Fender Musicmaster Bass

A little Fender bass with so much flame, she’s almost on fire.

So, I’ve had a few complaints that the articles have been a bit too Maton-heavy the last few months. So, I thought I better have a look at some other things before I get stuck into the Maton’s again… (and there’s some awesome stuff coming up!)

A couple of months ago, my Aunt asked me to find a bass for her 15 year old daughter who wanted to start playing. She asked what I would recommend, and I said a Fender Mustang Bass would be perfect. I’d bought one for my wife and she loved it (check out the story here) and for a person with smaller hands (like me) these basses are spot on.

I went looking around Brisbane and really didn’t find anything suitable at that time, but after a week I found a late 70’s/early 80’s Musicmaster Bass that was going cheap on the USA eBay and happened to have the most flamey of flame maple necks I’d ever seen. It so happened that my Aunt was going to the US for a holiday so I told her to buy it, unbolt the neck and pack the parts in her luggage. Which she did.

Here’s what she came back with…

A beautiful black Musicmaster, which she picked up for a ridiculous price. It’s in fantastic condition with a beautiful gloss black body and matching scratchplate. The original black Strat knobs have been changed, but the new ones look fine. But the thing that made me tell her to grab this particular bass was the neck…

Top to bottom, this was one of the most beautiful necks I’d seen… especially on a student model instrument. The flame goes down the entire length of the neck. It’s quite stunning.

The bass itself is a totally different beast to the earlier Musicmaster Basses, which the guitarist in my band has one of. The earlier ones, while great, were definitely a cheaply made instrument. The main difference was the neck… the machine heads were cheap and the neck had little to no finish plus a tiny decal that looked like it was off the guitars of the time.

My Aunt’s bass is basically a stripped down Mustang Bass. Apart from the scratchplate/pickup & bridge, its the same instrument. For a start the machine heads are proper Fender-type.

And as I showed above, the decal was a proper Fender Bass decal. The neck is also finished in a beautiful gloss which really accentuates that flame. Did I mention that the neck was flame maple?

So my Aunt is pretty pleased, as am I. The market in the US at the moment is very strange, with guitars going pretty cheap… and with the Australian dollar currently at US$1.08, it should be a good time to buy if you have some spare cash. The kicker is that US shipping now is absolutely criminal. A friend of mine recently bought a Les Paul from the US and it cost $1500 to ship to Australia. No sh!t. So any savings you’d make with getting a great deal and with our dollar being awesome is instantly lost when you actually want to get the thing over here. Ridiculous.

So if anyone has a friend going to the US anytime soon, get them to bring you back a guitar… preferably a bolt on so they can do the unbolt the neck trick. Then you can have something as nice as this for peanuts.