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Stigma for not playing Fender

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dwagner, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. dwagner

    dwagner Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    North Dakota, USA
    Similar to those that consider the Precision Bass the "one bass to rule them all" (and probably justifiably so), I've noticed there's a lot of emphasis in a lot of places that if you aren't playing a Fender, that you don't have "the sound/authenticity" (sorry Gibson).

    Example: worship music. You play a Fender Jazz or a Fender P and those are your choices. You show up to a big church with something that's not a Fender and you'll get some looks.
    Seems like this is also the sentiment for studio as well. You're using a Fender P, Fender Jazz, or a Fender active 5.

    It feels like there's some stigma about the instrument not being legitimate if it's not a Fender. What are your experiences?

    Maybe it's just me?
  2. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Try showing up with this.
    Right tone, wrong looks.
    Dare anyone to say the tone you get out of it isn't usable.
    Loring, zontar, sonojono and 17 others like this.
  3. Seems expensive single-cuts go over just fine in the worship circuit.
    zenrad, Thegrandwazoo, GregC and 16 others like this.
  4. The guy who bought my JP-90 from me said his church told him to get a U.S. Fender.
    JP-90 are the cheapest U.S. Fender basses around, so he scored!
  5. I have never faced any negative push back for using any bass, and I have used some oddballs over the years. One exception was my first couple of gigs in Florida with a Steinberger. However after it was heard the comments stopped.
  6. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Even Orange British ones?
    (The O bass is very inexpensive, though.)
    Bob Leton, Hachimitsu and dwagner like this.
  7. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    I'm glad I don't let other people's misconceptions about my choice of instruments trouble me. Sheesh.
    timplog, TH63, GreyEagle and 86 others like this.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Not nearly as much as it used to.
  9. Well yeah but, lol, let's just say you've got bigger fish to fry.. : D
    Roger W, TortoiseBass and HolmeBass like this.
  10. Drifter8230


    Sep 4, 2020
    Wow. That's ridiculous! But, inversely, I'm sure some metal bands would demand their bass player ditch their U.S. Fender and get "a better bass for metal." :bassist:
    Miles_ONeal, The Owl, Loring and 10 others like this.
  11. kinopah


    Oct 19, 2014
    A few people have asked me “what’s wrong with Fender?” when I’ve brought my Fodera P, but all I’ve ever responded is “this plays better, sounds better” and since it DOES, nobody has anything else to say.

    But yeah Smith, Fodera, Tobias all go over no prob in Worship groups. And very few hang onto the Fender thing enough to give you side-eye let alone say something. Mostly when they do they just want to interact and it feels like something they can ask you and sound quasi-knowledgeable.
  12. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    I once got some guff from a drummer who had never heard of g&l, but that's about it
    Miles_ONeal, eadg98005, Sands and 7 others like this.
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Me, in church, this past Sunday. Fretless G&L. Everybody loved it.

    I think there are small pockets of that kind of ignorance. But it's not pervasive.

    That being said, if your plan is to be a bass player for hire, it would he wise to have an FSO (Fender Shaped Object) in your arsenal. If the ignorance outranks you, you just have to deal with it. It's their way or the highway. If you do x, you get the gig. If you don't do x, you won't be called back.

    In this case, x = show up with a Fender bass.
  14. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    I play every Sunday since about 1976. Haven't used one of my Fenders for about 5 years.

    The only complaint I get is that a couple basses are a little too aggressive, (my EBMM 4h) . I have to agree, I just never got it dialed in for the brighter tone. A little to clanky when I dig in. It was fine when I give it more bottom.

    As for Studio, I've gotten some of the best compliments from "good" producers when I've used something that was able to give a broad spectrum of tones that they could work with. Only once did I bother to bring a Jazz bass. I knew they'd have plenty of basses there to choose from if I needed it.... I didn't.

    For live gigs... for years I got "oh... it's another Peavey" from the bands... I just brush it off.
  15. eliascalles

    eliascalles Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2013
    I guess it depends on whether you can play well or not lol. I had some other bass player give me some stupid comments during changeover at a festival couple years ago about my cheap ass (non fender) bass but he shut up pretty good after our set
    Miles_ONeal, Sands, imabuddha and 7 others like this.
  16. thewildest

    thewildest Supporting Member

    May 25, 2011
    Time to resurrect the Moth.
    RodRy, Thegrandwazoo, GregC and 17 others like this.
  17. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    I see way more non Fender 5 strings in a major amount of worship bands...
    Miles_ONeal, Loring, bbh and 10 others like this.
  18. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    How much are you getting paid? If $0, tell those people giving you looks to bend over and look up their own jacksie.
    TH63, KaraQ, sleddogn and 6 others like this.
  19. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I'm certain I've told this story on TB before, but what the hell.

    The only times I've ever been given any guff about not playing a Fender...

    were the two highest profile gigs I've ever done in my life: The MD in a Broadway pit orchestra, and a well-known, award-winning producer during a huge budget major label album recording. Both guys took offense to my Steinberger L-2, and basically said "come back with a normal-looking Fender bass."

    (Ironically, after coming back to the major label album session with two different Fender Precision basses, they ultimately wound up using my Steinberger!)
    Miles_ONeal, RodRy, Loring and 15 others like this.
  20. What?! A house of whorship with strong opinions on something they know next to nothing about? Say it ain't so! FWIW, as with many other applications, I suspect Fender is just a known quantity that doesn't have to be Googled to figure out what it is and isn't too pointy. For reasons, I've been watching a lot of streamed services from various denominations the last several months and frankly they should be more worried about pitchy singers, poor mic technique, lousy mixes and musicians who seem to think that they are the star of the show, rather than the name on your headstock.
    Bikeguy57, RodRy, Sands and 42 others like this.
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    Dec 3, 2020

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