Jazz Bass Rejuvination


Seven years ago I bought a cheap Squier California Series “J” Bass. I was about to start recording a solo album and I had recently arrived in Thailand, my new home, so I needed a bass to record the bass tracks – obviously!

There were not many available models in my area. Luckily I had the money for a reasonably-priced instrument and the most “luxury” offering I found locally was from Squier. This was before the classic vibe models had been released I think, so I was still a bit unsure of the quality of Squiers, but all the other brands I had never even heard of, so the Squiers stood out like Custom Shop Fenders back home in England!

Anyway I got a result! The J bass has turned out to be an excellent instrument for the money. It plays well enough for me – I’m not a proper bass player, so I’m less fussy about that I suppose. It sounds nice and I have since rewired it, so both pickups are on all the time, in series, like a big humbucker.

Being a plain black finish with a white pickguard, it has to be said that it was never a beautiful bass and over the years it has become decidedly “frumpy” looking, it’s really not very pretty, so I have decided to practice my re-spraying skills (if I have any at all) on the J Bass to see if I can make it look more interesting.

For the hell of it I’ll probably change the pickups and upgrade the pots &¬†wiring and I’ll give it a matching headstock. Currently I’m undecided between some shade of white and a pale blue, like Sonic or Daphne Blue.

I’m doing it as cheaply and quickly as possible as it’s not a precious thing to me. I need it back in action for recording as soon as possible, so quickly this morning I took it all apart and gave the body and headstock a sanding, just enough to get the new paint to adhere to the existing finish. I’ll start with a white base coat and then apply the the sky blue (as it says on the can) and the clear coat. I guess patience will be the key to the end result – something I don’t have a lot of and need to practice!

Watch this space!

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