Bass Guitars

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jayen_aitch
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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Thu Nov 15, 2012 17:06

These are all wonderful things to dream about. I hope that one day you can get those wonderful folk in San Francisco to sort you out with one of those. I'm sure it'll be lovely.

I have no problems picking which bass to play... Though I get worried taking her around the city on the underground and buses.

As you will have noticed, at the moment my bass problems are more amp related.

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paulmitten
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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Thu Nov 15, 2012 18:59

Oh, I'd imagine it's nerve wracking having a high end piece of gear on you in public transportation. In that sense, I think you should consider one of the GK combo amps I mentioned. They are all very affordable, loud, and lightweight and easy to carry around. Their 212 combo is only 37 pounds for 500 watts, and their smaller amps are even lighter.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by Shyle » Thu Nov 15, 2012 19:35

I've got an acoustic bass, Ibanez with stainless strings. And it's cool. :)

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Thu Nov 15, 2012 19:54

My bandmate has one just like that. We like to joke that it's a Mexican guitar.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by Shyle » Thu Nov 15, 2012 19:59

Haha, why mexican ? In my mind, mexican guitar looks more like that.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Thu Nov 15, 2012 20:37

Or this one:

Image

Guitarron Mexicano... I'd be tempted to get one of these.

I understand they are tuned ADGC.

Shyle: How loud are those acoustic basses when not plugged in?

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Thu Nov 15, 2012 21:34

They're really not that loud. They wouldn't keep up with my Taylor when strummed loudly.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Thu Nov 15, 2012 21:45

I guess that's why the guitarron has such a huge body.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by Shyle » Thu Nov 15, 2012 21:50

The acoustic bass doesn't sound loud but not very discreet either. But yeah, if you want a "loud acoustic sound" it's a huge instrument like a contrebass that you need !

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Thu Nov 15, 2012 22:31

And even then, you need to slap it to be heard above anyone playing loudly.

You can sort of do a slap thing (not in the slap pop fashion but in the rockabilly style) on the acoustic-electric bass to get a louder sound that can more easily be heard.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Sat Nov 17, 2012 09:20

So I have three basses, but I can only really give you pictures of two of them right now, broadly speaking though it follows the same pattern Paul had in his post...

The Encore Era.
The simple bass I started with.

It's an Encore that I got second hand for about £90 when I was in the first year at Aberystwyth uni and thought I might like to play bass.

This is not the Encore shown here, but it's pretty similar, although my one is red rather than black:
Image

Cheap and cheerful but with a warm enough tone, it lives now in our rehearsal cave, deep underground below Södermalm. The point of this is that I want to have a bass that is there so I can just turn up and play, even if I don't have time to nip home after work and pick up another bass in time for practice. The cave can be cold and damp, so I wouldn't want to leave a nicer bass there full time.

The tuning peg for the G string fell off a few years ago, and during that time it needed to be tuned using pliers, but the other month I picked up and fitted a new tuning peg, and now pliers are not needed.

The Ibanez Incident
After that I picked up an Ibanez SDGR, which I would say qualifies as my ugly bass, though I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Image
(Picture - Emma Jenkinson)

At this point, 2002ish, I had joined a band that was hoping to sound a bit like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and this was a better bass for that because it's a lot punchier than the encore. If I wanted to slap and pop, of my three this would also be the one that did it best - generally speaking I do not want to do that.

On leaving university I wasn't in a band for quite some time, and then I played the Ibanez for a number of years with The Rocky Nest and played around with the dials, my amp and various bits of kit in the hopes of getting a different tone out of it - essentially I wanted the tone of a Rickenbacker, which I couldn't afford, so I started saving up.

I think need to find the right-sized allen key to raise the action on the g-string as I am getting some fret buzz - oddly this is intermittent and I wonder if it has something to do with temperature.

The Rickenbacker Realisation
Saving up for a Ric was taking far too long, and I came to think that if I ended up being able to afford one when I didn't have a band to play with anymore, then that would be a total waste of time, money and everything else.

So I used my credit card, and got my Rickenbacker in 2010 (I think).

Image
(Picture - Paul Etherington)

This is my dream bass, and I am very happy to have it. Coming back to Paul's way of thinking, above, it's definitely the most desirable bass I have.

It also helps to keep me playing bass.

I mean, you can't have a bass like this and not be in a band, that would be ridiculous. There would probably have to be some sort of public enquiry into criminal waste of beautiful things.

So yes, those are my basses.

While the encore is fairly clearly a P Bass rip off I don't actually own any kit by Fender. This is by accident rather than design, although it's probably pretty rare, I always take in what kit is on stage when I go to a gig, and about fifty per cent of the time all of the guitars and basses on stage are by Fender. It's very rare to see a band with no Fender kit at all.
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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Sat Nov 17, 2012 20:37

Aw I wish I lived in Sweden. Half my favorite bands come from there. I'm a huge Honey is Cool fan, especially.

Anyway, I like your cheapo Encore. If you put a proper pickup in it, I'm sure it'll sound just as good as a Fender. I like Precision Basses a lot. I think they have a very basic tone that with a band never fails to sound good.

As for the Ibanez, those things are little too J-Pop/J-Metal looking for me, but they're fantastic instruments. Usually very light and easy to play. I'm not a huge fan of the usual active circuits they come with, but I can easily bypass them. Is yours a J, P, or J/P style?

And holy crap, if you live in Europe, that Rickenbacker must actually be way more expensive than here. Must be a few months of rent in that bass. But smart instrument, though. That thing will always have great value and will always be fashionable. Anything you need from here on out will be purely for variety.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Sat Nov 17, 2012 21:04

I've only lived here a year and a half (so far) but I do love it, and yes the music scene is great. Before this I lived in Hull in the UK, which was also lovely. My wife is a full-on Stockholmer, so I visited a lot before we decided to move (back) here.

I do like the Encore (Nathaniel). I have toyed around with the idea of "doing it up". I don't really know enough about it though. I could look into various different pickups and what might sound nice in there. On the other hand it's nice that I don't worry about it, it's sort of refreshing having one bass which sounds fine, but that if something terrible happened to it, I wouldn't be too upset.

The Ibanez (Isobel) is very light, yeah, she is active, which means I occasionally think it's broken and then I remember that it has a 9V battery inside. She's J/P style.

I actually shipped the Rickenbacker (Rebecca) from a shop in Florida and saved a fair bit of money that way. That said, back when I had a car, the Ric was worth 50 per cent more than my car. Which proved that I am not a very convincing grown-up. I very much doubt I will ever sell it. Perhaps I can bequeth it to a bass-playing grandchild in the future. Will people play basses then? Maybe all music will be made by genetically engineered birds.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Sat Nov 17, 2012 21:48

Yeah I envy that. It seems like half my favorite artists come from Stockholm, the other half from Gothenburg. I live in San Diego, which has its own advantages. I mean, I hear that the rest of the world has this thing called bad weather, which is like 15 days of the year here. At the same time, the only people that come to our shows is our close friends, coworkers, and members in other people's bands that we've been to recently. There are very few people that actually keep up with bands locally and make it a point to go to see bands they haven't heard of before, which makes it hard for any band in town, really. I mean, 1.3 million people live in this city and we're excited to see a half dozen people we don't know. There's a reason why since Blink 182, the last San Diego band to "make it" has been... I can't think of one. Even nearby Los Angeles has a severe dearth of decent indie bands, surprising considering how huge that city is.

I still can't imagine leaving, though. I'm too happy here. Plus, I lived on the East Coast. I lived in Boston, too many bands thinking they're the next Pixies. I lived in Brooklyn, which is supposed to be some kind of indie mecca, and I didn't find my perfect bandmates until I moved here and all but given up on starting a band I actually like. My bandmates are really amazing. I found them because they loved The Cardigans, and we pretty much run through Cardigans songs left and right all the time. When I got hurt in a home robbery (yeah, messed up, I know), my bandmate picked me up from the hospital and made me stay on her couch for several weeks. Who does that, you know. And that's why I can't imagine leaving town. Scenes come and go. Real friends like that, they're worth everything.

I don't think I have any instruments worth more than my car. Yet. But when I get my Susanna Hoffs signature Rickenbacker 350 (my absolute dream guitar), I probably will.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Sat Nov 17, 2012 22:00

Yes, you get good weather, cheaper instruments, and to see the sun. From next week the sun will rise after I get to work. It's already dark when I leave.

I think the difficulty encouraging people to come to shows is probably a problem wherever you are. I know we had the same thing in Hull.

I'm hoping our first gig will be well attended, first gigs often are, but I know that you can't expect your close friends and family to turn up and pay in every single time you play.

Sorry to hear about your horrible home burglary. It's great that you have bandmates who look after you like that though. You should definitely keep hold of them.

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