what makes a bass a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FunkThumb, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. come philosophize with me:
    what makes abass a bass?
    EG. for a fender to be a fender must it have all fender stock parts?
    a better example:
    say i took a squier , and placed a fender neck on it, is that bass now a fender, or a squier with afender neck, if not, if i should change a peice of stock equipment on a fender to a squier part, what is the bass then?
    basically, what specific part of a collection of parts that makes a guitar, makes the identity of the guitar? i'm curious for some opinions....
  2. Well for starters there is Azola's first bass as seen on Novemebr's BassPlayer:

    Rick neck + Fender body = Fenderbacker!


    Warwick + Steinberger = Warberger

    Fender + Spector = Fenctor

    Rickenbacker + Sadowsky = Rickowsky!

    But seriously what makes a bass a bass?

    Uh, at least four strings with low pitch... some tuners... pickups... a neck... a body... a bridge... the usual... what makes a car a car? Two headlights... four wheels... an engine... some doors... seats...

  3. Strangelove


    Oct 29, 2001
    I know a guy who does that. It infuriates me. He keeps saying "My fender" when all he has is a squier.

    If this is true, then my Peavey Fury IV is really a Fender American Jazz. They both have the letter "F" in the name, so therefore it must be true...:rolleyes:
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Squier is owned and distributed by Fender, so that's more accurate than calling a Peavey a Fender.:rolleyes:
  5. Strangelove


    Oct 29, 2001
    Well that was rather an extreme example...

    but it helped prove my point, right? Right?

    Oh be quiet...
  6. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    What makes a bass, a bass?

    1)A guitar that is bigger, has between 1 and 20 strings, and sounds good when played in a solo, or with a band
  7. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    What makes a bass a bass is the gauge of the strings.

    What makes a Fender a Fender is the body.
  8. the great one

    the great one

    Jan 25, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    If someone notices when you're playing it, you haven't a bass. But if no one takes notice when you play, then it is a bass.:cool:
  9. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    And that is that
  10. The Ibanez logo :)
  11. I have to agree with E string, I think what model you would call it would depend on the body.

    what makes a bass a bass?
    if you're playing within the bass clef, you're playing bass.
  12. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    How about a piccolo bass? Or the old style Fender Bass VIs? It seems to me that we'll call it a bass if the manufacturer tells us to.
  13. well the fender VI is a bass, because it is tuned one octave lower... it's only a special type of 6 string bass. and i dunno 'bout the picolo basses
  14. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    A squier Is a fender.... so you can call it your fender if you want to.. you can't call a peavey fury a fender because in no way are they related... except that they are both basses...
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    A Squire is not a Fender. A Squire is a Squire. Squire is built by the Fender company, but it is not a Fender. An Epiphone is not a Gibson.

    Chevrolet and Cadillac are made by the same company, but a Chevy is not a Cadillac.


  16. :rolleyes:
  17. huh, interesting responses, but i think most have misunderstood (happens alot if you can't tell)

    E-string and chumpstain understood me (robinson corusoe's footprints in the sand perhaps?)

    Blackshole and the great one had an interesting points aswell.

    what i was trying to get at was what specific part of a body on a guitar defines what company made it...i really can't decide....i would say neck...but i dunno....maybe it's that big shiny sticker???

    well those that said the body, kudos for deciphering me...but why do you beleive this finely crafted chunk of wood (the body) indicates which company made it?---- if i were to grab an unidentified body and put all the fender parts on it(for arguments sake here) what would the guitar be then?

    PS strangelove--- no denial issues here, i play a squier and i know it :D , bassist on a budget after all....
  18. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    i dont know why, same engines, trannys etc, just two different body styles and one carries a much bigger price tag, like squires and fenders.:D
  19. I said body because (to me) thats what distinguishes different basses apart, most of the time. sometimes I have to look at the headstock to tell what kind it is (e.g. warwick streamer, and a spector). but, when I see that classic Jazz bass shape, to me it's a Jazz...
    but you do bring up a good question, now that I think about it, I don't know what to think.:confused:
  20. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Actually the Northstar drivetrain is exclusive to Cadillac, but we are getting pretty far off topic.

    But to answer the actual question, I don't think there is a particular characteristic that identifies a bass. Most of us look at the peghead if we are wanting to identify the maker. As Fender did, I assume most makers copyright the shape these days.

    If you are talking tone, I am note sure there is a single distinguishing thing. Could be electronics, woods or a combination of all things.

    I think it is the total package of design, woods, electronics and construction quality that makes manufacturers unique.

    Are you asking how far you can modify a bass and still call it a "brand X?"


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