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Buy a second bass or . . .?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jhass, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Jhass


    Dec 21, 2013
    I think I already know the answer to this one, but I'd love to hear others' opinions. I've been studying bass seriously for a few years now, having played classical guitar (and some bass) before that, and, way before that, having been a very serious (and pretty darn good) trombonist for years and years. So yeah, I'm a musical guy, and I'm picking up the bass reasonably fast, although I still absolutely consider myself an intermediate level player. I'm not gigging regularly, but I do play a lot and I am in two bands.

    I'm lucky enough to be taking lessons from an amazing teacher who is also a brilliantly talented bass player. My budget is limited at the moment (damn those college tuition payments), so I do one lesson per month.

    I play a Lakland Skyline P-bass. It is an excellent axe. I love it. But as we all know, there are lots of different types of basses in the world, and many of them have more tonal versatility than a p-bass. I have a birthday that ends in a zero coming up in about 9 months, and, naturally, I've thought about buying a second bass, maybe a used Lakland 44-14 or something like that.

    Here's my question (sorry for the long introduction): is my limited budget better spent on a second bass, or on additional lessons (like stepping up to weekly lessons)? My right brain is lusting after a new bass, while my left brain is telling me that I will ultimately benefit more from investing in lessons.

    So, what say you all?
    BlueMINI likes this.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I say this is one of the most reasonable purchase decision threads I've ever stumbled into for starters.

    If your bass is perfectly playable and functional the budget is always better spent on education, always.

    Mind you, you only live once so if you want a new bass do it.
  3. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    What kind of amp do you have?
  4. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014

    Knowledge is transferable to any instrument you might end up buying later.
    larrygs, StayLow, Matthew_84 and 3 others like this.
  5. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    If you want to become an even better bass player, spend on the lessons. It appears you are very satisfied with the Lakland, so I'd keep right on playing it.
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  6. Jhass


    Dec 21, 2013
    I have a TC Electronic BG250-115 combo amp. It is big enough for my needs, it is lightweight and I like how it sounds. It also has a balanced DI out so if I am lucky enough to play out anywhere large enough to have a PA, I can tie into that.
    BlueMINI, fretlessguy and angrychair like this.
  7. Jhass


    Dec 21, 2013
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  8. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Cool - sounds like you're set in the gear front. I'd drop money on the lessons
  9. Jhass


    Dec 21, 2013
    Yes, I very much want to become a better bass player. I practice every night for at least an hour (except on the night I have band practice), and I am trying to be organized about learning theory, practicing modes, etc. I'm lucky that my years of trombone taught me to read bass clef sheet music - I just had to learn the notes on the bass neck, which I have done.
    BlueMINI likes this.
  10. Jhass


    Dec 21, 2013
    Thanks for all the advice. It is helpful to hear from guys who have more experience than I do.
    RedHatter likes this.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Lessons are a good investment, but maybe consider getting yourself a used effect pedal as a treat. Envelope filters are fun on bass.
    jp58 and wintremute like this.
  12. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I would say hold off on the second bass until you either need it for backup purposes due to playing gigs, or until it is less of a budget issue.

    About the lessons, certainly more often than monthly is better. What is your assessment of whether bi-weekly versus weekly in terms of your pace of development?
    Charlzm likes this.
  13. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA

    If you were gigging on a regular basis, I might advocate the purchase of a second instrument. But as you seem to be well-equipped with both the Skyline and your amplification, investing in knowledge seems to be a wise choice. IMHO, that doesn't necessarily entail more lessons. It could also take the form of purchasing some specific examples of recorded music that happen to "light your fire" – so to speak – so that you can augment your knowledge with intensive home schooling. When I first picked up the instrument, for many years, I played along to FM radio. Then I bought a slew of cassettes and CDs featuring my favorite bassists. That investment in "ear training" was invaluable to me.
    singlemalt and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  14. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    If you already have a good bass, lessons will help your playing FAR more than a new bass.
    JayVek-72, GlennRH and Charlzm like this.
  15. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    ...or, buy a third bass.
  16. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i just built this over the weekend ... a fun $200 ish project ... fiddling with pieces parts is also a learning experience .. !! from getting a good setup when assembled ... to fret work , soldering , wet sanding , etc ..

    and something with a slightly different sound/feel might inspire a different direction of style . !?!!

    YMMV DSC01071.JPG
    Scottkarch and Jah Wobble Fan like this.
  17. Lee Kirkham

    Lee Kirkham

    Jan 14, 2013
    Gilbert, AZ
    without question, the lessons.

    And as far as tonal versatility, tone is in the hands my friend, tone is in the hands.
    Susqmike and GlennRH like this.
  18. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I think this is a good suggestion.
  19. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I would say go for lessons. I've indulged in purchases here and there but, I always find I have a huge thirst for knowledge. Lessons will better serve you and could help you find the gigs and in turn more basses.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
    GlennRH and rmayer like this.
  20. I'm really asking for it, but seriously? How can people say this? Throw a pedal in between your guitar and amp. Is that tone still in your hands? Move the pickup from the bridge to the neck, is that tone still in your hands?

    The whole tone being in your fingers thing is so blown out of proportion, it drives me nuts. You know what grinds my gears!?!

    Sorry. But I had to vent.

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