The Island of Misfit Bass Guitars

As you may remember from mid-May, I have taken up the task of learning an “Art” to fulfill the “Activities Credit” for the degree I am aspiring towards. I chose to learn the electric bass guitar for a multitude of reasons, none of which I will bore y’all with today.

Today I had my first formal lesson. After four weeks of reading everything I could on the subject and even learning one song by myself (don’t be too proud of me, it was U2’s “With Or Without You”. Five minutes of four notes and one volume change). I’ve been working on U2’s New Year’s Day and today’s lesson showed me where I was going wrong, which was nice.

My teacher’s name is Chuck Buser. Hit that link for his website. Nice guy. He used to teach music at the college I’m attending, so I don’t think I’ll have any problems getting him approved by the current staff next quarter. I think he and Mr. Completely would get along just fine. At that link you’ll see a video he did that provides the evidence of my assumption.

In other bass guitar news, I have been spending a great deal of time fighting off the urge to buy every single Fender Precision Bass I find on CraigsList. I know that I just need to stop looking, but that is even more difficult because some of those things are dirt cheap.

I live in a very dangerous area of the country for someone with this hobby and my personality type. You see, I a couple weeks ago I discovered that I live 20 minutes or so away from Warmoth Custom Guitar Parts.

That would be the equivalent of a gear head living near the Edelbrock factory outlet or a FN/FAL junkie living next to to the DSA shop.

When I spoke of my “personality type”, let’s just say that I’m the kind of guy who takes things apart for fun. 99% of the time I even get them back together without help from a pro! Knowing this about myself, as soon as I bought my first bass, the Yamaha at the first link, I knew I was going to have to start looking for a project bass or risk not being able to practice because my Yamaha was disassembled on the dining room table.

So, I’d like you to meet my newest acquisition

2011-05-27 21.37.22

Tis just your average Squire by Fender P-Bass. It was previously owned by a guy up near the University of Washington. Dude was so emo that I was sure he’d literally have pooped kittens if I would have attempted to haggle with him. Not that I needed to. I spend more on an oil change than I paid for this thing.

In fact, if you can picture it, this guitar already has a red pick guard and black knobs, courtesy of a couple rattle cans and some sand paper I had laying about. Sooner than later it will look more like this P-Bass. I am restricting myself, however, to only working on it a maximum of 10% of the time I spend practicing: If I practice for 10 hours, I can work on it for one hour. Which isn’t really all that much, what with the sanding and repainting I’m going to be doing.

After I get the hang of paintwork, I’m planning a Thunderbird in British Racing Green, with the correct 60’s era racing stripes, a single Music Man pickup in the sweet spot, a 24 fret fingerboard and a on/off toggle for the on-board distortion.

And that is only the first of five more I have planned.

The internet is a dangerous thing, my friends.

This entry was posted in Phil Goes to College. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Island of Misfit Bass Guitars

  1. emdfl says:

    During one of her high-school years, the Daughter decided to learn to play bass guitar(Why? I dunno.). Anyhow she took lessons for three months and then her teacher told her that he couldn’t teach her anything more, she just had to play/practice. She learned on a Ibinez and a 250 watt 20″amp. Eventually she got tired of the thing, and I traded it to a friend for a .380 Walther PPK – a win for us both, heh ,heh..

  2. Chris Byrne says:

    Welcome to my addiction friend.

    Soon you’ll be thinking about fine woods and neck through body glueups.

  3. Rivrdog says:

    So who are you jammin with up there, Phil? I’ll be making several trips up North this summer to visit/dine with the Dr. Dau, who starts practice in your neck of the woods in a week or so, and I wouldn’t mind spending a few bucks in a cool bar listening to you and whoever else lay down some riffs….

  4. Phil says:

    I’ve only been playing for less than five weeks, RD. I don’t think that “jamming” is in my future for at least a couple months.

  5. Ted says:

    Yeah, I’ve got the “take stuff apart” addiction and the bass guitar addiction too. I’ve always dreamed of a nice fender p-bass or jazz bass. I’ve picked up a few in the stores before, and they just FELT better, but I could never afford them. I haven’t looked in years, but if they’re cheap now, I should take another look. I actively hate my Peavey. It has the active electronics that just eats batteries, and the action sucks.

  6. Phil says:

    Ted, you should really take serious look at the Warmoth site. Granted, you’ll still be into it some serious coin, but you can do it in steps and it’ll be yours and exactly the way you want it.

    Think of it like piecing together an AR.

  7. I’ve got three Mex. Fenders, and all three play very nicely. Just bought another one, in fact. It all boils down to the skill of whoever did the final setup and adjustments, and how much time they were willing to spend to dial it in.

    Why not drag your bass out here next time you come this way? Bring lots of guns and ammo too, of course! We can mess with the guitar stuff after it get dark…..

    Mr. C.

Comments are closed.