1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Owning Multiple Basses: Do you Practice on One or All?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by john grey, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    Many years back I was told by a teacher to find one bass to practice on rather than switch between several different ones. Even at that time (over 25+ yrs ago) I owned several Basses. My teacher at the time told me that switching my practice sessions over different neck designs would complicate my feel for many things. I had a different idea: in that it would allow me to adjust to different "feels" and would benefit me. However I took his advice as that was what I was paying for.
    What's your opinion?
    Do you spread your practice over several different instruments or do you have one special "practice" instrument and what has been the results?
  2. Owning a mid-70s PBass and a Turner Renaissance RB-4 -both fretless- I have no choice but to practice with both as they're two very different animals. Not as different as having to practice on an upright, but still, very different sounds, feel, and capabilities.
  3. 4Banger4


    Mar 21, 2011
    Indianapolis IN
    Personally, and not professionally as I'm not that good :), I have a few different types of basses. My different basses have different types of strings, flats, rounds, nylons. Different basses have different pickups and blah blah blah. I also play through different amps and some times use effects and different pedals. Trust me I'm not being a smart a$$ here I have a point. When I started playing I had one bass. So obviously I had to play it. One I bought my second bass immediately there was something different. By the sound and feel of the bass varying from my original it did alter my playing style and the lines I'd write. I also have a drum machine and play along with different beats and different tempos.

    Here's the kicker... I try to jam with as many different people as I can... If I see an add on Craigs for someone looking to jam I'll try to make it even if it's just for the one time.

    It has been my experience that adding as much variation to as many elements of your instrument/playing opens up a TON more ideas than just sticking to 1 bass, 1 amp..... like I said that is what has worked for me.

    I also am not a professional bassist... maybe they stuck to 1 bass... but I doubt it.

    I can understand where the instructor was coming from but that wouldn't have worked for me. Switch it up and if it doesn't do anything for you your trusty #1 will always be there for you.

  4. BAbaracus


    Mar 25, 2011
    Lynnville, IN
    I try to practice the same amount with both my 4 string and my 5 to make sure I am equally comfortable on both when switching back and forth. I think I understand where the teacher is coming from, but for me if I only play one bass for a while I feel uncomfortable when I switch. But then again I'm not all that amazing so maybe I should give that a try. Lol.
  5. I have a 34-inch Precision and a 35-inch ESP. I tend to use the Precision at home, in the studio, and on well-paid gigs, and the ESP in band practice and small shows, and when doing rough tracking.

    This is for two reasons, neither of which really have much to do with the instruments themselves: one is that I'm very protective of my Deluxe P, and prefer to use the cheaper ESP as a beater; two is that I prefer an uncluttered living space, and so generally leave the not-quite-as-awesome ESP in it's case in the closet when I'm at home.
  6. KsToaDangr


    Apr 17, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    i've got 4 basses. 3 5 strings and 1 4 string. 2 of the five strings are tuned differently(1 with a low b and one with a high c), and the 4 string is tuned standard. for me, a different bass with a different feel is necessary to my practicing. switching between them feels weird to me if i haven't played one of them in a while.
  7. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I play my 2001 American Series Jazz the most, but I also have a 1987 Jazz Bass Special. My friends poke at me for liking one better over the other from day to day, or even hour to hour, lol. It's the usual war between Jazz and Precision sounds. Both have a Jazz neck, but the Special's neck is thicker and has a 7-1/4" radius, as opposed to the Jazz's 9-1/2 radius. They're just different.

    So far, it hasn't torn a hole in the universe because I play both basses.
  8. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    I should add a caveat in that I didn't include the issue of fret-less or 5 strings in this query - as that would really make a significant difference.

    NOTE: Could it tear a hole in the Universe? I'm not sure. But the polar ice-caps might be in jeopardy.....
  9. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    I practice on a bass with the action set high. So when I go to the normal action bass I play a lot faster and precise
  10. MikeCollatos


    Oct 5, 2009
    I own 4 different basses, two 4 string and two 6 string basses. While the two 6 strings have the same feel play-wise one is pretty heavy (Ibanez BTB406) and the other is light (Ibanez SR506). Of my 4 strings both are completely different in feel. I have an Ibanez Axstar and then a Ibanez SRX500. I use them all equally!! However I have certain songs I do on each bass. When I learn a song for the first time I try it on all of them and end up playing it on the one that feels most comfortable to play it on. I'm self taught so I have no instructor to tell me what is best but I find this to suit my needs just fine.
  11. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Not all, but fretted and fretless depending on the music, or the mood.
  12. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    The four 4's I play are two pairs of the same model, two semi/ac's one with flat's one with round's, two other Yam's the same model basically apart from j/j and p/j pickup configs. So between 4 basses only two different neck profiles, the semi's are slightly chunkier in profile but not a great deal.
  13. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    I have seven basses. Amongst them is a Squier 5 string Precision that I bought on impulse as a spare fiver because it was cheap.

    It is also, by far, my least favourite bass. It has a wide chunky neck that is a nightmare for me to navigate with my relatively small hands and playing it well is just very hard work for me.

    Why do I keep it? Because I use it as my practise bass and I know that once I can play a song staisfactorily on this bass, it will be a piece of cake to play on my other basses - the only exception is practising fretless, for which I use my....ummm...fretless
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I kinda do the same.
    Shed bass is a '64 Precision...that's been given a facelift. I've owned it since 1975. Once upon a time, it was a log. Action is 'medium/high'.
    Not long ago, I kept a Fender Jazz with extremely stiff flats & high action by the TV (yeah, yeah...I know), no amp...strictly for mindless finger permutations, paradiddles, etc. Not musical practice...did help a lot with stamina, endurance, & technique.

    Gig bass is a Nordy Jazz. Action is more 'normal' than the P-bass. Thinner neck, too.

    All my basses (8?) are 4-string Fender-style instruments. Still, I prefer sticking to "the one" for the shed & "the other one" for gigs.
  15. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    i can only serve one master at a time with guitars and basses ...but i have a tendency to switch up every few months...
  16. ^^^This is what I do also.
  17. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Fender P-bass or Warwick Corvette $$ 5. I have one other bass but I rarely use it.
  18. I can NOT seem to get off my ace/TB and practice regularly- but the couple of times a month that I do, I play hand drums for 5-10 minutes, then spend an equal amt of time(usally 10-15 ea, totalling 45-60 min)on 4 string, 5 and 6; sometimes I'll sub DB for the 6.
  19. I have a bass for every mood now :D

    ....well, almost.

    I play my upright every day. In fact, unless there's a specific song I need to learn on electric, I'm always working on my hand positions/intonation/technique on upright.

    Then I pick up the Jazz, and it feels tiny :cool:
  20. For many years I had but one bass. Last weekend I bought a second. Kind of wierd, I feel like I'm "cheating" on my old instrument, LOL.

    Anyway, I keep one bass in the living room and the other in the bedroom, with a headphone amp to keep the noise down. I practice on one in the morning before I go to work, and on the other in the evening. At least that's the plan for now.

    Once I have one bass w/amp for every room of the house all my problems will be solved and the universe will smile upon me. Right?

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.