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Should looks/inspiration trump playability.


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6 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

 

Welcome to my world, of deeper notions than simple appearances and plastic. Some things last longer than 'bling'; there are other values than 'looks'. A mirror tells me a lot, too. If looks are the only criteria, I'm in deep trouble. :$


I don’t remember saying it was the only criteria…?

 

You also seem to suggest that anything visually pleasing is bling, in which case I guess we’ll never see eye-to-eye on this subject…

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Just now, wateroftyne said:


I don’t remember saying it was the only criteria…?

 

You also seem to suggest that anything visually pleasing is bling, in which case I guess we’ll never see eye-to-eye on this subject…

 

OK, there's room for a little middle ground, but I certainly will never understand a lot of the posts above. It takes all sorts. I read a lot of remarks about various cars as being 'ugly' or the like, and when a 'nice looking' one is mentioned, it looks, to me, much the same as the others. It would appear that the criteria of what is ugly or good-looking change from week to week, or year to year, too. I really cannot see what's 'good-looking' about a P-bass, or 'abhorrent' in a J-bass. It's an odd world... 9_9

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9 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

I really cannot see what's 'good-looking' about a P-bass, or 'abhorrent' in a J-bass. It's an odd world... 9_9

Written proof, he really is a drummer 🤣

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Who are you playing for? If someone is paying you to play then looks can be a very helpful tool. A producer/ MD all can be swayed or put at ease at the moment you open the case to get down to playing. They shouldn’t do certainly, but they do. They’ve got more on their plate then worrying about an 18mm or 19mm string spacing. First time I took my asat to the studio the producer could not have been more excited about recording it just on sight. Same with cabs- had a new md this week for a show, the look of relief when he offered to help me load in my gear and I told him I’d done it- I used a db cabs 110, not only did he not have to cart a fridge around he perceived the volume as manageable instantly even though I was keeping up with the drummer no problems. 

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14 hours ago, Allaboutthebass said:

I have two bass guitars, one plays very nice and has a great sound, the other kind of does the job. (names of manufacturers withheld to avoid upset 😉 )

 

The trouble is they are both soooo dull to look at, that I can't be bothered to pick them up, they just don't inspire me at all. 

 

I think a bass should make you want to play it all the time, and when you do stop playing, you want to pick it up again.

 

Anyone else suffer from 'dish washer' basses that do the job well, but are ultimately forgettable?

 

Yup, and I don't mind naming them. 

 

Anything by Fender / Squier leaves me cold. They're so dull to look at I just couldn't bring myself to play one in front of an audience, and I'd never be inspired to pick one up and practice. 

 

They sound great for the most part, if that's the sound you want. But it's not for me. 

 

Also the many Fender clones that are out there fall into the same category. No imagination. Anything with elephant ear tuners I wouldn't go near. They're so ugly I can't stand them. 

Edited by Newfoundfreedom
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I'm glad its not just me then! 

 

I play for fun, no band, no gigs, just something to keep the old grey matter ticking over at my time of life. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a large dose of, is the grass  greener, but more often than not there turns out to be no grass, rather than greener grass.

 

But its not about the bling as such, just good looks that make me want to pick it up and play. For example, Mr Travis of this parish has a very nice orange BB (he won't sell, I've tried) which I would rather have over some high end boutique instruments. 

 

There are clearly times when function trumps form, I'm not interested a good looking nail or hammer. However, a sack would keep me warm, but I wouldn't wear it to an interview or a first date, because I want something that makes me feel good, and thats the same when picking up my bass, I want it to make me feel good.

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If you've got 2 instruments that don't particular do it for you, why not use one, or both, to part ex for something that you like the look of and makes you want to play?

 

What attracted you to your basses to begin with, and what do you consider to be a more inspiring and better looking instrument?

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It's not the 70s any more, so there is zero reason why the musical instrument you play should not perform in all areas - looks, feel, playability and sound. These days the choice is so huge that you have to be very picky (or completely impoverished) not to be easily able to find a bass that ticks all the criteria that are important to you.

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15 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

 

OK, there's room for a little middle ground, but I certainly will never understand a lot of the posts above. It takes all sorts. I read a lot of remarks about various cars as being 'ugly' or the like, and when a 'nice looking' one is mentioned, it looks, to me, much the same as the others. It would appear that the criteria of what is ugly or good-looking change from week to week, or year to year, too. I really cannot see what's 'good-looking' about a P-bass, or 'abhorrent' in a J-bass. It's an odd world... 9_9

 So what about art, sculpture etc? Design generally? 
 

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8 minutes ago, 4000 said:

 So what about art, sculpture etc? Design generally? 
 

 

Do you mean Turner prizes', such as un-made beds, or dog poo..? Art..? Hmm... Design..? Creating stuff that was perfectly serviceable before, but is now perfectly serviceable but more expensive..? Hmm...

OK, some exaggeration, of course, but what's wrong with things just being, instead of having to be 'pretty'..? The great majority of Stuff in the Universe just 'is'. Isn't that enough..? Why are koala bears and pandas considered to be 'cute' (yes, puppies and kittens, too...) when they're just animals, and don't recognise themselves, even, as 'cute'. They don't 'see' things as being 'nice' or 'pretty'. We're a funny ol' species, with a very strange outlook on 'reality'. Art..? Sculpture..? Design..? There's some Good Stuff, but one heck of a lot of dross, with a heck of a lot of snob appeal, in my opinion. :|

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12 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

 

Do you mean Turner prizes', such as un-made beds, or dog poo..? Art..? Hmm... Design..? Creating stuff that was perfectly serviceable before, but is now perfectly serviceable but more expensive..? Hmm...

 

No, that isn't art, that is the art world. Art is anything made just for the appreciation of it. Design, good design, is making something that wasn't perfectly servicable before servicable.  Are you playing hollowed out trees with animal skins on them? No? Maybe it is because some people designed a better drum. Life is full of design that has been going on for years.

Design also isn't about making things more expensive, in a large amount of cases its making it cheaper. The Bic biro, meant everyone could use pens without getting ink everywhere and having to pay a lot of money for a finely made pen or picking up feathers and scratching on a parchement.

 

12 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Art..? Sculpture..? Design..? There's some Good Stuff, but one heck of a lot of dross, with a heck of a lot of snob appeal, in my opinion. :|

 

So you accept that some things are better than others?

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21 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

 

No, that isn't art, that is the art world. Art is anything made just for the appreciation of it. Design, good design, is making something that wasn't perfectly servicable before servicable.  Are you playing hollowed out trees with animal skins on them? No? Maybe it is because some people designed a better drum. Life is full of design that has been going on for years.

Design also isn't about making things more expensive, in a large amount of cases its making it cheaper. The Bic biro, meant everyone could use pens without getting ink everywhere and having to pay a lot of money for a finely made pen or picking up feathers and scratching on a parchement.

 

 

So you accept that some things are better than others?

 

We're likely to go around, tying ourselves in knots with this. It's quite simple (as am I...): beauty, as we all know, is in the eye of the beholder. That being said, I have little 'eye' for it as a 'thing' of value in and of itself. My 'notion' of beauty goes beyond the outer appearance; there is much that I would call 'beautiful', but it wouldn't necessarily please the eye of others. I do have greater respect for artisans and craftsmanship over artistry in general, and any design that does, indeed, really improve things is a Good Thing. Much, though, seems to be made of Fashion, as being a Thing, and stuff that was deemed good-looking at one time becomes 'boring' later. There is, I feel, an almost hypocritical ephemeral aspect to much of what is good-looking. When the P-bass was introduced, there was much scorn heaped on its aesthetics; it's now seen by some as the summum, and by others as mundane. What's so good-looking about coffee-table slabs..? What's not to like about 'em either..? There's no rhyme nor reason to it; some laugh and some weep with pleasure. Who's right..? I can't see what the fuss is, myself; they're just bass guitars, not Turner paintings, and even less Turner prize-winners.
No, I don't privilege looks, in much of Life at all. Much will fade over Time, or, quite the opposite, will become more beautiful in the fullness of Time. It's shallow; but then, much of Life is shallow, so... :|

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56 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

We're likely to go around, tying ourselves in knots with this. It's quite simple (as am I...): beauty, as we all know, is in the eye of the beholder. That being said, I have little 'eye' for it as a 'thing' of value in and of itself. My 'notion' of beauty goes beyond the outer appearance; there is much that I would call 'beautiful', but it wouldn't necessarily please the eye of others.

 

Well, exactly, that is how everyon is.

 

56 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

I do have greater respect for artisans and craftsmanship over artistry in general, and any design that does, indeed, really improve things is a Good Thing. Much, though, seems to be made of Fashion, as being a Thing, and stuff that was deemed good-looking at one time becomes 'boring' later.

 

Indeed - so you like art and design, but aren't interested in fashion, that is perfectly understandable.

 

56 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

There's no rhyme nor reason to it; some laugh and some weep with pleasure. Who's right..? I can't see what the fuss is, myself; they're just bass guitars, not Turner paintings, and even less Turner prize-winners.

 

Indeed, noone is arguing that people like different things, like turner paintings.

 

56 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

No, I don't privilege looks, in much of Life at all. Much will fade over Time, or, quite the opposite, will become more beautiful in the fullness of Time. It's shallow; but then, much of Life is shallow, so... :|

 

Indeed - its just a fashion. And whether you accept it or not, your feelings towards the artistic value of the stuff. If you couln't it would be impossible to make certain decisions. If you have two items of identical utility, and identical cost, you need a way of deciding between them.

 

But sometimes, people don't want to admit those things!

 

 

47 minutes ago, Muzz said:

Not as shallow as me...I don't like fingerboard dots... 😃

 

I am not a fan of them either, I think they ruin the lines of a bass.

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4 hours ago, chris_b said:

It's sound, playability, cost and looks, in that order for me.

 

It's all of them equally for me, but a decision will be made in the following order:

 

1. Cost. No point looking at anything that is beyond what I can afford. This however is a moveable criterion and will depend on my circumstances, and instruments outside my price-range may well be re-evalued should my financial circumstances change.

 

2. Looks. No point in getting anything I don't like the look of now matter how cheap it it or how great it sounds and/or plays.

 

3. Playability. 

 

4. Sound. IMO once they are being played through my rig most basses can be made to sound much the same (and any differences are even less obvious within a band mix). A bass would have to sound very different from a typical one to be rejected at this point.

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On 23/08/2021 at 14:41, Dad3353 said:

 

We're likely to go around, tying ourselves in knots with this. It's quite simple (as am I...): beauty, as we all know, is in the eye of the beholder. That being said, I have little 'eye' for it as a 'thing' of value in and of itself. My 'notion' of beauty goes beyond the outer appearance; there is much that I would call 'beautiful', but it wouldn't necessarily please the eye of others. I do have greater respect for artisans and craftsmanship over artistry in general, and any design that does, indeed, really improve things is a Good Thing. Much, though, seems to be made of Fashion, as being a Thing, and stuff that was deemed good-looking at one time becomes 'boring' later. There is, I feel, an almost hypocritical ephemeral aspect to much of what is good-looking. When the P-bass was introduced, there was much scorn heaped on its aesthetics; it's now seen by some as the summum, and by others as mundane. What's so good-looking about coffee-table slabs..? What's not to like about 'em either..? There's no rhyme nor reason to it; some laugh and some weep with pleasure. Who's right..? I can't see what the fuss is, myself; they're just bass guitars, not Turner paintings, and even less Turner prize-winners.
No, I don't privilege looks, in much of Life at all. Much will fade over Time, or, quite the opposite, will become more beautiful in the fullness of Time. It's shallow; but then, much of Life is shallow, so... :|

Why should there be, or need to be, rhyme or reason to it? For most people it’s an individual choice, although obviously there is much that overlaps. Why should the fact that it’s essentially arbitrary mean it’s worthless? Why is finding something visually beautiful shallow? Is liking the taste of certain foods shallow? What about music? How can you judge what you consider beautiful in music? In essence you’re judging by similar arbitrary criteria, just not visual. And much that many people find beautiful would not be pleasing to the eye of others. That’s not the point, that everyone is supposed to agree on it. 

 

And why should Turner be any better than any other painter, other than as an essentially arbitrary preference (although undoubtedly culturally influenced)? Speaking as a painter myself and someone who studied art at degree level, I love Turner. But the main reason I love Turner - although there are others - is because I find his work pleasing aesthetically. Is that shallow? I don’t think so. 
 

Of course design is tied up with fashion. So is music, writing, life generally. Does that mean it’s all worthless, ephemeral? You could indeed argue that life is worthless and ephemeral, yet we are gifted with the ability to find beauty in it regardless. 

 

I get the impression from your post that you feel you have, or wish to have, a deeper appreciation of things than the surface. But you can have an appreciation of both, they’re not mutually exclusive. You can admire the perfect design of a katana and its practical ability to cut at the same time. 
 

 

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4 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Why is finding something visually beautiful shallow? Is liking the taste of certain foods shallow? What about music?

 

I'm enjoying thinking about this, and am looking forward to calling someone who prefers Debussy to The Electro Hippies 'shallow' in the near future :D

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8 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Why should there be, or need to be, rhyme or reason to it?...

 

As I wrote, there are knots. My point, in mentioning' 'shallow' is that stuff seems to be, by some (many..?) deemed beautiful and  desirable only whilst it's new, or fashionable. These notions are discarded when the next fad comes along, sometimes to be revived once the wheel has turned. Personally, my 'tastes', such as they are, are more static; if it's good, it's good (in my view, naturally...), and unlikely to become 'not good' the next week, or year or whenever. I don't understand the attraction of these shifting sands, that all. Carry on; there's no great debate about 'values', but I'll not be agreeing with the disposable aesthetic squad. Other views exist, but I don't 'get it'. :friends: 

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9 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

 

As I wrote, there are knots. My point, in mentioning' 'shallow' is that stuff seems to be, by some (many..?) deemed beautiful and  desirable only whilst it's new, or fashionable. These notions are discarded when the next fad comes along, sometimes to be revived once the wheel has turned. Personally, my 'tastes', such as they are, are more static; if it's good, it's good (in my view, naturally...), and unlikely to become 'not good' the next week, or year or whenever. I don't understand the attraction of these shifting sands, that all. Carry on; there's no great debate about 'values', but I'll not be agreeing with the disposable aesthetic squad. Other views exist, but I don't 'get it'. :friends: 


But if you’d been born, say, 500 years ago your ‘static’ tastes may have been entirely different. 😉 

 

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