Fender Telecaster Bass Guitar – Original or Reissue

The Fender Telecaster bass guitar was introduced in 1968. As its name suggests, it resembles the famous Telecaster guitar that became an iconic instrument across many genres of music. Somewhat of an oddity in the long line of Fender Basses, the Telecaster bass was a reissue of the Precision Bass that debuted in 1951. And, the P Bass itself borrowed some key design aspects from the original Telecaster guitar. Let’s take a look at this odd and interesting design cycle that became the Fender Telecaster bass.

Read more

Fender Goes Fretless

Sometime in 1970, Fender introduced a fretless version of their iconic Precision Bass model.

By all accounts, this bass was identical to any standard Precision bass, except all the frets and fret lines were removed.

However, being a fretless bass, the neck was designed and constructed a little differently than a stock fretted P-Bass.

Read more

The Passive vs Active Bass Debate – What’s Right for You?

I have never been a big fan of active basses, although I have to admit that the idea behind them does seem pretty cool. The idea is to add a battery-powered active tone circuit so you can boost your signal and control the sound of your bass to a much higher degree. Since the passive vs active bass debate rages on, let’s take a look at the reasons why.

Read more

Tube Amps vs. Solid-State Amps

Ever since solid-state amplifiers emerged in the 1960s, the debate has raged over which type of amplifier is better for bass. There has been a virtual tube amps vs solid-state amps war that has been waged in music stores, online, and between otherwise good musical friends.

For us bass players, the choice isn’t quite as volatile as it is for guitar players, many of whom would rather drink poison than play through a solid-state amp. Still, there are those bassists that swear by that natural, warm, fat tone that a tube amp delivers.

So the question is, what’s the difference between these amps, and what’s best for you? Oh yeah…and there’s also a third option.

Read more

Less is Better…Usually

In the bass community, we often hear the phrase “less is more.” This annoys some people to no end; they reason that less is less and more is more.

Of course, they’re missing the point, which is why I propose the “less is better” substitute.

Read more

Fender Mustang PJ Bass: A Short-Scale Force

Fender Mustang PJ Bass

Introduced in 1966, the Fender Mustang PJ Bass is a classic short-scale instrument that is, despite its small size, a force to be reconned with. The original concept for the Mustang PJ bass was to offer a smaller-scale instrument for students and young bassists of smaller stature. However, due to its high quality and delirious amounts of fun, it gained popularity among many pro bassists and everyday players as well.

The Fender Mustang Bass was the last bass that Leo Fender designed before he sold the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company in 1965 to CBS. This fact alone makes it somewhat of a historic instrument.

Read more

What Does a Bass Compressor Pedal Do?

Most bass players have heard of compressor pedals, but not many really know what they do for your bass tone. Bass compressors come in several different forms, but all serve the same basic function. Whether it’s a cheap stomp-box compressor or a fancy high-end rack-mounted version, the idea is essentially the same: to compress your bass signal’s dynamic range. And if you’re still asking, “Yeah, but what does a bass compressor pedal do?” then read on.

Read more

Maple vs. Rosewood Fingerboard – Is there a difference?

Yet another hotly debated bass topic out there. And it’s another topic that may have no real answer. While we can take a look at all of the different factors that play a part in the comparison between a maple vs rosewood fretboard, we’ve found that it comes down to a lot of personal preference and psychology. However, there are still some very interesting things to consider here, so read on. You may at least find out why time and time again bass players are still asking, “maple vs rosewood fingerboard, is there a difference in tone?”

Read more

Pino Palladino: Bass Superman

Pino Palladino: Bass Superman

One of the most respected and admired bass players in music today, Pino Palladino has such an array of amazing bass chops and feel that it’s almost ridiculous. Pino’s ability to fit his unique style into any type of music and not only make it work but make it sound great is a rare skill indeed. It’s the combination of these qualities that make Pino Palladino a bass superman.

Read more

My Favorite Vintage Fender Custom Colors

When I first started playing bass more than 15 years ago, I noticed that Fender sunburst finishes were priced a little higher than solid colors. What’s interesting is that Fender only offered sunburst as the standard finish from the late 1950s through the 1960s. If you wanted any other color, it was a 5% up-charge, known at the time as a custom color job. They offered several custom colors, all of which were based on American automobile paint options of the era. I’ve listed 12 of my favorite vintage Fender custom colors from that time period.

Read more