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Owning Several Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RAM, Nov 21, 2000.

  1. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I was wondering, for all who own several basses, how do you find adapting to different feels between the basses? If, for example, you have one bass that has a different scale length than another, different thicknesses of necks, maybe even between graphite and wood, etc.
  2. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I have two and I routinely alternate between them for gigs, rehearsals and practice sessions.One is a '97 Fender Jazz with clear, crisp tone; a thin, fast neck;and a body as light as a feather (light ash). The other is a '75 Fender Precision that has thick, fat tone; a chunky neck not unlike a Louisville Slugger; and a very,very heavy body.Which do I like more? I would have to toss a coin. I love them both. The P neck took some getting used to even by P standards but I have come to really like the chunky neck.
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I used to own a lot of bass. As much as 7 in some point in my life. But now i have 3 bass. one five string, one 4 string and one four string fretless. I play my fretted 4 string 90% of the time, I use my fretless 9% of the time and my five string for the rest. My 2 four string are jazz bass. So i don't have to adapt much. I do have some problem when i play the 5 string, maybe i should play it more often.
  4. basspla915


    Mar 28, 2000
    Bangor, Maine
    I am not sure whether I have too many basses or not enough (although I find that the secret in getting them past my wifes attention is to buy them all in sunburst!)

    Anyway...no, I dont have a problem switching back and forth since they each have a distinct sound and feel and each works best for what I use them for. The current stable is:
    Fender Noel Redding Jazz, Fender 62 (Frankenbass) fretless, Pedulla Rapture, Pedulla Rapture J2 5 String, MM Sterling, MM Sterling Fretless with Piezo pu, Lakland 55-63, 5 string with Bart Jazz pups, Sadowsky Standard 4, Peavey Cirrus, Tacoma Thunderchief ABG fretless, Washburn AB-25 ABG 5 string.

    Now as to switching between my several amps,,,,,that is a story for another day!

  5. basspla915


    Mar 28, 2000
    Bangor, Maine
    Ooops, forgot #12, Warwick Streamer II fretless....

  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have two string basses (41" scale) with very different neck thicknesses, a 35" 5-string electric, various 34" scale electrics (including graphite necks) a 30" scale Dano and a 25" scale (!!) Supro.

    As long as I play them regularly I have no trouble going from scale to scale. The difference between 34" and 35" is too small for me to even notice.

    As far as different neck thicknesses, while I can tell easily enough and have my personal preferences, it doesn't seem to impede my ability to play.

    Funniest thing is that bass that has the "fastest" neck (my lone J-bass) is the one I like the least because of the way it SOUNDS.
  7. TonyS


    Dec 13, 1999
    Please re-read Yvon's post ... He wrote everything I wanted to say. (Kinda spooky.)
  8. I own 3 upright basses one with a Eb neck and two with a D neck the scales are 42-1/2", 41-1/2", and 38". the necks range from fat to thin. Also a total of six bass guitars with 32' or 34' scales. With necks ranging from fat (1951 "P") to thin (Carvin freted and fretless) none of this bothers me any more thank God.
  9. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I currently have two basses (one I never count - it's a Peavey that hasn't seen the light of day in 5 years). The other one is my trusty Spector NS-4. I absolutely love everything about this bass! But, I've been toying with getting either a MIA P-bass or G&L L-2000.

    My concern is that every time I pick either up, I have a hard time adapting to the difference in feel...and a big difference it is!
  10. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    I own a number of basses and have for many years. That's why my nickname is "bassman". I find that a few of them (3) I own for nostalgic reasons. The others are work horses. One is 24 years old and in new condition, so it rarely leaves the house and sometimes its case for months. I just love this make and model of bass.
    My basses vary from short to long scale and in general I don't find any difference in the particular scale of any of them.
    They all play, sound and feel great and are fantastic instruments.
    I have no problems going from one to another at anytime.
  11. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the main difference in my basses is whether they are fretted or fretless, and the tuning - all my 7's are 34", and my fretless 8 (and fretted if it ever gets finished) are 35" scale length, so scale length isn't that much of a factor.

    i use different basses for different songs. i practice these songs with the basses that i am going to play on the songs. the differences in the basses are integrated into the differences of each of the songs.

    i have 2 basses that are my generic workhorses, that i also do the majority of my composing with, and then i decide which bass i will use on a particular song when i start recognizing certain aspects that will be better served with one instrument over another.
  12. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    I currently have one 34" scale and one 30" scale. I really don't have any problem switching between the two. The thing that I notice most is the string difference, rounds on one and flats on the other.

  13. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Man, i fit your questions perfectly. I have:

    Ibanez 4 string, THICK nek back to front, 34" scale.

    Modulus 5 string, medium-thick neck, 35" scale.

    Tune 6 string, thin neck, 36" scale.

    And then, for school, if i dont bring my 6 in, i play a 30" scale 4 string!

    Hows that for diversity? But switching from instrument to instrument isnt a big deal for me anymore, because ive gotten used to all of them, so muscle memory kicks in, and my mindframe changes. But the Modulus still feels at home.
  14. lowfreqguy


    Oct 18, 2000
    Baltimore, MD
    I used to have a problem when I owned 2 fretless basses with different scale lengths. I have the 34" Pedulla under my fingers very well, but when I switched to the 35" scale Rennaisance I had to use the "cheater " fret lines.
  15. four as of this sitting
    one rick i have this one because i have had it for a long
    time and it was my first quality bass.
    second is a thunderbird
    third is a pedulla fretless that i have had for 8 years, i completely love this one
    and now i have had a stingray for about 6 months that is pretty much all i play, my ears still are not used to the sound of fret noise, ahh its killing me
  16. I've got a bunch of different basses simply because they all have different feels and sounds for different gigs. Acoustic electric 4,5 & 8 strings fretted fretless long med short scale and a 35"scale EUB.
  17. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    It's a bit rough switching between my different basses. For starters, I've only got about 80% use of my left arm, so putting on the Epiphone (my best sounding bass) with the 35" scale is a chore after an hour or so. Not only is it the scale, but it's balanced so the entire neck is off to the left of my body. The G&L is a better balance (34" scale, with the bass centered on me at about the 12th fret). The necks are different, but not hard to adjust to. The Epiphone is much like a Gibson T-bird or a Warwick - narrow at the nut and a bit beefy towards the body. The G&L is fat and slim, so it's a very comfortable fit.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I just pick 'em up and play them. My guess (and I could be wrong) is if you spend time thinking about it, it'll become an issue. I don't and it isn't.
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    What Brad said.

    I own 5, an Electra Westone fretless 4, used about 5% of the time, a Peavey Foundation 4, used about 1% of the time, a MIJ Fender Jazz Geddy Lee signature, used about 25% of the time, a Pedulla Rapture J2 5 string, used about 60% of the time, and an Ibanez SR506 6 string that I use the remaining 9% of the time.

    They are all 34" scale basses, all with fairly similar string spacing(the Ibanez is a bit tighter) and all with a thin neck profile front to back, but the Ibanez and the Pedulla have a very wide neck in comparison with the shallow profile.

    I switch off between all of these with no problems, except for the occasional intonation issues on the fretless(some nights my ears aren't as good as others but it doesn't happen too often!:p)

    What is strange is that 90% of my practice time is put in on the 6 string, but I have no problem taking my 5 to the gig and playing the chunkier V neck with the 3/4" spacing at the bridge.

    Like Brad said, I just don't think about it. I have filled in at many a church that had a 30" scale Fender Musicmaster or Gibson EB0 lying around and had no problems with that either. The only issue that I have with scale length is that because I have very short fingers, the 34" scale is pretty much my upper limit. I cannot handle the first position on a 35" bass, my hand can tell the difference and it starts hurting pretty quickly from the stretch.

    Once I upgrade the electronics in the 6 and get a PentaBuzz and a Conklin Groove Tools 7, the 4 stringers will probably be retired to the closet, but I will still play them occasionally.
  20. maestrox


    Oct 8, 2000
    I'm struggling with this problem...and as was stated before, the real problem is when fretless basses are involved...at least for me. I have no problem switching between 34" and 35" scale fretted basses. And I have no problem also occasionally picking up a 41" scale upright. BUT...switching between my 34" fretless and 35" fretted causes me some intonation problems...I tend to over-reach on the fretless after playing the longer fretted.

    Luckily I end up playing fretless about 90-95% of the time, so it's minimal impact. But I use this as a great excuse to find a new 34" scale fretted bass.

    "Gee honey, I have to get a new bass...it's a moral imperative. You don't want me to play out of tune, do you?"

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