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Tastes change

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rip Topaz, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Anyone have this happen to them?

    I started playing bass in 1981. Haven't stopped for more than a few months since then.

    Since I started, I've gone through just about every type of bass known to man. When I started, it was Ibanez all the way. Active pickups, thin necks, rosewood fretboards. For years I replaced one active rosewood bass for another, from Ibanez to BC Rich to Traben, back to Ibanez.

    Then a few years something clicked, and I went passive. It started with Thunderbirds. That classic muddy thump really grabbed me. Something old school about passive pickups, I think. I changed my whole playing style.

    Then I spent a year playing nothing but fretless bass. ***?!? Not sure where that came from.

    Now, suddenly I find myself back to basics, playing (of all things) a passive P copy (albeit heavily modded). And totally loving the tones available. Maple fretboard, passive pups. Now we're talkin'.

    Has anyone else gone from active to old school over the years, or made such a drastic change in basses that it made you go "Hmmm..."?

    I know tastes change with time, but this is a total night and day change. Anything more drastic and I'd be a (!!) guitarist!!!
  2. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I started in the early 1980's with a Japanese
    made Westone Electra with an 18 volt preamp.

    I got a Peavey passive for backup, but hardly
    ever played it back then.

    Nothing I ever tried could touch my Westone.

    When I had kids, music took a back seat.

    Now, kids are gone, wife is gone and I'm a has

    But my taste have changed and I started liking
    passive P basses, but on a budget.

    I even like my old Peavey Patriot, but with ROTO
    flats on it.


  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Only playing 10 years, but have gone through about 30 basses. I had to try everything, including vintage, modern, boutique. Now playing passive only, with no desire to change.
  4. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    That's insane. I've been playing about as long as you but have only gone through about 7 basses (8 counting my upright), most of which I still own.

    Interestingly though I have yet to own a bass with active pickups or electronics.

    People change, it's a natural thing, you should embrace it.
  5. Started with a junky no-name bass that was given to me when I was 13 or 14. When I got the chance to buy my own, I went for a 5-string active Ibanez. Within I couple years I was on a passive 4-string Fender (after re-jigging the Ibanez into a 4-string for a while), and that's pretty much where I'm at some 25+ years later.
  6. I've made the switch to 5 as well, but quickly realized that I'm a 4 string player, and switched back and stayed on 4.

    I realize that tastes change, my point of posting is that as I've progressed as a player, it seems I'm going backwards. Instead of progressing into a higher end, active bass with lots of bells as whistles, I'm back to 2 knobs (well, 4 in my case) and the sound under my fingers.

    And yeah, I'm ok with that. I fully embrace anytime I make a change to my playing style.
  7. GoesThump


    Jul 13, 2007
    Great idea for a thread! My nearly 30 year random walk:

    - Started w/Rics, Steinbergers, & roundwound everything. Very bright prog-rock sort of sound.

    - I then spent 15 years playing nothing but classical double bass.

    - Managed to get arthritis, so came back to electric. Shifted to shortscales with flats - these days mostly Mustangs.

    I dread what'll happen next. This is getting expensive. :eek: :D

  8. Erich Bruning

    Erich Bruning

    Nov 25, 2003
    Haven't been through many basses (only owned 3 in the past 20 years), but when I first started playing my Uncle gifted me his Ibanez Roadstar II 5-string. I was thrilled to have the bass, and really enjoyed playing it, although the string spacing always felt narrow to my largish hands.

    Then he let me play his main bass, a '56 fender Precission, and suddenly all sorts of things on the Ibanez felt wrong. That P was amazing, and just felt right, and sounded great through the 8-10 cabinet he used. From that point on, I chased that feeling and sound in a bass, and nothing compared. Could never afford one, so I went on with the Ibanez, never fully happy trying to make it sound like the P. Took a musical break for a few years while I went to school.

    After school, I got the itch to play again. This time though, I went with a double bass, something that I always dug, but couldn't afford before. I really love the feel and sound of an upright, and really enjoy playing them. Hooked up with a Folk/Americana band, and got to play out a bit.

    I recently dug out and started listening to some of my old music (Soiuxsie,Bauhaus, The Cult), and got the bug for an electric again. I picked up a Squire P-bass, and also bought my first ever effects pedal, a bass chorus. Having fun just messing with everything. I even brought out the old Ibanez. It really needed a proper neck adjustment and set-up, something it never had while I owned it. Now, I actually enjoy playing the old Ibby again, and can appreciate that it has its own feel and sound.

    So my tastes haven't changed too much, but I have learned to appreciate more styles and sounds.
  9. GoesThump


    Jul 13, 2007
    I hear you 100%. This reminds me of "The Man With The Golden Gun":

    Bond - "But your gun only has one bullet."
    Scaramanga - "I only need one."

    There's a lot to be said for a minimalist aesthetic, IMHO. Complexity <> progress, at least not always.

    After my doublebass days I didn't want to deal with a lot of stuff, and ended up in your boat - 4 string, 1 pickup, a couple of knobs. (And I never use the tone knob anyway...)

    For me it isn't a case of "tone is all in the hands" or a knock on active basses w/tons of features, but rather a psychological approach to the instrument that doesn't want to look at anything that isn't essential for the way I'm doing the job these days.

    Of course, this being TB, in a few years we'll have an active 6'er exotic wood thing with tons of onboard EQ. :)

  10. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    I'd have to say I did the nigh/day thing too. When I started playing in 1979, my ideal tone was Geddy Lee's 4001. Today, I'm situated at my '99 G&L L2K with no frets - basically the _real_ Fender sound (not the FMIC P/J sound).

    Can't really comment on my playing style and technique, as I probably only got as good as I was ever going to get about 6 months after I first started. Since then there've been only a few changes:
    - started using my pinky on the fretted hand around 1986-7. The tip of that pinky was chopped off in a childhood accident so initially learned to play with only 3 fretting fingers. Turns out what's left of the pink I can use almost normally.
    - changed plucking technique when I got my G&L in 2000.
    - went to the floating thumb during my 6 string period.

    I only wish my talent and musicianship could be upgraded some more.... ;)

  11. Started playing in 1968,..mom bought me a 1963 fender jazz :eek: and a fender bassman for 300 bucks, my how times and prices have changed huh? Played that through high school, until I dropped it and broke the headstock off :rollno: Got a fender p bass fretless,..played that for about 4 years until it was stolen. Then went the ricky 4001 route for 3 or 4 years until buying my first Alembic. Always played active high end basses from that point on,....until last year.

    Bought a Lakland DJ5 and fell in love with the old school passive thing all over again. Just purchased an xotic xj-1t that I'm semi patiently waiting arrival on. Does both worlds, active and passive. Can't wait for it to get here. Thinking it's going to be my go to bass for quite some time. So yeah,...tastes change,..I seem to have come pretty much full circle after over 40 years of playing bass.
  12. I think that might be what did it for me. Going from my metal days of actives, then in recent years moving to more classic passive basses. It's just a more pleasing sound to my ears, I'm hoping to others as well.
  13. From an Ibanez to a P Bass? That's called "growing up"! :bag:
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Once my first bass, a '65 P, was stolen, I went to J-style basses and haven't switched since. I did make a move into furniture basses in about 1996.
  15. That was kinda my point when starting the thread. Tracing our growth as bassists.
  16. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    after 20yrs of this and that, i finally discovered the passive Fender Jazz bass in the summer of '99. from that day on, i hated myself for not knowing. from that day on, all i want is a Fender Jazz,... 24/7/365!!!

    even when i shop for something new and think i've found a substitute, i play my jbass when i get home and the GAS vanishes. i will admit, if Roscoes were cheaper,... :hyper:

    i found a Roscoe 5'er that was as playable as mine with tone for days! i just can't justify paying $3500. for a bass that i can't wear & tear. i'm rough on stuff and the scars on my Fender are just plain lovely! ;)

    great thread, BTW!
  17. I've only been playing bass for a little more than a decade. Not much has changed in my overall tastes. I've only expanded what I like. About the only thing I've "outgrown" is 5 strings. I like 4 strings and if I want a B, I'll take a 6 or 7 string.

    On guitar, I've also only expanded my tastes and haven't changed otherwise.

    For both, I've fine tuned what I like and simply order that.
  18. Yeah, I got that. Mine was a joke ;)

    Ok... A "lame" joke...
  19. thumbs&fingers

    thumbs&fingers Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Awesome thread! Been playin for 20 years off and on chasing tone. Always played active solid state, been through almost 20 basses. Recently tried a passive p clone after avoiding it for years (thought it wouldn't be for me even though I didn't try it) and I'm hooked on the passive sound. Finally tried a few tube heads and wow. Now I'm lookin for a passive 5 string as I do like fivers in bands for quick key changes. Trying to decide on an xotic xj-1t 5string or Yamaha bb2025x 5string. I think it is a matter if growing up and being open.
  20. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I started in 2001 with an Ibanez GSR200 which lasted all of two weeks until I upgraded to an SR400. Over the years I owned everything from Tobias (Gibson), Yamaha, Musicman, G&L, Peavey..most active electronics with rounds..and the whole time I was searching for a particular tone. It wasn't until about 3 years ago I finally realized that:

    1) I needed flats


    2) I needed a Precision.

    Once I came to that realization I've been happy ever since. Sure I still have a Lakland Decade with Roundwounds but that's just to fill the gap. The Precision with Flats is always going to be home base (bass) for me.

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