So now that we have talked briefly about Fenders and Rickenbackers, there are some other quite noteworthy brands that are definitely worth discussing...Let's start with Wal basses! I have owned a number over the years and they are quite nice! The first one I had was a 1984 with a wenge top and back. Miss that one! Since then, I have had others and they are quite consistent. Originally, they were made by two individuals-Pete Stevens as the luthier and Ian Waller (Wal) as the electronics wizard. The basses showed up on the scene in the late 70's and were in the hands of some amazing players all through the 80's. Flea and Geddy Lee were two players who used in them in the early 90's and of course, Justin Chancellor of Tool. These days, the basses are being made by a man named Paul Herman who was an apprentice under Pete Stevens before his passing. While I have not personally played any of the new ones, I am told they are still very high quality and (while they are expensive) they are all about the tone that made them famous in the first place! Here are two fine examples, one from teh 80's and another from the early 90's. ENJOY!
This can be an amazing topic...
Is it the elements that come together that causes 'magic' to happen? is it because you heard someone playing a particular bass/brand that motivated you to think it was the 'one?' Does it look Cool? Is it the "best bass for metal?" and the list goes on...
Let's look at some bass history in its looooong form and see what makes up a good bass....
The bass that made the biggest splash, the Fender Precision is the best place to start...
Leo Fender's first bass, single coil pickup with a slab body and solid maple neck-stood the world on its ear as upright players could now move around with a smaller instrument that would play the notes more "precisely"...which evolved in the late 50's to the standard bass so many players use-in a variety of colors and neck widths through the 60's and 70's.
The second bass, the jazz bass, came along at the beginning of the 60's to give the player a little more versatility in tones...two pickups, body shape more oblong, skinny smaller neck profile...highly popular and sought after basses these days!
Rickenbacker came on the scene with basses in the late 50's and refined a unique design that became the VERY popular 4000 series, the most notorious being the 4001. These basses have been used for a myriad of styles from the 60's-80's demonstrating use in all musical explorations....The 4001 came standard with 2 pickups, which could be amplified as mono or stereo signals enabling the player to sort of sculpt a tone to their liking.
These three examples have been played by every well known bass player at some point in their collective careers. Some have chosen to stay with one particular model of bass and have MADE careers playing those basses.
Here are some examples of these basses, played by yours truly...
Check them out and see what tones you like and don't like! More to come!!!
It has been an exciting summer thus far! Lots of new things on the bass frontier. A project that has been in development for over a year has come to fruition in the form of the Relayer bass by Kerry Davis Guitars (http://www.kerrydavisguitars.com/home.html)
This angular beauty is custom made to my specifications and is strung with Kalium Strings. There is an initial video review of this fine bass at www.youtube.com/bassjaymi
as well as many others!
Jaymi M - the Keeper of Pink Basses, live and studio player.