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How many basses do you WANT versus NEED?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassballs27, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Maybe the title post question actually defines G.A.S.. At least anyone who answers this question, you’re doing some self reflection. Please answer honestly.

    I was once told an interesting phrase once which is “be careful with the things you own because one day they could end up owning you.”

    A bass guitar at the end of the day is a tool to create music. I justify my bass needs / wants by the fact that not all basses are created equal, so having a bunch is like a painters pallet of colours. But how many colours does one need? What if just one bass is the only pallet you really need?

    I think the battle of needs and wants is what makes life interesting. I’ve had up to 13 basses in my house at one time but knew a few were on their way out. It’s crazy how much money and time one can spend on this battle.
    At the moment, I’ve got a closet I use to gauge what “too many” basses is to me. If the closet is full or there are basses sitting outside of it because they can’t fit...time to re-evaluate.

    I’ve even thought of limiting myself to one bass per brand, but I seem to be stuck at two at the moment. At this point in time I have 5 incredible instruments that have taken me 7 years to find. Some you might know that I’ve done a tone of buying, trading, and selling on this site. The Classified section on this site has been my bain at times! LOL

    Anyway, enough about me for now...let’s hear from others!
    Why do you own the basses that you have?
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Unless you are gigging consistently multiple times a week, there is no justification for "needing" a second bass. But we like shiny things...
  3. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I only need one but I’d like a roomful.
    Used to have the roomful but over the years have given them away.
    Single bass user nowadays.
  4. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007

    My wants and needs are exactly the same. The best sounding bass, that takes no effort to play. Oh, and a similar backup.
  5. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    A long while ago I composed a lengthy and detailed dissertation for justifying the basses I owned. The consensus at that time was that for the music I do in the situations where I do it, I needed 4 or 5 instruments. At that time, I owned 6.

    Now I own 8. :)

    If money were no object, I'd probably own >20. But I don't think anything's changed drastically about the music I do or the situations where I do it, so I can't really justify owning more than 4 or 5.
    roccobass and bassballs27 like this.
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You're wrong. Frequency of gigs has nothing to do with it.

    I have gigs and studio projects that specifically call for fretted, fretless and electric upright basses. One instrument can't make all three of those sounds.
  7. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    I’m good.
    I had 10.
    Just sold 2.
    Now I’ve got 8.
    I realistically need 4.
  8. WillieB

    WillieB Battling Bass Guitar Bulimia since 1975 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    A daily twelve step program for me! I've owned up to 15 but most went unused.

    currently: 2 fender P's(rounds, flats) 1 fender jazz, 1 mutt PJ (swiss army) 1 fretless.
    To complete the list will be a short scale and a fender '51 P.

    so .... with help .... from a higher power I will keep the number to 7 or less.


    unless ...... a 5 and or 6 string .... hmmmm

    oh crap chad reminded me ..... a hofner, hollowbody, ric, tbird

    thy number shall be 13 for WANT

    Need one
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    GonePlaid, mikewalker and B-Lo like this.
  9. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    If you are a working musician you need “tools” to do any job you’re asked to do. That may be a hollow body for one gig and a P bass for another.

    If you are performing, you may have an image you’re trying to portray. If you’re in a KISS cover band you may need a Punisher or axe bass. If you’re tributing the Beatles you may need a Hofner or Ric.

    Then there are bedroom rockstars like me. I have several basses. They all sound and feel different. I enjoy them all just like a woman enjoys 30 pairs of shoes and earrings.

    There is no correct number. Buy as many as you want.
  10. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    This sort of question has no place on this website.
    amper, RWRhodes, eeLALlen and 27 others like this.
  11. When you finally get a music room but can’t sit in there because it’s stuffed full of music gear.
    :rolleyes: :help:
    BrainOfJA, edsand, Remyd and 8 others like this.
  12. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I disagree. A backup bass is an insurance policy. I've had basses start exhibiting weird problems before a show. It's been a very long time since I've had to call up my backup, but I'd say that any amount of actual paid gigs on the books necessitates having a backup on hand.

    I find it also helps one make better decisions when it comes to repairs, as there isn't quite as much urgency to address the issue.

    After two though... then I'd say it comes more down to wanting to have more specific tools for specific jobs.

    FWIW I just picked up my 3rd bass a few weeks ago. Before that I made due with 2 for over a decade of gigging.
    juancaminos, amper, Artman and 6 others like this.
  13. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I need at least 3, but I want to do it all with just 1 ;)
    Starrchild likes this.
  14. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    I have bought and sold multiple times usually getting up to 14 or 15 then selling down to 4 or 5. The stress I feel is real when the number gets high and I know I can’t play them all. I just got my Geddy Jazz and after a few weeks put these up for sale
    Epi Casady
    Gibson Money
    Fender RW P
    Lakland 5
    Fender Flea
    Ovation Magnum
    Today my intent is to keep
    Refin RW P
    Gibson G3
    EBMM Stingray and the Geddy.
    For the first time I feel like this may be it.....except for a Ric and maybe a Geddy USA Jazz......hahaha it never stops.
    WillieB likes this.
  15. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    The number that I want is steadily decreasing with time. Another TBer recently posted that he had culled his herd down to three nice instruments, and I was actually jealous.
    Artman and alaskaleftybass like this.
  16. I currently have 5 which is a soft limit for me.

    I don’t gig often but if I did I would likely only need my P-Bass and my Jazz bass.

    I like playing all my basses and do so frequently. I will get rid of any bass I feel will not get played much.

    Saying that, if money and space were less of a problem I would increase my soft limit to something that still made sense.
    alaskaleftybass and Afc70 like this.
  17. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    You only need one
    Hellfire1 and Frodolicious like this.
  18. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    I need only one. I want a backup which can be reasonably justified. Everything after is pure want.
    GonePlaid and lowdownthump like this.
  19. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    Need = 0
    Want = All of them.
    BoydG, SpectorCirrus, HD007 and 10 others like this.
  20. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    All of them / one
    Hevy T, Templar and devnulljp like this.

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