Why have so many basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lefty4string, Feb 10, 2018.

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  1. Lefty4string

    Lefty4string Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    Certainly not to be judgemental or come across superior in any way.other but i often wonder why do so many people own so many expensive basses when they can hardly play one? maybe i am missing something here, but it just seems pointless and a waste. is it perhaps an insecurity thing . you know the more great basses you have will make you a better player? also it would stand to reason that a serious player would want to "bond" with one instrument and get to know it intimately. i would think that is important. in my first years i had one good 80s fender precision bass that was with me for many bands clubs and gigs. i didn't need 10 basses. was just wondering what others thought.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Why own more than one car, pair of shoes, baseball bat, hat, amp, etc. People collect lots of things they can only use one at a time.
  3. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i'm down to two now, one is for shows and the other one is for recording
    after all these years and basses it's kind of a relief to not be scouring pawnshops, vintage places, and guitar center, not to mention all online sales places
  4. I def agree with your sentiments and although this topic has been beaten to death,I often keep coming back to the same question, myself. Obviously it's a deeply personal question, and the answer is different for everyone. I think it boils down to the fact that I love a certain era of guitars and basses. Particularly designs from the 50s-70s. It's just fun to play and collect different guitars. I've reached a place in my life where I am fortunate enough to splurge once in a while on a nice instrument. As a result, I have accumulated quite a few over the years.

    Is it excessive? Perhaps. Am I a pro gigging musician? Absolutely not. But having the option to plug in a wide variety of instruments when I get home from work in the evening gives me a nice feeling. I try to bond with all instruments I own on some level. Others are just case queens that I am proud to own and bust out every so often. Call it stupid, I guess.

    When I was broke, I played an Mim jazz bass for about 10 years and was content. It was my only functional bass. Maybe that has something to do it that too...

    Sorry for the rambling, been a long day.
  5. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    The people I know with lots of basses can afford too, mostly accumulated over a period of time but I never really thought of what's to much for the next person-it's a dog trying to keep myself in check.
    Pbassmanca and Old Blastard like this.
  6. Lefty4string

    Lefty4string Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    I can see your point. also I was not aware that this question was often posted often here on T.B. after watching Youtube and seeing a number of truly bad players with an armada of Fenders and really nice expensive basses i was just like what the hell. why not learn to play one before you buy 20 more?. just seemed rather crazy.
  7. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    For not being judgmental, that post if pretty judgmental.

    Why? Because I want to. It isn't because this one is great for this, and that one is great for that. It is simply because I want to.
  8. Lefty4string

    Lefty4string Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    does it come across judgmental? well take it as you will.
    Mili and JRA like this.
  9. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Because it' s legal? :D and because they have the money to buy them?

    I can play them all!

    ????????? like most hobbys?????


    hoping for some funny stuff to read :)

    may the bass (or all your basses :D) be with you

  10. Lefty4string

    Lefty4string Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    for some people it is not a hobby.it is actually how they make their money. it is also very likely that because so many "hobbyists" are buying so much that the brand names are declining in quality. not to mention that the wait times are far greater to acquire what you need. in effect supply and demand.
    The3fingerteers and Mili like this.
  11. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I can play all my instruments just fine (except harmonica), to my ears, but I will never play in public or post videos of my playing.
    That said, I was ironically just lying here in bed thinking of selling all but 2 of my instruments on Monday morning.

    Darn those hobbyists for cluttering up the supply chain!
  12. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    It's lots of fun spending our kids college and retirement funds.
  13. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Some people get inspired from the different sounds their basses can produce.
  14. Basses are things.

    People like things.

    So they buy lots of them.
    RGK, SpanishDave, pudgychef and 14 others like this.
  15. Lefty4string

    Lefty4string Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    to simplify my original thought. this was not directed toward people who can actually play. it was about those who can't play that buy a fleet of guitars.
    el_Bajo_Verde, TLJordan19 and JRA like this.
  16. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Live and let live.
  17. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Not everyone is at the same income or wealth level that you are. For one person, an American Standard Fender might be a major purchase. For another person, it may be an unattainable luxury. For another person, having a number of American Standard and AVRI basses may be a relatively minor expense.

    One guy buys a sports car just for fun — its not his main commuter car nor the minivan the family uses to cart around the kids and such, it’s just an extra car that he always wanted. Say it costs $30,000-ish, like the Nissan 370Z a guy I know bought recently. Another guy dreams of having a couple of basses. Another guy wants a swimming pool. Another guy wants a motor home. Another guy wants a vacation home. Another guy wants to upgrade his house to a McMansion. Another guy blows his money on gambling. Another guy literally pisses away his money year after year on alcohol, perhaps A LOT of money if he’s into, say, fine wines — and he’s praised for his discrimination and taste! That’s all okay, but somebody can’t spend, say, $10,000 on a little collection of nice basses if that’s what makes him happy? I can’t agree with that.

    On the other hand, why do some people have a dozen or more potted plants in their house?! I only have two, and for years I only had one plant. I can’t see how some people somehow feel justified having a dozen or more plants. And, I see with many of these hobbyist plant collecting people, their plants aren’t even that green! I worked hard and carefully for years keeping my one plant green; I just can’t understand how somebody could have like 6 plants and some of them have yellowing in their leaves or a withered stem here or there — it just doesn’t make sense to me. The other day I was thinking of getting a 3rd plant and I went to the store and there was no plant of the type I wanted in stock! It’s these hobbyist gardners who can’t even keep the plants they have green and lustrous buying all these plants and messing with the supply for serious plant keepers like me. But i’m not gonna judge :roflmao:
    el murdoque, Qlanq, Remyd and 26 others like this.
  18. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    There are a great many things that annoy me but the idea of someone owning a lot of basses just isn't one of them.
  19. I'm more on the other side of this. I'm a reasonably good player (I played pro for years) over many different styles, so I collected basses that either inspired me in some way, or had a tone or feel that I really dug. I rarely looked at cost, and in my mind a good bass was about fitting in the parameters I outlined above, not the weight of the price.

    I also never was a collector per say. I was a working bassist that pretty much lived on the road touring, and the battle scars and the touring life can beat a bass up pretty quick. I don't own any high end botique basses, any pristine vintage case queens, or other exotic one offs that would be so expensive I'd never play them out.

    What I do have is a bunch of lower and medium priced basses that in some way spoke to me. For me, the fun is taking a good sounding or feeling bass and modding it to bring out the best of its tone. If it gets a dent or ding when playing on stage or at home, so be it. I have my main and favorite players I've had for years, but I do rotate basses out of the main line up every few months.

    I went through a period backing an artist where all I played was five string basses, so I've got some great players. These days I've been playing more four stringers, going back to my roots and really digging my Precision and Jazz style basses. In six months that might change. But with a stable of about 20 basses, I can usually find one that fits the mood I'm in to play. I'm getting the urge to get back into playing fretless more again, so I might have to break out my Jaco sig this week.

    If someone wants to collect high end basses and can't play as well as a pro can, who really cares? If they are enjoying the basses that all that matters.
    Babydave, SJan3, bucephylus and 15 others like this.
  20. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I'm reminded of this dude who posts videos of himself playing guitar really well in his parents' basement on a rig that runs in the thousands.
    Why doesn't that guy move out of his parents' house?
    This is essentially the kind of question you're asking.

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