Less gear, less distraction, focus on one bass

I have a bunch of bass gear, and it’s becoming more distracting to my learning. Before I practice, I go through a bunch of “which bass to play”, playing around with settings and not to mention the whole getting used to a different bass. In short, it’s making 10 minutes of practice out of an hour getting ready.

Any downsize their kit and just keep one bass to improve their focus? I haven’t felt much need to buying another bass and wanted to stick with one bass, it’s just hard to pick which one. heh



I am big on the downsizing part. If I have more than one or two instruments of each type it just bugs me. I am much more about buying, playing and caring for one or two things and simply do not get the appeal of collecting - it would drive me crazy.

But it’s not to improve my focus - it’s more of a “me” thing.

I have 25 basses and 4 different preamps to color sound.
None of this makes me anxious or takes away from practicing.

I use The Force in selecting which bass to play and when working on a specific cover swap through (each time I sit to practice) one or seven until I find the right tone.

It never gets in the way, and to me, enhances my learning as I dial in tone (a sub-hobby I enjoy).
I also love modding them and making them my own.

Whatever works for you is fine.
Macca plays 3 different basses and he’s managed just fine with only those. Lol.


Every time I practice, I commit to playing one of my basses. I rotate between my three main basses regularly. While it can be regarded as a hassle “to get used to” each bass again, I find it invigorating, like being in a store and trying out new stuff.

Each of my three current main basses are completely different from one another: different neck radii, different body shapes, different feels, different playability characteristics. I dig 'em all.


Yeah - should mention I didn’t intent to disparage collecting above either - if that’s your thing, that’s great. Just meant to say I definitely understand the appeal of settling on a couple things you like instead of going broad.


Oh I didn’t take it that way at all.

I think there was a time when anxiety over which to play would get me but not these days.

I do still have this with sax but there’s a big difference musically between them and I never have time for them all. Lol. So I do get it and understand when folks say it distracts them.


On the other hand, I find that as I switch between basses, I more easily adjust each time. I am more comfortable just picking up a bass and playing it now than in times past. I’m not as particular as I was. Of course YMMV


I do the same thing. This is why I have found I can’t have more than 2 basses. Right now, I have 4 and I am agonizing over which 2 to put on the chopping block.

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Absolutely. :100:


Guitar fixed that for me.


Soprano- alto - tenor - baritone sax fixed that for me. Lol


What I have done to the OPs intent, is I have stopped it with the pedals. That is a black hole of time. I need to get technically better, which I may never because you know, arthritis. But I need to focus on playing, so my pedals are dormant for the time being.


I’m proud to say that for bass gear, I’m down to one bass, one bass amp, one pedal.


I’m at 5 basses and a few pedals. As far as sound goes I would stop trying to make each bass sound the same and start with your EQ and your favorite bass. Set it so that one sounds the way you like and remember where you set your knobs. Take a pic if need be. Then when you switch basses try to only set a knob or 2 differently and see what you think. I pretty much use the same settings on every bass. I’ll change the volume and gain a bit but I like the different tones my basses bring. I think that method would help you simplify and if you do change your knobs then you’ll have an easy time coming back to setting 1.


You lost me there, not getting any more basses? What kind of question is that?

I’m a minimalist myself or trying to, lol. Not!

Nothing feels better when I’m on a roll and play one song with 20 basses. Different basses gives you different feel and how you attack the song.


Despite my recent acquisitions, I do not aspire to having a large collection of instruments. But nor do I find having multiple instruments available to be a distraction.

I tend to have three instruments on the wall in my practice space.
The rest are stored nearby (easily accessible, but out of the way) in their gig bags.

Currently the three are

  1. Lakland passive Jazz bass with flats.
    For when I want a more old-school sound.
  2. A 5 string.
  3. An active 4 string with stainless rounds.
    For when I want a more modern sound.

When #3 needs a string change, I decide whether to continue using it for another 3-4 months (the life of the strings) or switch it for a different bass.

There’s no distraction, I simply select the most appropriate from what’s on the wall and get stuck in.

Sidenote: 12 months ago, #2 would have been a choice between a Les Paul or a Stratocaster, so I guess now my journey towards the dark side is complete.


I currently have two, a jazz bass and a P bass. I practice with the P bass, and I noodle with the jazz bass. The real reason I practice on the P bass, is because of its simplicity, and its thicker neck…the principle is, if I can nail it on the P bass neck, it’s going to be even easier on the jazz bass neck. So far, that works for me.

As for pedals, I have a compressor, preamp, delay and a tuner. Just through discipline, when I’m practicing, I only use the tuner…unless I’m practicing through headphones, then I use my Ampeg preamp, simply because it has an aux in (with a separate volume control) and a headphone jack.

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I have two basses and I alternate with each practice. I have my old Squier P and new MIM Fender Jazz and they feel (to me) to be very similar.

I couldn’t have any more than that as choosing would drive me bonkers. I have eight watches and have forcibly conditioned myself to wearing them in a strict rotation of three weeks on 21 weeks off.

I agree 100%!
I went through the “pedalmania” stage and "multiple bass disorder, but found it very distracting, with no real benefit to my skill. I’m now down to one electric bass guitar and one electric upright. Im done buying basses or gear.


i have 6 basses and they range from a ukelele bass, to a mikro scale, a fretless semi hollow with flats, a short scale, and 2 long scale. i love the variety between them and for me it keeps it interesting to be able to fool around with something different on a regular basis.

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