How many is too many? Thinning the herd.

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

  1. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i was watching Oprah once a long time ago (before i had a day job) and she talked about doing a "box test" with your kitchen.
    the idea was that you put all your utensils in a box, and only take out what you need when you use it. put used utensil in the drawer.
    after a month, whatever wasn't used (still in the box) was to be discarded.
    perhaps you should do that with your basses.
    put them all away somewhere, and only get out what you need.
    after a month (or two), whichever ones are still in storage get sold.
  2. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    As a player, what I think you need is:

    1. One bass for each genre that you actually play---I had a fretless that sat in its case for years because I never played anything that I needed a fretless for. Finally I sold it and I don't miss it---no point in having a bass "just in case I need it for X" if X is not realistically going to come up.

    2. A backup, if you're gigging, for each bass in group 1. If you have multiple basses for multiple genres but they are not that different, one will probably work as a stop-gap if you bust a string or whatever on the other. (And, of course, just because you play in multiple genres doesn't mean you need more than one main bass; some are very versatile.)

    3. This is not really a need, but I think can be justified: a change-of-pace or two. Something different from your main bass. After playing the same thing for a long time, often pulling out something that feels or sounds quite different can be a prod to creativity, or at least induce you to play things you might not play on your main axe, or play them in a different way. I play differently on my Ripper than I do on my Rick 4003.

    It's a curse to have a real talent for finding or identifying great deals, when you don't need what you find. I have finally gotten to the point where I can scan the craigslist ads without feeling the moral compulsion to jump on stuff just because it's too good to pass up. But that's a fairly recent development, and before I came to that point I ended up with about twice as many basses as I need. I have 8. I could part with just about any of them, but I don't need to and I can't really pick one I like less than the others; at this point, they're all good instruments that I like to play. (Well, I have an SX P-bass that is probably excess, but I'm hanging onto it in case my neice or nephew show an interest in bass when they get a little older.)
  3. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I'm no longer sure its a Ripper case anymore.:meh:

    Shoot me a PM Monday or Tuesday and yell at me to take pictures because I keep meaning to. I should hopefully have a camera by then.

    I'm only 19 and I don't plan on living here forever.
  4. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I have 30 plus and I'll keep buying till I run out of room. How many do I need ? One. 69TBnewtailpiece001.jpg
  5. loot


    Jan 14, 2009
    Id say that 1 workhorse, 1 4-string, 1 5-string and a fretless is about as much as you need. by 1 workhorse i mean your favorite bass-the one you love to play and trust. 4-stringer should be the 4-stringer you GAS'd for the most, same with the other 5-stringer. Fretless just in case / if you play it much
  6. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    My current plan that's in the works is to own 4. I have my SSI 5 string, which is going nowhere. I'm seriously considering (today, actually) picking up an '08 5 string Jazz and an '08 4 string Precision. Then somewhere down the road, I want to get an EBMM SR4HH.

    Even though my SSI handles everything I'm doing right now, with those 4 basses, there should be no genre that I wouldn't have the "perfect" bass for.

    At least that's how I'm justifying it to myself and my wife.:p:D
  7. Vetchking

    Vetchking Inactive

    Mar 17, 2008
    President G.P.G. Co. "acoustic" USA
    Vetchking Here:

    Ok, here goes....... I have a friend with over 55 basses. He'll even tell you most of them aren't even special.....

    My advise to him and you is......... Keep the rare ones, keep a few favorites. OK, in his case keep 15 LOL.

    Sell the rest on E-bay,(ps. ship worldwide...) (It's Easy) Put the money in a retirement fund.

    When you find the next great deal buy it and resell. Keep putting the profits in the IRA.

    Also, sell some off and get a killer handmade bass....... Something special, a treat for yourself.

    Do the same with your amp collection. 3 great amps should do the trick.

    Have a Great One............ Later
  8. NS2A


    Apr 3, 2008
    True. And your kids and/or the nursing home will thank you for that. :smug:

    I work in the financial planning industry and while I think people should buy and pay off their homes, the financial benefits of home ownership are WAY overstated.

    Sorry to go off on a tangent. :meh:

    Back on topic....I have 2 basses, one of which I really don't like. But it's a backup, only if the #1 goes down. In certain situations a fretless would be nice, as would a 5 string. Since this is a hobby and I'm not making money doing this, I figure if they don't like my tone, well, I'll move on.:) Now if I was a studio musician or working every night, it'd be a different story.
  9. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    So sell off your basses and invest the money. When you want to move you can buy your house. If I didn't already have all my money tied up I'd be pouring it into the real estate and stock market right now.
  10. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    130 basses?? Now I dont feel so bad about the 19 I've owned.
  11. Impostor


    Sep 29, 2008
    My 2 cents :)

    I hate having things that I don't need because everything you possess you are possessed by. Even if it doesn't cost you any money. So what is too many for me:

    I've been playing bass for 5-6 years, and I'd been primarily a guitar player before. When I switched to bass I bought a $300-some 5-string because I needed one, didn't have money that time, and did like its sound. On the fifth year of bass playing I finally bought a decent fretted 5-string, and approximately the same time I came to the necessity of playing fretless, and I also bought a fretless, also 5-string. So now I have 3 basses including my first one, which now needs some repair, but I'm going to make it and keep it as a cheap backup bass. And I definitely don't need a fourth one. I don't need a bass with more or less strings than 5. I thought about an EUB, but when I got my fretless I realized that I didn't actually need an EUB... at least, that's for the next five years, I guess. I've seven FX pedals (not including the volume pedal, 'cos that's not an effect :)), and I MAY consider which effect could be my eightth but I'm not gonna go for it because I don't really need it. And, surely, I only need one practice combo. Though I played many basses, FX and amps aside from the gear I own, and I did really like some of them, I'm not gonna buy any of them.

    I also have an acoustic guitar just for practice, and I recently started recovering on keyboards (just borrowed from a friend, currently looking for what I'd like to buy for myself) - because our band came to need some extra keyboard parts, which I could play when the bass is not needed. And you know what? I do not have enough time to practice my fretted one, my fretless one and keyboards! I dream of adding an electric guitar again to my arsenal, and I even know which one I would like - tried it in a store - but I clearly see that I can't afford recovering seriously on a guitar so a guitar would be too much!

    Also I hate buying instruments. I spent toooooooo much time to find a fretless of my dreams, and I'm not gonna spend a minute choosing one more instrument. Also, the more instruments you have, the more time it takes changing strings, polishing finishes, and adjusting truss rods twice a year. The same about FX - you buy another pedal, and then you find out that there are tone suckers among your patch cords, which need replacement... The more you own, the more of a hell your life becomes. I'd better just play all that time!
  12. Having read this, my wife just said, 'it's like having a harem: lots of fuss and not a single woman is satisfied...' :D
  13. Impostor


    Sep 29, 2008
    [Virtual hat off]: What a wise woman! :)
  14. gonzilla


    Jan 26, 2009
    With guitars, I had 4 within two years, which most people here would think is acceptable. I tend to think that's too much. Picking up bass for the first time recently gave me an opportunity to refocus and pick up only the instruments that I feel that I need. I have one Fender Jazz and will pick up one more bass (a 5er, probably) in a year or two. I just don't need any more at this point.
  15. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Maybe not, but I'll bet the "king" is satisfied... ;)
  16. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    trade 2 for 1- quantity for quality
    helps me thin the heard
    at least its a start
    i am currently at 14 and full of classic swedish guilt
    (last week it was 15)
  17. Impostor


    Sep 29, 2008
    BTW, the Muslims may have up to four wives, if the man has enough money to support them all. Yes, and a herd of concubines, but the wives may be no more than four. That means, four is a theoretical limit of concurrent relationships a man can establish.

    I think this concept can be confidently extended into the domain of musical instruments :)
  18. So....I can have four main basses and a herd of concubine basses?
  19. BigBassBob


    Jul 17, 2005
    Wales, UK
    Personally my absolute limit is 5.

    That said, I own 3 atm:
    Fender American Deluxe Pbass V (with Aggie OBP3)
    Rickenbacker 4003
    Fender MIJ Fretless P

    Once I get my custom 6 string fretless, I should be done. In my head, basses go like this:
    One "go to", one passive/oldschool (or at least something different to your main axe), one fretless with flats, one fretless with rounds. After that, I think everything else is mostly gravy.

    That said, if you can afford it and have the space, go for it. I'm just giving my personal look on the topic.
  20. Impostor


    Sep 29, 2008
    Any of which you can get rid of at any time. I mean, that's just a criterion, the answer to the question, "How many is too many?" - too many is more than four :)

    Also, out of a 20-some herd there may turn out to be less than four real "wives".