What changed your life(bass related only please:))

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by inthevelvet, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. For me it was TI flats, and later the labella low tension flats. While I always liked playing bass, the flat wound sound coupled with the easy playing of the low tension changed everything. It was like I was fighting the instrument before, and then with these strings and a low action, the physical part of playing just became a non-issue. Just curious what other people had as game changers for them.
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  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    In all seriousness, it was the SVT. I was playing in a band as a teenager with guys who were in their thirties. I was using a Peavey TKO and a DI box they provided.

    Another local bassist had a blueline SVT and a rare skin disorder that was making it impossible for him to play. (Shaking his hand felt like grabbing a tree branch.)

    I couldn't afford to buy the rig outright. So the band bought it and I gave them half my pay until it was paid off.

    Standing in front of that wall if sound (literally) resonated with me. I played differently. I ACTED differently on stage. It changed everything.

    Next thing you know I had long hair and a hot pink Kramer bass (this was 1896 or 87).

    Now I'm almost 48. I hadn't owned an all-tube SVT in years. I got one a couple years ago. As you can see, my hair is growing out (top is tied back) and I just got this bass yesterday. :cool: (Not sure what my big hands are gonna do with it, but it'll be fun.) 20190613_053451.jpg
  3. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Flats have been a revelation to me.
    My first go-round was in the 1980s, there was no internet, and damn-all knowledge about strings.
    I returned to bass a little over 5 years ago, and found TB and thus, flats.
    Whatever other problems I have to deal with, at least fingering ain't one.

    Speaking of fingers...
    @two fingers , while I love the hot pink baby bass, I really want to know where you got that shirt. I want one.
  4. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    When I made the mental connection between the diatonic major scale and the chords in the key. It was when I saw that the notes in a G chord, the C chord, and the D7 were all laying right there in the G major scale.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It's Oakley brand. I don't golf. But I buy lots of my clothes at The Golf Warehouse. They have great deals in the clearance section. I like to wear very breathable clothes. Air goes right through that shirt. I have a dark purple one just like it.

    (Derail over. Back to life-altering bass gear.)
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  6. Two thing changed my life. The first was doing my own setups (including choosing strings to my liking), and the second was getting into a group which played improvisational and original music. Both of those things allowed me to become my own player. Both of those things helped me develop a lot of dexterity and learn expressive subtleties that I wasn't getting by just hammering out rock covers.
    For about ten years, I was in a group consisting of a core of three members, which played unique, experimental music and bizarre jams. We all had weird senses of humor and could play off of each other indefinitely. We recorded a preposterous amount of music, but that consistent jamming, combined with the freedom to try out anything I wanted in real time (and be able to screw up without consequences) really helped me grow over the years, and acted as both a school of sorts as well as a great counterbalance for the more structured music I was playing in other bands at the same time.
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Reviewer: Bass Player Magazine
    Ramps, and the change in playing techniques they allowed me to make.
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  8. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Flats, ramps, six strings, split coils.

    The question is... Will it blend?
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  9. "Today, we're going to see if a Wal Mk2 5-string will blend."
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  10. As for an item: Going all the way back to 1992, I ordered an Ibanez SR885, which is a great instrument and I still own it. Just prior, the retailer gave me the Ibanez catalog to look through before making my decision. I really wanted the SR886 but no matter how hard I tried, I was not able to come up with the extra money for the 6-String. That sort of stuck with me through the years.

    It would not be until 2010 when I had a renewed interest in music, and I managed to buy my first 6-String, a Warwick Thumb BO 6. It took me less then an hour to sit down with it and become comfortable with the neck, notes on the fretboard, etc. The tone was impeccable! From that moment until now, I own 9 (nine) 6-String basses and 1 7-String bass. And I already initiated 2 (two) new 6-Strings in 2019.

    Seeing a musician (1): In 1996, I attended Drum Fest in Montreal with my drummer. I watched a lot of excellent drummers through the weekend, including Dennis Chambers, Virgil Donati, Tim Alexander (soon after he left Primus), and Anton Fig. Afterward, I found myself and our drummer working much better together. (Our drummer was already awesome. I was the one catching up to him. Haha!)

    Seeing a musician (2): In 1997, I had the opportunity to watch a Peavey sponsored tour/clinic, Rock Across America with The Buddha" Bill Dickens (Bass), Bobby Rock (Drums), and Neil Zaza (Guitar). Seeing Dickens perform was life-changing. Each of the musicians hung around afterward to chat and they were quite humble. Dickens shared some techniques and information. He had studied classical guitar in the past so he incorporates some of those techniques in his bass playing. (He was playing a Peavey 6-String for the event, but I was aware of his Conklin 7-String and asked him about it.) Zaza shared an interesting practice tip, where he will turn on a cartoon, mute the volume, and play whatever inspires him from the screen.

    Seeing a musician (3): When I first arrived in Vancouver, I learned that Alain Caron would be doing a clinic at a music store (Mother's Music, which had closed since), and I made sure to check it out. I'm sure the TalkBass community is well aware of Caron's praises.
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  11. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Richlands, NC
    Spector basses. All my bass playing life I had "that tone" in my head but just couldnt find it, tried just about every brand and model in the last 35 years...until my first Spector 3 years ago, which is still my #1. I own 6 Spectors now...other brands as well, but I play the Spectors, I just keep the others, well I play the NG2 also but not the rest ;-)
    Rock on.
  12. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Going ampless/ IEM. Gigs are so easy that it feels like cheating.
  13. Bassngtr


    Jul 21, 2007
    Methuen, MA
    For me it was learning where the notes are on the fretboard, along with learning the major and minor scale "shapes". I'd played guitar for years and only knew the open string notes, and lots of chord fingerings) and got along quite nicely. Realized VERY quickly I could not play bass much at all until I knew where the notes were. Then applying that knowledge back to guitar - wow. This still comes into play constantly, as I still initially learn most songs by ear, and learn or create lines that sound good, then go back and analyze to figure out "WHY does this sound good?".
  14. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    More than four strings.
  15. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    For sure the MarkBass CMD121P. 32 lbs, 12", 350/500W RMS scary loud super sound you can carry in one hand? Crazy! My old amp and huge, heavy 2x15 enclosure just sit in the garage gathering dust. I would not be playing still if not for this little amp.
  16. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie

    Aug 21, 2013
    Switching to 5-strings had a profound effect. Life-changing? Meh... I don't know about that.

    Now learning to play bass... that was a game-changer.
  17. Precision bass and flatwound strings. I started out with a Jazz bass and roundwounds.
  18. A few things so far:

    Getting my Stingray 5. I had only been playing bass a few years but going to a 5 string felt so natural to me. I never thought of it as a 4 string bass with an extra string.

    Getting my fretless a couple years ago. Because I play by ear I wanted to give fretless a go. It also felt really natural to me.

    Having more time to practice since college is in the near future for my kid!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  19. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    Upright bass at age 34, after 25 years on electric. It changed my perception of being economical with my note choices and, in some ways, my concept of bass sound.
  20. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    1) P bass, J neck. It's just perfect for me.

    2) DIY. Setups, fretwork, soldering, etc. Saves money but even better is knowing how the thing works!