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How do you tell when a bass is for you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by spots, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. spots


    Feb 7, 2004
    boston, MA
    Is it by the feel? the look? the sound? When you pick it up does it just feel right? When you play it is it easier to play on than others (i.e. you are noticably better on it than others) or is it difficult and challenging? Is it the potential that the bass holds or the awesomeness it already has which is most compelling? In summary, How do you tell when a bass is the bass for you forever (or until another case of the ole G.A.S comes up :rolleyes: )

    I am asking because
    1) I'm considering buying a new base in the next couple of months
    2) I'm just curious to hear what people think on the matter?
    Thx for replies in adv. :bassist:
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Basicaly if it feels good in my hands, there ya go. If i can play it rather effortlessly. The pickups etc can always be changed so its the feel that matters most for me. Also certain basses are better for certain things.
  3. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    i think feel for me mostly is what shape the neck is. I cannot play jazz necks, they just hurt my hands after a while. I think its whatever bass you learn on and i started playing on a spector. Ever since then ive only owned basses with big fat necks like P bass type necks. Looks is also alot more important that people will realize. If your not comfortabel with the way the bass looks then you'll be less drawn toword playing it. I love the way my stingray looks but dont really like the look of my warwick, but they serve different purposes.
  4. The Urbs

    The Urbs

    Feb 23, 2004
    You just know

    The lights will shine from the heavens above and grace you with its beauty as you take the ax in hand and stike the strings, unleashing a hellish growl of low end fury!
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Yea ive recently fallen in love with Spectors. Hoping to soon get a Ns2000 Q5 and ill be in broke-teenager heaven. Ill have 3 basses that i like (as of now i have the godin and essex) and each serves a diff purpose. ( 4 string fretted, 4 fretless, 5 fretted). Then i can save up money for amp stuff.
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I hear you! I can't stand J necks, which is an utter shame, since most (aout 99%) of manufacturers of 4 strings make them J necks. I hear it's like 5:1 Jazz to P preference. Which makes us P guys biting dust. Even a lot of 5ers are rather narrow, and a pain to deal with.

    I can tell a bass is for me when I sit down and pluck the B string. In those two movements, I'll know if a bass is for me. Feel, B string, and looks, all rolled into one action.
  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Ehm. When I can afford it, and its playability is tolerable.
  8. I think a mix of everything, feel and sound are most important I think though.
  9. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    feel and sound... its gotta feel right and its gotta sound right. any compromise on either of those subjects and eventually the bass will be replaced by something else
  10. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    When I'm judging whether a bass is right for me, as opposed to what differentiates a "good" instrument from a "bad" one, I tend to ask the following questions:

    Does it allow me to achieve the tone or tones that are in my head?

    Does it inspire me to play "in general" and/or does it inspire me to play licks and runs that I've never played before?

    Does it enable me to play things I've never played before....faster, in different keys, in different styles, etc.?

    Does is balance well and feel comfortable?

    Just a few things to think about. If you can answer "yes" to these questions, then you're probably on your way to finding an instrument that fits you and your needs very well. :D :bassist:
  11. What it is a 4 string, has a maple neck/fingerboard, has Fender CS60 pickups in it, weighs 12 pounds and has a sexy sunburst finish with a lovely tort pickguard :D Hey...it sounds familiar ;)
  12. usully, i just go around the store, and look around. if something catches my eye, i will pick it up, and try it out. then i just try and get a general feel for it. for example, the first time i picked up a bongo, i still havent stopped thinking about it, but... when i played a stingray, i just didnt like it.

    after playing the bass for a while, i try and mess around with the settings, to see how versatile the bass is.

    sometimes when i play a bass, i just know that it is gonna be the one that i buy.
  13. JJd2sc


    Jul 31, 2003
    Marietta, Georgia
    When I played my roscoe it was pretty much a cliche story. It just felt perfect, and i was just awestuck by its tone and smoothness. I knew id have to get it.

  14. AMEN!!! That is so true!!!
  15. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Everybody has a different combo. You play enough of them over time and you figure out what yours is. Buy low and you won't get stung regardless cause you can recoup your funds and take another swing.

    As long as you've got a large enough control bay, you can put whatever electronics/pups you want in a bass and pretty much get whatever sound you want. And if you go outboard even that's not a concern. So my focus is on the neck (width, fret condition, straight, good truss rod, headstock - don't like inlines) and body. So cost and feel are what I look for, the sound is not a problem. I also stick with bolt-ons cause it doesn't require surgery to replace it. And to me a bass really is the neck.
  16. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Balance and how it fits my body and hands.
    The rest can be modified, if necessary. Normally, it isn't - ergonomically well build instruments usually sound well, too!!
  17. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    It's pretty simple for me really. It's all about how it feels in my hands. I have 10 different basses from several different makers. All different wood and pickup combos etc. No matter which one I play, I still sound like me.
  18. Feel and Sound, looks to an extent. Some basses just sound like garbage to you, and regardless what you do- that's what they are. More often than not the bass was designed to sound a certain way, changing that design "can be" dangerous to the fabric of the universe.

    No offense to any of the "tinkerf*cks" here that need to change pots, caps, pickups...etc.
  19. I look for a couple of things:

    1) sound and versatility - it has to sound good and be capable of giving me the appropriate tones I need for my various gigs.
    2) feel - it should feel comfortable in terms of body shape, neck shape, string spacing and overall action.
    3) solid construction - it should be built well and should hold up to a lot of gigging.
    4) looks - it should look good enough that it makes me want to pick it up and play. If it's butt ugly, I won't want to play it, even if it sounds and plays great (for example, I wouldn't play a bass shaped like bat wings).

    If a bass lacks in any of these areas, it's usually gone.

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