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How picky are you about basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rocks, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Rocks


    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    After reading numerous threads on here (I think I've read almost all of them!) I've read about everything from the high end special order luthier builds to the cheap SX's, Squires, etc. Now don't get me wrong, I have some decent basses that are well setup. But I find that I can play pretty much any bass thrown in my hands with no problems, Plugged into pretty much any amp that is loud enough and has at least the basic tonal controls. Where I live I get called up on stage very often to sit in for a few songs with bands other than my own. They hand me whatever bass they are playing plugged into what ever amp it is and when I play it, it sounds like me. At most I may make some minor adjustment on the eq, generally I prefer pretty much flat, Other than that, hand me a bass, plug me into an amp and I'm ready to play. I've played even cheap Rogues (and it is fretless) and had no problem jamming my a$$ off with it. Don't get me wrong, I like nice gear, but a tool is a tool and you work with whats in your hands and some how or another, it will sound like you.
  2. Well, a tool is a tool but you cannot make everything using one hammer. It really comes out in the recording studio. You might need some special frequencies which makes you want perhaps different wood combo or different pickups. I have tried perhaps hundreds of basses to get the one that makes me smile while playing. And I must say that I have sold all my production basses and keep only a few boutique ones. I get all the sounds out from them and there are no issues with them at all. And playing them makes me smile. :)
  3. Rocks


    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    Sure recording would be different as I would have my own basses. But I was more talking about live since it often happens that I get called on stage to play through other peoples gear and somehow always manage to sound like me, I guess tone is really in the fingers.... (at least for live)
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I can get my stuff done with pretty much any bass.
    Now, I know what I like to play, wich makes me extremelly picky when it comes to choose my own instruments.
    Good tools make your life easier.
  5. What I have also discovered is when you might be happy with your cheap tools there is always someone more demanding among the musicians you play with who is not happy with your "average" sound. And when you swap your low end bass to a high end bass it usually makes you and your band mates prefer the more expensive one. Not always though. :)
  6. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    I can't groove as well on a bass I haven't spent a lot of time playing, i've got to really get familiar with the subtelties (I just know I butchered that word)

    The better the bass, the more sounds I can get from it, the better i'll play
  7. Rocks


    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    Interesting, maybe for me its the energy of playing live that takes over. 99% of my tone seems to come from how hard I finger pick. of course there needs to be some decent speakers and an amp capable of handling the basics of being used for a live gig, In other words enough wattage to hear myself, and speakers that can handle a live gig. 4x10's, 8x10's, a single 15" or mix of cabs along with a playable bass and I can make it sound like "my tone" Maybe it helps that I am mostly a straight into the amp player, normally no effects or just a compressor limiter. With a pretty much flat EQ unless that particular bass/amp needed a little EQ adjustment to cut through the mix. But mostly it would still be rather close to flat.
  8. One of the biggest differences between basses is what kind of strings are on it. I sound different with zingy strings vs. dead ones, regardless of the bass.

    If someone handed me a Sadowsky Jazz or a Squier Affinity Jazz, it would be no question the Sadowsky. So yes, there is a difference.
  9. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    Yes, I think strings matter most on a "strange" bass. I was handed a repro p bass of some sort to sit in with..the owner made such a fuss about its condition that I took the belt off my trousers (to avoid any buckle rash, not to show my underware). I'm a fingers player, and the owner was a really heavy pick-man and the round-wounds were so cut-up I couldn't slide the fingers of my hands about reliably to play even eighth-notes. Now that was a pretty basic set!
  10. palmann


    Sep 3, 2006
    I'm not picky, as long it's a P. Perhaps it sounds funny, but I'm quite serious.

    But I'm not able to cope with a 5 String Bass, I always confuse the strings. :-/

    Gruesse, Pablo
  11. usually not too picky. as long as there are no technical problems like fret buzz, feedback, etc then im good. the only bass i ever had a problem with was a friend's precision copy. It was by a no name brand named Crescent and the body was so light, it had neck dive. The neck was thick and the pickups had no power.
  12. I can play my bands stuff on practically any bass, 4,5 or 6 string. Its a little harder on a 4 because i learn the stuff on 5 but i can manage it. So yeah, i can get my tone and play well with any rig, so i'm not really too picky.

  13. t0t0m


    Dec 8, 2008
    Lucky for you..if you can find yourself do that.

    But for me, I find myself hard to enjoy playing with "unknown" bass, it can be; setup preferences, strings preferences, and think hygiene too..
  14. jordy_on_bass


    Jul 6, 2010
    For me, when it comes to buying a bass, my biggest issue is how comfortable the bass is for me. I play my bass strapped fairly high and some bodies just don't feel that comfortable when they are bow-ties.
    The bass' sound itself usually doesnt bother me as I can usually tweek my EQ to the point where I am satisfied with the sound I can produce from each bass. While certain basses I own have a sound that I love, I am still fond of all my basses and the sound I can produce out of them.

    When it comes to the 'thrown on stage unexpected' scenario, I am more worried about the strap length than what I am playing...

  15. You can whack a nail in with a rock but its easier with a hammer!

    I can play pretty much any bass unless the action is stupid low or high but im used to mine...
  16. elavate7


    Jul 8, 2009
    its all about "THE POCKET"
    no picky at all, you gotta play what you can buy. getting good tone out of cheap gear may be hard, but its possible. i find it hard to play someone elses bass also, its just not the same as playing your own.
  17. I'm very picky about how a bass feels and plays, although I tend to be happy with almost any sound I get.
  18. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    I am very picky. Sure I can play any basses that is given to me to use but some have a better feel to them with the ergonomics. Some are too heavy or maybe very light basses. I also have a certain tone that I like and a lot of basses, especially cheap ones, have a hard time producing that tone. I also look at the craftsmanship between let's say a Mexican made Squire bass and an American made Music Man bass. Night and day difference. Heck, I even have 1 high end Ibanez bass and there is no comparison on the quality between it and my Music Man basses and it cost brand new, just as much as they did.

    But with saying all of that, I know a lot of bass players that like the inexpensive basses and are happy with them. If a person is, then that is fine too as that is what they like and makes them happy and motivated to keep playing.

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