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Why do people say a P bass ISN'T a 1 trick pony?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Feb 14, 2020 at 4:53 AM.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Lol... do any of us really REALLY care?

    I honestly didnt get it, and now I do. People have changed my mind about this.

    I think people confuse versatile basses with versatile players, and I think I was misunderstanding how people were using the term 1 trick pony.

    This stuff really IS interesting to me, but it's just passing time.

    And yes, of course I knew this was gonna get lots of responses. That's what we"re all here for though :) .
  2. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    In my world, ALL basses are - potentially - "one trick ponies". That trick is - sounding like I want it to sound. I don't really need - or want - it to make any other sounds. And, so far, all of mine do just that. It isn't always the same sound; that would be... silly. And, it would defeat the rationale of having 23 of them...:whistle:
    mikewalker likes this.
  3. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    1.In the English language, "one trick pony" is a pejorative term. It has a negative connotation. If you don't know that, you should.

    2. If you can get 500 sounds out of it, it's not a one trick pony. Doesn't matter that you can get more sounds out of other basses. Your logic is wrong.
    Plectrum72 and Joe Nerve like this.
  4. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    “One trick pony” is literally a negative description of something, it is a pejorative. Is someone who is a red seal plumber a one trick pony? How about a molecular biochemist? Or a bass player? Or is it that they’re specialized, and focused? Same thing; different words used.
    Plectrum72 likes this.
  5. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    That is why maybe 'You' are here.

    There are real questions, giving answers, 'general discussion', showing off gear, ect...

    Then there are people who want to film&post a video of someone dropping Ted Nugent in the middle of the Democratic Convention. Knowing that there is going to be a boat load of responses and really gaining nothing from it.
  6. I don't know that it's always seen as negative, just descriptive. I mean, if your pony's one trick is to sprout wings and fly like Pegasus, I'd say that's pretty special.
    Cowzone likes this.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I honestly didn't think that. I thought people use it in a positive way too. If a pony could talk, like Mr. Ed, that would be 1 trick that would outdo 20 that any other horse could do.

    I believe you though. Just didn't realize people took it as you say.
    Plectrum72, Cowzone and LBS-bass like this.
  8. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    In music a one trick pony is the best. The Steinway Grand is a one trick pony. A Stradivarius violin is a one trick pony.
  9. roccobass

    roccobass Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Northern California
    He’s got a lot of NERVE!!:laugh::laugh:
    sears and Joe Nerve like this.
  10. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    That’s how the term is used, whether you disagree or not.
  11. Ok, but I'm not the only one who hasn't seen it that way. Been on the planet for a few years, too, so it's kind of funny I've never noticed this was only a negative term until today. Some things have different meanings in different regions or in different cultures. Peace out :)
  12. roccobass

    roccobass Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Northern California
    Seriously, I thought you’re original question was good. Thank you.It brought out a lot of good info. I started on a P bass, but switched to Jazz after a couple of years. Yes, the tones on board are simplistic, but classic. I play a passive J. No frills. It’s amazing. After all these years, I get the occasional need to get a P bass sound out of my rig.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  13. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Lots of people who’ve been on the planet have found themselves surprised by learning something to be other than what they’d thought for a long time:

    One-trick pony Idiom Definition – Grammarist

    “The idiom one-trick pony is usually said derisively, implying that the person or thing in question has little to offer. Someone who is a one-trick pony is not considered well-rounded.”
    Joe Nerve and Mushroo like this.
  14. Hambone70

    Hambone70 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2018
    Tucson, AZ
    Nice comparisons. I like being able to focus on the music, and not obsessing about the equipment that's going to make me better. Practice makes me better.
    Amano likes this.
  15. Oh, I know. I learned a new word yesterday: Anadromous. There's always more to learn.
  16. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    The problem is NOT the literal meanings. Rather it's in the connotations of the words.
    -"Trick" indicates something that is impressive once and for a brief time. Lacking depth.
    -"One" indicates that it has a singular use.
    -"Pony" in this case comes across as a pejorative indicating lack of refinement or immaturity.

    Hence the term "One Trick Pony" is generally used to denote something that has limited utility, can do one thing well-but-briefly and is generally not satisfying in the long run or useful in a a range of situations.

    None of that applies to a P-bass. It is a well respected instrument. The "One Thing" it does has massive utility and can be applied in a broad range of situations. Further, many musicians have found it to be a tool that retains it's satisfying functionality for a long time.
  17. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    I don't care. If a P is a one trick pony, then fine. There is only one thing I want a bass to do.
  18. roccobass

    roccobass Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Northern California
    Hmm. I always thought it was a workhorse. Thanks for the pony definition.
    Cowzone likes this.
  19. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    I don't believe any bass is a 'one trick pony'.
  20. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    What a pleasant respectful thread.

    The P’s inherent goodness is that it proves the tone is in the hands. (Or Tort :))
    There are some things it can’t do but it can sure place in most settings.
    It makes you listen and make those notes and place them where they should be to move the music.
    You can’t make excuses for not bringing the music with great tone unless you cheat and have a mega pedal board. :)
    Joe Nerve likes this.

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