I have been playing bass for over twenty years. Since the late 1990s, I have spent most of my playing time on six string basses - primarily performing with my Sei Flamboyant. I also play electric upright bass and guitar. Presently both my Sei bass and my piccolo bass (AKA electric guitar) are tuned D G C F Bb Eb (the latter an octave higher) and I have been experimenting with how the altered tuning forces me to approach familar songs from a different angle.
At home I frequently end up using my Tanglewood Odyssey electro-acoustic; it only has four strings but a gorgeous sound, ready to play without plugging in. I bought it in late summer 2000 and, that September, used it for leading open air worship at a mission that took place in Lewisham. Although relatively quiet, it worked well when played with a plectrum (I learnt this the hard way, having worked up some impressive blisters on the first day!).
For quite a few years, I also had a Hohner 4 string 'cricket bat' - both headless and bodyless, and finished in a vivid red. It was a great little instrument but I was not using it and so decided to sell it on. It turned into a win for me as the money funded my Stagg Electric Upright Bass, also red but somewhat less compact. At the start of 2012 I finally got an acoustic upright bass of my own too and am presently trying to master the art of bowing it.
My influences are many and varied; most of what I listen to is somewhere between Jazz (from Beebop and Cool through Mingus and Miles to artists like Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten) and Rock (especially earlier artists such as Hendrix, Led Zepplin and AC/DC), taking in all the funky stops in between. However, I try to listen with open ears; if you really want to gauge my taste, take a look at my last.fm profile, which has a record of most of what I have listened to recently.
It helps to hang out with bassists. This is much easier in the virtual world than in 'real life' and there are some brilliant resources out there, such as the Talkbass forum or the Activebass site; I hang out on Basschat. There are also some very skillful musicians forging new paths using bass, such as Steve Lawson and David Friesen and I've found them very willing to share what they've learnt and help others along the way.
Christian bassists might be interested to visit the ChurchBass website and find out about this international electronic community. You might also be interested in the Deep to Deep events that I help to organise.