Bass Madness

Why should anyone want to make their own Bass Guitar. Will the guitar be the best in the world? Will it be cheap to make? Do I have the tools and the skills? Do I know where to start?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO. Before I started, in my pessimistic way, I was sure that this little project was bound to end in disaster. Did it? Read on.


My bass rig, like me, was ageing and I had a burning desire to invest in new equipment. The Bass that I fell in love with was listed at £2999. I had no chance of making up a strong enough business case to the Domestic Authority (my now ex) to support my hobby. It would take far too many pub gigs to pay back this investment. Our house rule was that my music should be cost neutral so the pittance that I earn from gigging can go directly back into expenses (travel and beer mostly) and equipment. Even though I had a love affair with my dream bass, it was not completely what I wanted. Any mass produced product will always be a compromise and a custom made bass with my specification would be even more costly.

While I did not expect the project to be low cost, I reckoned that I could do the job for much less than £2999.

I reckoned that I could:

  • Build the bass for a much lower cost than a professionally produced one;
  • Have all the features that I wanted;
  • Have a unique instrument; and most importantly
  • Enjoy the challenge.

I did not have too much time that I could devote to this but I intend to complete the project by March 2003. It took several months longer than this because of delays in supplying some of the parts.

Crash CourseI have been playing bass since my teens. My early years were on Merseyside where I played with several bands. The most acclaimed of these, Crash Course (See Photo on the right), like all the others, disappeared into obscurity but evolved into Wah Heat, with ex Crash Course members Pete Wylie and Rob Jones. The other original members were Andy Eastwood, Mick Reed. I have recently made contact again with Mick. I left Crash Course because of work commitments just before Pete joined. My business sense has not improved.

I put down my bass a long while back but my interest was rekindled when I was asked to fill in with "Matt Vinyl", a West Herts covers band. I stayed with the band for over three years through various line ups until it split in July 2004.

I then spent several years with Tetra'tum, It's was little bit different to what I had been used to... And what a good bunch the band members are. The band is still going strong after all this time.

My Bass has been around the world with me. I left the UK to take up some work in Dubai in October 2008. I had a bit of a rough ride with the work politics in Dubai and planned to return to the UK after my two year contract was complete. However, the economic crisis meant that I would have to look at a reduction in lifestyle if I returned to the UK so I upped again and moved to Hong Kong in September 2010 where the bass saw much work in the very busy Hong Kong music scene, mainly with a band called Black Mariah. I returned to the UK in November 2012. The bass is doubly busy with the Chiltern Hillbillies and Twisted. (Watch this space. I have itchy feet again.)