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Blog-vember #6 Four-String Love: Ode to the Fender Jazz Bass


Blog-vember Day 6  --Blooming Prejippie Zine

Originally published as Blog-vember #6

For as long as I can remember I have always written songs, and wanted to play guitar and sing. I didn’t know the difference between bass guitar and a lead guitar, but I knew I wanted play.

What really made me feel like this was possible was when I saw the Jackson 5. I became a fan instantly and my favorite of the afro-coifed brothers was Jermaine Jackson. It was simple; Jermaine sang and played a guitar. –Of course, I assumed that they were writing their own songs.

Later, I discovered that Jermaine Jackson played bass guitar. The first bass I noticed he played was Fender Jazz Bass (on The Jackson 5’s “Going Back to Indiana" Special).

"Going Back to Indiana" Special Video

Thus began my infatuation with Fender Jazz Basses. –Later, I would find out that another bass idol of mine, Larry Graham, also played a Fender Jazz Bass. All this did was to solidify my love for the bass.

Larry Graham on Soul Train

Larry Graham on Soul Train

I loved everything about it, including the shape of it, the chrome pick up covers, and even the pearl block inlays on the neck. Then, once I got an opportunity to play one, I realized that I even loved the way it felt; it was perfect for me. Like our current president, Donald Trump, I have small hands, so the narrow neck on the Fender Jazz bass fit me perfectly. In reality, though, owning the bass of my dreams actually eluded me for years.

“Get out of my head and channel yourself through this bass.”

Finally, in 1993, I bought a 5 string Music Man, which ended up being a beast for me to play. Playing this wide neck behemoth was horrible (due to the aforementioned short fingers). It was so difficult to get my hands to play what was in my head on that bass. I started to feel like I just wasn’t a good bass player anymore. This poor fit was really hampering my creativity; my musical voices was muted due to this ill fit.</