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Intentional irony: A good bassist on an inexpensive bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tb-player, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. I've always thought that good players who use cheap equipment are just an example of reverse snobbism, I used to see good players with cheap guitars years ago at jams, especially blues jams and to me it was supposed to accentuate to other people just how great they were to be able to get a good sound out of them. I believed there was a lot more to it than their just being a cheapskate at work there.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I have a black entry level Yamaha 5-string and I'll be using it professionally. Will not be the first bass I pull out of the bag, though :D
    MynameisMe likes this.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Bob, I have played some of the very cheapest basses known to humankind on arena and large theater stages all over the world. Make no mistake, I don't play any of the most expensive basses known to man, but I've got some very good ones that did cost money. There were two factors at play:

    1. They worked and worked well.

    2. I was flying a lot in those days and I didn't want to be broken up about losing or breaking an expensive bass (I got over that one, though)

    3. Make no mistake, I got an extremely perverse thrill about bringing a really cheap bass to do the gig and kicking ass in front of other musicians who may have been at the gig. Thing is, a lot of them did the same thing, although none of them had the balls to bring an extremely cheap Steinberger copy that they bought on Ebay for $80. I do know a guy who brings a Glarry, though. Plays and sings with the Grass Roots band that's out these days. Kicks ass. So we were all a bunch of pro musicians thinking we're totally getting over on The Man for bringing cheap stuff :D
  4. hanokiyo


    Apr 29, 2021
    This isn't about music, it's about religion.

    You all remember Buddha: before he became Buddha, he was disgusted with materialism, GAS and other forms of suffering.

    After having played all kinds of boutique basses worth a Rolls Royce, he gave that all away to the poor and unwashed.
    He started playing a horribly set-up Indonesian Squier from a bad early year, with the worst wiring job ever done. Refusing to fix the dreadful action and install decent pickups he played all day long for many years til his fingers bled.

    He suffered but he was revered by his followers, who followed his example.

    But then, one day, sick of not finding enlightenment by suffering, he took an axe and smashed the piece of junk to pieces. He went to a skilled, local luthier and said, "Behold, I ask of thee: make me a well-playing, good sounding P-bass and make it look neither overly flashy nor hideous."
    And so it was and Buddha attained a state of true wisdom, and he went around preaching: Thy shalt not be a gear snob trying to poke others' eyes out. Nor be a reverse gear snob, proud of a phony ascetic lifestyle. Thy shalt play a nice instrument that you can afford without having to steal it, and don't play too much Smooth Jazz."

    That's how the dude ended up being revered by hundreds of millions of followers, to this day.
  5. bottomzone

    bottomzone Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2005
    My bad! Stanley Clarke played a Gibson EB-2 before he switched to Alembic in 1972. He was killing on the Gibson!!!
    ajkula66, Maartenaerts and Tvrtko like this.
  6. BassBron


    Oct 30, 2011
    Jack Pearson does the same with bottom line guitars.
    Tvrtko likes this.
  7. My roots are in punk rock 70-80’s, so those fancy basses are a bit wasted on me. However, I had expensive basses in the past. Even now I have a nice Spector. And some nice Asian copies. I also think Foderas are very ugly, but the 60’s p-bass I would really want is quite a bit more expensive. Not going to happen I guess... Luckily different strings- flats, steels, nickels- can make such a difference. As stated earlier ;) Not to mention the amp ;)

    Attached Files:

  8. hanokiyo


    Apr 29, 2021
    Why would you pay eight thousand $/€/.. for a Fender Precision from the 1960s if you can pay a good luthier about 2500~3000 to make you a flawless Precision exactly the way you want it that sounds better, plays better and even has a perfect neck?
    Unless you live in Iceland, the Sechelles or Tanzania, not sure if you can find a decent luthier there. :) In that case just order any decent Mayones, MIA Fender reissue or whatever.
    Maartenaerts likes this.
  9. Nah, I just think you deserve any bass that you find plays and sounds very nice. Or looks the world :)
    Just don’t believe you are not worth something. And if you feel good with it, you even play better. :)
    To be honest, back in the days I used to think guys with brand new Gibson les paul black beauty 3 pickup custom jobs wit a huge rig could have used some talent at least ;), but the next week we would ourselves play on a stage where the band before or after us would have subhuman skills. All is relative.

    and now I’m of to practice again, finally band rehearsal is possible!

  10. OK, but I'm taking about give driving 6 miles to a jam. :laugh:
  11. OregonJim


    Apr 3, 2021
    The overall quality and craftsmanship of all instruments has improved steadily and remarkably over the past several decades. Why is it that the music has gone in the opposite direction? Could it be that the instrument has little to do with the actual music? Call me a curmudgeon if you will, but it's more than just the nostalgic "things were better when I was a kid" attitude. The world has become a musical wasteland with only a smattering of exceptions - and it's certainly not for lack of good instruments.
    Dave Hill, TrustRod, ajkula66 and 2 others like this.
  12. You could not be MORE CORRECT, sir!

    The 21st Century has been almost a complete waste of our musical time.

    Could it be all the quality musicians just can't afford any instrument at all? Highly doubtful, when one hearkens back to some of the great music of the 20th Century which was played on (by today's reckoning) some very sub-standard instruments.
    OregonJim and ajkula66 like this.
  13. hanokiyo


    Apr 29, 2021
    I disagree. The music world is eclectic and fragmented, and it's hard for good musicians to be noticed, but if you know where to look it's there.

    The problem with ageing is that say you're forty or fifty today, then twenty or thirty years ago you had more time, energy and curiosity to find out about lots of great music, as compared to the far fewer discoveries you can do now. At least that applies to me.

    My son is a teenager and interesting new music I've never heard of is being blasted through his speakers every day. I may not like all of it but I didn't like all the new music that came out twenty years ago either.
    TrustRod, /\/\3phist0, droo46 and 2 others like this.
  14. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Music suckwd 20 years ago, too. And the last good movie was Patton!

    spatters, droo46 and hanokiyo like this.
  15. OregonJim


    Apr 3, 2021
    Ever since I was born, there have always been 24 hours in a day. There is not one person on the face of the earth, past or present, that has any more or less time in a day than anyone else. The ONLY difference is in how you choose to spend it. We often forget that (myself included).
    CallMeAl likes this.
  16. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    My band leader had implied he prefers a Fender. Not outright, just saying stuff like “someday you’ll get a real Fender.” Combine that with me starting to mix and mingle more, backing up songwriters and subbing. NO ONE in my circle plays a Squier. (If it’s not Fender, it’s Ric, EBMM or G&L.)

    So I layed out a few hundred bucks and converted from “cheap student model” to “industry standard.” I’m not knocking the shtick, I just don’t think it’d work for me. It’s not like I play different bass lines now, but I “look the part” and have one less thing to think about.

    Plus I impress people with my pocket, punctuality, work ethic and attitude. I’m not a monster, so a Squier won’t really look that beneath me!
    Outtaseezun likes this.
  17. It is incredibly short sighted to say that modern music is no good. If you can't find anything good that was made in the last year, then you aren't looking very hard. The discovery tools we have available today make it so easy to find great stuff with very little effort. For fun, here's a new artist that I absolutely love:
  18. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    I see I made a spelling mistake. Computer keyboards suck! Give me a good manual Remington any day.

    OregonJim and David McIntire like this.
  19. Zonked


    Jul 12, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I Don't think there is too much of an irony when a really good player uses a lower priced bass especially with today precise production tools. A fully professional quality bass can be had for incredible prices today!

    A really good player can connect with the audience musically and emotionally using a lower price bass or one that costs 20 time more. If someone is talented and "really good" they don't really need to spend so much for a solidly good bass today!

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  20. DonaldR


    Mar 26, 2012
    I have the same feeling when following some guys in a Porsche (or whatever sport cars), they take the curves so badly that I think I can win them a race on a track driving a school bus :D
    (just for reference, I used to have my racing licences)
    I had also the same feeling with my ex-girlfriend and her Audi S3, I "heard" the car asking me for a drive :laugh:

    Just to say that owning a pair of Fedora has nothing to do with talent, it has to do with money. A good player is a good player.

    On the last note (not my fault but because of Covid I am alone at home for the last 7 months so I need to talk) I was in a hockey room (last winter) and talking cycling with the guy next to me, you know the one with the big mouth who's the best at everything. So asked him to go riding next summer, a 200km (very though known) ride. He said: are you crazy? Yeah sure you can with your $10K bike! My friend sitting next to him replied: Sure he can, but he has a $1k very low-end bike, and he will arrive 3 hours before you!

    Use what you can afford and have fun. Me I have fun on my Yamaha TRBX-505, my LTD Surveyor 5 and my Squier VM Jazz 5. But I don't play anymore my Yamaha Attitude.
    eastcoasteddie likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

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