Are bassists more open minded than guitarists?

OK, I’m not talking generally but as far as equipment goes. Having played six-string guitar for many more years than basses It occurs to me that guitarists are very conservative in their choice of equipment. Yes, there are dozens of different manufacturers of guitars but 90% of guitarists will have a Fender or Gibson or a variation on those designs. Same with amps, it’s taken years to convince guitarists to leave behind their old valve amps. It’s probably true that there are about four iconic basses that people gravitate to but most companies will create their own bass, rather than trying to make something that looks like a precision. I could be wrong but I think bass amplification has led the way in the digital age and is far ahead of guitar amplification which is still obsessed with making digital amps sound like valves. And then there is the breadth of bass types; four-string, five, string, six-string, multi-scale, fretless, short scale. It’s just my observation but it seems bassists are willing to embrace the new and the different far more readily than our more conservative six string playing friends


Are they? Not if you look at the P versys J fender discussions. I think it depends more on who you ask.


Yep I agree with @RemcoRG, while there are as many manufacturers out there for bass a large percentage are just their take on the P, J, or P/J which have been around nearly 70 yrs. As far as amps go isn’t the SVT is still king. You can still find a ton of bassists still after the motown sound, or that sound like John Entwistle, or still want to sound like Paul McCartney, or Lemmy (I got ya @mac) and the list goes on and on. Nearly everyone, guitarist or bassist, has a foot in the vintage door and a toe in the modern. I remember years ago reading an article discussing how to achieve the Hendrix tone and the reviewer noted that with so many people willing to pay top dollar for vintage gear to sound like Hendrix part of what made Jimi unique was his willingness to experiment with what at the time were new cutting edge sounds and tones and that if he were alive today he probably wouldn’t be playing vintage anything but instead would be noodling on a Parker fly into a line six with a guitar synth (OK the article was 20+ years ago).


I think this varies heavily by genre for both guitars and basses. There are a lot of derivative designs in both fields, and there’s certainly plenty of “I play both kinds of basses, Jazz AND Precision!” types.

And with guitars, there’s plenty of people that love Ibanez and ESP to death and don’t own a single Les Paul or Strat.

Generally I think the more mainstream musical stylistically you get (broadly I mean, rock/pop/country), the more Fender/Gibson you get, for both guitar and bass. The stuff towards the edges tends more towards more modern instruments - jazz, metal, punk, prog, industrial, electro, etc. Though even those have plenty of Fender too.

And of course there’s nothing wrong with Fender instruments :slight_smile:


Interesting discussion, @chris6 . . . :slight_smile:

I plead ‘guilty’ to not embracing the new and the different . . . :roll_eyes:

I’m definitely a Fender guy, and go along with much of what @RemcoRG, @Tokyo_Rat, and @howard said above . . . maybe I’m just stuck in my ways?



Nothing wrong with playing what you like!

My favorite styles are about as far from “traditional” as you can get and I still love the sound of a P-bass. Lots of P-basses in punk.


Some interesting points guys. For clarity, it was only an observation on my part and It’s interesting to hear points of view on both sides of the argument. The irony of course is that I play a Fender Jazz Bass but maybe I get that ‘traditionalist’ approach from playing guitars for so long. :rofl:


Yeah, but it goes way beyond that, Howard . . . :neutral_face: . . . I don’t use any pedals or any effects, don’t know how to make/post videos, can’t follow any very technical discussions on these Forums, etc. etc.

Just me, my amp, and my fixation on John Entwistle . . . :woozy_face:



Nothing wrong with that either :slight_smile:

You, your amp, and what you like to play is all you need.


It’s an interesting topic indeed.

I think most, if not all, of us, started to play bass inspired/amazed by someone’s sound.
The same thing happens to pro players as well. You can see how Jaco was inspired by the R&B sounds from his childhood.

There is nothing wrong with having inspiration or following that sound that captivated you/bring you to start playing bass. I think it’s only natural that we pursue that sound at the beginning until we got to a point where we can create our own.

Aside from that, that’s more generalistic you’ll always see a fundamentalist in any area, playing an instrument, cooking, or cutting the lawn. Nothing wrong with it, to each, their own.

That’s one of my favorite things about art (in this case, playing music), most of the time, there are no good or bad answers is just a matter of personal taste.


I must admit I became more open-minded when I switched to bass. After 30 years of playing guitar, I have owned four different manufacturers of amps Marshall JCM 800, Mesa Boogie, and fender. Guitars I have owned way too many to count but currently, in my collection, I have PRS Custom 24, Gibson SG, Gibson ES335, An Ibanez RG, and two Cordoba Classical guitars. My variation of guitars over the years has not varied much I stayed with what I liked.
With the Bass, I am open to more manufactures amps etc. That might change as I progress only time will tell.


no problem at all

there are all the informations on the forum, I think, so you can easily learn :slight_smile:

no problem either

maybe your biggest problem :rofl:


I’ve been playing guitar for 20 years on and off, I’m not good by any means but I’ve been around forums and different guitar related communities and I’ve come to conclusion…

Out of all musicians on this planet, guitarists are the most delusional ones constantly chasing unicorns. I’ve seen countless wars fought over tone, tonewood, pickups, strings, amps, cabs, picks you name it…

Bass crowd is waaaaaaaaaaaay more laid back and chill in all aspects which I think comes with the territory. We know that we are the ones that keep the fine line between groove and melody and without us songs would be empty and soulless. With that in mind we can just sit back and chill Mario Cipollina style and let the guitarists make fool of themselves trying to impress the crowds. :smiley:


If anything I’m a mainstream averse kind of person, sometimes perhaps even to my own disadvantage. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to find how much I liked the tone of a Fender P/J for the sound that I had in my mind I wanted to hear. After I figure out what I want, I rarely choose what most other people choose. I had to just groan and surrender to this one. I’ve confirmed in my mind that the Fender comes about its status honestly and isn’t the result of history, myth or legend without true underlying tone.

With that said, it’s by no means the only tone in the book and there’s lots of room for other fun things. I really like the character of hollow body basses, so much so that I think they aren’t enough of it for me. I think I’d like to experiment with an acoustic bass and one of those Fishman combo pickups that also have an actual mic on the hole rather than only a piezo.

In the “other” category I also think it would be fun to try a 10-string bass and see what that is about. I do like instruments with drones and I wonder if this works out, or if it’s just a bunch of strings ringing out that you can’t actually ever mute. Could be a real mess.

If I had all the free time in the world, I think I may want to write a DSP envelope filter that dynamically adjusts parameters tracking the note being played. I may like Q or Sweep Time to track.

I like to be open minded and experimental, but I can also see why it’s difficult to go too far astray when something works well in the mix and there’s lots of alternatives that don’t.


You can do something really similar to this in Kilohearts SnapHeap (and MultiPass) :slight_smile:

Writing your own VST would be fun too. I wrote a simple all-pass filter as part of starting on a phaser, haven’t taken it anywhere yet though as I have a couple phasers now. There’s a few frameworks wrapping the various plugin container API standards out there that make it pretty easy, assuming you’re comfortable with C++.

I grabbed this one at random and it was pretty trivial to get something working:


I don’t think so. Musicians are just musicians, and everyone has their preferences. As far as what is available? There are 7,8,9 string guitars, of all types of brands and boutiques. Amps have a crazy selection these days. It isn’t Marshall or nothing with Mesa, Kemper, Blackstar, Roland, Orange all being excellent choices with their own tonal flavors. And pedals? Guitarists I know have 2-3 different pedalboards filled to the teeth and they use all of em based on different situations. I’d say way more stuff is made for guitar and then sometimes they make a bass counterpart, or bassist just use the pedal anyway. My last lead guitarist? Had different amps, different guitars, different cabs all just to get certain tones for certain things he was playing (his PRS was probably his favorite though).

Want your mind blown by a guitarist? Watch Tosin Abasi. He plays a 9 string guitar and plays bass lines on the thickest strings while playing crazy guitar parts at the same time.

I say all of this as a bassist who plays a very minimal amount of guitar.

I also am not a fan of Fender at all. I don’t get it.


One of my favorite guitarists, Takayoshi Ohmura, is in a major metal band and plays a pink sparkly guitar. People are individuals.


Interesting discussion.

I will tell you that on this subject, my father and I differ quite a bit on the subject. My father was a Fender guy, through and through. That’s what he gigged with, and his lone record that he was recorded on was with a custom 1969 Fender Thinline Telecaster provided by the studio, which is his favorite guitar of all time.

He mainly gigged with a '68 Tele, and later, an '87 Strat. No Mexico, no Japan. Only American. No Gibsons either, “They have a good sound Son, but they are too damn heavy.”

Now, I on the other hand, turned out a bit different. I liked Fender products (the Stratocaster is probably the most influential guitar of all time), but I was willing to look elsewhere. My mindset was, if it looks good, sounds good and is built well, why should I care about anything else?

In the 90’s, Fender Mustangs were popular (ala Nirvana), but so were Gibson SG’s, and Ibanez. Squier Strats and Epiphone Les Paul SG’s were a very popular gig guitar, you could drop in American parts and have a close facsimile. Which is what I basically did to my Japanese Squier Strat.

In any sub set of music, you’ll have musicians be big on one particular brand. A drummer I jammed with wouldn’t play on anything other than Tama drums and Zildjan (sp?) cymbals.

Same with bassists I suppose.

Even to this day, Dad tells me to buy American Fender bass guitars, “Always like the sound of a P-Bass in the band Son, they are pretty versatile too.”

But that’s who he is, lol.


For me, whether guitar or bass, it’s all about what feels comfortable for you to play. I’ve never considered myself a player, more of a play with it when it comes to instruments. Yes, different instruments have their own tones and personalities, but modern electronics with amps, pedals and effects, can pretty much give you a desired sound, no matter what instrument you use. As far as guitars and basses go, I love the feel of Fenders except I hate 9.5 and 7.5 inch radius fretboards. I have 3 electric and one acoustic 6 strings. I go for light weight and relatively flat fretboards, so I have a Yamaha acoustic for knocking around, a Gibson SG standard, a Hamer Korina with p-90’s, and my old, trusty and super comfy Peavey Firenza JX (HSS-extremely underrated). I’m toying with the idea of adding a Bigsby to the SG or Peavey. For bass, I’m a short scale guy and after playing with Mexican PJ Mustangs (can’t get one with a neck that stays straight) and an Allen Woody Epiphone (really liked it but found the body uncomfortable), I now have two identical (except for the strings) Ernie Ball Musicman Short-Scale Stingrays that I love. Probably the most versatile guitar I ever owned was a Peavey T-60, but it was way too heavy and the neck, while very fast, was too skinny, making my hand cramp up after a while, but the variety of tones was outstanding.