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The internet pushes our bass dreams - a few thoughts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 2meterbassman, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. I am thinking about the times before internet:

    - we had to buy the basses the store around the corner had for sale

    - or we had to order a bass we couldn't check in the shop, and had to buy it
    (in germany many shops won't order basses, if you didn't assure them that you wanna buy it)

    - custom made basses were very rare, only a pro thing. We didn't even know about builders of them in our area

    Since the internet, with the huge shops (like thomann in germany) we can order any bass we wanna try out - and could send it back, if it's not the right one

    And: we can order parts from companies as Warmoth, build our own individual basses, very often for less costs than for the Fender basses for example.
    Just watch the threads about Warmoth basses - awesome.

    And for practicing, learning etc. we can use Youtube, watch how the pros play, or tutorials, can learn from it. Great.

    Need a rhythm computer for practicing? Internet!

    Questions about basses, amps, techniques, music etc.:
    THIS forum!

    When I started playing bass in 1977, even tutorial VHS cassettes were exotic. Bass teachers? It was a long search for one.

    Damn, for musicians the web is real the best that could happen, and I could spend hours and hours per day, just reading in this forum, and watching the pix of all those beautiful basses...:)

    Greetings from germany
  2. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Before the internet I had to read Talkbass on hand written scrolls!
  3. I bought basses from the Recycler in L.A. and met some very interesting people who needed money right away and were selling their hopes and dreams at very good prices!
  4. Internet is great and TalkBass is awesome....but I sometimes feel if there were no internet I would spend more time practicing and playing and less time on TalkBass...like now.
  5. If it weren't for TalkBass, I'd probably be really happy with the year I have
  6. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Where I grew up, MSRP was MSRP you paid on gear, including strings!
  7. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Prior to the internet, I'd scour the local classified ads every week. Early. I'd call the moment I saw the ad, no matter what time it was. Most of the time, if the deal was killer, someone would have beat me to the punch. If the bass was still there, I'd leave work if I could to check it out. About 1/3rd of the time, the item was not as advertised. Often, depending on the circumstances, I'd haggle hard to get a good price. This would work maybe half the time.

    Most brick and mortar stores would be priced too high on the vintage gear, but on off brands or boutiques, you could find a good deal every so often. I'd go to ever guitar show within 100 miles. Knowing in advance that the best deals would be gone before the show even opened it's doors, I'd end up going late in the show and hit dealers just before they started packing up. A dealer would be much more flexible with his prices when faced with lugging a bass back to his shop.

    I would also read the ads, dealer and classifieds, in Vintage Guitar Magazine. This was absolutely the most risky method of buying a guitar. Dealers were notoriously sketchy in those days, and would be VERY reluctant to accept a return. The private party ads were worse. You had no protection from being ripped off. I'd usually judge a person's credibility over the phone. If he sounded oily or sleazy, no sale.

    This whole thing, though it sounds like a royal pain in the ass, was quite fun. But though I enjoyed it, I couldn't go back to it. The internet is too convenient, and I'll gladly sacrifice the occasional great deal for the safety and selection of GC online and ebay.
  8. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    I feel like there were more stores to find cool gear around locally before the internet. At least here in C-bus, we didn't have big box-type music stores with 3 or 4 offerings.

    "Talk-bass" was hanging out at CMC, Cowtown Guitars, The String Shoppe, German Village Music Haus, Coyle's etc and...talking bass.

    "Talk-Bass" was also hanging at gigs and checking out bands....which led to checking out gear, talking shop etc.

    Not that Talk-Bass is bad, cause it isn't. this is by far one of the best communities I have been a part of!

    It just seems that as the world gets smaller via technology, things get "further away".

    Now there are 3 box type music stores who all pretty much carry the same thing. We do have the smaller shops around town that still are doing it right and old school, but I feel like the variety is not available as much to actually play on.
  9. When I started playing bass in the 80s, the local music store where I lived had a pretty good selection of Ibanez, Peavey, Westones, Electras, and a few Squires/Fenders. I took lessons there, the owner used to let kids hang out and BS with him about music and stuff. That and guitar magazines and sitting in bedrooms spinning records while sitting around looking at cover art.

    I've been back to that same music store recently, it's still there, but the selection is thinner and lower quality. I asked about the old owner and they said he sold his half a few years ago and retired, is working in a big box store now. They still do a pretty good business giving lessons, though. I hope the place sticks around for another 30 years.
  10. The Sears Wish Book would arrive in October and the 4 pages of instruments was it as a kid. Then I discovered the women's undergarment section in the regular catalog and I forgot music gear existed for a couple of years.
  11. One downside is homogenization of techniques/styles. If Jaco came along today he would be copycatted in a few hours with everyone knowing what effects/amps he uses and close up Youtube videos of his harmonics chords. It's essentially selling a general viewpoint of professionalism to kids with such an overload of information that they may never feel the need to break out of the box or look for mind blowing bands that no one has ever heard of. Other than that I love the crosstalk of information and the ability to check out Youtube videos of Frank Zappa concerts from the 1960s at 2 a.m.
  12. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    The web is a double-edged sword, but the advantages for us vastly outweigh the disadvantages.

    I was also a Recycler fanatic! (lived in Orange County CA) I have quite a few tales I could tell about buying basses from the Recycler, some funny, some scary, some just weird.

    One example of how the web changed things:
    My parents used to get together with their friends on weekends, pile in the car and go on "antique-ing" day-trips. My mother was particularly keen on collecting a certain type of antique glassware. One time, I just happened to ask about her collection, and she mentioned that there was one or two pieces she'd never run across in all the years of going to all the shops within a few local states.
    I went over to my Mac, typed in the description of the piece she was looking for... and, BAM... found three of them on the 'Bay just about immediately.

    She was quite surprised at this (not being exactly internet-savvy) but also a little disheartened by the ease in which I found the pieces.
    She suddenly felt that all those years of driving around and shop-hopping were now just made to look silly, outmoded, and pointless. It's like the REAL fun in collecting was the entire social process of the hunt, not just the acquisition.
  13. deathsdj


    Sep 18, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I was a pre-internet player. I stepped away from it all when computers were just starting to gain popularity. I am completely amazed at all the excellent resources available now. And yeah it makes it hard to stay satisfied with my gear sometimes...

    I don't lose practice time to Talk Bass though. I'm lucky enough to have permission to surf the web for my personal pleasure while I'm working (I have an excellent boss). I occasionally Talk Bass from home, but only late at night when I couldn't properly play anyway.


  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    It's a great time to be a bass player.
  15. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    you know what you DID have?

    lots more practice time

    there are shredders today that have more pure technique but the players were on average much better 30 yrs ago
  16. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I remember that catalog. That's when my interest in 'reading' suddenly took up more of my time :D
  17. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    For me it was hanging out at the Lado shop, and the big local retailers like Cosmo, Steve's, 12th Fret and Long & McQuade. I was 14-15 looking at basses and guitars I couldn't afford but happily playing my Ibanez Roadstar bass and Vantage guitar.

    When I was 18-ish, I started buying basses at pawn shops. I owned a few great Pre-EB Stingrays, 1970-1982 Fenders and a couple of Gibsons. I only ever owned 2 at a time though. Generally a Fender P with a Gibson G3 as a backup. All these basses were $300-400 in the mid-late 80's.

    I would sell my gear thru the Buy and Sell mag as I knew that I would get more $$$ than trading in or going to a pawn shop.

    The only boutiques I heard of back then were Warwick and Spector. Stanley Clarke played some weird (to me) Alembic, but that was as expensive as a car (which I was saving for).

    Different time for sure.
  18. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    The common theme here is that we ALWAYS were seeking information and a larger market for buying/selling all the time. We had albums too look at, some late-night music TV shows (Midnight Special, In Concert, etc,), local music stores, Recycler classified ads, pawn shops, and in the 80's we got gear magazines... in the 90's we got internet and eBay.

    The thirst for knowledge (and gear) didn't START with the internet. But it facilitates it in ways we never dreamed possible.
  19. Very much in agreement.

    Without the internet, I wouldn't have known much variety existed beyond my local guitar shops, which basically only stock Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, and Ernie Ball.

    The internet has also introduced me to a lot of varieties of music that would never be stocked in local record stores or played on the radio.
  20. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    Where I grew up we had many great and cool stores. MSRP X.7=selling price of most everything. Pedal Steel guitars typically were an exception.
    For several years I had a notebook of every Musician I met that listed what they had for gear, what they might be looking for etc. I made a fair amount from the efforts. I scoured the add’s in the paper, local shoppers, etc. to get any and all deals.

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