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Instruments "running out of music"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JimmyM, Nov 10, 2005.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A long time ago, I read in Guitar Player about some bluesman who liked to buy a new guitar every few years. He said it was because they ran out of music. He had a quote like, "Guitars run out of music and you gotta get another one." I subscribe to this theory.

    It remains to be seen whether or not my beloved 98 Jazz will run out of music, but I've experienced this with every single instrument I owned previously. I have a guitar I feel that way about now, but I play so few guitar gigs that I can't justify owning another one so I'll have to limp along with an empty guitar...good thing I'm not that strong a player or I'd be screwed.

    Sometimes you can leave an instrument alone for a year or two and music will magically put itself back into it, but it's a lot like a cordless phone battery...after a while it doesn't hold the charge like it used to. However, some instruments can be recharged to full capacity by another person. I've bought used instruments that had plenty of juice in my hands but none in the seller's.

    I've seen it happen with other people, too. Everyone in my last band ended up buying new instruments over the course of our time together because their old ones ran out of music. When they got the new ones, they played much better and had more energy in their playing. It's because the new instruments had so much music in them that they were compelled to play them at home.

    Now don't get me wrong. I'm not talking GAS here. GAS is a psychological disease. I'm talking about using an instrument so long where you just can't seem to wrestle another note of good music out of it. GAS is just buying a new instrument because you're bored and have too much disposable income.

    So the next time the wife complains about you wanting to buy a new bass, tell her the old one ran out of music. She won't understand GAS, but she'll understand science.
     
  2. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    *blinks*

    *blinks even harder*

    Are you nuts? :eyebrow:
    You even seem to believe all this.

    _This_ is psychology.
    You know the instrument so well that it doesn't show you much new things, you got so used to it, and you feel it's less inspiring.
    However, a new one will have a different character you have to learn to know and get used to. It has a different tone, and may give you new ideas.

    That's about it.
    Instruments don't run out of music.
    People run out of sanity, however. :rollno:
     
  4. APouncer

    APouncer

    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    Frank, are you kidding here? Am i just missing your incredible irony? Or have they inserted a small plastic tube that runs from your hypothalamus (just ask Dr Science) to your medulla, thus bypassing all possible humour? ;) :) :smug:

    Like it, Jimmy!
     
  5. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    This should be stickied.

    This explains the clams that I drop sometime. It's not in the hands. It's in the level of music left in the "tank". :) :) :)
     
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    "I didn't miss the one. The bass missed the one. Stupid bass."
     
  7. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    I fully agree..
    send your worn out old worthless guitars and basses to me :)
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I would, except you missed the part about an instrument not having music for one person having plenty for another. So if you want my empty guitar, send me $300 first ;)
     
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Apparently my bass has run out of music, cause I sent it on a gig without me and apparently it didn't play a single note. Boy, was the piano player pissed.
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Just think what music somebody like James Jamerson could have made if had bothered to change his bass :meh: - I heard he didn't even change his strings on the same P bass he used for all those records .... or is that why people pay such high prices for vintage Fenders - they had so much music in them they almost never ran out for those guys in the 60s!!! :D
     
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I don't think this theory holds water, or music either for that matter. It's true that basses have music in them. But the flaw is the theory that there is a finite amount. Basses produce music. Just like a bee produces honey or a cow produces milk. A happy, well-fed cow makes lots of milk. A malnourished one does not. It takes work to make a cow happy.

    Maintaining your music-making relationship with your bass can be complicated. It is most like maintaining a physical relationship with a partner. You get out of it what you put into it.

    Sometimes the "music" is short and sweet. Sometimes one gets a better part of it than the other. Often times it is very easy to make great "music" and other times a lot of honest effort ends up producing something very average.

    Some people find a perfect partner. They and their partner are able to make beautiful "music" together for a long period of time. They understand each other. The commitment is there. They stick it out.

    Unfortunately, it's not easy and not everyone can do that. Some people grow bored or find that their partner is not giving back. Once this starts. It tends to snowball. Why should one put out the effort if the other does not? The work is not there on both sides. They grow restless and their hearts begin to wander. Often they part ways.

    Typically, each finds another. And often, each is able to make beautiful "music" with someone else. For many, it becomes an endless cycle. For others, they eventually find "the right one" and the cycle stops.
     
  12. I've been ripping it on an Ibanez GSR200 for about 3 or 4 years...if anything were to run out of music, I'd expect it to be a starter bass that I've played the hell out of...but alas it's still overpouring with it!
     
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    You and Joe Beets should get together and do a website. :cool:

    Speaking of GAS, when amps eventually run out of it, what happens to their Threshold Of Farting? Inquiring minds want to know...
     

  14. I'm thinking of opening a counselling office for just such therapy. :cool:
     
  15. ashbory

    ashbory

    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer
    The piano player was pissed? You should have seen the piano!
     
  16. An "empty bass." It explains everything. Jimmy, you're my hero.
     
  17. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Yeah, but as they used to say, "A dead cow makes no milk. A dead bass makes no notes. And, dead fish almost always float."

    Truer words have never been spoken, my friend. :help:
     
  18. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    Who's "they," and how come that stopped saying that?
     
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I wonder when Bromberg's 300 year old upright will run out of music....
     
  20. I think it may be the bassist and not the bass.

    The more talented the player, the more efficient he uses the music in his bass.

    Of course this does not explain some oddities or exceptions to this theory. ;)