How do you guys do it?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tplyons, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Seriously guys, you all have quite some cool gear, and I'm just wondering, do you have amazingly high paying jobs or do you just squeeze pennies elsewhere to buy your sweet gear. Looks like some people around here never stop buying new stuff, but how do you afford it?! I just hope I can swing what you guys are, have decent collections of vintage gear like some of you...
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Then what do you guys do for a living? Seems a lot of bassists here are well paid then...
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    1. Go to college.
    2. Get degree in technical subject (engineering, computer science, mathematics, etc.) Avoid History, Psychology, Literature, and ESPECIALLY Philosophy or any other degree that leads to "Would you like that supersized, sir."
    3. Work for 20 years in the same field.
    4. Spend all that money on gear instead of coke.
    5. Play bass on weekends.

    There y'go.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    1- In College
    2- No good at technical stuff. :(
    3- I'd love that kind of job security
    4- Way ahead of you
    5- If that's all I can get, I'll take it. Some is better than none.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    What SMASH said.

    I know I've never intended to have a collection but having an interest in the instrument, no other expensive hobbies, good work ethic and in my case what I consider very important... patience, led me to what I currently own. I do very little impulse buying, I always run what-ifs (what if I have to sell it, etc.?).

    Good credit can really help but you don't keep it by spending carelessly and not taking care of those and every other obligation you have. You also don't get to keep what you have if you screw your finances up. Seems obvious but apparently loads of folks just don't get this.

    I don't buy most of my stuff new, I wait for depreciation.
  6. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    What Munji said + what SMASH said + what Brad said + buy a lot of stuff used. It's already "depreciated" about as much as it's going to. Save a little extra cash, then move up the food chain.

    If you buy a new $3,000 bass today and try to sell it two months from now, you'll do good to get $1,800 for it. If you buy a used bass for $1,500, chances are you can sell it a few months from now for $1,500. If you've saved up $300, you can buy that "new" $3,000 bass for $1,800. Save up a few more scheckels and when you sell the $1,800 bass, you can buy a used $2,000 bass. Now you're into MTD535 territory. Not a bad place to be.

    If you MUST spend mega-bucks on a custom, your goal should be to buy a custom instrument that you will keep for a lifetime. Nobody will be willing to pay you what you paid for the custom. Some of the features you decide are "gotta have" will translate to "ehhh" to the next buyer. Until you know what you want your custom to be, play the used market as a tool to play as many different types of instruments as possible.


  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Just like home real estate.
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    1. Go to college.
    2. Get degree in technical subject (engineering, computer science, mathematics, etc.) Avoid History, Psychology, Literature, and ESPECIALLY Philosophy or any other degree that leads to "Would you like that supersized, sir."
    3. Work for 20 years in the same field.
    4. Spend all that money on gear instead of coke.
    5. Play bass on weekends.

    Alternate formula:

    1. Avoid college like the plague, unless you're going into politics. There's no better way to waste four (or more) years of your life. (Instead of going to college, get your parents to buy you a beater bass and keep it with you at all times).
    2. And therefore by extension, don't bother getting a degree. Or, if you feel you really need one, they're cheap enough on the internet these days. (Instead, go to the library and study up on music theory. Imagine that your thesis project is to compose a score for a feature length film).
    3. Get a bunch of friends to help you fabricate a resume that shows 20 years of experience, in "anything". That'll usually be good enough to get you a management job. (Breadth of experience can be just as valuable as longevity to a prospective employer. And remember, who you know is just as important as what you know).
    4. Invest wisely. Cocaine is no longer a wise investment. More people are doing Viagra these days. (Start an internet pharmacy, you can do that with almost no money and minimal computer skills).
    5. Play bass every chance you get. Weekends, evenings, lunch hour. Maybe if you do it on coffee breaks too, you'll get good enough so manufacturers will start giving you free gear. Keep the stuff you want, and sell the rest on eBay. Use the proceeds to fund #4, and when your piggy bank gets big enough, squirrel it away and live off the interest. (Rumor has it that Nathan East made over 4 million dollars last year, and Clapton doesn't even have him on retainer anymore).

    BE CREATIVE! Don't listen to the fools who try to tell you that all bass playing is composed of quarter notes and must follow the kick drum at all times. America is the land of opportunity. Go for it.
  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    *sigh* I'm screwed. I'm going to university for psychology, and I have several other expensive hobbies.
  10. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    You could always marry Brad Johnson or John Turner! :D
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    When you go out to eat, dont eat.

    When you are sitting at home thinking of what to eat for dinner, eat just enough.

    When you go out to have drinks with friends, just have one or two... or just dont have any!

    Save every penny, and remember that you can either buy a bunch of poo basses over the years, upgrading slowly, or get one good one.

  12. With myself i live in a cheap small place, worked the same job for 13-14 years and am quite high up in the chain.
    Im also alone, no kids wife or other hobbies or bad habits. So i basically can spend my money on what i want.
    BTW im a 3rd generation carpenter working in a family buisiness, and our reputaion in city is amazing. Talking about job security :)
    There is alot of money to be had in construction trades...there is gonna start to be a real shortage of people in the next 10 years(in my area of central Canada anyway)...we are already seeing the effects here. All the kids dont want to do trade work..they all want to go sit behind desks. Which mean...i should be able to charge what i want for doing a job soon...cause there wont be many other choices around ;) Sound mean? hey construction is a buisiness just like any other. :D
    I think i got off topic a bit...oh well, now you know something more about me hehe :D
  13. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Marry a woman making 89+k/ year, and then sign a record deal. :bag:
  14. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Great advice which I have followed all along. Bought the 69 Precision for $150 in 72, sold it in 73 for $350. Bought a 76 Tbird new for $550, sold for $750, bought the 66 jazz for $400, sold it 7 months later for $700. You get the picture.

    Any subsequent purchase was a caveat that it must have known resale value at better than what I was paying. It becomes a fun game that works. There are many on the forum that play it very well.

    I fell for the exotic bass thing once and only once and took a bath. Never again, unless it's a steal.

    At this point, gig money is my mad money. Any upgrades or new toys come from gig money. I'm gigging less than before, by choice. I limit it to once a month maximum. My love of smoke filled bars (smoking and bars go hand in hand in Europe) diminishes with age.
  15. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I'm a "DINK" (double income no kids)
    No having no kids helps but I rarely go on vacation and have no other hobbies, All my gigging money goes to my GAS, Any side work I do goes into my Gas fund and I just save until I have enough money to buy something I want. That's about it..
  16. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    It also helps if you have only one hobby that you're passionate about, and not 3, like someone I know. He's into basses, cars, and motorcycles. It's killing mean him! It's killing him. :D
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I dont earn great money, I earn good money, but not great.

    I have two very very dceent amps (a Gallien Kreuger MB150 and EA iAMP 600 & tech 21 cab), I have a US Deluxe Fender P, a Stingray 4, a washburn acoustic, a Washburn 5 string and an upright bass... so, a fair amount of gear, but no £2/3k boutique basses.. and amps are secondhand (except the GK cause no one sells an MB!)

    I can do it, because...

    I wear sh~t clothes, e.g. I bought two pairs of jeans in the last 18 months.
    I dont drive.
    I havent been on a holiday outside of the UK (aparta from a week of gigs) for about 4 years
    I dont eat out very often
    I dont go out drinking every weekend
    I dont pay for band rehearsals, all my bands pay for themselves (or the band leaders do!)

    there you have it
  18. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Another DINK here also. I work full time and go to school part time, so I don't have as much time to be out of the house spending my cashola as other people might.

    That being said, right now I only have 2 basses, and only one is worth >1K. I've resolved not to have more than 2 basses at a time, and to trade old equipment for new equipment.

    I agree with all the 'don't buy it new' posts. Sure there's a good feeling with being owner #1, but it's like buying a car, you can feel the original value dissipate as you drive it off the lot! :)
  19. Coutts_is_god

    Coutts_is_god Guest

    Dec 29, 2003
    Windsor, Ont, Canada
    I'm a pimp. Thats right "I am a P.I.M.P.!"

  20. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I do a lot of recycling of gear. Get something new sell the old. I think I have finally got the setup I love. I have a great job also. But I don't go anywhere, drink, smoke or do any DOPE. That's how I save my dough. ALSO, the band rehearses at my house and I the real recycling of cans and bottles from the other guys to help out, it's about 20 to 30 bucks a month.