Well, I got tired of waiting on the "All things bass guitar" thread so here it is.

I guess it’s a catch-all, a thread for bass players, a place to heap adoration on our favorite bass players, our favorite bass lines and maybe talk a little shop. I’ll go first:

I play bass. My baby is a 4 string Music Man. Been through a lot with that one, even though I have been born again and mostly play 5 string now. The guitarist in my current band was a bass player in a former life and has lots of cool toys, a Tobias, a 5 string Fender and a fretless. I have 2 heads I alternate between, depending on mood, a Fender BXR300 (shocker, right?!) and an Ampeg. I have a few cabinets I alternate between as well, an Ampeg, a Hartke and a no-name.

Heros: In no particular order (and off the top of my head), Justin Chancellor, John Paul Jones, Flea, Krist Novoselic, Entwistle, Victor Wooten and, of course, Les Claypool.

Favorite lines: Anything I’ve written. Ok, besides that, just about anything from one of the guys I mentioned above.

Most of us started playing because of all the guitar players, we were the worst so “Just stand over there and play the root notes” :wink: but eventually or immediately fell in love with the instrument and came to appreciate the roll of bass in a band.

Oh, and I <3 bass player jokes. :stuck_out_tongue:

I play a Roland SH-101 . :wink:

Hey, that’s cool. On my current wishlist: I know y’all wanted that 808 when you hear that B-A-S-S bass

Ok, not a bass synth, but still cool.

A bass player arrives at the symphony orchestra. The conductor asks him if he’d like a minute to tune up. The bassis says “Why? Isn’t it in the same key it was last year?”

How do you confuse a bass player?

Detune a string, and don’t tell him which one it is!
How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb?

The keyboardist does it with his left hand.
How many bassists does it take to change a light bulb?

One. Five. One. Five.
How many bassists does it take to change a light bulb?

One, but the guitar player has to show him how first.

:wink: (Ilsa_Lund, lead guitar)

Well, I rarely play any bass at all anymore, except for a little bit of upright. I did spend six years as a bassist on the road and in the studio, so I’ll chime in anyway.

Unfortunately, I had to give up bass back in 2000 due to some horrible tendinitis in my right forearm. Thankfully, I can still play with a pick and fingerstyle on other thinner stringed instruments (mostly banjo), so I still play my other instruments.

Electric Basses: Ken Smith Custom Custom Shop Five String (main axe), 1972 P-Bass, with the original rubber wrapped strings - perfect for that James Jamerson/Funk Brothers tone. Carvin Custom Six String (Fretless)

Uprights: a cheap plywood student model that does me just fine.

Amps: for upright, a little Gallien-Kruger 1x12 that does me just fine. For electric, I used to play Ampeg heads (mostly SVT IVs). Right before I quit playing I switched to Eden heads and cabs, but I still love the Ampegs the best.

Cabs: For most of my career I used a Trace 1x18 bottom and an SWR 4x10 top. I’ve also used a Trace 6x10 as a top, but it really was too much, even for the really big rooms.

Favorite Bassists: Jaco, Rocco Prestia, James Jamerson, Chuck Rainey, Mike Gordon, Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, Alan Gorrie (AWB).

Favorite Bass Solos/Performances by the above players:
Portrait of Tracy & Continuum (Jaco),
All of East Bay Grease (Rocco/Tower of Power),
My Girl, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, Car Wash (asst’d Motown/JJ)
Peg & Kid Charlemagne (Steely Dan/Chuck Rainey),
Weekeapaug Groove, Mike’s Groove and Split Open & Melt (Phish/Mike Gordon)
One Drop, Kaya, Trenchtown Rock (Bob Marley/Aston Barrett)
Pick Up The Pieces, Schoolboy Crush, Soul Searching (Average White Band/Alan Gorrie)

I play a Fender Jazz Bass, although not well. Haven’t acquired an amp yet. My favorite bassists, off the top of my head, are:
Paul McCartney – listen to the great bass on “Rain” and the pretty simple but effective descending line on “A Day in the Life”
Jack Casady – great on all the Jefferson Airplane live stuff
Paul Jackson – I’ve only heard his work on Herbie Hancock’s Thrust so far. It was one of the first things I tried playing on bass. I knew I would have no chance of succeeding, and I still don’t, but I feel it’s important to absorb the proper funk attitude.
probably some Zappa bassists (Arthur Barrow maybe?)
Les Claypool
Victor Wooten – seeing him with the Flecktones live is an INSANE experience
whoever’s played bass on the Ruins stuff I’ve heard – I think it’s Sasaki Hisashi on the new stuff, and Masuda Ryuichi on some of the older stuff. The bass on some of their songs is converting me into a True Believer in the use of bass to fill all the melodic and harmonic roles in music.

How does that work? :wink:

Can I just be the first to say:

“All things bass guitar are belong to us!”

Very quietly.

I played a little bass as a teenager. Had a Hohner clone of a Telecaster. That’s Tele guitiar, not bass, so it had the stunted upper wing which made it balance very poorly with a bass neck. I moved to guitar when my folks bought me an SG but I was never very good. I’ve considered getting back into it a little My wife has a “doo wop” girl group that sings at our church talent and karaoke shows and I said I’d play bass if they’d do These Boots Are Made For Walking.

How many lead guitarists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Ten. One to change the light bulb, nine to say “I could have done that.”

I just couldn’t let this thread go any further without saying…
Mike Watt

One of my many instruments I can get by on is bass.

Here’s my contribution:

A man goes into the jungle on safari with a native guide. As he enters the jungle he hears the sound of native drums. As they go farther the drums keep up their insistent beat.

“Good Lord, man, what is that noise?” says the man.

“Native drums.” says the guide. “Harmless when drums are playing, but if drums stop, bad thing happen!”

All through the night, as the man was lying inside his mosquito net and tent, the drums were incessant. He hardly got any sleep that night.

The next day, the drums were as loud as ever. There seemed to be no energy lost by the players. There was no letup to the beat.

“In the name of all that’s holy,” said the man, “I wish those drums would stop!”

“No, sir.” the guide replied. You don’t want drums to stop. Bad thing happen when drums stop."

The man screamed at the top of his lungs, “BUT I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE! THE DRUMS HAVE TO STOP OR I’LL GO CRAZY!”

Just then, the drums stopped.

The man, fearful of what was going to happen, looked at his guide. The native had a crazed, doomed look in his eyes.

“The drums stopped!” said the man! “Now what’s this bad thing that’s going to happen?”

The native began running away, screaming at the top of his lungs:


Almost hate to butt in when there are people who can actually play posting here, but what the heck . . . .

Like a lot of us, in any group of guitar players, I was always the worst, so I ended up playing bass a lot of the time. Never owned one when I was playing in college. After college, I ended up sticking my guitar in a closet and didn’t play for about eight years at one point. After my son started preschool and got really excited about music, I thought it might be fun to start playing again, so I dug out the guitar. After a little while, I realized that while I quickly got back to being as good as I’d ever been on guitar, it still was pretty bad, and I missed playing bass. So I bought a cheap Danelectro Rumor bass and started in again. After a couple of years with that, I really began to yearn for something a bit better. I thought about getting a new Mexican P-Bass, and was on the verge of buying one, when I came into some free money unexpectedly. I set my sights a little higher, and in playing a variety of axes in music stores I realized what I really wanted, what really felt right playing it, was a Music Man Stingray. I still didn’t want to spend $1200 though. And then I came across the Music Man S.U.B.: identical design and hardware as the Stingray, made on the same assembly line, but available new for $700. I’m convinced, though I haven’t been able to confirm it, that Ernie Ball uses the bodies and necks that don’t meet the cosmetic standards for the Stingrays for the S.U.B.s, since the bodies for the S.U.B. are painted with a matte textured finish, and the necks are painted black instead of the oil finish on the Stingrays. Even if there are any other differences, I’m still bad enough that they’re lost on me. Both the Danelectro and S.U.B. were stolen in a burglary last month, but amazingly enough I got them both back – I had the serial numbers for both, and notified my local Music-Go-Round store about them a couple of days after the burglary – they’d been sold there within a couple of hours of the breakin.

My only amp is still the little Fender Bassman 25 I bought when I bought the Danelectro – since all of my playing is in the living room after the rest of the family’s in bed, it’s all I need, and the headphone out and CD/tape aux in are really handy. I do have a Johnson J-Station that I use to get a bit of variety in my electric guitar playing (since I don’t have a guitar amp), and have found some of the bass amp/cab emulations useful with the bass at times as well, but I mainly go straight into the Fender.

As far as players, I’m in constant awe of James Jamerson. I’d most like to be Duck Dunn. Or if I’m really dreaming large, Bob Babbitt (hey, I’m sort of built like him anyway). And if I ever start thinking I’m making progress toward learning anything, I listen to Bruce Thomas on Get Happy! to disabuse myself of that notion.

I’ll second that Mike Watt.

Someday, my happy arms will hold you
And someday, I’ll know that moment divine –
When all things bass guitar are mine.

Yeah, pretty much.