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Any suggestions on a decent bass for a 50 year old begginer?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bigrey, May 13, 2010.


  1. bigrey

    bigrey

    May 13, 2010
  2. kjpollo

    kjpollo

    Mar 17, 2008
    CT
    Welcome to the low end of the musical pool! Are you a guitarist making a changeover or are you starting out "cold"?


    Those are very good starter basses and you'll find a lot of people on here who use them extensively.
    Although I dont own any myself, the Squier Classic Vibe and Vintage Modified lines generally get very positive reviews for being a very good value for the price.

    SX basses also generally get good reviews but they are only available online from rondomusic.com out of New Hampshire. You're more likely to come across a "dud" SX but the company owner has an excellent reputation for customer service- all the more impressive when you consider that a lot of his basses go for around $130 or less brand-new.

    I'm not at all familair with your amp and I dont know your plans-are you practicing by yourself at home? Because if thats all you're doing for now, you dont need a lot amp-wise. There are quite a few good practice amps out there and you can often find good stuff used either here in the TalkBass classifieds or on Craigslist.
    Actually, you can often find good deals on used basses on here too.
     
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Chicago
    My advice would be to try and buy used if you can. Craigslist and Ebay are great places to find good deals, and also the Talkbass FOR SALE section is fun to check out too - awesome deals from stand-up folks. Then, after you get your bass, take it to a tech for some new strings and a set up. It'll play like brand new. Not sure what your price range is, but check out brands like Squier, Ibanez, Schecter and Yamaha to get the ball rolling...most of those can be found for a couple hundred bucks used...(I've seen tons of Squier basses going for between $50-$150 on Craigslist lately - and the Squier you linked is a GREAT buy. I have the fretless version, it plays amazing and I got it for $150 used off Craigslist)

    You can get a better value that way, and if you decide you don't like bass, you can flip your bass for close to (or sometimes more :ninja:) than what you paid for it instead of losing money on something you purchased new.

    You'll probably need a decent little bass amp too - I'd start with a smaller combo if you're just jamming around the house.

    That amp you have is a guitar amp I believe, correct? You could potentially damage it if you play bass through it, so it'd be worth it to find a decent little amp to rock out of. Inexpensive bass combo amps are very easy to track down - there are tons out there that will do just fine - new or used market - just make sure to try before you buy if you're purchasing used amps.

    Welcome! :bassist:
     
  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Montreal
    Fender Jazz. Used is better. Enjoy.
     
  5. :bag:
     
  6. strappa

    strappa Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    if you like the squire jazz then get it
    its a good bass and you will enjoy it

    have fun
     
  7. That Squier Jazz in the OP post is actually quite good. I've played around with a couple different ones at different music shops and they've ALL been good quality.
     
  8. oldrookie

    oldrookie

    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Yes, that bass would be an excellent starting point. Will take you long past that as well.

    Guessing the Vibro-King series is a guitar amp. Suitable only a very low volume. Dedicated bass amp a better way to go. Figure to spend $300-400 for a reasonable used amp. Don't get one of those 15 to 25 watt practice amps. Generally sound awful, have no resale and you'll just end up spending about what I told you for a better amp anyway.

    Have fun. I started at 49. I'm not good, but I have a great time. Look forward to playing and practicing every day.
     
  9. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Can't go wrong with a Squier or Mexican Fender. Jazz or P depends on which you think sounds better. I'd probably go with a P myself.
     
  10. Throckmorten

    Throckmorten

    Aug 3, 2006
    Central NY
    Hi Bigrey.
    I was a 54 year old beginner a few years ago. I started off on an accoustic bass guitar (ABG) and I would _not_ recommend that as a place to start.

    Is there a shop near you? If you can get out and try some stuff it will be a big help.

    If you can't do that, then the Squire is probably as good place to start as any. The others recommened here are fine as well. There is quite a choice and you usually have to try a couple to see what fits.

    Watch the weight. Your back is as old as you are.

    Your Vibro-king amp is a guitar amp. As others have pointed out, there could be problems. It's open in the back and you risk blowing the driver at loud volume. bass amps are sealed to keep back pressure on the cone. You'll be OK at low volume but check into a bass amp - something with a little oomph 75-100 watts. (My other mistake was buying a cheap, lowpowered amp. You don't have to crank it up, but you need enough power in reserve to do justice to the sound of the bass).

    Scrape up another $40 and buy an entry level tuner and a metronome.

    Have fun and let us know how you make out.
     
  11. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Builder,mcdcustomguitars
    I'm 72, so 50 may be too young to start playing bass. Maybe you should wait 20+ years. :) I have owned two Squier Vintage Mods. Both were excellent basses for the price. They will probably be hard to find used, so I would go with a new one if necessary. I would spend maybe $200 or more on a good "Used" bass amp. You will need at leat 100 watts and a 12 or 15 inch speaker. A good sounding amp will encourage you to play better. The little starter amps just don't cut it in my book.
    Rocky
     
  12. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Go to your local music store or Guitar Center and play every bass in the room. This will help you get a feel for what you like or don't like, mainly in regard to tone. Don't go by playability or action as the basses are never set up right at a GC.

    The Fender Standard series might be a good start.

    Any insight as to your musical preferences would help too.
     
  13. wideyes

    wideyes

    May 9, 2007
    Eugene, OR
    Just a thought: If I were in your situation, I'd prioritize my money on the bass first, amp second. That Squier you found is very nice, and in the same price range, many find the Classic Vintage series by Squier to be even nicer. Your guitar amp won't be much use if you want to play with other folks, but it sounds like that's not your concern at the moment. I think you could get plenty of practicing in on that amp if you keep it low volume and turn the bass eq all the way down. I would wait to purchase a dedicated bass amp until you decide what you're gonna need (tonewise, volume-wise), otherwise you run the risk of making an ill-informed decision. I think you'd be better off spending some time just getting comfortable with the instrument and making a little noise. That way you'll know more what you're doing when it comes time to purchase your first bass amp.

    That's just my two cents...
     
  14. I too started on bass at 50. The suggestion of going to GC, or much better, your local dealer, is sound advice. Get a feel for what you like, tone, weight. Just don't short yourself on quality. Worse thing I did when I started was purchase a cheap bass that played poorly. Made it much more difficult to learn. Wasn't until I bought a Lakland skyline 44-02 for around $800 that I discovered my love for bass.
     
  15. I'm going to go against the usual grain of thought and say get the best stuff you can afford. It's too easy to get discouraged and quit when you have a less than decent instrument and amp. And don't waste your time on any amp under about 100 watts. You just won't get the satisfaction out of a little combo that you will out of something a bit bigger.
     
  16. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    the joy of starting bass at a "certain" age is you probably have more resources than the average junior high school kid.

    I'd err on the side of a slightly better instrument and I'd start with a "classic" and then you can move from there or stay. Why not a beautiful Made-in -Mexico Fender? Great value for a Precision or Jazz--go to the store and let the sales person play both for you and listen. See which fits on your body better.

    Or if you have the money, go splurge and buy the same kind of bass your favorite bassist plays (unless its John Entwistle, in which case you need a whole lot of money). Its fun. As an adult its your choice.

    If you want to keep it modest, today's budget basses are great.

    A lot of us here have been through dozens of instruments. Some still play their first. Finding out is half the fun.
     
  17. MKoby

    MKoby

    Jul 14, 2004
    MD/Metro DC
    Go for good gear. Poor playing instruments are discouraging.
    If you get something cheap, you will be replacing it if you continue playing.
    You are too old to waste time on bad gear, (although you are younger than me).

    No one mentioned finding a good teacher.
     
  18. oldrookie

    oldrookie

    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    That Squier you linked to is good gear. Go for it.
     
  19. perfektspace6

    perfektspace6

    May 9, 2006
    Maryland
    If you have never played before just buy something cheap and get it set up with a new set of strings. You aren't going to know the difference. You will know when you have outgrown it and need to move on to something of better quality. Not much fun to own an expensive bass and not be able to play it. Makes you look like a poser.
     
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Great advice.:cool:
     

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