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.

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Paul Simonon: Punk Bass Legend

Paul Simonon: Punk Bass Legend

Born in Brixton, England in 1955, Paul Simonon was a student at London Art College when he joined The Clash in 1976 at the insistence of guitarist Mick Jones. Paul immediately realized that he enjoyed being on stage playing in front of people much more than painting alone in a studio.

Simonon is credited with naming the band as well as cultivating their look and stage designs. The Paul Simonon bass sound incorporated his love of reggae and ska. And, since he was still learning to play the bass as The Clash were forming, the simple and direct bass lines he created became a major aspect of the early punk sound of this iconic band.

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How to Buy a Fender Bass Online

Buying a bass on the Internet can be a risky and somewhat scary experience. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest people online selling bass guitars. Some are outright scammers, while others simply don’t know what they’re selling. Either way, the responsibility falls on you, the honest buyer, to find the right deals and reputable sellers. Hopefully, the information here can help you to understand how to buy a bass guitar, especially if you’re looking online.

I’ve personally bought several Fender basses online over the years, and I’ve learned some valuable tips on what to look for and what to avoid.

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Carl Radle: Unsung Bass Hero

Carl Radle: Unsung Bass Hero

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1942, Carl Radle was one of the most influential bassists in the 1960s and ’70s, even if many bass players don’t know it.

Radle, who played mainly Fender Precision basses, was a regular sideman with some of rock’s most famous artists and a highly respected session bassist among his peers.

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Fender Fullerton Reissue Bass – A New Golden Era

In 1982, in an attempt to reclaim their audience’s deep affection that was fostered by the high quality of earlier instruments, Fender introduced their vintage reissue series. These guitars and basses intended to replicate the classic late 50’s to early 60’s instruments of Fender’s Pre-CBS golden era. The Fender Fullerton reissue bass guitars created quite a stir and have since become very collectible in their own right.

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Dating a Fender Bass: Serial Numbers and Hot Clues

Dating a Fender bass guitar to figure out when it was made is not always as easy as it sounds. This is especially true with a vintage bass. Ever since Fender started making basses in 1951, they dated certain parts and components to provide a general idea of when the instrument was produced. The problem is that a neck might be made and dated and then sit in the factory for a while until finally being bolted to a body produced and dated months later. Even using official Fender bass serial numbers isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

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Great ’60s Fender Bassists

There have been countless great Fender bass players since Leo introduced the first Fender electric bass in 1951. I’ve decided to compile a list of who I thought were the most influential Fender bass players from the 1960s. I chose that time period because, in my opinion, that was the golden age of bass playing. … Read more

Fender Bass Guitar Facts and Myths

Fender has been around a long time, and over the years several myths have developed about Fender Basses. The question is….are any of them true? When Fender first started making basses the only thing on the company’s agenda was to produce high-quality instruments efficiently. But, as time went by and Fender became a legend and … Read more

Mike Watt: Jammin Econo

Mike Watt: Jammin Econo

Mike Watt is one of the most important punk and post-punk bassists to ever wield the thud-staff. His influence is far-reaching in the bass community, and his status in punk rock history is legendary. Watt’s musical philosophy encompasses everything from punk rock to Bob Dylan to John Coltrane and beyond.

Mike Watt is also one of the most exciting and dynamic musicians to see live. No matter who he’s playing with, the shows are loud, they are chaotic, and they are pure genius.

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Is Vintage Better Than New?

Do older basses really sound that much better than newer ones?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read about a bassist who raves about his vintage Fender sounding so much better than newer models.

But are there any hard facts to back up these claims that vintage gear is superior, or is the whole vintage craze just more hype and clever marketing?

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