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The great Jermaine Jackson “J” Bass

Our mutual friend and phenomenal bassist Dammo Farmer decided that Jermaine Jackson should meet me and that I should make him a knock ‘em dead gorgeous custom Signature Bass. I said, “You bet, bring him over, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of that guy!!”

So one day The Great Jermaine Jackson showed up at my door and we were instantly like little kids in a candy store, thinking up the coolest bass ever for Jermaine. We’re barely at the starting point but something tells me it’s not going to be anything like my normal Wyn basses!! Strap in folks, here we go!!!!!

Jermaine Jackson has a unique look and style about everything he does. I welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Jermaine to build him a very custom bass. He came over one night with our mutual friend, Dammo Farmer, and we went about discussing bass construction, ergonomics, materials, and just about everything else we could think of!!

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During a second visit with Jermaine, he brought up the idea of designing the body of the guitar based on the way he writes the capital letter “J” when signing his name. The graphic way he does it has a nice balance and design to it and we left it that I’d play with the shapes and see what I came up with. On Jermaine’s third visit, I had pasted these drawing onto a board so we could explore the possibilities. There are of course lots of factors involved. In addition to the graphic design, we have to come up with a shape that’s ergonomically playable and balanced for those “little practicalities” like being able to put a strap on it and play it.

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The next fun thing to do is to get a cheap material like cardboard or in this case, 1/8″ masonite, and do a quick cut out of a couple of full scale shapes to start to see if these small drawings could really translate into a working guitar. Seeing things at their proper size, even though flat as a pancake, will tell you a lot in a hurry about proportions and playability.

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Since the body is the “J”, what about inlaying the fretboard with “ermaine”? Folks, this movie writes itself!! Okay, Mr. Jermaine, “that’ll be a piece of cake.” (no it won’t, but it’ll sure look cool) Jermaine grabbed a pencil and spaced out his name. We’re like a couple of kids that broke into the science lab at this point, dreaming up elaborate inlays and finishes. Some how I’m pretty sure that leaving it in tan masonite is not going to be the look that Jermaine is going for!!

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Okay, carefully observe the child like look on Jermaine’s face. Does this look like a kid that’s just found his favorite present under the tree or what? More to come ……………………..

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I deviously made Jermaine sign the bass design that he approved. I told him it was procedure (In a very procedural sort of way). (I really just wanted a cool keep sake from all the fun we’re having. I don’t want to brag, but he completely fell for it!!!)

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