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Bass Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dubadays, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Dubadays


    Apr 4, 2009
    Sorry about the wall of text, but I need to explain things before my questions.

    So, I am new here, which is probably pretty obvious, so I figure I should probably give you a little history on my bass playing so I can get feedback on what bass to get. I've been playing bass for over 5 years. I currently play in our high school's top jazz band (which has won in it's division in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, so it's nothing to scoff at), and in several rock bands. In terms or lessons, I had lessons for about a year from the guitar player from An Dochas (A local celtic fusion band that can be found on iTunes), and I have had several clinics, the most notable being with the bass player from the University of Idaho's wind ensemble and the bass player from the school's top jazz band, both of which were 1 on 1 clinics. So, even though I've only been playing for 5 years, I'm not bad at all. I know my theory, I know when and what to play. The thing I'm not too experienced on is buying new equipment. I've had the same bass for all 5 years. It's an Ibanez Ergodyne EDB 600. It has served me well over the past, but it's time to move on. I've only had quite a bit of experience playing a couple other basses, which include another Ibanez, a Thunderbird IV, a double bass (I play this the majority of the time in the jazz band). I've played briefly with a Fender Squire, Gibson SG bass, Epiphone viola bass, Musicman Stingray, and newer Ibanez Ergodyne. I'm am looking for a bass that could give me a tone heard in bands like Wolfmother and Led Zeppelin. So, a couple questions I have are:

    1. When I played it, I hated the feel of the Gibson SG, but I never got a chance to plug it in. I've been looking pretty seriously at a Gibson Les Paul bass, but I wouldn't have a chance to play it before I would buy it, so I would have to be very sure that I want it. For those that have one, or have played one, is the feel good, and does it sound good?

    2. Is a Fender Jazz Bass worth taking a look at?

    3. I really liked the feel of the Epiphone viola bass, but I never got to plug this one in either. How does it sound?

    4. I'm looking for a bass that can last me a long time, can play well in a jazz as well as rock scenario, and is high quality, but I can't really go over $1500. What basses would you recommend?

    5. I've narrowed the choices I am considering so far down to a Gibson Les Paul, Musicman Stingray, and Fender Jazz Bass. The only one I have played so far is the Stingray, since I haven't really played a ton of basses. For those that have played at least two of those basses, which one would you recommend (the feel and the sound of the bass are both very important to me)?

    Thank you very much for reading my wall of text, and for your answers.
  2. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Jazz basses are all the rage around TB.

    Musicman basses are great, look where Flea went with them.

    Gibsons are a thing of opinion.

    All we can do is tell you the quality of instruments, its in your hands o decide which one fits you.
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Ah, leave it to Alvaro to recommend the infamous Bongo. ;)
  5. Well seeing as how you mentioned Zeppelin, I would recommend the Jazz Bass. It's very versatile, it's easy to play and it's a classic. You can't go wrong. If you don't mind moving outside of fender, the Lakland Joe Osborn or Darryl Jones signature series are both fantastic sounding and playing basses. They pop up used on the classifieds pretty frequently.
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    In your price range, their are Fender makes out the butt.

    Used Fender, New Fender, used Sadowsky, used Valenti, used Modulus, used and new Lakland, etc, etc, etc.
  7. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    i don't play jazz music, but i feel a stingray can sound good in any mix!

    i love my stingray so much that I bought another one today. a stingray has better construction than any other production bass that I have owned.
  8. I hope I don't come off as glib/flip/condescending here. You listed some solid playing experience, and the way you gained that was by doing most of it yourself (teachers/instructors notwithstanding). The same goes for equipment -- doing it yourself.

    You already said you tried a SG and that you hated it -- that's a good thing! Whether you can quantify it or not, there are aspects of the bass you didn't like. Just keep applying that to different basses. Whatever you do, take your time. All of my regret gear purchases were because it was an impulse buy, I had the money and didn't take the time to comparison shop. Most chain and mom-n-pop stores will have the majority of basses you're considering in your price range.
  9. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    buy used, make your $$$ go farther
  10. Dubadays


    Apr 4, 2009
    Well, I know what you are saying, but just because I'm pretty much self-taught, it doesn't mean I'm inexperienced. I will be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about equipment because I just haven't had the ability to experience good equipment. I didn't even buy my first bass, since I was in fifth grade when I got it, and I didn't pick out my amp either. Where I live, there aren't many options. But by researching, and just plain experience I know exactly what I am looking for, but due to the limited options where I live, I don't have the ability to play a ton of the basses that I've been looking at and I have heard good things about, so I have to trust what I hear. Since I am looking for something that will probably have to last me for quite a while, I'm definitely not going to rush in and buy the first bass that I try (as for the SG, I know that a ton of people love the look of it, but I tried it out just to get a feel for what a Gibson bass is like)
  11. Martizmo


    Mar 26, 2009
    Metro Detroit
    Like many of us, you spend the next 20 years looking for the perfect bass.

    You cant go wrong with quality or resale if you get a fender P bass, J bass, or Music man

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