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Tools of the Trade: Kyle Caudle’s Bass Guitar

October 8, 2010

So without too much thought, I’m starting a new section for this blog. It’s called Tools of The Trade, and the idea is that I’ll be interviewing musicians, artists and other creative types about an instrument or tool of special value to them. Being human, we’re obsessed with sensory experiences and tactile objects… the way a paintbrush feels when touched against the canvas, or the way metal strings feel when pressed against the rosewood fretboard of a guitar. Objects become iconic in our minds and can define events and memories, and the same goes for music and art. One doesn’t have to search far for examples… every guitarist has a soft spot for their favorite guitarist’s axes (Jimi Hendrix’s Monterrey Strat? The Edge’s Explorer?).

So in this spirit, here’s my first post. I’ve interviewed my band mate and friend Kyle Caudle about his vintage Fender Bass guitar, one of the most beautiful basses I’ve ever seen or had the pleasure of playing. Here’s what Kyle had to say…

PP: Ok so, first of all where did you get your bass guitar?

KC: I bought my bass from a pawn shop in King?

PP: Did you buy it the day you saw it or…

KC: I think I did, I think I took it right down off the wall and I knew immediately that’s what I wanted, didn’t really know why I wanted it at the time.

PP: Were you a bass player at the time?

KC: Yes I was.

PP: And you played with it in Good For You, and then any other bands?

KC: The Lowlands with Caleb, and then the Bayonets for the past three years or so, but I purchased it probably in 2000 or 2001, so I’ve had it about ten years now.

PP: And do you know what year it is?

KC: It’s a ’75.

PP: So a Fender 1975 Precision Bass, and you said it’s Mocha Brown?

KC: Yeah.

PP: How worn was it when you got it?

KC: Almost no wear. It was missing what they call the ashtray over the bridge. It was missing that piece, everything else is original. I don’t think anything’s really been done to it, I’ve put some road wear on it and worn through some of the finish since I’ve gotten it and played it the past few years. It was probably played less before I had it.

PP: You bought that years ago and you haven’t bought another bass since, so you’re obviously happy with it, so what about that guitar is special to you?

KC: Well I like the simplicity of it. Before I had this one I had a Music Man Ernie Ball bass, which was fine. It was almost too bright and cut through almost too much, it had active pickups and everything and had more of a Jazz Bass-style neck. Before that I owned a Mexican Jazz, and then my first bass was a P-bass, so I was familiar with the P-bass, but it was a Squier P-bass. So I was familiar with it. I like the beefiness of the neck, I like how simple it is, all you got is volume and tone. And you can’t go wrong with a vintage Fender bass, it’s just got that nice vintage warm tone.

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