1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Why Are Basses So... Un-pretty?

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by insanitizer, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,290
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Location:
    SE PA
    Well, I concur that bassists are less conservative then guitarist. Shoot, I play both and am a lot less conservative about my bass preferences than my guitar choices. Can you imagine Phil Kubicki selling any X-Factors as guitars, or the Entwhistle Buzzard with a 25" scale six-string neck?

    I do own and almost exclusively gig my Rickenbacker 4003, though I have a few instruments I like every bit as much, including the Epi Allen Woody Rumblekat and an '80s Ibanez Roadster med-scale, standard Fender J and P models and a Kubicki X-factor. But none of them look the part of long-haired old guy playing classic rock like the Rick.
     
  2. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    5,180
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I think mine is a stunner. Fun to play too.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Bajo.jpg
      Bajo.jpg
      File size:
      82.7 KB
      Views:
      157
  3. Tegzsa

    Tegzsa TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    17
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2015
    Location:
    London
    I dunno about unpretty.

    The Ric is a Ric. I even like the Guild (my other clanky friend), it has a particularly "Pit and the Pendulum" vibe about it. 4003 08.JPG
     
  4. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    563
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Wiltshire UK
    Although there are undoubtedly some fugly basses, there are also many that I think are drop-dead gorgeous. I'm not talking about exotic wood 'coffee table' finishes, more the classic designs in appealing colour combinations, like this:

    [​IMG]

    Full disclosure: I play bass at least as much as I play guitar!
     
    tintag27 likes this.
  5. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    988
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Location:
    Kalamazoo
    A lot of instruments are not designed by someone who wants to make them look good. They are designed by someone who's assignment is to to make a rebellious quirky statement, because rock and roll is supposed to be about rebellion and not following rules. Now to you and me they may look silly, but some folks are made happy to have a weird instrument.
    I teach banjo and I can't tell you how many students I have had who know nothing about music, but when they saw that weird peg sticking out the side of the neck where it obviously does not belong, the felt that their deep inner weirdness was spiritually in tune with this instrument. They are comforted by the strangeness. This is why there is a market for weird basses.
     
  6. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,811
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    DAStarfires.jpg My Dearmond Starfire Bass is loaded with a pair of Darkstar's, just like the red one. I guess some of us are still, partial to the un-pretty...
     
  7. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,045
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Location:
    Europa
    Meh .. Why do guitarist only play designs that where conceived in the 50s?

    I have an Ibanez SR5000e. It's not short scale, but is has a narrow neck, which is a good thing in my world. Took me a while to find a 4 string bass with the same narrow spacing between strings as normally found on a 5 string.

    I absolutely love this thing from looks over feel to tone :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
    tintag27, Jakedog and 6stringcowboy like this.
  8. JFOC

    JFOC TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Vintage, classic design, short scale & affordable...

    sounds like a recipe for a Fender Mustang
     
    Jakedog and Lobomov like this.
  9. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,132
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Man of the World

    consider the Epiphone EB-0 short-scale SG-style bass or the Ibanez GSR100EXMOL
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    24,417
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    IDK what exactly the OP finds unattractive about short scale basses, but to my eye most short scale basses look funny because of the short scale!
    There are a few decent looking short scale basses, but a bass has longer fatter strings, that's what a bass is.

    Unless you're very very small there is IMO no reason to choose a short scale bass!
    We have to adapt to the instrument's different scale, tension, musical function, tuning, weight, balance, number of strings; and unless we get a 25 1/2" scale we're probably going to have to move our fretting hand around more.

    My suggestion would be to jump in with both feet and buy a bass that looks great and sounds great, like a nice P or J bass or a modern laminated neck through if that's your preference, maybe even get it fretless for the full bass playing experience and sound, then think of it as a different instrument and play it that way.

    I don't know of any actual musical advantage to short scale for a normal size adult, aside from it being easier to play from a guitarists approach.
    Yet bass playing is IMO easier from a bassists approach, so trying to apply our guitar habits to a small bass may not end up making it easier to play, and in fact may make it harder (or less functional) than simply going all the way to a new instrument and approach.

    Sorry to rant, I just think guitar players miss out when they decide they should go with a smaller bass because it's closer to a guitar.
     
    Jakedog, edhead and Mike SS like this.
  11. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,132
    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Man of the World
    The OP has nothing against short scale basses, that is what he is looking for....he just can't find one that he likes the look of (meaning, I think, the body style and headstock). So he will have the same issue with regular, long basses, too.

    I think he would like a short scale Vox Teardrop bass casue he says he wants vintage, although you can't get more vintage than a Fender electric bass .


    http://www.shortscalebass.co.uk/swb-1-standard/

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JagBsVMSSCar?adpos=1t2&creative=105744829201

    Fender Classic Player Rascal Bass
     
  12. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,811
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Try the Rondo website...Jay's a great guy to work with & their SX basses are amazing value. They have any array of long & short scales, fretted & fretless, in classic Fender configurations & beyond.
    http://www.rondomusic.com/bassguitars4.html
     
    Peter Rarebit likes this.
  13. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,272
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I've had a variety of modern basses and I still think the Yamaha RBX is one of the nicest of the "modern" designs. But there's also a lot to be said about the classic '57 P bass. I don't know how anyone could call this un-pretty.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  14. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,619
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Location:
    MI
    I've got the same one, and I agree on all counts. It's certainly playable as-is, but the bridge pickup isn't great. I replaced it with a DiMarzio DP49, and changed out the pots while I was in there. I also replaced the bridge with a Gotoh 201 and strung it up with some LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats (.045-.105). I was originally going to swap out the tuners, but the stock heads are doing just fine.

    Again, it's inexpensive and very playable as it comes, I'm just not one to leave well enough alone, and with a few simple upgrades, it's a great short-scale bass!
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    24,417
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    The pretty much ridiculous looking Dano Longhorn bass actually looks pretty cool on a player, and is very cool in your hands.
    Almost a whole 'nother instrument...
     
  16. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    16,177
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    I love the looks of a jazz bass, and the P bass and variants of either look good to me.

    Rics are not bad looking, but I do not like the way they sound.

    I don't like the hollow body basses many have posted here-- just not my thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    erratick likes this.
  17. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,338
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Location:
    Who wants to know?
    I'm pretty sure if you check the specs on thr current Epi EB-3 it's a 34" scale length...
     
  18. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    16,177
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    I'd maybe like the tone.... the looks, not so much. I just like more traditional looking basses.
     
  19. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,129
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I found my 1st bass, a '74 Fender Jazz Bass in a pawnshop back in 2008. I got it for less than $65,and was a deal that I'll never get again in my lifetime.

    I think it's the most beautiful jazz bass I've ever seen in my life. It's has mojo and you can tell from looking at it that the original owner LOVED playing this bass a lot.

    It wears it's bruises and scars with pride.

    Here's a jazz bass with a look that you can't order from the custom shop or buy off a rack at GC.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    SunnySky and erratick like this.
  20. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    16,177
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Niiiiiice
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.