Best first Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gerbs, Apr 4, 2014.


  1. Gerbs

    Gerbs

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    I'm just deciding to pick up the bass after a few months of "I wanna", anyway, what's a good first bass? A few musician friends pointed me to the Ibanez GSR200. After some googling, it turns out that they are on sale! Is there a better beginners bass out there? I'm also gonna use StudyBass.com as an at home teacher, yay or nay?
     
  2. TheGreatSealof

    TheGreatSealof Supporting Member

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    It all depends on the sound you are looking for. Passive or active?

    My first bass, (in 2010, decided to learn bass), was an active Ibanez SG300. I loved the bass. Great sound shaping and a thin, fast neck.

    Since then, I have owned and played at least10 basses and brands. I now play an American Standard Fender Jazz. A bit pricey for a beginner but it has the sound and quality that kills.

    I highly recommend the Ibanez SG300 as a great starter bass for around $300.00. Some people recommend a Fender precision bass or clone. Excellent basses but the learning curve is tough if you are a guitar player moving into the bass world and you are used to a thin neck. Pbass necks have wider, thicker neck profile.

    Visit a music store and play as many basses as you can. You will soon find the "one" that feels great and produces the sound you are looking for.
     
  3. R&B

    R&B Don't want no treble. Supporting Member

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    [Check other threads on this too for excellent advice from others.]

    Welcome! I started not quite 2 years ago with an MIM Fender P. That one is with a friend now but there have been lots of acquisitions since then. I could open a store. :rollno:

    Used MIM Fender P or J, or Squier Classic Vibe P or J, would be my call for a $300ish budget. The setup is more important than the bass. A great setup makes an OK bass a joy to play. A bad setup makes the best bass a pain.

    The Hal Leonard Bass Method book and CD has many fans, including me. There's a thread on it. Studybass.com is good for music theory. But you want to play bass! So the HL book with CD is really the ticket. If you can find an excellent teacher (bassist, NOT guitarist), you'll learn faster and avoid bad habits.

    Play with others ASAP, preferably people above your skill level. Break a leg! :bassist:
     
  4. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty Supporting Member

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    I agree with the post above, go to a store and try some out. There are a lot of good options out there, the GSR200 is good but if you can swing it, try a SR300 if you go the Ibanez route. Neck is super slim and is a much more versatile bass. It's also super light and nice and sexy!
    You can also go with Squier series of basses. P Bass, Jazz Bass, Jaguar etc.
    A pretty popular bass these days even for beginners is the Sterling Sub Ray. Price is about $280 and you get a heck of a bass for the price. One of the better deals out there.

    Still, I recommend trying out some basses - ultimately, it comes down to what feels right in your hands. . It's a little like trying to find a good pair of gym shoes- what is good for one is not necessarily the best option for another.
     
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  6. Obi Wan

    Obi Wan

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    Does anyone have any experience with Traber John Moyer 5 string basses. I bought one as my first bass and have it detuned 2 semitones with D'Addario Round wound 5 string set.
     
  7. Obi Wan

    Obi Wan

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    *Yesterday, 09:54 PM

    Gerbs*

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    Best first Bass?

    I'm just deciding to pick up the bass after a few months of "I wanna", anyway, what's a good first bass? A few musician friends pointed me to the Ibanez GSR200. After some googling, it turns out that they are on sale! Is there a better beginners bass out there? I'm also gonna use StudyBass.com as an at home teacher, yay or nay?

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    TheGreatSealof*

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    Best first Bass?

    It all depends on the sound you are looking for. Passive or active?

    My first bass, (in 2010, decided to learn bass), was an active Ibanez SG300. I loved the bass. Great sound shaping and a thin, fast neck.

    Since then, I have owned and played at least10 basses and brands. I now play an American Standard Fender Jazz. A bit pricey for a beginner but it has the sound and quality that kills.

    I highly recommend the Ibanez SG300 as a great starter bass for around $300.00. Some people recommend a Fender precision bass or clone. Excellent basses but the learning curve is tough if you are a guitar player moving into the bass world and you are used to a thin neck. Pbass necks have wider, thicker neck profile.

    Visit a music store and play as many basses as you can. You will soon find the "one" that feels great and produces the sound you are looking for.

    **

    * #3*****

    *Today, 12:49 AM

    ShowLow*

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    Best first Bass?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by*Gerbs*

    I'm just deciding to pick up the bass after a few months of "I wanna", anyway, what's a good first bass? A few musician friends pointed me to the Ibanez GSR200. After some googling, it turns out that they are on sale! Is there a better beginners bass out there? I'm also gonna use StudyBass.com as an at home teacher, yay or nay?

    [Check other threads on this too for excellent advice from others.]

    Welcome! I started not quite 2 years ago with an MIM Fender P. That one is with a friend now but there have been lots of acquisitions since then. I could open a store.**

    Used MIM Fender P or J, or Squier Classic Vibe P or J, would be my call for a $300ish budget. The setup is more important than the bass. A great setup makes an OK bass a joy to play. A bad setup makes the best bass a pain.

    The Hal Leonard Bass Method book and CD has many fans, including me. There's a thread on it. Studybass.com is good for music theory. But you want to play bass! So the HL book with CD is really the ticket. If you can find an excellent teacher (bassist, NOT guitarist), you'll learn faster and avoid bad habits.

    Play with others ASAP, preferably people above your skill level. Break a leg!*

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    Maxdusty*

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    I agree with the post above, go to a store and try some out. There are a lot of good options out there, the GSR200 is good but if you can swing it, try a SR300 if you go the Ibanez route. Neck is super slim and is a much more versatile bass. It's also super light and nice and sexy!*
    You can also go with Squier series of basses. P Bass, Jazz Bass, Jaguar etc.*
    A pretty popular bass these days even for beginners is the Sterling Sub Ray. Price is about $280 and you get a heck of a bass for the price. One of the better deals out there.

    Still, I recommend trying out some basses - ultimately, it comes down to what feels right in your hands. . It's a little like trying to find a good pair of gym shoes- what is good for one is not necessarily the best option for another.

    Last edited by Maxdusty : Today at*12:53 AM.

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    Obi Wan*

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    Does anyone have any experience with Traben John Moyer 5 string basses. I bought one as my first bass and have it detuned 2 semitones with D'Addario Round wound 5 string set.
     
  8. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

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    I agree…see if you can visit some different stores (don't get pressured into buying at your first visit!) so you can see what feels best in your hands. For starting out, I'd say comfort trumps sound. If it doesn't feel "right", it might discourage you from playing. But "right" is incredibly subjective. No matter how many suggestions come your way, there's no telling what's going to work best in your unique hands.

    I was incredibly lucky with my first purchase, a Fender Aerodyne. Although it was not the one I wanted first (it'd been discontinued a couple of years earlier), it turns out that it had a lot of qualities that I was completely ignorant of…things like fretboard radius, nut width and pickup configuration. I don't know if it subtly set my standards or if it just happened to be the "right" one for my hands. Either way, I still have it, I don't plan on parting with it and gladly let people see me playing it.
     
  9. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty Supporting Member

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    Malak, that's akin to getting a hole in one. You're right, your very first purchase was a darn good one. The Aerodyne has a lot of qualities that make it the best entry into the Fender world imo.
     
  10. R&B

    R&B Don't want no treble. Supporting Member

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    :)

    My *second* purchase was a set of "twins" that I still have and enjoy. MIJ Fender P and J. Great deal, but not $300! That is the dilemma...how much to spend on something that may or may not pan out.
     
  11. MIMike

    MIMike

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    A good condition "used" one would be my recommendation. Just like buying a car, if you buy new, you will take a big hit when you go to sell it. Let someone else take that hit and buy their used bass. Try several new ones at local stores to see what you like, then search out a used version of that. Just make sure to budget in about $50 adl. for a setup. Like ShowLow said, a properly setup bass makes a big difference.
    If you end up sticking with it you can upgrade later. If you end up not being a bass player, you can unload the bass w/o taking a big loss.
     
  12. PrietoBass

    PrietoBass How does he do that? Supporting Member

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    Although I'm still a relative newbie with limited ability, I have learned a thing or two about what I want in a bass.

    Unless you have some previous experience with stringed instruments, it will be very hard to know what you are looking for, much less to go to a store and "play as many as you can until you find the one"... Your tone will come primarily from your hands, and that takes time to develop. i have found that you need to know a little (or a lot) to tell the difference between a good or a bad bass, since there are so many variables like setup, strings, EQ, amp, and many others too numerous to mention for the newbie to sort out on his/her own.

    If I was starting all over again, here's what I'd do.
    1) Sign up for lessons for at least three months to get started. While books, CDs, and DVDs are great, nothing beats having an instructor right in front if you giving you feedback.
    2) Offer instructor in step #1 to take him/her out to lunch, but in return ask him/her to go with you to a music store and help you pick an instrument. You need to hear what the instrument is capable of, but if you are a newbie you won't be able to find this out on your own.
    3) Setup a budget that you are comfortable with, but don't buy an instrument that you will be afraid to mod on your own.
    4) Learn to set up your instrument yourself ASAP. How to set intonation, action, neck relief... Only by experimenting with all of those variables you will know what you like and what works for you. Most likely you will reach a point were you will know what you want and will be able to assess whether your instrument can give you that via technique change or modification or if it's time to buy another instrument.
    5) Beware of GAS!!! Most TBers are infected with this disease... It gets transmitted via online posts like the one you are reading now!
    6) Don't get loaded with credit card debt looking after your tone... It can be done cash only.
    7) The HL Method is VERY GOOD. Ed Friedland is a great music educator, cool guy, and he's here on TB.
    8) It's not a race. Unless you plan to take over the world with your music, make millions of dollars, and have legions of adoring fans, it's just a trivial pursuit... (Gasp!!!). Time spent with your instrument is better than no time at all, and even if you only learn one thing in a month that's still one thing you didn't know before.
    9) Finally, transcribing is your best friend.

    I know this is not specific to what is the best starter bass, but these are things I wished I knew a few years back.

    Best of the best to you in your quest.
     
  13. Locky66

    Locky66

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    There are a lot of options out there. It really depends on your budget. If you on a small budget then this site here is probably the best bang for your buck. Solid Alder body basses starting out at $109.00
    http://www.rondomusic.com/
     
  14. Trayster2

    Trayster2 Supporting Member

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    Any Ibanez Soundgear is great but the GSR200 is an excellent starting bass because it's comfortable, slim, and fast. It's all a matter of opinion though & you should definitely try it before you buy it. I learned this the hard way.
     
  15. ux4484

    ux4484

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    Again, I back up Malek's comment: comfort, sitting down AND standing up. For me, ibanez' basses are super comfortable with a strap, but sitting are intolerable.
    I have a Fender JP-90 (very similar shape/size to the Areodyne), it's the standard I measure the comfort of other basses by.
    Comfortable starter basses I've played are: yamaha RBX 170, Sterling by MM RAY, Squier Jazz bass models, and a ESP/ LTD B104 (only mildly comfortable comfortable sitting down).
     
  16. Bob Throb

    Bob Throb

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    I would say You can't go wrong with an Affinity J Bass since mine blows away the American Standard Jazz Bass I just rented from Long and McQuads ! It just goes to show these daze what you pay has very little correlation with what U get . Surprisingly the Affinity has more tone and punch !
     
  17. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    At this stage in the game, the "best" bass is any bass that makes you wanna pick it up and play it when you walk past.
     
  18. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

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    Howard Johnson is right! :D
     
  19. bufert57

    bufert57 Ashdown User

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    I get asked a lot about first basses from parents and I always suggest the Ibanez GSR200. I think they are great basses. They have good sound and a fast neck for learning. I always hear the kids like the bass when they get it.
     
  20. Gerbs

    Gerbs

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    Thanks for all the input! :D I made plans to go to my local Sam Ash later today, and GuitarCenter sometime tomorrow (hopefully). I hear the Ibanez necks don't have a whole lot of resistance, which can be an issue. I wanna try and stay under $250, so, my options are pretty limited, but i I like a bass in the range of the SR300, then I will probably break down and get that. Thanks again for the wise words, I look forward to having community to ask for help.
     
  21. bufert57

    bufert57 Ashdown User

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    You can totally get a SR300 lightly used in your price range.

    Good luck in finding the one!
     

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