Talkbass & Answering Generic Bass Purchase Questions
Ok, so how many times have we seen one of these threads, generally started by younger and more inexperienced players:
"Hi! I have a budget of $XXX and I would like to know what's the best bass for the money is. Thanks!"
...and how many times have we given the following diverse answers, all in the same thread:
..and about 40 other answers that are different.
Is there a better way of answering something like this? It seems like when people come here looking for some generic advice, there is a great sense of information overload.
There are even other times when people say "I've narrowed it down to either buying a XXX or YYY.", and suggestions from ZZZ and AAA and BBB start flying in when the OP had narrowed it down.
I'm just pondering, but shouldn't there be other approaches to questions like these?
If people stop answering "what's the best?" threads, eventually, they'll go away...at least in theory.
It's just that it becomes overload at a point - tens of suggestions for basses doesn't really help the player decide. It's just a big list.
It's a natural question, especially for younger guys who don't know many musicians. I bought my favorite bass on the recommendation of TBer, but it was from a thread where someone was discussing what they liked best about their instrument (for what it's worth, the bass in question is Fender Classic '50s P -- and it got gigged last weekend).
Young guys are in a hurry and they want instant gratification. This inevitably leads to "what's the best bass for $200?" threads.
Luckily, there are a lot of good basses for entry level players...and, in my opinion, a couple of hours spent at a music store is worth endless months of reading "I love my XXX" threads.
There isn't really a solution due to in-person purchasing limitations. Local mom and pop shops have 15 guitars to every 2 basses. Usually no more than two brands. The internet is open to anyone for pursuing anything anywhere. People will need input.
Maybe a few kind souls can offer the newbs to try their collection but beyond that de nada. Internet purchasing is about educated guessing. If folks can't come to Talkbass to do that why are we here GASing each other up?
Yeah I do not see any changes anytime soon. There is no best anything, that is the biggest root of the problem, all you can possibly get is opinions and not facts.
When people come on with a focused question they get a focused answer, sure you will always get a few that ignore the OP and just say "get this, I love mine" but usually when people are specific with their needs they get better responses. If you ask such a broad question you cannot expect a specific response.
I don't mind it.
I worked in the hobby industry (RC cars) for years, and not only were the same old questions asked continuously, they were asked EVERY HOUR, every day....
"What's the fastest... what's the cheapest.... what's the best?... etc"
It's because there is a continuous stream of newcomers to the hobby, and, of course, those ARE the questions everybody wants to ask immediately.
We as "veterans" may get tired (very tired) of the repetitive and overly simplistic questions, but that's the price you pay for having a healthy, thriving industry/hobby/interest with a steady stream of new blood jumping into the mix, and I'd surmise that those new players keep the music industry wheels greased with a flood of "Ibby and Squier" dollars that subsidize the manufacturers to also offer the higher-end models which we all aspire to.
Roll your eyes if you must, but then put yourself in their shoes and think of a situation where you might be getting into some new area of interest COLD, and stumble on a nest of VERY knowledgeable individuals who seem to know just about everything there is to know about a subject. I know when I was looking for a telescope (my own example), I went to the web, did a search, and asked a few questions that might have seemed very simplistic to seasoned astronomers, but I was just looking for a starting point.
"Uhhh... What's the BEST telescope for $500?" LOL!!!
I don't think some of you are reading the original post carefully. I'm not saying "I'm so sick of these noob questions", I'm saying that when we get noob questions, which are fine, the answers we give are so varied that we may end up confusing who we are trying to help. I'm pondering if there's a better way to do something like this. Maybe a bit more streamlined.
I love when I ask questions about the differences between two products, and I specifically ask for opinions of those who have owned or used BOTH products.
Of course, I get every T, D, or H who has used ONE of them.
Just makes me laugh... not
With bass maybe the problem is that there are soooooo many, and often the advice is to go S/H which muddies the waters even further.
Even 'what to look for in a bass' is totally a personal thing.
"Well, I never actually played either one. In fact, I don't even play bass. But, let me tell you my opinion anyway."
If people would DO THEIR RESEARCH before posting an opinions thread, they'd see that there are already 5 million threads on these topics. :(
So basically we just need to some math calculation and such to prove indisputably that Squier CV/VM is the best beginner bass?
Some of the often repeated questions are annoying but this place would turn into a wiki rather than a forum if they completely stopped. That's how if you google "talkbass best strings for precision", you can read through 50 different threads all with tons of answers, and find a consensus on your own.
This often leads to a game of "20 Questions", as the more experienced players try to draw out of the OP more detail about his/her instrument needs, gear preferences, preferred musical genres, and much much more - in essence, to guide the kind of thinking process that really should have begun much earlier. :rolleyes:
If the OP frames the question in a way that makes little sense (i.e. a choice between two makes/models of instrument that have nothing in common with each other), should a respondent who is trying to be helpful be precluded from challenging the fuzzy thinking that went into that choice in the first place? If so, how does that really help the OP?
I agree, after the first few hundred such threads, it gets pretty tedious & tiresome. But by & large, the issue is not the answers. It's the questions. :eyebrow:
While an experienced bass player loves to go to music stores and play a variety of basses, the Newby may feel significantly intimidated to plug one in and show the world that he doesn't know how to play like a master. Thus, he asks for the opinions of others. His best bet may be to team up with someone who knows his way around a bass to demonstrate and provide advice. A good salesman will do this for him. My first time in a guitar store was like visiting a foreign country even though I had played trumpet for 45 years. I found a good salesperson who was patient and very helpful. Now that I can play I have no problem plugging in an instrument and making some noise.
I might add that if everyone in music stores that sell orchestra instruments was as helpful and friendly as people in guitar stores there may be more orchestra players. Thanks to all of those helpful guitar store employees and customers that are helpful and friendly!
Simple. The answer to every question about gear is the following:
Sunburst P Bass- MIA only
Ampeg (unless Jimmy is away from his computer for the day) ;)
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