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Odd what certain basses can do for you

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GG-Thunderbird, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. So a few days ago, I was hanging out with a friend who really got me into playing the bass. We were commenting on the amount of gear I've played/owned over the years and how I've always been searching for the right bass. You know the one: its the one that just fits perfectly in your hands, has that tone you hear in your head, and inspires you to play. I had initially learned to play on a MIM Fender Jazz that I borrowed from him, and had asked him if he still had it. Fortunately he did, so he handed me the bass from its case, pulled out his guitar, fired up the amps and started playing. What happened after that shocked me. That bass felt like an extension of me. It had the right feel, the right tone, etc. We had an amazing jam session and afterwards I went home and pulled out my very first bass that I ever bought: a Squier VM jazz. Playing that was pure bliss. I found it very odd though. For the last year and half, I've been playing my MTD kingston Z4 and more recently my Heir 5 and as much as I love those basses, they just don't do it like that old MIM Fender and my Squier. Don't get me wrong, they're fantastic basses, but something about a Fender made me rethink my entire bass collection.

    I may be rambling here, but its something I noticed and wanted to share. Anybody have a similar story?
  2. joelns


    Mar 10, 2014
    Some instruments just speak to you. You should see if your friend will sell you that bass.

    I have an old G&L that I absolutely love. I changed out the pups years ago and the tone now is outstanding. It needs some fret work and I'm hesitant to put it in the shop. I love the feel of the neck! Also, I don't have a backup.

    Now I'm on the search for a backup that speaks to me as much as my old G&L. Hope I can find one!
  3. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    If you love what you already own, then I'd say the search for 'the one' is over.

    Play and enjoy.
  4. I've only played two 5-strings that have ever 'spoke to me' - Tobias (bought 8yrs ago) and Fodera (one day, I hope).

    When I was 18yo, I went to buy a 'real' bass (ie Fender). Came home with a used Squier JV Jazz which surpassed all the new Fenders. It became my main player for 14 years (until my Tobias), & I still own it 22 years later.

    Just like women - when you find one you truly love, don't let it get away.
  5. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I think it's imprinting. Like when a duckling hatches and the first thing it sees is a cat, the cat is forever "mommy". The first bass you get to know that you don't have to fight becomes special, familiar, the definition of comfort. Not for everyone of course, but I have seen this scenario many times. My 69 Jazz imprinted on me, back in 1976.
  6. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Not to say its a Fender thing at all, but a lot of the Talkbass Fender clubs and threads that I'm a part of have similar stories.

    It's not like us Fender guys and gals just started on a Fender, said "the search is over" and never looked back. Most bassists spend a good deal of time and money searching for "the one" just as we should.

    Sometimes it leads to competely different directions, brands, and configurations, and other times it circles right back to where it all began, which of course for many folks that's a Fender/Squier or otherwise Fender-ish style bass that so many of us started out with.

    I did it too, same thing, started on a P copy, then went to an Aria, then did the Ric thing for several years through high school, then BOOM I got to try a genuine pre-CBS Fender Jazz in my college music club and it was like the sky opened up, I finally got what the Fender thing is all about.

    Fast forward a few years, did the family thing, got out of bands and bass in general, sold the Ric, immersed myself into acoustic guitar, eventually got back into bands, and bass, went bass shopping for a Fender jazz then BOOM fell head over heels mad crush infatuation for a beautiful Midnight Blue Precision that just sang and practically played itself and sounded like that sound in my he...okay, okay, you get it.

    Yep, it was my "the One!"

    Spouse and kids went back to the music store that week and bought it for me as a surprise.

    That was ten years or so ago, and although I keep thinking I should upgrade or something, darn it there's nothing about my bass that I don't like or nothing I've asked it to do that it hasn't done easily. I'm always getting compliments on my bass and tone from the many musicians and bassists I run around with (I host a semi regular blues jam in addition to my regular band stuff).

    Although I try other Precisions every single time I go into a music store I still haven't found another that was "the One" material (although there was that Roadworn a few years back that was close). :)

    Anyway, when you find THE ONE or even if it's close but not quite, if an instrument speaks to you or inspires you musically then it is indeed special, and that's truth no matter what name happens to be on the headstock.
  7. Ha yeah, its true. You find that right one and you should keep it. Sadly my friend will not sell me that bass, since that is his only bass. Plus my girlfriend will kill me if I get another bass. I'd have to sell both kingstons before I could even consider getting another bass. I've been restricted to owning two basses for the time being since I'll be moving out to the UK soon. So to keep shipping costs for bass-related gear down, I need to downsize. It's really tempting to sell the kingstons to get something like the Fender AVRI jazz basses or the road worns. I played a few in the store and that magic is there. Just need to find a nice one with a rosewood fingerboard to compliment my maple fingerboard squier....
  8. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Congratulations! You found the right bass for you!

    ...now onto amps! :smug:
  9. three years ago I bought my first fender sight unseen from TB, opened the case when it arrived, plugged it in, and said "this is what those fender guys are talking about"

    I'm not a 5 string guy, but I don't see this one going anywhere. Ever.
  10. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Hurst, tx
    My favorite bass has always been, and will probably always be my Fender Coronado

  11. jbd5015

    jbd5015 Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    same thing has happened to me recently. Forced sales of all my other basses led me to keep 2 p-basses.

    my original black '05 parts bass with a jazz neck that has poor neck pocket fit is by far my favorite currently. ive got another parts pbass made with a warmoth neck and fernandes body that im not in love with, but im going to have the neck re-shaped to feel more like the black one.

    i had a ric and a guild starfire that were awesome, but i always come back to the black p bass. its my hero.

    congrats on finding your bass!!!!
  12. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    It's not a "The One" story, but it definitely was a revelation for me.

    Last year I'd put together my first parts-bass. I chose a Squier Deluxe Jazz neck for this build…specifically, the ebonol four-string version. There were several reasons for this choice which I won't bore you with (unless you ask). Once it was together, I noticed something didn't feel quite right about it…like I was fighting with it on some undefined ergonomic level. No pun intended, but I couldn't put my finger on it, it was so subtle. All I knew was that I didn't feel the same issue with my other basses. For the record, they included a Squier P-Bass Special, Fender Blacktop Jazz, and a Fender Aerodyne.

    In the fall of last year I went on vacation with my girlfriend and decided to take my Aerodyne with me, being all light and slick lookin' (despite the chips in the finish, it's like the tuxedo-and-black-tie of my basses). I had some hours here and there to get reacquainted with it while away…and then it hit me like some proverbial dawning of realization. It was the neck radius that was at issue!

    I went online and checked to see if my theory was correct. Sure enough, the radius on the Squier Deluxe was a whopping 12 inches…notably different than the 9.5" of most of my other basses and fantastically different from the Aerodyne's 7.25" radius.

    Nowadays, when I'm looking at something to feed the GAS-monster, the first technical spec I look at is the radius. If nothing else, it's kept me from littering my home with inexpensive SX's, what with their ultra-flat 14" radius necks. Certainly, it's a personal preference. To some, it doesn't matter what it's specs are. They can play it, no matter what. But in the subjective realm of "what feels good in my hands" that's the first make-or-break criteria I apply. It also got me to zero in on an instrument that was worth trading in two less-expensive basses to go towards one of higher quality, not to mention, reducing the number of guitars I'm tripping over by one.

    But that, my friends, is another story! :D
  13. Amps I think I'm okay with. GB streamliner 900 has been my go to now since I built my fEARful 15/6/1.

    But I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who experienced this. I've put my Z4 up for sale (the plan was to sell that one anyways), but on the fence on the Heir 5 now. I will say this though concerning neck radius and shape: its really different preferences for everyone (obviously). For 4-strings, the 9.5" inch radius is perfect. 5-strings I'm still trying to figure out, but its really starting to look like I'm more the 4 string guy than a 5 string guy.

    From my years of playing, I think after trying different basses and gear that I'm really starting to find what works for me and what doesn't.