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Why so many basses?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Reverend G-Money, Mar 5, 2004.


  1. i've been a satisfied fender player for 16 years and have done about 8 different styles/projects and have never needed more than one or 2 basses depending on the situation. so here's what i'm getting at... after 18 years of bass playing i got my first active bass. i'm able to get a ******** of tones through it and i have a lot of flexibility. now my question is for all of you who own 4-5 or more basses, do you ever use them all? do you actually play in enough different situations/bands/styles that actually warrant that many different tones or changing instruments? just curious to hear what causes TB'ers G.A.S... (no pun intended) .. :p

    Mod edit for language again. Profanity must be completely masked.
     
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I own four basses and am getting a fifth soon. But my case is different. Two of the basses I own are cheap and don't really work, and one is a four-string which I don't play much at all. I'm just trying to get better and better stuff as I go.
     
  3. ONYX

    ONYX

    Apr 14, 2000
    Michigan
    I have quite a few basses. The only ones that I ever use for gigs are my Carvin and the two Jazz basses. I almost never use my fretless anymore. A couple have been "retired" and no longer leave the house. I have a Dano 6 string which I pick up every so often. I also have a few Frankenstein basses which I've put together when I had nothing better to do.

    I don't "need" all these basses, but, at some point in the past they served a purpose. I'll never get rid of any of them--they're all like "old friends" to me. If I sold one, I know I'd regret it within a matter of minutes.
     
  4. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Gusto- this area is for non music related talk. Off we go.
     
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I have 3 basses, Electric fretted, Electric Fretless, and Acoustic fretted.

    needless to say they each get used differently. I don't really have a desire to have a whole lot of basses, but just like artists might have several types of brushes, different basses serve different purposes, that doesn't mean you *need* them to make your art, but they can help.
     
  6. Coutts_is_god

    Coutts_is_god Guest

    Dec 29, 2003
    Windsor, Ont, Canada
    I would be happy with a few more basses.

    Granted I only have one lol!
     
  7. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I used to play live with 7 basses as follows:

    4
    4 fretless
    5 (BEADG)
    5 (EADGC)
    6
    8
    Acoustic 4 (not upright)

    Did I use them all every night? Yes.
    Did I need them all? Probably not

    But I tend to play a little differently, or at least write a little differently, when playing different sounding and feeling basses. After a time I started to feel that I was most comfortable playing the song on the bass that it was written on. The song had a feel of it's own. I had my own bass tech, so why not cart everything around with me, if it makes my playing feel more at home and comfortable. And I can sound consistent too, as it is the same setup for everything. But I also used a digitally programmable preamp and footboard (Mesa Tri-Axis), so I could have the exact same amp tone for every song, no matter how different it may have been.

    I read once about how Sonic Youth would write songs with alternate tunings. They found it was easier to own a guitar for each song and leave it in that tuning rather than have to change it all the time and remember which song had which tuning. They just wrote it on the back of the headstock. On a lesser level, I guess I kind of did something similar.

    I also heard somewhere that James Jamerson used the same bass with the same set of strings his entire career.

    To each their own.
     
  8. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The quality of gear for the American musical consumer has metastasized itself in the last 15 or so years into countless choices. With so many playing styles out there, we hear the tones of others. And we want that tone too. Thus, the pursuit of gear, to the delight of instrument and equipment manufacturers everywhere.
    I have only one MIA-P Bass right now. It has a rosewood board. I wouldn't mind trying a maple board P, at a gig or rehearsal for a couple of years. Just to see if I like it.
     
  9. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I currently own 3 basses, and plan on probably always owning 3 basses. I think its a nice number. At the moment i ahve 2 fretted 4s and one fretless 4. I am selling a fretted 4 and buying a fretted 5. I think having one fretred 4, one fretted 5, and one fretless 4 will be perfect for me. Whenever i buy a new bass i will probably sell or retire the bass like it.
     
  10. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Conklin GT-7 -this bass sounds great, has huge range, is very comfortable and is my all around workhorse.

    FBB #030 - I just got this bass, it has a cool passive sound, I've yet to see where it will land in the scheme of things.

    Accoustic Electric - no explaination needed I hope.

    Fretless 4 -same as above.


    I will get more basses as time goes by so that I can use a wider variety of tools. I probably will not buy two of the exact same bass, I don't really see the point.

    edit: I have brain damage.
     
  11. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Let's see.......

    I have four.

    My favorite & most used is a 5 string with fairly tight spacing. Works great for fingerstyle gospel and smooth jazz. I can thump on it, but when I really have to thump I have

    A four string that has unbelievable tone, but no low B string. For the B string I go back to the 5 string, or....

    Pick up my fretted 6, which also has a high C string. I don't do chords or tapping, but ocassionally I take advantage of the extra string to stay within one or two fingering positions. Also, if I need to slap AND need a low B, this bass is the one. Wide spacing and a seriously snappy tone.

    Now if I'm doing a nice mellow ballad, I reach for my fretless 6. It 's a 6 string 'cause that's what it was when I bought it used. If I were ordering new it would probably be a 5, but I'm enjoying it just the same.

    So, that's how I use my four basses. All of them do most things well. Each of them does something better than the others do it. Now, when the fifth one gets here, I may have to give it a bit more thought.

    Peace,

    James
     
  12. the never ending pursuit for the ideal sound.
    have 7 basses (6, 7, 8 fretted & fretless).

    :bassist:
     
  13. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Frankly, out of 13, I play 4: the Gt-7,a CIJ Jazz, a MIJ Jazz Special, an Orion.
    The Wishy I need if I'm required to play a fretless and it sounds good.
    The Gaveston 12ver I want because its fun and I can fake a good 'Purple Haze' on it.
    The Cort Curbow has been adopted by my wife!
    The Curlee stays because I've always wanted one.
    The Ripper shall NEVER be touched by the heathen hands of others!
    The Duke, well, I've grown to like it
    MIM Precision, Ebay Lightwave, Copley 5ver- too big a hassle to sell and useful decoys for those non-bassist friends who want to play a bass.
     
  14. I only have one bass at the moment, but i think my perfect number would be 4 or 5
    I have a spector performance 4 that i will trade in for a NS2000/4 latter in the year
    I also want a
    Jazz Bass-4 string fretted
    5 string bass fretted
    P-bass 4 string fretted
    Fretless

    For me that should cover everything...i have no need for basses with lots of strings (6,7,8+..not there is anything wrong with them) and the 5 string would probly be strung E,A,D,G,C because i dont see a use for a low B in the music i like
     
  15. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    East Coast, US
    Like ONYX, I find it hard to get rid of old basses. 2 of my 6 are still around simply because of sentimental value. The Ibanez GSR200 was my very first, and the 1980 Vantage P I rescued from disrepair (has anyone ever seen house paint on a bass before?)
    I have 3 fives and one fretless four. The ones I use for recording and gigs and such are the Bongo BEADG, which has many, many tones, the Corvette FNA EADGC, which is pretty high-fi and sounds like a Warwick, and the Corvette std. Fretless, the only fretless I have. The other 5, a Schecter, gets some good rock tones and pretty much sits in its case, but I use it sporadically.
    I predict that basses 7 and 8 (wow) will be a Precision and a 6, because I'm lusting for the P tone and 6 strings will be a new challenge.
     
  16. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I'm going to end up with 2 fretted (just because I need a backup for gigs, not because I really NEED to play two) and 1 fretless. 3 basses total and I will be happy.

    I don't really have GAS to have 10 basses or anything. Just not practical.
     
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Peavey Cirrus 6 - This used to be my do-everything-bass, until I decided that I wasn't a six stringer. Now it is my tapping and chords bass, mostly for my enjoyment here at home. I also take it to church on occasion.

    Zon Sonus Custom fretless 5 - This is my main fretless, and gets played mostly at church.

    Nordstrand SC5 - This is arriving next week, and will probably take the Cirrus' slot as my do-everything-bass. Slap, tap, fingerstyle, chords, etc. Will be used with my originals band, and some at church.

    Hamer CH12 - Because I need the sound of a twelve string on a couple of my original bands songs, and I plan to incorporate it on some more as time goes on.

    Fender Jazz Geddy Lee - Because everybody should have a Jazz bass! We recorded three songs in the studio back in December, and one of them just SCREAMED for a Jazz. Luckily, I had this one, and it recorded just great! See for yourself. <URL src="http://www.luciddreamer.net/music/01%20-%20Get%20thee%20behind%20me%20satan.m3u">Get thee behind me Satan</URL>

    SX BG-80 - Because everybody needs a P bass!

    Ibanez SR506 - Decent 6 stringer, and worth more to me than I could sell it for. One day, it will be defretted and fitted with EMGs.

    Westone Quantum - Decent Steinie copy. Lots of sentimental value, I played it in my first band as a teenager, then sold it. Saw it on Ebay last year and had to have it.

    Electra Westone Spectrum fretless - Decent fretless, fitted with black tapewounds so that I have a fretless with an upright vibe.

    Peavey Foundation - This one also has some sentimental value, and like the Ibanez is worth more to me than I could sell it for. Semipermanently loaned out to a poor guy who can't afford a bass. It is his until he can afford one, and then it will probably come back home. If that never happens, it's cool.

    Lakland D55-01 - This one actually belongs to my wife. She wanted to learn how to play bass, so she bought this. She hasn't picked it up in over a year. It accompanies me to gigs as a backup, and gets played at church from time to time.
     
  18. ArnoldoAC

    ArnoldoAC

    Aug 23, 2003
    London
    My main basses are the following...

    * Fodera Imperial Matt Garrison 6 string
    * Ken Smith KSA-6 20th anniversary 6 string
    * Yamaha BBNE2 (Nathan East 2 model) 5 string
    * MTD 535 5 string
    * Pedulla MVP 5 5 string
    * NS-CRM5 electric upright bass 5 string

    I use all of them a lot...main axes...very different

    I also have the following which I don't use that often or at all

    * Yamaha BBEAST (Nathan East 1 model) 5 string
    * Yamaha RBX 170? fretless 4 string
    * Fender Jazz Deluxe active V - MIA 5 string
    * Fender Jazz Bass passive - MIJ 4 string
    * Fender Precision Special Lyte - MIJ 4 string
    * Yamaha RBX 565? fretless 5 string
    * Yamaha RBX 565? 5 string
    * Epiphone (old semi acoustic a la ES-335) 4 string
     
  19. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I have 3 basses.

    A MIM Deluxe Jazz

    A Peavey G-Bass (Basswood body, Graphite Neck, active electronics)

    And a Fretless Squier P-Bass


    I play the G bass most of the time... It just feels great to me... Its light weight, and cuts through well. The jazz has a deeper tone, and more variety... but it is so damned heavy. And I really only use one or 2 different tones on it... And the fretless, is more or less just a project that I will never stop working on...


    If I had to keep one... I'd keep the G.


    I don't need them all... but they all make me smile in different ways...

    I'd love to add a black p-bass with a maple fretboard and a nice 5 string to the mix....