Janis' Takamine Upright Bass Guitar
There are two things I always wanted to play - upright bass, and flute. I can't get a sound of a flute... well, I can get a sound, but it's more of a honk with hot air than a tone. But upright bass? That's where my vocals live. I've been lucky enough to work with some of the greats - Richard Davis, Ron Carter - and I realized early on that my hands would always be too small to be great. Then again, as Chick Corea once told me, "If your hands are too small, play faster!"
When we made god & the fbi, producer Jim Cregan and I decided the entire album would be home-grown - just four people, locked in a rented house, doing all the instruments and vocals. Naturally, I volunteered to play bass. With no idea where to begin or how to play.
Fortunately, Takamine had just come out with this B-10. I purchased it from Westwood Music, quickly had them add frets so I'd have at least a vague idea of what I was doing, and then used it for all the upright parts on the album. In fact, you can hear my favorite, "Jolene", right here.
Far as I'm concerned, that was my height as an upright player, and since I don't plan to challenge Richard or Ron's supremacy (or Espranza Spalding or the memory of Anita Carter, for that matter!), here it is.
Takemine B10, circa 1999. Janis used this bass on her 2000 CD God and the FBI and on the hit single "Jolene." After giving "free-hand" playing a valiant effort, she had Fred Walecki of Westwood Music in L.A. install dot markers and side markers. Comes with an endpin. In its original hardshell case.
For purchase information and photos, please visit the Janis Ian page at Carter Vintage Guitars and remember - half of this money (including half of Carter Vintage's percentage, which they are donating!) goes to the Pearl Foundation.
For more photos, scroll down!