Bass to start out on

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mac_the_sac, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. My mom has finally given in to me asking her to buy me a bass, but before she does she wants me to look into what kind of bass to get, a price range would probably be up to $450 dollars. Ive looked at past threads and Fenders seem to be prpular as starting basses but i wanted to see what other brands you guys recomend. Also, what are your opinions on starting out on a 5 strings?


    Edit:Sorry put the price range up a bit to high
  2. If you really plan on persuing playing bass, try out the MTD Kingston and see if you can get it used.
  3. Is there a place online i could look at the Kingstons?
  4. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    You can get a new Essex Jazz Bass for $141.00 shipped. It is a great beginner bass. I have one and I can't say enough good stuff about it.

    Use the rest of the cash to get an amp. Welcome to the wonderful world of bass!!!
  5. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    $500? get a hanewinckel
  6. Actually, that's a good idea. I forgot about the amp, man I'm losing it.

    I have an Essex BG150 from

    They are without a doubt, in my opinion, the best bang for the buck, and then some. Go for the Essex. Then get a good practice amp like a Fender Bassman or something.
  7. get the sunset one im playing it right now its perfect for a begginer doesnt have a realy big body its light weight and sounds awsome since it has p/j pic ups
  8. I have also considered starting on a 5 string. Does anyone have any suggestions as far as that is conserned?
  9. personally, i dont recommend starting on a 5string. it wouldnt be the worst thing in the world, really... but you're starting on a new instrument. technique may be a hard thing to get down initially, not to mention just learning how to play and read music on a new instrument. you already will have enough to learn for moving around on four strings, why complicate yourself with a fifth string so early too? bass guitar started as a 4 string instrument so get used to that first and then move on to the more advanced versions and modifications that have been made to the instrument (such as a 5stringer). but that's just my recommendation, and i suppose it wouldnt be awful to start on a 5string so whatever you feel like going with.

    as far as buying the bass, i think the essex idea is definitely not bad, unless this first offer from your mom is only speaking for the bass and she's willing to consider buying the amp as something completely different (with a whole different price range) that would be sweet :). but also, i dont necessarily think just buying a very small 25-watt practice amp is so bad. you're just starting on bass you dont know what kind of tone you prefer from your instrument yet. you may cash out a lot of money for a bigger amp (like an 100-watt SWR, crate, ampeg, fender, etc) without yet knowing which one of those amp companies actually fits your preference for tone yet. i say try to find a used Fender standard american bass and buy a decent sounding, but not exceptionally big or loud amp. but the essex idea also is not that bad of an idea. good luck either way!

  10. I agree! I have the SJB-62 in black, and for the money, it is easily the best in the sub-$250 price range. Any Essex fits that description. Of course, that is my opinion.

    Starting out on a 5 is no harder than starting out on a 4 if you ask me. Many of us made that jump anyway, so in that respect, you may eventually want to play 5 strings, too. If you've got any music stores around you, stop by and play 4s and 5s side by side. That way you will know what they feel like in your hands.
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you ultimately want to play a 5 string, you may as well start out on one. I wish that I had started out on a fretless 5. If I had been playing one for 23 years instead of 1 1/2 years, I can't imagine how good I would be!
  12. but do you really think that you'd be as good at bass in general if you had started on such an advanced modification of electric bass? dont you think that you would have missed a lot of notes generally in the beginning by playing a fretless, or not have known exactly how to use a b-string if you had started on a 5string right away? if you seriously think that you would have done just as well (because i can understand your argument) than that's great. i just dont see it happening unless one who is just starting electric bass is proficient on DB already or just a really quick musician. i know a lot of people here always say it would be no problem to start on a 5stringer and maybe they're right. personally, i dont think it would be good. i think you'd miss learning the general instrument first.

  13. Does anyone have experience with the Essex 5 String BG-205? If so do you like it, is it good for the price?
  14. If this helps at all, I did play my friends bass for about a month, I taugh myself to read music for it (my years of trombone are helpful in this area) so its not like im learning music on this instrument.
  15. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    Your getting a lot of advice, some of it good, but not really complete. here's the deal. You need a bass and an amp. There are a lot of packages out there. Most of the amps in these packages are BARELY good enough for practice. Most sound horrible! If want to start playing with others, jamming, etc you'll NEED a bigger amp. Another point - if you buy a bass at one of the big box music stores, especially an inexpensive bass, the store does not usually want to take the time ($$$) to really set up the instrument and make it playable. most of these instruments are shipped directly from the docks (from Korea or China) right to the store. There is NO setup of the instrument. Some smaller dealers will take the time to set up the instrument before it hits the shelf.

    Six months down the line you'll be jonesing for a better bass and a bigger amp. Your Mom will say "forgettaboutit!".

    Here is a better solution. Find a used MTD Kingston 4 or 5 string. These are inexpensive quality basses that will last (from a sound and playabilty POV) as far as you'll go. The MTD's are set up upon arrival in the US before they get to to delaer. You'll be ensured a good setup. Look for an amp like an SWR LA 12 or 15. Either of these amps are great for practice (headphone jacks) and can play moderrate size rooms. Now you'll have a bass/amp that will last you years. If you decide to quit you'll have some resale value as well.

    Check out for some great used deals

  16. Acepiloto


    Aug 25, 2000
    If you're really lookin for a five, for that price I'll also have to say the MTD Kingston 5. Nice tight low B with a 35" scale.

    You might not be able to get an amp, but you would have a great starting bass.
  17. I started out on a five string. Nothing wrong with that, but lately I have more fun playing a four string. Don't be surprised if your tastes change with time and you as become more knowledgable and experienced. Just get what you want that sounds good and plays easy in your hands for what you can afford, since you will probably have it for a while.
  18. I think starting out on a 5 is a good idea. After playing longer than I care to discuss, I still have a hell of a time playing a 5. If I had started on one (or at least played one when they first came out) I'd be ahead of the game.
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Mr. Dimin is 100% on the money about the Kingstons. New they run about 450, and at that price, are an insane deal. Used? Very well might be one of the best deals out there.

    I agree completely that they will take you as far as you can go. Mine has yet do to anything but take all I can give it, and come through in spades. The B string slays most basses under 1000, and some 1500 basses as well, with a playability that is second to none. They do have a 35" scale, so if you have small hands, it might be of issue.

    But I would not hesitate to buy one. Not at all.