bass.
     
  15. akhnaton

    akhnaton

    Jun 7, 2002
    raleigh, nc
    I really had a hard time learning on my wife's bass. It was an old bc rich mockingbird with an unfixable neck, pickups that worked most of the time and only when the switch was in the middle position, and crazy high action. Then I bought a MIM jazz and things started to come a whole lot easier. Even though she could pick up the bc rich and play the heck out of it, me just starting out was seriously hindered by it.
     
  16. But where would I find a new neck for a cheap jackson? I seriously doubt I could find one, since I don't think it will accept most replacement necks...I think if I can't get it fixed, I'll either sell it, and use that money to upgrade my MIM Fender...or if I can't get a decent price for it, I'll probably just donate it to a charity, and hope the Karma makes my Fender sing.

    -Dave

    Again, to everyone, thanks for the posts...'tis appreciated.
     
  17. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    If the neck on your Fender needs alot of regular adjustment, maybe you should consider a graphite neck for it.

    Thats really only if the its caused by humidity changes.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  18. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Dave, i have firsthand experience with your absolute exact problem. I have the same bass, my action is also ceiling high, i'v had it through 2 professional setups at 2 different places, tried lots of different strings, anything and everything possible. I don't often use the word hate, but i hate to play that bass, unfortunately its my only one. I have however gotten very used to its sound (i'm talking through an amp, not the ultra-buzz from any fretwork) and its getting frustrating finding another bass that sounds pleasant to my ears. The crappiest part with our jackson cp-5's is this. I went to Mars and another local bass dealer, and had the most frustrating time of my bassplaying experience. I'v gotten used to taming the piece of junk to accomplish some slap technique, hammer stuff, a whole "bag o tricks" and i now am incapable of playing a "normal" bass, and especially a nice bass. I played a bass with low action today, and i couldn't time any of my triplets because i'm used to the lag time of ceiling action. I feel your pain. Get a new bass, that's what i'm doin.
    Peace brother,
    Kevin
     
  19. So I'm not the only one, huh? What a shame...I'm not very happy with the sound, either, but you play what you have, right? I had the same experiences as you though, when I went to a music shop and played a bunch of high and mid ranged basses...I loved the way they played, but I was so used to the painfully high action, that everything sounded terrible. I'm sure it'll just take time for us to get "deprogrammed"...I just wish I could justify a new bass, when I have a big fat wad of cash waiting for the right car. Hmm...maybe I should just buy a junker, sell some old gear I don't use, and get something that I can actually enjoy playing...

    -Davis
     
  20. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i'll take the bass off your hands!
    i am always looking for a challenge.
    i am trying to get good enough to work at a local guitar shop.
    this might help me. i if i can fix this maybe i am good enough.

    steve :D