How many is too many? Thinning the herd.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeneralElectric, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Limpingbass


    Sep 19, 2008
    Forget the basses.

    What do you do, at the age of 20, to be able to spend only 1/4 on rent in NYC??!?!
  2. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    It's about want, rather than need, which is a big problem with human beings these days (really). I limit myself to 6 and sell one if I get a new one. I currently have 2 Roscoe Beck Vers (1 with rounds tuned down a half-step for the band and one with flats), a Basslab Soul V (my new baby-giving me GAS for another, which would necessitate a sale), 2 Elrick Classic Vers (JJ and PJ) and a TBC Ver I picked up cheap for travel. They all get played, but some way more than others.
  3. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    I think I have my answer... 6 is too many. In narrowing down the tonal palette, I will soon have the following:

    1) a P-Bass (alder/rosewood)
    2) a 60's Jazz Bass (alder/rosewood)
    3) a Modern Jazz Bass (ash/maple)
    4) a Fretless Bass
    5) a Modern Bass with a graphite neck

    I don't think I could justify anything beyond this, except maybe a 70's Jazz in ash/maple. So maybe my answer should be seven. :help:
  4. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    In all honesty, despite my frequent postings to the effect that all of them, every last one will still not be enough, a bassist needs only one bass.

    Any more than that can be justified as in the specific needs of a piece, like the specific tone that bass brings to the piece or the low B on the 5 er etc...

    However, you can get by with a Jazz on a piece that was recorded with a P etc... One can even detune for a song and tune back up, know what I'm sayin?

    After one bass it is all just want, or GAS. I like to have a few around, for whatever reason. Heck I want 100 of em, what the hell? And I can see buying a bass to flip it later, but I really don't consider those as one of "my" basses. They are just money.

    Again, this is all just IMHO....:D

  5. Fairly generic. I kinda fall into the "lawyer" type of musician, but I can assure all that the drive it takes to make it through law, medical, or even pharmacy school in my case is pretty intense. That drive is often also applied to music. Long story short, we're not as easy of a target as many like you to think. ;)

    Saying that it takes 5 years or 100 gigs to develop a relationship with one's instrument is rubbish. You play a bass and you know if it works for you or not. It may take about 5 years to develop your own preferences, but I can tell ya that it took 5 minutes with my Rob Allens, Conklin, and CB before I said, "yup".

    Let's just say my girlfriend tried and realized this wasn't a wise battle to fight. She has now moved on to other potential areas where she can try to neuter me. :p
  6. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    I'm a full time working pro and I have 8 bass guitars,a EUB and a upright. I also have 4 amps and 5 speaker cabs all which are used in different combination as all of them are 8oms. Although I have 8 Bass's I play one 5 string most of the time but i do use the others regularly for session work. In the 22 yrs I have been playing professionally I have owned a total of 12 bass's and that includes the 8 I have now. I have always been interested in people who go thru a lot of bass's because it can take me at least a year to truly know a bass but maybe I'm just slow.

    I have friends who own between 20 and 50 bass's at once so I understand the OP forgetting what he had but at a certain point I think your a collector not a player.
  7. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Agreed. It's probably more correct to say that 5 years or 100 gigs can be what it takes to realize a bass is totally unworkable. Tho it took fewer gigs, it sure enough did take about 5 years of gigging for me to get to where I never wanted to play a gig with a fretted rickenbacker again.

    That's true for me in general; it sometimes takes a while to find certain problems between me and a particular instrument. Major things I can spot right away, but little ones can take a while.

    Like Spade, i'm a professional and, also like Spade, am accustomed to working my &&& off to get to places I want to be. But I've still found myself settling on more midrange level instruments as being suitable, even after trying a fair number of boutique basses.

    OTOH, I'm not a gigging bassist anymore - I'm now proudly an old loser sitting in his apt. plinking around with a loop station type with a pretty average level of skill. So I just don't need an exacting degree of compatibility with my basses like performing musicians do.

    Tho I do wonder how much better I would have been when I was gigging if I had my L2500 back then....

    PS. since when are cats gigging musicians? Never heard of that....

  8. You are a collector. Keep the lot of them.
    Why bother with the hassle of shifting them? You worked for this gear and it's obviuosly quality stuff. Whilst I currently only have 5 basses, I have 21 pinball machines. I can only play one at a at time and the kids don't go anywhere near them preferring the video game console but I could not bring myself to sell any them as they are part of me. A long time spent collecting, restoring and repairing. In fact I am always on the lookout for that elusive one that I don't have.
    All part of the hobby.
  9. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    Hey GE, I suppose I have the same problem with Warwicks that you do with Fender Precisions. I'm nearly a year older than you, and have owned probably less than 15 basses in the time I've been playing (since I was 14). At the moment, I own six basses- four Warwicks, one vintage Stingray, and my old MIM Jazz. It's not nearly the staggering number of instruments you've owned, but I certainly feel the same way you do about not being able to pass up a good deal on something I want. Like you, I'm certainly not spoiled, and had to work my ass off for each and every piece of gear I own with the exception of half of my Warwick Thumb BO5.

    I buy instruments based on desire and need. Boredom buying is never healthy. When you get to the point when you haven't owned a bass long enough for the strings to wear out, you definately have a problem!
  10. Now is the time to buy not sell.

    I've been buying tons and tons of gear.. eventually it will be good trading fodder.

    How many is too many depends on if you play them and if you play different styles... somethings work well with a 6 string.. some things on a BEAD with flats... open stages normally work best with flatwounds on an acoustic

  11. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I'm a student, a musician, a bar tender, and I'm a stocking manager in a restaurant. I'm paid to go to school, and I make money doing everything else.

    To be fair, I rent my own house. I used to have 4 other room mates, though now its just me, my girlfriend, and the dog.

    I love my Nord. I used to play a really nice Yamaha keyboard, but I sold it and bought the Nord off of CL for a whopping $200 since it didn't turn on. A soldering gun and 20 seconds of my time, and it was as good as new.:)
  12. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    1. I can afford to keep them. I paid for almost every instrument I've owned with cash with the exception of my Nash, which I sold.

    2. Depends where in the house you are. :p I live in a 3 bedroom house, but my basement is packed with music stuff and there is music gear in most of the rooms. One of the bedrooms has become a humidity controlled "acoustic room" since I've got some nice ones. The only rooms without music stuff is the porch, kitchen, bathroom, and one of the spare bedrooms. I've got empty cases and project basses in the attic. (They weren't counted towards my bass total since they're either in pieces or are unplayable at the moment) I'm not sure how many are up there, though I can positively remember at least 7.

    With the exception of the basement and arguably the dining room, my gear isn't obtrusive. I've only got a small half stack in the living room, and my dining room just had the 2 stands against one of the walls. The stuff in my bedroom is all wall mounted.

    3. I use all of them though some are used more than others. Out of the basses I play all of them at least once a month. Wow... just typing that makes me realize how little I play some of them.:meh:

    4. She hasn't told me to do anything, but she's subtly pushed me. If she did tell me to get rid of my stuff, she'd be gone. However, for now at least, she's content to suffer in almost silence. I do like her enough to consider thinning down to make her happier. I just don't like being told what to do.
  13. Oric


    Feb 19, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Talk about a deal. Let this be a lesson- anyone who plays an electric instrument should learn how to solder- if you can get a Nord Electro for $20 because of learning how to, there's nothing to lose.
  14. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I've gotten a lot of stuff really cheap because people think its busted. I got my Fender and Acoustic amps dirt cheap because of it, not to mention a handful of basses.:)
  15. GE - the key question is do you want all the stuff you have gathered or do you buy it just because the acquisition part is fun?
  16. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY

    I like to try new things especially different builders and models. I've owned almost all of the "famous" bass models. (P, J, Stingray, Sabre, Ric 4001, 4003, the list goes on and on)

    I think partly its because I like to have so many. Kinda like "he with the most toys" kind of thing, but I like hunting down deals and such. I've only lost money once on a piece of gear that I didn't trash which was my Nash. I usually flip them for what I paid or slightly more. Then I use that money to buy even more junk.

    6 months ago I only had 8 basses not counting projects. Somehow another 12 crept in there.
  17. If it is both, then you might go through the collection and decide what you want to keep as a collector and then either sell the rest or use them for trades for the fun of getting different stuff.
  18. fourfinger


    Apr 17, 2003
    Central Ohio
    You could thin your herd painlessly. Begin a quest to find your dream instrument(s).

    Two-for-one your way up the ladder. That is, identify two basses that are NOT your dream instrument, sell both, and invest the proceeds in one bass that might be. Repeat about fifty times, until you end up with a handful of "keepers" and a handful of "flippers." The "flippers" are an optional nod to the GAS gods and allow you to continue your quest forever.

    (This will probably work better now since you have stopped smashing them.)
  19. I had this problem with guitars a while back- all fairly cheap ones, but I was obsessed with knowing, understanding, and having acces to all the possible varieties of tone I could.

    The real catalist to sorting the mess out was my wife, who just need a bit of proof that she was more important that my music gear, but once I had started clearing out, I felt much better within myself (I was in charge of them again) and in fact more creative, as I didn't have to think about which intrument to use for which part, rather just write and play the tune! I have ended up with one acoustic, one Fender and one Epiphone.

    As for basses, I still have a few- my go-to bass is a cheap P-bass, and satisfies pretty much every electric need from a personal point of view. I am looking into getting a double bass to cover a musical need and GAS want. On top of this I have a pair of active 5-strings which really only stay around as I play in a band requiring the low notes, the higher strings for comfy slap parts, and the spare for quick change around instead of string change. So I would say that I have just enough to cover requirements- without that band, probably a couple too many.

    The thing is, to decide whether you own the basses for the sake of owning them, as in a collection or comfort thing, or whether you think of them as tools to do a job, in which case, just how many hammers would a man need?