Skip to main content

The new bass


I took the leap and got my first Fender Precision Bass a few weeks ago. (This, from the guy who's not really doing music anymore, right? Yeah. You can see how THAT is going.) A whole world opened to me by doing this. After a couple years of bumping along on a pretty-but-ultimately-not-completely-convincing Squier Modified Jaguar bass, I saw a blue P-bass hanging in my local Guitar Center at an unbeatable price. They gave me next to nothing for the Jag, but it really was of minor consequence; I knew I needed to upgrade, so I did.

First, I found that I could actually 'walk' on the P-bass with almost no effort. Having tried to do that with the Jag, I had never been able to feel comfortable without using a heavy pick or my thumb (ala Brian Wilson). The spacing between the strings on the P was so much more natural, and I was capable of effortlessly using my fingertips and coming out with a consistent and rhythmic sound. Can popping be far behind? Well, maybe not--the flatwounds are likely going on soon.

Also, the tone was a LOT more controllable. The Jag had some sort of active control that I never quite mastered, so much time was spent monkeying around to try to keep it from overdriving my amp. To hell with that. The P-bass is very simple. Pickup. Volume knob. Tone knob. Ideal for my small brain to wrap around.

OK, it is a little heavier, and I will have to do something about getting a case for it (I'm using a gig bag for the moment) since I plan on keeping this one.

But I feel as though I have finally obtained the correct tool for the job with a Precision Bass. It's not like I would ordinarily sit around and play bass unamplified while I'm hanging out, as electric bass doesn't seem like that kind of instrument in my mind. But I have done that with the P-bass, and it's delightful.

As many of you all have known about me, despite all the instruments I play, I have always been a frustrated bass player. Now I've been running bass in Baron Von Rumblebuss for a couple years, and I'm at last using the exact bass I have apparently always needed. Hooray!

Comments

Mike R. said…
I know you play a pretty good mandolin too (to great ambient effect on "WWOZ" by Better Than Ezra, for just one example). Are you a big country/bluegrass fan? Do you ever dabble with dobros or banjos or pedal steel?
Unknown said…
Dunno if I'm posting this correctly but...I have the passive version of the Squier Jag and absolutely love it. 'Course, I'm more of a Jazz Bass sound and feel kinda guy than you, apparently, so whatever works is what is right. My other bass is a mid 80s Fernandes but good luck finding one of those nowdays. I definitely agree about active electronics...way too much fiddling around and I blew channels out on the board with a cheap Westone active I had back in the day.
Unknown said…
Just wanted to mention I have the passive version of that Jag bass and love it. But it appears that I have more of a Jazz Bass kinda sound and feel in mind so whatever works for you, is the right tool!

Popular posts from this blog

Back in the saddle again -- new shows and updates from Peter H

  Outside The Hit Shed, Durham NC Hi everyone, Getting ready to start back up again, after a year-plus out of action onstage. I have five shows opening up for  Tommy Prine (son of John) coming soon:     August 6 - Georgia Theater (Athens GA)     August 7 - Cat's Cradle Back Room (Chapel Hill NC)     August 8 - The Grey Eagle (Asheville NC)     September 3 - 118 North (Philadelphia PA)     September 4 - Rams Head (Annapolis MD) I'm also going to open for the Connells , whose new album Steadman's Wake is superb:     September 18 - The Eastern (Atlanta GA) You all probably already know about Our Back Pages  (by Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey) being released on LP and CD via Omnivore Recordings, but if not, here's a link to the new video for "Today Could Be the Day." The songs on OBP are from the catalog of The dB's but given new and interesting treatments by Chris and me. I've been working in The Hit Shed, my home studio, over the months, writing a

CANCELLED - the new Bandcamp single by PETER HOLSAPPLE - released today, December 3, 2021

  Today, December 3, 2021, I have released a new single on Bandcamp entitled CANCELLED.  Just to be clear, the song is called CANCELLED. There was some question on social media whether the release had BEEN cancelled, which it had not, as it was just released.  Or dropped, if you can do that with ephemeral stuff like downloads. You can buy it here .  And you can watch my lyric video here . I hope you like it.  Remember I'm heading out on a house concert tour in March, so come to a show in your neck of the woods!

House concerts, anyone?

Hi everyone, I'd like to take this opportunity to write to you about performing a house concert in your area (maybe even in your own home). Last week, I was able to enlist the invaluable services of Tina Dunn to book a tour of house concerts in early March of 2022. Tina is encouraging potential house concert hosts for me to contact her either on her Facebook page or her email . Right now, I'm also trying to come up with some bonus incentives for house concert attendees. Beer coozies are probably out, but possibly handwritten copies of my lyrics? My penmanship is still fairly excellent. I'm also going to put together a 'house concert special' CD for these show that will 'represent' the format I play in, AND you can play it in your car CD player on the way home! My plan is to play out as much as I can, as many places as I can for as long as I can and as long as there are people who want to hear me. Thanks again for staying interested in my music