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04/24/2008 Entry: "I Bought a Bass"

I've made no secret about my love of bass guitar. If I weren't a drummer, I'd be a bass player. About a year ago, Paddy moved away, and cut me a really great deal on his '51 Fender reissue. Then, he moved back into town, and well, needed it back. So I sold it back to him. That was the first bass I ever owned.

Lately, I feel as if I should start a "Gospel Grass" band: a bluegrass band playing gospel music. Of course, there's no drummer in a bluegrass band. So I thought "I'll play the bass. That'll give me an excuse to have a bass around the house." So I called Northern Kingdom, the greatest music store in the world, and told them I what I had planned. They told me they had one of these in stock. Not two days later, Paddy called me. He found a new bass amp he wanted to buy. That meant he needed to raise some cash, so he was going to sell his Vox amp. Well look-ey there! It's an old-timey looking guitar, and an old-timey looking amp, and God just about put them in my lap!

I went to NKM, and played the bass. It was ok. The problem for me, though, was that it basically had one sound: FAT! It was big, warm, round bass. And, that's perfect for bluegrass. But what happens when I want to play some other style? Maybe something that requires a little more brightness, a little more snap? I've always liked J basses. I liked what I called the "forward hunching" look of the body. I later learned it's called an "offset waist." What's an offset waist? Look at this beautiful Jazz bass. See the curve on the top and the bottom of the bass? See how the centers or the curve are not directly above each other? The top curve is in front of the bottom curve. That's the offset waist, and that's what gives it that forward leaning look I like. Fender offers a new Squire line of affordable (cheap!) basses, and NKM had a black J bass in stock. It doesn't sound as fat as the P bass, but it does have two pickups, so it offers more tones. It was also a few bucks cheaper. So, I bought it yesterday. I figure if I want to give it a more old-timey look, I can get a tortoise shell pickguard for it.

Paddy's supposed to drop off the amp today. So I'm hoping I'll be playing bass this Sunday evening in church, getting my bluegrass chops honed!

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