How does one justify owning several basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dan.ablett, Dec 3, 2007.

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  1. it seems to me that most people (over 50%) of us have multiple basses, and even still multiple basses of the same model (ie fender jazz).

    not saying its a bad thing, but i struggle to comprehend having more then one high end instrument, despite my GAS. i feel that if i did buy another bass, i would feel selfish in a way, knowing that one bass is enough for me to play, and that the cost of owning a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) could go to much better causes, at the very least other gear.

    so my questions are: why do you have more then one bass; do they all get equal play time/gig time; do you have a favorite; if you have a favorite why keep the other ones; do you play enough to legitamitly have as many basses as you do; do you think it's strange that i think i would feel bad for owning more then one bass at a time?

    i feel like i;m married to my instrument. it doesnt hurt to look at other basses, hell to even play them... but to take it home? dont know aye...

    i guess the reason i ask is because i am eyeing off something different but im not sure how i feel about this issue. maybe im just too sentimental (the bass i have was a 21st present)

  2. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus Guest

    Nov 27, 2007
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Several reasons to use more than one... different tone, different tuning. Plus it looks cool having a rack of em behind you at a gig... (j/k) (ok, not j/k).
  3. RADUB1

    RADUB1 Guest

    May 11, 2006
    Grand Rapids, MI

    I would assume that each person has a different reason. I own multiple basses, because I need them for their different sounds. My warrior is a 6 string and a very warm sounding bass compared to my Benavente, which is a 5 string and is quite a bit brighter and aggreassive then the warrior.....depending on the style and vibe of the song, I use something different, then you factor in a fretless.....and, while I could use one bass for everything, I prefer the voice of each bass for the particular music.
  4. so is this in regards to a studio situation? or as a live performance? i can completely understand different basses for different vibes on a recording, but surely live you just want to pull a sound that reflect you and then alter the rest with your amp settings/effects/technique?
  5. FeloniousMonk

    FeloniousMonk Guest

    Nov 29, 2007
    I have my jazz and a crappy dean playmate I keep around for playing on my mother-in-law's porch. doesn't need an amp, thus why I have it.

    but here on TB, it's damn near a competition. whoever has the most toys wins. because I certainly can't fathom how anyone could justify spending two grand on a bass, much less have half a dozen of em laying around. it's just rampant consumerism excused as nessessity.

    in b4 gearwhores justifying their excesses.
  6. nickbear

    nickbear Guest

    Jun 12, 2007
    surrey, uk
    i suppose i cant justify owning 4 basses that well really. 2 of them are sentimental to me and dont see much use and i know if i sold them my dad who i rarely see would be quite upset. the other 2 basses i use a lot more and they both sound really different. depends what the gig is to what bass i use
  7. While I bought my violin bass mostly as a toy to use unamplified at home, I will play out with it here and there. Why? Because it has a cool sound that my Lakland just can't make. I like the sounds I get out of the Lakland, but the violin bass is just different.

    My Squier P-Bass special; on the other hand, hasn't left the case since I bought the Lakland. No one wants to buy it either.
  8. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I NEED a minimum of two electric basses to gig with at each gig as we use 4 tunings per gig. At gigs, I use my basses in the following configurations.

    Bass 1:
    Standard tuning
    Drop D tuning

    Bass 2:
    1/2 Step down tuning
    Drop C# tuning

    We obviously lump the tunes together that have the same tunings.

    So, yes I have more than two basses ;), but I could get by with two if I had to...
  9. While I do enjoy the different tones and feels of the different basses I own, there really is very little justification for it. Most of the professional freelance bassists (the serious cats) that I know own and play one bass (with maybe a backup or an additional old banger that might have some sentimental value). I have not gotten nor lost one gig due to a specific instrument I was playing, or having a J instead of a P, or a modern boutique instead of a lower end instrument.

    My owning of multiple instruments is more based on 'the love of bass' than any need.:bassist:

    Tone really is 'in the hands'!
  10. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    How can you justify owning two cars, two homes, two motorcycles, two guns, two watches etc etc etc. A bass is no different. Some people collect brother owns 23 watches some of which are very high end. Some people collect basses. Others make their living playing bass and want high end reliable tools for the job. Some people have buckets of cash and buy a new bass every month.
    Variety is the spice of life. No need to justify imho.
  11. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I've got a Rickenbacker because it's the sound I hear in my head for a rock & roll bass.

    I bought a beat up P-bass because at some of the places we play I don't want to risk my precious Rickenbacker.

    I own a five string fretless electric acoustic, because I was in a band for years that did some jazzier kind of music and the fretless had just that sort of vibe.

    The cardboard box bass is great for stage shtick.

    I only ever use one electric bass + the box bass for any given gig. I've thought about selling the fretless, but then I play it and can't bring myself to let her go.

    There you have it. My own personal reasons for being multi instrumental.
  12. sublime0bass

    sublime0bass Guest

    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    well i bought a squire P, and never felt like it had enough high end for me

    then i got a $200 spector B-model, and really loved it

    then a really cheap fender american jazz came along, and i loved how it played

    as far as the 5er OLP, 2 acoustic basses, and a mixing board... well thats just Pawn Shop GAS
  13. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I have 4 basses - only one of which is "high end" (at least to me). One is sentimental to me; we go back 27 years to when I was touring the USA. She's an old top of the line Vantage from the early 80's and the two of us logged a lot of miles together so I wouldn't get rid of her for that very reason. I have a Cort Curbow 5'er that I have played for the past 3 years. Not nearly as sentimental, but I like the size and feel of it. I have an cheapo SX fretless 5 jazz. The only reason I keep that around is for the fretless sound when I feel a song needs it. The only "pro-quality" bass I have ever owned is my new Conklin GTBD7.

    Typically I only take one bass when I play out and the Conklin is now it. I'm beyond the stage of my life where I try to impress people by the size of my rig and quantity of basses I use and I am really enjoying being able to have equipment that will get the job done and which I can easily transport from my vehicle to the stage in a single trip. Having one bass that can do the trick for practially anything is what I shoot for these days. Even so, I likely wouldn't sell the others basses simply because they're not expensive basses and they're worth more to me to hang onto than the hassle and the relatively small amount of money I might get trying to sell them.

  14. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Mine are all Fenders, and all different: a '51 P RI, a Classic '50s P, a fretless P, and a fretless J. None of them sound, or play, or feel, like any of the others, and each one has its uses.

    Oh, did you say, "high-end basses?"
  15. Mourners Lament

    Mourners Lament Guest

    Nov 27, 2007
    I call it "stimulating the economy". I just started playing bass a year ago and I have 3 basses and 2 amps. I played guitar for 4 years before that and I have 7 guitars and 3 amps. I don't play drums and I have a drumset. And numerous other instruments that have been collected from years of being a musician (keyboard, tamboreen, violin, sax, etc.). Just things you need at certain times. And plus musicians do not sell their equipment. That's where joke comes "What do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Homeless."
  16. I like basses in my stable because they sound and feel different from each other. If I'm in the mood for a certain tone, I can indulge my whim. I don't need no stinking justification! :D
  17. T-MOST


    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    If you can afford it (and you buy your gear with gig money as I do) there is your justification. Afford = not NEEDING to spend the money on something more important like rent, mortgage, bills or family expenses... these things come first. I can afford as many as I want but don't need them so I keep 2 or 2 or 3 for variety. These days High end is what I like.
  18. Drucocu


    Jan 24, 2007
    I've got also some basses hangin on the wall, I do play them if a required song need to have a special voice, you cant compare a Jazz with Rounds / P with flats / Rick with rounds to a fretless. Normally I play 4-stringers, but my main band requires a 5-stringer, the first Lefay I bought on my own, the second one is endorsed, no way I'd sell one of them. and yes, a shortscale...which I dont use that often, and my first bass, whas a present too (never sell a present!) thats about it... I have em, play em, and I love em!
  19. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Mrs. Lug: Why do you need more than one can only play one at a time! :mad:

    Lug: You're birthday is coming up but I noticed you only have one neck and it already has a diamond necklace around it! :mad:

    Mrs. Lug: Nevermind.
  20. Geezerman

    Geezerman Guest

    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Actually having to sell all my equipment sans my SX P/J and my Line 6 tone port.

    I have no band, and moving into a tiny apartment.

    I'm trying to fund a trip across the pond to see an old ex girlfriend who moved across the pond, heh i suppose it's worth the risk.

    - The bongo im going to miss, my first "real bass", I love it. Its "home" to me

    - My Fying V bass, It was my first refinish, good memmories.

    - Peavey Nitrobass , heh "my" tone, very growl while still being pretty versatile

    - SWR Henry the 8x8 (pre-fender) - Heh best cab i've owned, I love it, itd worth the weight.

    I know all the stuff is easily replaceable, but still feel sad they are going :bawl:
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