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Bass Myths, share ones you've heard

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Im sure we have all heard our share of bass myths from the slightly dubious to the outright ridiculous , thought it would be an interesting idea to share them in a thread , for the sake of keeping things nice lets avoid discussion of tonewoods, I will start with some of the myths I have heard

  • You should never remove all of your bass strings, you will warp the neck of your bass and it will be unplayable -  scary thing about this one is I was told this by my then bass teacher who was also a session musician, I have since then removed all of the bass strings from basses  many times when I clean them or if I fit new pickups
  • The orange drop capacitor myth - For some reason there is always someone somewhere that thinks that the orange drop capacitor is some kind of magic bullet for tone, its not
  • Cleaning your frets will improve your tone - Im not going to say which company made this claim but it was a company that (of course) makes fret cleaning products
  • String through body increases string tension - heard this one so many times , not true 

 

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First one's true though.
A fact often missed is that necks come from trees that have the strings already attached.

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"Active output is so much louder..." Yes, yes...

"These quality pots" ...with carbon tracks.

"This (put here any single component) is the key to the (descriptive word) sound."

"It does not have (put here any single component), so..."

Any magical ingredient, that makes the part of the setup exceptional.

Psychoacoustic events, that are considered as electric or mechanic superiority of the instrument.

Wattage = loudness. Well, it is related, but similar like car's horsepower would equal speed. Not that simple. 

Most sound comparisons are not made in suitable surroundings.

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Not a gear myth, but on the role of bass:

"Bass should be felt and not heard"

I actually thought this had been consigned to the history books, but it has it's own modern day realization when live sound engineers give the bass a kind of sub-sonic feel and you can't hear the note choice.

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Scene - a band rehearsal back in the day...

Guitarist:  (stops widdling for a brief moment)

              "Anyway, a 200watt amp will be twice as loud as a 100 watt amp, won't it."

Bass player:  "Err, no, I don't think it works like that"

Guitarist:  "Yeah, of course it will, you thick or summat ?"

Bass player: "No, no, it's a logarithmic scale or something"

Guitarist:  "You bass players are so full of sh*t"

                 (carries on widdling)

 

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I once had a buyer complain that removing the neck broke the “factory seal”, that once the neck had been removed it could never be put back on with the same mojo sorcery as they do in the factory. 

Were it neck-through, I would have agreed with him but this was a standard bolt-on instrument out of Fujigen and I was slightly concerned for his mental wellbeing.

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If you buy a sub 200 quid bass, you will need to replace the strings immediately as they will (presumably) be made from wool. 

That bass would suit a student but you could never gig with it. 

I had one of those (insert cheap makers name) cabs and all the speakers blew at the first rehearsal. 

and my absolute favourite :

Of course, you get what you pay for. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Mykesbass said:

Tonewood :ph34r:

One with which I agree! 

 

To that I'd add the following myths...

 

Pick players are somehow inferior or deficient. 

Jaco is a god.

Beginners should start with a cheap bass.

Bass is easier than the guitar.

Tab is easier than music. 

I wouldn't benefit from proper lessons.

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“You only need to buy one set of strings in your life, as long as you regularly boil them”.

I tried it once and it was like cooking angry spaghetti, boiling hot strings flying everywhere on the stove.

Sounded like spaghetti, too...

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You can only improve by practice, not by buying more and more gear. Pure nonsense. 

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You need to remove the strings before you turn the truss rod.

I was told by the previous seller it’s all original and I have no reason to question it.

 

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You can get better with GAS 

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The bass is an octave lower than the guitar.

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Hats worn indoors look cool.

Not just bass(player) related, but it’s a delusion common amongst them.

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I can’t put that Sansamp through the PA, it needs to be a clean signal.....

Ye Gods!!

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MIM basses are somehow inferior to otherwise utterly identical USA basses.

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3 hours ago, SICbass said:

Playing bass in a band will get you girls.

Worked for me so must be true !:ph34r:

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Posted (edited)

If the bass isn't a Fender or something that looks like a Fender, it 'just won't sit well in a mix'. 

You should only use inexpensive basses for using alternative/drop tunings, as setting up a more expensive bass for anything other than standard tuning will be 'a waste of a good bass'. 

'You need a 1x15 for the lows and a 2x10 for the highs'. 

If you listen loudly enough, you can hear all ofJason Newsted's parts on ...And Justice for All.

The personal opinions of bassists with lots of Youtube subscribers should always be accepted as indisputable fact without question.

Slap bass can only be played effectively in the key of E.

 

 

Edited by thodrik

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