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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Do you regularly gig with a vintage Fender bass?

Next 20 Messages  

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 14th, 2016 11:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

This was a fairly common topic on this forum back in the day but I thought now might be a good time to revisit the latest thoughts and practices about working with old Fender Ps and Js.

I have a 58 P-bass and gig with it often. It sounds too good not to be used. I run it through a GK-400RB with a Fender Rumble 15 cab.

I don't use it if I have to travel in bad weather or if the bandstand in a club is close to the entrance.


(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 02:35 PM, Dec 14th, 2016)

Contributing Member


Dec 14th, 2016 12:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

If I had a '58 P, it wouldn't leave the house. Closest I have to vintage, is a stock '75 P, that sound terrific. It's a little heavy for gigs, so I am currently using an original Hwy 1 Jazz that sounds pretty good, and weighs under 8 Lbs.

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Dec 14th, 2016 01:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don't have any vintage basses, but I wouldn't own anything I'm not willing to gig with. I have never been able to collect anything that has to sit on a shelf, sit in a case or be a static display. Like George, there are times I won't take my best.

My most expensive instruments are a recent Fender American Precision V and an '89 American G&L L2500. My oldest is a '78 Peavey T-40 that I bought new in 1978 for $350. My cheapest beater is a $75 Squier Affinity P, that sounds great and handles well, except I don't care for the vintage frets. There are about 7 other basses in between. I like them all, some are cool, but all of them are tools to me. All are nicely set up and play well. Some have had minor mods.

My criteria for taking an instrument to a gig is: What's the genre? What do I want to sound like that night? Which bass goes best with the shirt I am wearing?

It's not just instruments. I like collectible cars (have none), but I wouldn't own a garage or trailer queen. It would have to be a nice driver.


Dec 14th, 2016 02:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Stretching the limits of 'vintage' a bit, my regular gigging basses are a '77 Jazz, '73 Ric and '60 Höfner. If I can't gig it I don't want to own it.


New York City

Dec 14th, 2016 02:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 67 lefty P that sounds amazing. I bought it new around '71 for $235. It's seen it's share of abuse over the years and has plenty of battle scars. I never thought of it as being valuable until the internet came along and I started seeing what rough equivalents sell for.

For me the issue now is weight. I often carry the bass on a bicycle to local gigs. I bought a Dano short horn re-issue about 18 months ago and it's been a life saver. The sound is unique, not very P-like but still very distinctive and I enjoy playing it.

The 67 P stays home for practice except for a few gigs that I deem are important enough to deal with the weight.



Fender power to the people!
Dec 14th, 2016 03:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

I usually have my '66P and either Cirrus 5 or Jazz 5 for contrast and variety.



Bass is the place . . .
Dec 14th, 2016 05:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

Good question, George!

I recently joined a group that targets mid-1960s British Invasion era rock and roll. The band dresses in period-authentic clothing, and uses gear that at least visually appears period-authentic.

So my trusty Pedulla MVP was out of the picture. I finally settled on my '72 Jazz bass as my main ax for the gig, and so far so good.

I do try to watch the stage more during breaks, and am more aware of where my bass is during load-in and loud-out.

Ultimately, though, these fine instruments deserve to be heard.

Gerry & the Dreambenders

(This message was last edited by rockdoc11 at 07:19 PM, Dec 14th, 2016)

Contributing Member

Chico CA

If you rest, you rust.
Dec 14th, 2016 06:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 66 pbass that doesnt get out much, if at all. Every now and then I take it to my once a month casino blues gig because it fits with the music, it's a secure locale, and the back line is an SVT n 8x10. However, over the years I've tended towards jbasses...that "c" neck is a mutha! I've contemplated selling it to finance a new upright but just can't seem to part with it.

My most recent find is mim p with a "b" neck which is much easier on the hands, but ultimately the one that gets the most gigs is the 62 AV reissue jazz. Pics in profile.


Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 15th, 2016 09:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Love the Dreambenders pics, Doc. Looks like a great gig.



Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 15th, 2016 10:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

About my 58, I'm always torn in the middle of how expensive these basses are, how great it sounds and how old I'm getting to be. At last, I start thinking about how short life is and how my playing time is limited. I heard someone once say, "smoke 'um if ya got 'um." So, I take it to the gig.


Contributing Member

South Florida

Dec 15th, 2016 10:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah--I would definitely gig with it. I'm totally all about the 'life is short' concept.

A guy I used to gig with grew up with Jaco P and got a '62 from him in some sort of trade when they were just jamming in the same circles in high school somewhere around Lauderdale.

I think it was actually his only bass and he gigged with it exclusively. It definitely looked like it had seen better days but he lugged it everywhere.

I was the guitar player but every so often would get pressed into service and actually learned to play bass on it and went out and bought by own Jazz shortly.
Some of the places we played were questionable and he was a bit careless at times so if he had too many drinks I'd keep an eye on who is getting uncomfortably close to the thing.

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 12:35 PM, Dec 15th, 2016)

Steve Boisen


Dec 15th, 2016 12:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

My main gigging bass thse days is a '74 P-Bass. Not pre-CBS, but vintage by most people's definitions.

If I owned an older bass I would still gig with it. Even the most expensive vintage pieces are still cheaper than the average new car, and we take those everywhere.

- Steve

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Dec 15th, 2016 01:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Record yes, gig noooooooo!


Dec 16th, 2016 12:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

FWIW, John Entwistle never gigged his vintage basses (after they became vintage collectibles). The only time I remember seeing him play [what he thought was] a vintage bass from his collection was in Tommy, when he's seen playing a white Gibson Flying V bass. But it was later identified as fake.

(This message was last edited by ilan at 02:34 AM, Dec 16th, 2016)

Contributing Member

South Florida

Dec 16th, 2016 09:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

I agree that if I were a megasuperstar doing 200 gigs a year and 'money no object" I wouldn't be shipping my valuable gear all over the world assuming it's gonna arrive safe and secure.

There are too many stories of stuff going missing because it was sitting in some backstage loading dock.

I'd probably arrange to buy quality stuff locally for each tour. After all I think GC and Starbucks might have some deal where they build together.



Dec 18th, 2016 02:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Some gigs. I just have to.
(if its pretty safe though)


Contributing Member


The Plankster of Love
Dec 18th, 2016 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

I mostly decide on the basis of security. Mix of new and old basses, but 65 p and 69 Tele are definitely in the starting rotation


Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 19th, 2016 06:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

Arild...that 58 is sweet!



Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Dec 20th, 2016 12:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

71 J-Bass is my trusty tool for all my dates.
But since they all involve church gigs, I
have a few less worries than most.

Sometimes I do wonder if I should use my
hard case for ALL gigs, not just the ones
involving lots of equipment.

oldFartPraiseBassPlayer Walt



Dec 30th, 2016 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Use my 66 P-bass regularly. I just watch it at gigs, and it is the first item in during load in, and the last item out. I think parking lots are sketchier than the actual inside of the bar.

At fairs and festivals, If I leave the stage area, I load the bass back into its,case and into my vehicle.

(This message was last edited by Lukkydog at 04:23 PM, Dec 30th, 2016)

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Do you regularly gig with a vintage Fender bass?

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