Acoustic bass guitars are frequently cumbersome to carry, neck heavy, and boomy sounding while you fight the feedback in a live Worship setting. Most of us are aware of Taylor’s popular GS Mini-series of guitars, which have been embraced by singer/songwriters and those needing a guitar that is easy to pitch in the backseat for jam and practice sessions. This year Taylor has expanded the GS Mini family with the new GS Mini e-Bass. Like the other models, it is founded on the smaller grand symphony body shape with 23 ½ inch scale, spruce top, and a sapele body. Built in ES-B electronics with tuner, tone and volume control, and top mount easy access battery.
Master luthier, Andy Powers, told me what really separates the GS Mini e-bass from other acoustic bass offerings are the custom nylon-core D’Addardio strings that they collaborated on to optimize the instrument’s performance. Unplugged, the bass is fun and easy to navigate, but the smaller body doesn’t give it much thump acoustically. But when you plug it into an amp or PA system the sound is amazing, and probably closer to a standup bass tonality than an electric bass. The nylon-core strings make it effortless to play all the way up the fretboard with no resistance or fretting out. The matte finish and ebony fingerboard are comfortable to the touch, and it comes with an embroidered Taylor hard bag.
I wasn’t expecting to be impressed by the GS Mini-e bass when I first played it, but once I plugged it in I really didn’t want to put it down. As a guitarist that plays at bass I found it to be much less intimidating than a full-size bass, owing to its shorter scale length. It is an ideal instrument if you are looking to expand the tonal textures of the band in a church or worship setting and want more of an unplugged sound. If the congregation doesn’t see you playing it they might think you’re hiding an upright bass behind the pulpit!