Jump to content

What happened to your first bass?


Ricky Rioli

Recommended Posts

I can scarcely remember the borrowed basses I played on when I was a kid, but the first one I owned myself just set off on its journey to Bass Direct.

I'm glad to have finally got round to doing something about it – it has scarcely been touched since my BB arrived in January – but I do feel a bit sad, comparing this moment with the excitement of its arrival.

Guess I'm also feeling a bit guilty that such a beautifully-made instrument proved to be one I was not much interested in. Still, back when it was the only bass in my home, it got a lot of attention. And I shouldn't feel bad for rating sound+feel over looks+comfort.

Bye bye, Hal

20200812_125041.thumb.jpg.91a0ad7fdd6ebe9103ab87d20ea4f5b4.jpg

PS explanation for its name:

merlin_135847308_098289a6-90ee-461b-88e2

PPS bye bye humbuckers, see you on a six-string sometime

Edited by Ricky Rioli
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first was a Presto-Lang much like the one pictured (photo off the internet, I don't have any of mine), but sparkly red. It was a collab between a post-communist national factory and a proper local luthier. Good bass, if ugly. Bright, resonant and lively. Heavy ash body, 3-piece maple neck. I bought it from a studio that this metal band called Vader resided in, for 200pln (£40). Had decent hardware and passive "designed by EMG" pickups. It had aluminium monorail bridges which had rusted screws and couldn't be adjusted. I swapped it for a brass equivalent (which curiously was easily available and cheap in my local guitar shop) and the tonal difference was so massive, I became instantly interested in guitar building and modding. I later sold the bass for profit and bought the same model, but with Ibanez SR style headstock, beech body, ash (yes) neck and two reverse P pickups. It was an inferior instrument, dull and unresponsive. After that, custom Mensfeld (the manufacture that makes Maruszczyks now), some Peaveys, many Yamahas, a few Warwick, many Fenders and a couple of FSOs. 

image (1).jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first bass was a Westone Thunder 1a - I traded it for an acoustic with one of my mates for one of his projects. He swapped it for some illegal chemicals, it went round a circle of undesirables before ending up with another friend of mine.

He lent it to his Uncle who sold it.

No doubt it will turn up again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first bass was an Epiphone EB-3.  I added a Hipshot Supertone bridge to it.  Sold it a long time ago and not bothered about finding it again - unlike my Epiphone Les Paul Standard which I did sell, regretted and thankfully managed to track down and buy back from the guy I sold it to :)

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An Avon (Rose Morris) EB0 copy in a sort of dark wine red colour. Played and sounded ok until the tension of the flatwounds, literally pulled the whole bridge out of the body. Fixed it and last heard it was in Canada of all places. Here's proof it existed from 1975

11E90D6F-15CB-43F7-8932-57B326F888FD.jpeg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had an Aria Pro II XRB series. I learned how to do setups on it, then fret levels, then defretting, then refretting, then chiselling out a hole and adding a big MB pickup between the neck and the P pickup and running it as V-V-V-T, then frankensteining another neck onto it, then sold it.

 

Great bass 😁

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started on a Hohner Rockwood, a P-bass copy from a folk music shop. As far as I can remember it was the only electric bass they had, in the only music shop I'd ever been in and I didn't even try it - I was 15 at the time. I later learned it was an absolute dog. It had an action you could sleep under and the cavity was wonky so the pickguard wasn't completely secured into the body. It had sat in the window in bright sun with a big pointy price sticker on the pickguard, so there was a bright white spot around where it had been bleached by the sun.

A few basses later I moved it on, selling it for next-to-nothing to a lorry driver after demonstrating it's issues and letting him have a go on it. I had painstakingly removed the stickers and cleaned it to sell, which reminded me what a dog it really was when you looked at the fit & finish of it. I sort of missed it for a while for sentimental reasons, but I hadn't played it in a long time!

 

old-bass.jpg

Edited by Rikki_Sixx
Typos
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before I bought my first bass, my band which was a writing and recording only project would borrow one of the two bass guitars owned by people we knew at school. One of these was a home-made thing put together by someone who'd seen a photo of a P-Bass once and then had tried to make their own from memory using only what was available from the parts box at our local musical instrument store. The other was Mosrite-influenced "Woolies Special". Neither were really worthy of the description "musical instrument".

We'd got by with these for about 4 years until I actually went out and bought one myself in 1981 - a very battered and heavily modified Burns Sonic Bass which had appeared in the afore-mentioned musical instrument store. It cost me £60 including the OHC and the shop chucked me in a Fender-branded strap. For a while I wasn't entirely sure that it wasn't also home-made as there were no logos on it other than on the Tri-Sonic pickups. However I was able to get hold of "The Burns Book" by Paul Day which confirmed it was actually a proper Burns Bass guitar made in either 1961 or 1962. And that's what I used in my first two bands and on the demos my second band recorded that got CBS records interested in signing us (they decided to go with Wham! in the end), and them for writing bass lines in my synth band, until I bought my Overwater Original 5-string in the early 90s.

I still had the Burns Sonic bass until 2 years ago when I had a ruthless pruning of my musical instrument "collection" and got rid of everything I wasn't using.

Here's photo of me playing it live in 1982...

The-Perfect-Party-3.jpg

Edited by BigRedX
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a white/white/maple musima  p bass copy. 
 

I was a better bass than I gave it credit for. I de fretted it, regretted that, added a j pickup (badly) with a blunt chisel and regretted that then I sprayed it in hammerite and finally I think I took it to the tip. 
 

it deserved better 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first bass was like this:

image.thumb.jpeg.0364196c09698799bfb1408f3cf6a95f.jpeg

Short-scale Jazz-ish thing branded Grant. I remember it being awful, although now I appreciate a lot of perfectly good instruments were dismissed as garbage because they were so badly set-up out of the box, & stuck in the hands of clueless kids who couldn't tune up, never mind set truss rods, action & intonation. However I do clearly remember the bridge positioning being so off that the G string was almost hanging off the fretboard above the 12th fret.

What happened to it? I murdered it,basically - painted it white, ripped the frets out, painted it black, somehow split the body, took the covers off the pickups... Last I knew of it, it was in the loft of an ex's house. That was maybe 30 years ago, it's probably still there, for all I know.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine was a Kaman GTX 53. Not a bad place to start to be fair. I did also often play marlins, the odd old satellite, Kay etc. But this was pretty good. Sometime in the early 90’s  I traded it to get my sonic blue Japanese jazz (still my main bass) in a shop called ‘humbucker music’ which burnt down a few days later. 

 

E809CDE5-E171-4C0E-8101-B66D2D64C4EF.webp

Edited by gafbass02
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Doctor J said:

I TOO had an Aria Pro II [XRB series]. I DIDN'T LEARN learned how to do setups on it, then fret levels, then defretting, then refretting, then chiselling out a hole and adding a big MB pickup between the neck and the P pickup and running it as V-V-V-T, then frankensteining another neck onto it, AND then sold it.

Great bass 😁

Which is why Doc J knows his way around basses much better than me 😁

Tbf it actually belonged to my missus, but was still my "first":

Aria Pro (Sara's).JPG

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine was a 57RI P-bass. The neck wound up on another bass and I went on to sell the bass with that neck and the original bass that was by then sporting more of a 62RI vibe. I kept the pickup, pickguard and controls. They've sat in a spares box all this time and I just pinched a pot off of it to put back in my 2016 57RI bass that I bought because I missed the original. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Axe bass ordered off the back of a copy of Metal Hammer c1989.

Defretted with a pair of pliers c1992 when I upgraded to a Washburn Status.

Left it with an action about half an inch off the fretboard at the 12th fret. I never got round to trying to lower it.

As far as I know it's still at my parents house although it's quite likely they'll have taken it down the tip during one of their intermittent decluttering efforts in the intervening years.

I did come across my knackered old Hondo strat in their attic though a couple of years back though, so who knows?

Edited by Cato
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first bass was an Aria SB1000 purchased around '82. I was so inexperienced then! I just liked the shape. After a short time I thought the sound was a bit dull. I had someone remove the pickup and electronics and put two jazz pickups in, along with a hideous pickguard. Later on I had the bright idea of putting the original pickup back in, and cut a nice hole for it in the hideous pickguard. I sold it shortly after, and even saw it hanging on the wall in Monkey Business in Romford. Wish I kept it in its original state and hung on to it!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, bartelby said:

My first one was an 2nd hand black Aria Pro II Cardinal Series Deluxe. I had it just over a year and then it got part ex'd for my SB Elite I that I still have 30 something years later.

Although the TRBX left six months after the BB arrived, in my head I traded one for the other. One Yamaha for another more suitable. Hopefully in many years time, I'll be like you, and still have the one I ex'd my first one for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first bass was a Framus Star bass. Bought in August 1965 for £22 10s. It was the cheapest bass in the shop but still just under £400 in today's money! I spent 6 weeks on a summer job picking fruit to pay my Dad back.

With a short scale and thin neck it was a great bass to learn on, but it started to fall apart very early on. You can see in the picture these are replacement tuners. It ended up with the pickup directly wired to the jack plug socket because the pots stopped working. I treat my gear very carefully so I wasn't happy with the rate of attrition. In the end it went to the dump. All it was good for!!

 

image.thumb.jpeg.f9c20d43dcdd881e7d14486a7d1a0736.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine was a cheapo sunburst J copy, possibly a Columbus in the early 70s.  It looked quite nice (from a distance).  I played my first gigs with it until the neck became so warped that the fingerboard literally fell of it.  I can't remember what happened to it - maybe it just went in the bin and made way for a Hofner Verithin (guitar).

Edited by inthedoghouse
Typo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...