Right now I am thinking of buying a small bass, nothing expensive and an amp to practice and improve my skill. My friends are all guitarists and I want to be a little different and I like that I can play jazz on a bass(my emo friends think im crazy) but I want to play rock/punk type music most of the time with my friends. I am thinking about buying a 4 string, my friend told me to buy the peices seperately since he doesn't use half the stuff that came in his guitar set and he had to buy another amp for his guitar. So how do I know what is a good bass to start with? Something chep, if I can't commit to the base it won't be to big of a loss. Also, whats the difference between hollow body and a not so hollow body? And can anyone direct me to any literature on bass to get me started? Also i saw some people making bass', how would you go about that. Not that I'll make my own right off the bat, just I like making stuff like tables and chairs, guitars can't be that different... maby.