Shop Talk: My Bass Guitar

I bought my bass for about $350 in 1990 from Gand Music & Sound in Northfield, IL. Don’t look for the store- it’s gone. The bass is a Hohner B2A which is a copy of the much more expensive Steinberger, the popular headless bass prominent in the late 80’s.

I’ve played this bass on every album of mine except my 1989 debut. I love it and it plays great. Who cares if it’s cheap. In prep for the new album though, I have decided to get some new strings for it. You’re really supposed to change the strings regularly. If you don’t, the sound becomes rather dull and muddy instead of bright and shiny. I broke a string once and replaced that, but the other strings are the ones that came with the bass when I bought it 28 years ago. I think the muddy bass had really become a part of my signature sound over the years. Creative choice? No. Laziness. But it still worked great in the context of the songs.

If you’re a regular reader you probably know by now that I’m trying to get higher quality recordings, especially now that I’m working toward a new album. The new strings are just one part of my quest.

My influences on bass are the more melodic players: Andy Roarke from the Smiths, and whoever was playing bass in Soundgarden. Go check that stuff out!

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