Another newbie post...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mofungo, Apr 26, 2002.

  1. mofungo


    Apr 24, 2002
    Chicago Suburbs
    First, my apologies if this is in the wrong forum. I was hoping to find a "Newbies" area. This seemed like a good place to put my question(s), so...

    I've been playing guitar for a few years and like to record music to my hard drive. I'm now ready to venture into the world of bass. At this point, I just want to be able to put together simple basslines for my songs.

    I'm going out today to look for an inexpensive bass (<$400). Do most of you recommend a P-Bass? I'm planning to visit MusicGoRound (all they sell is used instruments). I figure that if I purchase a used instrument, I'll be able to get a little bit more bang for my buck.

    I just realized that I've really only asked one question. What I'm looking for is some insight when I go out shopping later today. I'd like some recommendations for an under $400 bass (closer to zero the better). My main musical interests are rock, country, funk & punk.


  2. I think it's a good idea to go used, you will get more bang for the buck. I think most people would agree that a P Bass is great for rock, probably punk, but I can't help on Country and Funk. You could look for a deluxe P, which also has a J pickup, and that might give you more versitility.

  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Look at the made in Mexico and Made in USA Fenders (dont know $ prices as I'm a Brit).

    Also try a Jazz as the neck is slimmer and they have two pickups.

    Happy hunting
  4. mofungo


    Apr 24, 2002
    Chicago Suburbs
    What scale would be easiest for me to learn to play? 30"? 34"? I'm guessing short scale since I'm a guitar player. Any advantages/disadvantages to either?
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Tha vast majority of basses are 34" and most people don't have any trouble - you will be very lucky to even find a decent short-scale bass and most people agree that they suffer tonally. Well - at least they have a distinctive tone which you may or may not like!

    The most common recommendation, as CS mentioned is the MIM (Mexico) Fender Jazz bass, but if you're looking used you may be lucky and get a US-made one at a good price.
  6. Hello Mofungo and a warm welcome to Talkbass.:D

    Buy used: that's my advice. There realy are some great deals to be had. It does, of course, restrict your choice.

    I think there's no way to advise on what style of bass to buy. Brands, likewise, I guess. But you'll not go far wrong with the big names. I'm a particular fan of Yamaha and it seems to generally accepted that you really do get a lot of bass for your money with a Yammy.

    Beware that Fenders tend to be neck heavy and that Precisions, in particular, are well known for having a dead spot around 7th fret on the G string.

    There are scholars on here that speak of bass newbies learning fretless without going fretted first. Does that appeal?

    Best of luck.

  7. mofungo


    Apr 24, 2002
    Chicago Suburbs
    The place I'm visiting today is supposed to have a 90 Fender MIJ P Bass for around $330. Decent deal?

    I've not thought about fretless at all. I'm not opposed to the thought. I just haven't thought about it.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what's in stock at this place. I stopped by a pawn shop yesterday and they had a BC Rick Mockingbird for $200. It actually looked kinda cool. Then I remember something I'd read about bolt on necks and clearance in the pocket. I pulled out a business card and dropped it in. Whew! I'm glad I actually looked. There was more than enough room to drop it in on one side and no clearance at all on the other. Obviously, I passed.

    Short scale? Long scale? Long scale it is.

    Thanks for the input so far! Keep it coming!!
  8. mofungo


    Apr 24, 2002
    Chicago Suburbs
    I went shopping today but came home empty-handed. I only looked at used instruments.

    I tried several Fender's, Yamaha's, Dean's, and Washburn's. I liked the Yamaha 250(?) that I played but couldn't talk the guy down to a price that I felt was reasonable.

    Now...another bass question....

    Do all E strings vibrate excessively? Every bass that I picked up and plucked, the E string seemed to vibrate excessively. Is this normal, or just me.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think you might be experiencing the need for "muting" in bass playing! Funnily enough I was reading the book "How the Fender bass changed the world" at the weekend and one thing that struck me was a comment about how guitar players who convert to bass don't realise that muting is an essential part of bass playing.