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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RoccoI, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Hi, I'm just getting into bass. Have very little musical knowledge, played a few chords on guitar but that's about it.
    Anyhow, now I want to learn how to play base and was thinking of getting either the Epiphone Viola or hofner ignition. Like the lighter and smaller basses.
    Are these good basses to begin with?

  2. Personally, I'm not a fan of viola basses. That being said, Ibanez makes some nice light basses with versatile tones. :) They can be had for the same, or less, than the Epiphone.
  3. Personally I wouldn't go with a Beatle style bass because they tones they have aren't very versatile in my opinion. For a first bass the ibanez gsr200 is outstanding. Very comfortable and versatile sounding.
  4. Thanks for the advice guys. I'll look around for one.
  5. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    An instructor is the best way to both get good on the instrument quickly, and to keep at it. Scott Devine's YouTube channel is excellent, and you can start checking that out before you get your bass :)
    Welcome to the dark side!
  6. Thanks Jim777, I will check it out when I get home from work.
    Got an instructor lined up, all I need is the bass.
  7. Used Yamaha
    Used Squier
    Used Ibanez
    Used Peavey

    Welcome, and happy playing!
  8. CBNJ

    CBNJ Sorry brother.

    Feb 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I'll second the used USA Peavey.
  9. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    Welcome to TB!

    There is a wealth of knowledge here, friendly people who want to help.

    All of the bass suggestions that you've been given are solid. Have fun.
  10. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    New Vintage Modified Squier, Sweetwater sets them up well, shows a photo and lists weights of each bass, has a 2 year warranty, and free delivery. Start with a Precision in my opinion.

    These are basses you can learn on, get into a band and gig with. Bond with one bass, get a decent amp and just concentrate on learning.
  11. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    As a primary bass, a viola (be it an Epi, Hofner, Rogue etc) bass is not ideal. The bass isn't quite versatile enough to handle all styles of music.
    I don't know how big your hands are, but pick one that's comfortable with you. Usually Ibanez SR series basses ie. SR300 etc. make great first basses. Also Squier or Made in Mexico Fender P or Jazz basses.
  12. Super Iridium

    Super Iridium Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    I am also a beginner with smaller hands, and I've enjoyed my Gretsch Junior Jet -- definitely one of the better choices out there, in my (totally biased) opinion.

    But I've also learned that having smaller hands is not as much of a problem when playing bass as it is with guitar, as there doesn't seem to be as much need for fretting two, three or four strings at the same time, as there is with guitar. In other words, if I had it to do over at this point, I would probably have looked at purchasing a normal scale (34") bass to learn with.

    Attached Files:

  13. jannodude


    Nov 19, 2013
    Welcome to the joys of picking up/learning bass. It's almost overwhelming how much things there are to learn! I personally have a bass instructor but I use the Hal's learning method to supplement my journey. I agree with the above posts regarding getting a used instrument to begin with. Something that is versatile/playable before your GAS begins!
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    There's no one "right" bass. It's purely a matter of what you like and what speaks to you. The key thing is to LIKE your bass so that you're motivated to practice a lot. There will be time later to try different things, sell off your old bass and buy new ones, all that. If the viola bass speaks to you and turns you on, go for it.
  15. Thanks for the advice. I haven't tried any yet, just love the look of them.

  16. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    Welcome to it my brother! Good to hear from the Great White North...

    I have small hands and started on a Fender P (my 72) as well as a double bass in concert/jazz band as a 16 year old.

    A student of mine's dad has a Hofner Violin Bass, and when I play it, it feels so small and fragile in my hands. I am definitely glad that I did not start out on that bass. That would be my only caution. I am glad that with smaller hands, I started on a larger scale bass. It allowed them to stretch a bit, and made it easier for me to move to smaller scale basses when I needed to, but also to feel comfy on larger scale basses. I have only ever felt comfortable on 34/35" scale necks since then
  17. frozenbolt


    Jan 28, 2013
    Ironically, no one in this thread, with the exception of hrodbert696, answered your question and even he did it in a round about way.

    Yes, those are good basses to learn on, especially if it's one you like. You'll play an instrument you like more than one you had to buy because it was 'the right one' that someone else said you should buy.

    If I had to choose between the two of them, I'd choose the Epi, as it's a little less expensive and you don't want to spend a lot on your first bass unless you're independently wealthy. Then, spend as much as you want. The reason I'd choose the Epi as a first bass is that it costs less, so if you decide, shortly after buying it, that it's not for you, selling it might be easier and good chance you'll take less of a loss on it in doing so.

    That said, before I'd buy either of them, I'd go to a music store and play them, both sitting down and standing up. Starting out, you're going to do a lot of your practicing sitting down, so if the bass isn't comfortable doing that, it may be a hinderance. Likewise, eventually, you'll be playing it standing up. If it doesn't feel right when standing, perhaps it's better to look at another model.

    Good luck, hope you find the bass you want and will give you years of playing fun.

    Rock on,
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Don't know anything about either of those basses. But WELCOME to TalkBass anyway!
  19. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Looks count! If you don't love the way your bass looks, you'll be that much less motivated to practice. The other things to think about are feel and sound. Hopefully you can find copies of these basses in a music store. Plug them into an amp, tweak the knobs, and tinker around for a while. Are you getting tones you like? I think Gibson SG-style basses look cool, but met a kid who had an Epiphone EB-0 and it sounded honky and awful.

    For feel, the main things I think about are weight, neck, and balance. How heavy do you want your bass to feel on your shoulder? A massive beast may be wearisome, but some people don't feel like proper bassists if their instrument doesn't at least feel solid hanging there. For the neck, I like slim necks, but other people like round, "clubby" necks. For balance, when you have a bass in a store, ask for a strap to hang it on. When you hang it on your shoulder hands-free, does it hang in place where you want it or does the headstock drop to the floor? If it has "neck dive," that means you'll have to be holding the neck up at the same time as you're trying to play. Some people are willing to play that way, especially if they love their instrument's other qualities - I hate it myself.

    The point being, like I said, try them out and buy what you like. A bass that looks good in a picture may be disappointing in person, and something that you wouldn't have noticed may turn out to be fantastic.
  20. Thanks frozenbolt,
    I found a jay turser beatle style bass for 250 like new used.
    Going to check it out on the weekend if I have time.