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buying my first bass.. need help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by X2N, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. X2N


    Dec 1, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey guys...

    I'm looking to buy my first bass guitar... I haven't really played much bass before... but I've been playing guitar for about 6 years - so i know stuff about music etc... just not bass in particular....

    I'm not looking to spend too much, so probably something entry level I can spend about $500ish australian on the bass.. and a little on an amp....

    I'm gonna go have a look in stores tomorrow, and i'll go again with one of my bassist mates later, but i was just reading up about a number of guitars... like the Yamaha rbx-270 and rbx-370.... and the fender squire basses... as well as some washburns i think....

    and i really dont have any idea of what is good...
    or what features i should be looking for.. i realise its only a cheap bass.. but i'd still like the nicest cheap bass i can get....

    as far as the style of music i want to play.. i want to be able to record stuff along with my guitar (rock/blues as well as some jazz)... so i wanna be able to muck around with slapping as well as the whole jazz walking bass thing...

    and i just figured i'd get a beringher 30 watt amp or something coz they are fairly cheap....

    any help/comments would be great... especially on the different basses at this price... and their pros/cons.. all the reviews i read are really hard to compare to each other.... oh and also wether i should fork out extra for say the active yamaha (rbx370) or just stick with passives??

    thanks lots guys...
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Hello, and welcome to TB!

    Why don't you see what's available from your local stores, and report back with what's available and what feels good? These questions are difficult to answer without specifics - it won't do you any good to have a strong recommendation for a bass that's not available locally.

    Also, there's a wealth of info in the archives on this very topic, including threads from an Aussie's perspective. You'll probably find it helpful to spend a few hours reading up.

    Again, welcome!
  3. X2N


    Dec 1, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    will do mate.. thanks...
  4. Welcome to TB.

    While shopping keep these things in mind.


    Here are a few tips to ease your pain.

    First, have a budget in mind before you go into the stores, so that you won't be dazzled by the flash and splendor of the "SPGX5000VR"!!!. With today's instruments you should be able to find a good, playable instrument for between $250 & $500.

    Second, look for simplicity. Basses with tons of controls and gold hardware add to the price and are a distraction from the goal...to learn to play bass guitar. Watch for easy to understand control layout and straight forward hardware (tuning keys and bridges).

    You will run across two different types of pickups, the single coil & the hum canceling

    Single coils are usually about 2 cm wide by 9 cm long and offer a brighter sound. Hum canceling pickups are made up two coils each 3 cm wide by 6 cm long. They are set up in a staggered side by side format and produce a darker, beefier sound.

    Third, ask the salesman about the materials the bass is made from i.e., the woods for the neck and body. Some $250 range instruments have bodies made from plywood that don't produce as nice a tone as many solid wood basses do. The neck of the bass is the shaft where a player presses the strings down against metal bars called frets to produce different notes and sometimes chords. Necks are typically made of maple wood and their fretboards may be either maple (known for a brighter sound) or rosewood (known for a mellower tone).

    Finally, avoid obscure brand names no one has heard of unless there are undeniable good qualities that show you that the instrument is an excellent deal. Recognized brand names will help you when either you decide to upgrade because you're getting so good! And you want to trade your bass in or you decide bass isn't for you and you want to sell the instrument.

    With all this in mind, make sure that the instrument is comfortable to play, hold, wear on a strap, etc. Don't be afraid to ask the salesman to correct things like strings that are too high off the fretboard or buzzing, rattling frets. If you've noted these points you should come away with a great bass and potential for a lot of enjoyment.

  5. gerrysb


    Nov 30, 2003
    Couldn't have said it better myself Treena ! Listen to her X2N. Good luck!:D