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What Bass Guitar Should I Buy?

Discussion in 'Ask Ray Riendeau' started by BassMarchelle, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. BassMarchelle

    BassMarchelle

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    Hello, I've never been on this website before so I apologize if this is a weird question for you or something.
    I've been playing Bass Guitar for almost a year now, and I've been using a Bass that my brother gave me. It's some off-brand, and I know that it's basically a piece of crap. But I really love playing Bass, so I've been saving my money and now have about $350. I initially really wanted a Fleabass (Basses designed & manufactured by Flea Balzary of Red Hot Chili Peppers) but I don't know if a Fleabass would even be a good Bass for me. Keep in mind that Flea is my bass idol haha.
    Anyways, what I'm trying to ask is if you think that Fleabasses are good for me; and if not, could you give me more suggestions in my price range? I enjoy playing songs from Rock/Alternative bands, and have begun learning Slap, which I believe I will continue to explore.
    Thank you : )
  2. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    Hi, welcome to TB.

    There is no best bass, and you have a few things to go on when deciding which bass to get:
    Firstly you need to decide how much you can realistically afford.
    Then you should see how they sound (If you like to slap, see if it feels good for that) and feel (is it light and comfortable, how about balance?)
    Does it do a wide variety of tones... bassists sometimes have a single 'sound' but for a beginner (I have only been playing for about a year too) It makes sense to get an instrument that can do a range of tones...

    Just my approach. See which bass speaks to you, try playing lots of them (but don't get conned... price online before handing over cash).

    Oh and last of all see what looks good. You'll enjoy it :p

    Some swear by the Squire VM series... here is a thread you should gander at: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/flea-bass-vs-vm-jazz-896798/

    good luck, and check out all the stickies and links on the instruction & technique forum. Mega material, and it's free!!!!!!!!!!
  3. GypsyMan

    GypsyMan

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    First,

    Don't buy a Flea Bass, or a Geddy Lee Bass, or any other 'celebrity_endorsed_Bass' Buy a Squire or an Ibanez. You'll get a lot more for your money.

    [edit]
    And make sure to save up for a decent amp to go with your new Bass!
  4. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    As a bassist one's priority is to play solid, and bring the groove (most of the time). If a signature instrument catches your eye, by all means try it, It could be perfect for you. But try similar instruments as well. And never buy because of a name alone.
    The ibby's have a lot of fans (I haven't tried one but they seem adaptable and comfortable) so I'd have no problem recommending checking them out.

    IMO a decent amp is like a reliable tuner... makes you sound good and encourages you to practice (where possible) low, loud and proud!
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja

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    Try out a lot of basses and choose the one that feels most comfortable to play. This is the most important thing. You can always update the pickups if the sound is not quite there.
    Also try out some short scales.
    As someone mentioned before Ibanez and Squire makes great cheap basses.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

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    Fleabasses have had some people speak positively of them around here, but on the whole they haven't emerged as a really good buy for the price tag. And if I remember right, Flea himself has walked away from them - didn't feel he had enough grip on the actual business side of it.

    I wouldn't say AVOID signature basses, but don't buy a bass simply because of it's being endorsed or a sig edition by someone you like. You may totally worship Geddy Lee but that doesn't automatically mean a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz is the right bass for you. Buy the bass because the instrument has what you want.

    Squier and Ibanez are indeed good companies to think about if you have $350 to spend - the SR300 or Squier's Vintage Modified or Classic Vibe lines. You might also look at a used Schecter (like the Diamond Stilletto) or Yamaha BB414 or 424x.
  7. morewattsplease

    morewattsplease

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    I'm gonna say look for used, but I'm going to say that if you look for something used bring along someone that knows a lot more than yourself about the bass guitar as an instrument so that they can asses its quality. You'll get more for the money and stave off how soon you will want to upgrade again.
    You could probably find a mexican fender for under 350, used and Squier VM will be even less if you can find it on craigslist.

    Also I want to give props to the guy that suggested getting a two pickup bass. I've got a modulus fleabass with a single MM pickup, and I like it. However, most of the time when I jam with a friend I bring a Jazz with 2 p/ups for the versatility. I'm not gaga over the basses with like 7 pickups, coil switching, 20 band equalizers...but I do like two pickups, and a couple knobs that I can change things up with.

    Lastly, the fleabass brand died, fast. Sometimes it is good to listen to the market, other times not, but from my experience with fleabass brand basses they are not so hot.
    If I remember correctly flea has spent a good amount of time on a jazz bass.
  8. Cookye

    Cookye Supporting Member

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    And that's a bad piece of advice. Just because an instrument has an endorsement name on it does not mean you won't get your money's worth on it. Don't dismiss it based on an endorsement, play it first, then you decide whether or not it works for YOU!!!
  9. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

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    Marchelle,

    If you want to keep your price down, try the Squier Classic Vibe Jazz Bass and TC Electronic BG250 amp. For about $700 you'll have a flexible great sounding rig that you can take anywhere.

    Sincerely,
    SD
  10. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Brubaker Guitars
    I have geddy Lee and they are fine examples of what a Jazz Bass can be.
  11. bassinplace

    bassinplace

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    My favorite bass is my Squier Classic Vibe P. I've also got a T40 & (had) an HH Stingray. For feel, the Squier blows the other two out of the water as far as my preference goes. The T40 sounds better than the Squier, but I really love playing the CV Squier, it gets about 99% of my playing time. And only $265.00 off the rack! All I can say to that is wow!
  12. mattbass6945

    mattbass6945

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  13. 4dog

    4dog

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    Play alot of diff basses ,, get the one that sounds good,, plays good,, feels good ,,TO YOU,, try alot of diff basses ,,, rinse ,,, repeat.
  14. AlecRob

    AlecRob

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    There's no best bass overall, but there is a best bass for metal!
  15. hipstirbass

    hipstirbass

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    Play 'em all and always watch out for anything that has a heavy neck. Balanced=comfortable
  16. Griffin705

    Griffin705

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    If I were you I would go with a squier jbass, or maybe an amped up pbass. Back in the day, squier automatically meant the instrument was terrible, but nowadays, they are a lot better. Basically, squires are just foreign made fenders with dumbed down electronics. They have great tone, simple controls, and easy playability, perfect if you want something fresh.
  17. sarsippius787

    sarsippius787 Say it right! Say it with pleasure! Supporting Member

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