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Is Bass Player Magazine worth the money?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bassman1185, Feb 23, 2001.

  1. I was considering getting a subscription to Bass Player, but since I'm kind of tight on money (saving up for a new bass-aren't we all?) I would like to know if it's worht the $20.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I'd say no, but I have to pay 12$ per issue :eek: in Germany...
    Too many ads, not enough content, at least when you already a literate gearhead like me :)
    Try to get the info you need on the net, check their website or read it in a magazine store (one of my favorite past-times :D )
  3. the wizard

    the wizard

    Oct 10, 2000
    I pay something like 10$ here in Sweden. It´s not worth it.
    Would you americans buy Bass Player for 10$?
  4. I am in the US and my subscription for the enitre year was only $18. I think it is worth every penny of that and would probably be happy if I had spent 3 times that much. It's the only magazine that I read every issue cover to cover.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    It's worth it.
  6. I continue to subscribe but sometimes I wonder why. Some of the electric bass articles are okay but I'm really continually pi**ed off about their lack of Classical bass content.

    Last time I checked, there are at least as many pro and amateur Classical double bass players out there as Jazz or Bluegrass players, but there are almost never any articles showcasing the talents of any of these guys. Once every two or three years they might do a small article on a Classical player, but it's pretty rare.

    The other thing that cheeses me off is the fact that some of the columns that deal with arco playing and following written scores are always by people who spend the bulk of their time playing Jazz style pizzicato. If they're going to have somebody talk about the bow, they should get someone who has spent their life perfecting the techniques, not somebody who grabs the thing out of quiver only when thay absolutely have to.

    There are a helluva lot of great orchestral and Classical solo players out there and hey, they are also "Bass Player"'s too! So why are they largely ignored by the magazine? If they actually included some content that might interest the average classical player, they might sell a few more mags, plus the rest of you might learn something new too.
  7. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
  8. Get yourself Charlie Parker's omnibook or the real book, or the not so real book, or the book that some say it's the real one but others beg to differ, or a book on harmony instead of Bass Seller magazine and you'll learn a lot more.
  9. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I've been a BP subscriber from day one, and still have almost all the issues to date. However, I'm considering throwing in the towel and cancelling my sub for the first time. Used to be a great mag, but then we didn't really have the internet content we have now. I really no longer give a rat's ass about what this or that famous player is up to or what gear they use. I'm more interested in keeping up with what MY peers, the everyday meat-n-potatoes player, is up to. I can't remember the last time I got anything valuable from any bass or guitar mag. I'd rather take that money and contribute it to Talkbass or one of the other music lists or sites I visit regularly. We actually had one of the editorial staff pop up on The Bottom Line the other day (PJ La-something..from Bass Frontiers, maybe?) and slam the forum as distributing inaccurate information. Pretty desparate move, there...I think they're feeling the heat!
  10. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I'm tempted to say no.

    Some of the reasons:
    - They're corrupt...they recommend things that shouldn't be.
    - They got Michael Manring of this forum. (need I say more...)
  11. the wizard

    the wizard

    Oct 10, 2000
    They have a lot of articles that makes no sense to me what so ever.
    "This is John Doe from the lastest alternative act XXX. He uses a so and so bass and a so and so amp. He also makes his lines from what the guitarist plays."
    Who wants to know that? They should put a bit more effort in their articles & interview technique. Stuff like: How the person in question creates his lines? Possible pitfalls in his type of music? What to do to avoid getting buried in the mix?
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The gear reviews suck bigtime!

    'This bass really looks cool, awesome electronics, blah blah...' but hardly any real info on the specs. They had a few good articles and interviews in the past. But they chugged that - probably to squeeze in a few mor ads.
  13. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I think it's worth it. Although each issue may not have anything I'm particularly interested in, it's still by far the best bass publication around. Hell, even if it doesn't interest you all the time, at least it's topic is about something we all dig: BASS!!!
  14. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I've been a subscriber since 1992. I just recently resubscribed for three more years because the three year price brings the annual rate down quite a bit.

    I must say, though, I think the magazine was better about five or six years ago. They used to have only six, then ten issues a year. When they went to twelve, they may have had to put more filler in to have those twelve issues. In other words, they interview lesser known bassists, usually of the pop and altenative type.

    Of course, as suggested above, they could have an orchestral section each month to help fill the pages. Gary Karr...why not put Gary Karr on the cover for once and give him some much needed attention?

    I bet the Internet has had a major impact on the magazine. We may be talking survival here.

    Anyway, the same publisher makes another magazine no one has mentioned here that has many practical tips...not just for bass players. It is called Gigging and has much to do with the trials, tribulations and joys of "playing out."

    I don't do gigs anymore, so I haven't read it recently, but that magazine was very helpful when I was active in bands. Also, much of the Internet advice does not deal with that aspect of playing as often or as much. If you are in a band, that magazine might be more useful to you than Bass Player itself.

    jason oldsted
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Even with TalkBass, activebass, Global Bass, the BP website, Bassics, and all the other online resources, I still get it and have since "First Bass" appeared in `89, (wish I still had those).

    BUT, as Jason said, the price deal you get here in the States makes a lot of difference. The US subscription price puts it on an even keel with those ditz mags which focus on which color suppositories Tom Cruise is using this week.

    I think it isn't as good as it was. The ratio of content to ads used to be much closer to even, or, exceeding ads. But sometimes the ads are even interesting and helpful. I don't live in one of the largest US cities, so it's like my link to the "real world."
  16. buy it for a year and decide. $20 won't
    break the bank. :-D keep an old set of
    strings twice as long.
  17. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    my feelings on bp are pretty mixed.

    on the one hand i think they are an excellent, and _RELATIVELY_ unbiased source of information for non-internet connected beginners.

    on the other hand, there is little that is offered in the mag that is of much use or interest to me anymore, and seeing the next p-nut clone getting hyped for tuning his warwick thumb 5 differently gets so old that i hardly read it anymore.

    and while i recognize the ever-present need to make money, the every-other-page-is-an-ad thing is getting pretty old too.

    so for a beginner, i would say get it, otherwise it's just bass porn - nice glossy pics.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I was a subscriber(from day 1); now, I pick the issues up on my own(my bud at the music store takes care of me). IMO, it's worth the $4-$5; granted, there's a ton of data on the Web, I can't take the compooter into the "head", though.

    ...I picked up March's issue today. Milt Hinton is on the cover- an ACOUSTIC BASS is actually on the cover of BP! How many years has it been?!
    Anyway, IMO, this is packed with some eclecticism:
    Inside are-
    Hinton, George Porter, Jr., Alain Caron, Richard Finch(KC & The Sunshine band), Barre Phillips('bout time, dammit!), + some guys I had never heard of(Mudvayne's bass player, Ryknow; Rob Derhak of moe.; & Gospel groover, Fred Hammond).

    Also, Bryan White(a Talk Bass-er, I believe)has a letter to the editor...he's taken the "TAB Kills" baton from John "JT" Turner...:D
  19. I used to subscribe, but now just get the issues I find interesting, which really is not that many. For a while I got the now defunct Bassist (an English mag) and I found their product reviews slightly better than BP. You cant really complain about BP's heavy advertising bias, 'cos if there were less ads, the price would be considerably higher. IMO, a worthy mag if you like to follow trends, the latest gear offerings, and what brand of sneakers Fieldy wears. As some have said here, if you've been getting it for years, there's very little that's new, and very little of interest to pro level players. Your call man.
  20. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yes...depending on how serious of a musician you are.

    I do like that they mention gear, but i wish it would be like one line, and spend more time on technique, etc. "He uses a neckthru Warwick Thumb 5." For example, i wouldve liked to hear more about Ryan Martinies playing, and less about his gear. For anyone whos heard his playing, its pretty unique, especially compared to most of the crappy players these days.

    I wouldnt mind BP as much if they focused on playing more, and showcased more types of diifferent artists, such as, like Rob W said, classical artists. Id love to read about more Jazz and Classical artists, rather than root note rock players...stuff with more substance.

    But, sadly, pop sells, and anything with more brains than your average "Korn Rules! Fieldy is God!" player has to be put in the corner. Or in Double Bass magazine. Same thing.

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