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In Search of a 5-String Gig-Worthy Bass: Chicago Music Exchange 2018

CME 2018  --Blooming Prejippie Zine

Follow us Prejippies as we venture to the Chicago Music Exchange in search of a 5-string, gig-worthy bass.

*This is an unsponsored post.

Accompanying Chicago Music Exchange video post:

Not only was it our first time going to the Chicago Music Exchange, it was also our first time riding an el train, visiting a neighborhood outside of downtown Chicago, our first Uber ride, our first college visits, our first time staying at a hotel closer to Millennium Park, our first time flying to Chicago, and our first time seeking out some of the local, cool places to eat. Here’s a quick look at our 2-day journey.

Intro (in search of a gig-worthy, 5-string bass)

As mentioned earlier, our original purpose for taking this trip to town was to search out a 5-string bass that was not only functional, but also cool. We’d seen the nirvana of guitars and basses of the Chicago Music Exchange online and we were dead-set on checking it out. We just knew that with all that variety, we should be able to find exactly what we needed.

Getting there (train)

The El Station  --Blooming Prejippie Zine

We’ve usually gone to Chicago for its downtown fairs and festivals and rarely had made it out of the downtown loop area. But since the Chicago Music Exchange was beyond that, we knew we’d have to find a way to get there from downtown.

Ambiance (Isn’t this cool?)

Walking into this place is like a Christmas wonderland for guitarists, bassists (The Bassment), and then they have the after-thought which is for drummers, The Chicago Drum Exchange. Not only are there all kinds of exotic brands to be found—that can’t be found at our local music stores—the chandeliers, photos of notable musician-customers, and lavishly-padded practice rooms provide eye candy for both the budding and especially for veteran musicians. What was even better than the way it looked—I know, I can’t believe I’m saying THAT—is the excellent customer service we received. There was no pressure to move along, yet we were greeted at the door and staff checked in from time to time to see if they could help us. (Wow! What a concept! Don’t get me started about customer service, in general, nowadays!!!) What I’m trying to say is that they weren’t JUST form—because form is important—they provide helluva function as well, which is the ultimate double-whammy when it comes to us plunking down our cash.

15 Tips for Better Band Photos  --Blooming Prejippie Zine

Trying a variety of basses (looking for just the right one)

You really DO need to check out the extended video post to see how painstakingly Bruce vets his basses. He knows what he likes and went through quite a few and shared what he liked and did not like about the ones that he tried. (–I hate to keep harping on it, but you’re missing out if you’re not watching the videos, so be sure to subscribe.)

CME 2018  --Blooming Prejippie Zine

Finally, trying the Sandberg

What may not have been obvious from the video, however, is that while Bruce played the myriad of basses on the first day, he slept on making his final decision, and the next day, returned to the store to make sure that he had made the best choice. Shout out to Jeff in The Bassment of the Chicago Music Exchange for being cool with us filming, trying a gazillion basses, having more than 2 folks in the practice room—even though I later found out is not their practice—and for throwing in bass set-up and a set of Bruce’s preferred strings with the deal. While this is an unsponsored post, we highly recommend that you make a trip there to check out their variety when searching for a guitar or bass.

CME 2018  --Blooming Prejippie Zine


You know, there were two places that we ate that I thought were super cool and that deserve a mention. We were caught in a rain-storm and needed a cool, non-chain place to hang out and ended up at this cool place called Jack and Ginger’s. While their food and service were just okay, their ambiance made up for it. At that point in our journey, it was a nice oasis while we waited out the rain AND had our one big meal of the day. (—We call that meal “linner” since it a mix of lunch and dinner.)

The other place that was quirky and cool was Vilipiano’s. Their food was so amazing that we came back the next day! We loved the ambiance, but what threw us for a loop is the odd way you order and receive your food—like a cafeteria (with multiple stations where you get a pager for each station and where the cost for your meal is put onto a dining card……) Yeah, that part was quite novel—and kind of a hassle—but they made the BEST salads! And their pizzas were very tasty. Everything was so fresh and flavorful that even though the stuff was probably sometimes vegan and organic—I don’t really keep track—but it felt sinful. The other great part is that because we went to see the musical Hamilton (and Waitress the night before), we got a 15% discount on our meal—which was our first reason for even trying it—but after that first time, we were fiending for it and ended up back there the next day. If this place was in our hometown, we’d be there every weekend, I’m sure!!


We had a blast and know that we will be venturing out and about more no matter where we go. In fact, we’ve got an upcoming trip to Paris. You should check out THAT preview video if you’re keen. This brings me to our closing question:

What amazing and inspiring adventure have you been on lately?

Do share…. We’ve love to hear about it.

Until next we meet, here's wishing you an incredible amount of love, peace, and chicken grease!

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*There are affiliate links in this listing. If you order through this link, we may receive a percentage of the sale at no cost to you.

Mentioned/shown in the video:

• Chicago Music Exchange

• Sandberg Bass

• Warwick Bass

• Nash Guitars Bass

• Out of the Drawer

• Ken Smith Bass

Check out our other Bass-Love videos:

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  1. Dislodging cultural hairballs.

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