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Chosing my first bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Feataler, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Feataler


    Apr 9, 2014
    Hey there, new to the forums and aspiring bassist myself, I've been trying to chose my first bass for the past few months and have come to two choices.

    The first one is the Ibanez ATK200, which right now is my favourite of the two and I kind of have a crush on, and I'm being offered one for 310€.

    The second one is the Ibanez SR300, which I have also tested, is lighter and has a more detailed finish, and is slightly less expensive (289€ is the offer).

    Now I'd personaly go for the first but I have no experience with playing bass whatsoever and I don't know if I'm missing out on some important feature the SR300 has that could be crucial. Also, if there are better, different bass suggestions, I'm all ears.

    What are your opinions?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Honestly, assuming the bass is properly set up and functions as it should, these kinds of decisions will only slow down your progression as a bass player. That was the case for me anyway. Buying and selling and trading before I even knew the whole fretboard. It was a waste of time and money. Concerning yourself with gear before you actually learn the instrument will slow you down.

    Just buy one and play.....with a metronome.....

    My 2 cents.
  3. Alexander

    Alexander Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Welcome and hope your journey is a long one! I think both are decent first basses and will get you going. I'd pick the one that speaks to you more and go for it. They're pretty comparable. I'd ok with the ATK, which sounds like where you're leaning anyway...
  4. metalhead398


    Jul 23, 2013
    I agree, to a certain extent, OP shouldn't spend too much time worrying, but you've taken this too far. OP's just trying to make sure that he can learn easily, sound decent, play what he wants to, and not have the thing fall apart in his hands. Who knows, maybe he/she will even get a chance to gig soon.

    After listening to both, and reading up a little, I'd say that you can probably go either way. They both have active 3-band EQ's (basically excellent sound/tone shaping on the bass) which are really cool, and playing either one should be pretty similar. However, the SR has a 5-piece neck, while the ATK has one (as near as I can tell). The ATK will have a kind of thicker, manlier tone, while the SR is logistically smarter, as the neck is less susceptible to bowing (think literally a bow, where the piece of wood curves, making it harder to play) and dead spots, which are just certain notes that don't have much sustain.

    They both have different pickups, which sound different, and it will be up to you and YouTube to decide which you prefer :p. If you haven't already, spend some time listening to both, and decide which sound you like best. In the end, the decision really is up to you. :bassist:

    Also, regardless of what bass you get, make sure you get the bass set up. A luthier at your local shop will do a fine job nine times out of ten, and should probably be your first option. However, if it's too expensive or there aren't any luthiers in your area, an experienced family member or friend who has played bass for a while can probably do at least a decent job for you to start playing.

    Happy hunting!
  5. jojoslap


    Jan 28, 2014
    A made in Mexico Fender P or Jazz bass would also be some other good ones to look at, used ones should be in your price range.
  6. Get the bass you feel you'll have a connection with, regardless of what other bassists might perceive as limitations.

    I know my basses aren't the highest of quality, but they're mine. I connect with each of them which makes me want to be a better bassist. I concentrate more on technique than worrying about what my bass can do. What I can do with that bass is more important.

    So get that bass you love, and in time when you become a proficient player you may want to seek out a new bass that can open you up to newer techniques. My first bass is an Ibanez EX-404, volume/blend/tone knobs don't turn easily, neck is warped a bit, however those particular defects didn't stop me from learning. I adapted and overcame the problems, and eventually bought a different bass (5-string) when I wanted to expand my playing.

    Other than that, have a goal in your playing, but be open to different techniques as that will only make you a better player. Learn music theory, even if it seems boring, because that will help you understand how and why music works, and allow you to communicate better with other like-minded musicians.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I tend to go for light and don't really care all that much about MusicMan style pickup configs, so I'd get the SR300. But you should get the one that screams "Buy me" the most to you because you're the one playing it, and it'll make you want to play it more if you prefer it.
  8. ATK all the way! Also I know you won't take anyone's advise just like the rest of us, but buy a metronome!
  9. Buy the one you won't want to put down.
  10. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Big yes -- and I'd go one step further and argue that more thought should go into choosing the metronome than the bass.
  11. bmoney1990


    Apr 2, 2014
    The ATK for sure. I'm a big fan.
  12. Feataler


    Apr 9, 2014
    What do you mean by set up the bass?

    Also, why the metronome? I do know how to play guitar and I never used one at all. Is it really that useful?
  13. 4Aaron GE

    4Aaron GE

    Mar 14, 2014
    Koriyama, Japan
    The guitars are within 10% of each other pricewise, get the one that feels best to you.

    A setup will sometimes involve new strings, but more critically, getting the intonation and truss rod set up. These go a long way in playability.

    A metronome is always a useful tool to have and practice along with. Especially if you end up playing with other people. It doesn't matter what you play or how long you've played it. I've played piano for decades, and my teacher has played for decades on top of that. We both use metronomes to keep our timing consistent and accurate.
  14. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    Seattle WA area

    Bass is part of the 'beat' and sets the time. Guitar tends to follow the time. To be a good drummer or bassist you need to have good time, hence learning to a metronome.

    As to what bass to buy, the first response to this thread was the very best. I got too wrapped up in which bass I wanted/needed, instead of learning the basics. After a while I got distracted and gave up, now I am re-starting again.

    Buy a bass that feel really good in your hands. If you have played guitar, you should understand that. If it doesn't feel good to begin with, you won't play it. Try to get a feel for the various neck profiles if you can get to a shop with lots of basses. Start with what your hands like, then worry about fit and finish -- no dead frets, everything sounds clean and true as you play one note at a time and listen to them, all the way up and down the fretboard. Then you can start worrying about colors, brands, etc. There is a good chance that if you get decent, your first bass will go anyway, so don;t be too fixated on it.
  15. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    Seattle WA area
    On my drum kit I keep a snare trigger that counts time between snare beats. If ou are doing any kind of 4/4 beat, you definitely know how well your time is and how far off you are. I wouldn't play without it.

    With bass I turn on the metro when I am trying to play something, but ignore it when learning fingers so i don;t get distracted.
  16. 4Aaron GE

    4Aaron GE

    Mar 14, 2014
    Koriyama, Japan

    I wouldn't so much ignore it as not worry so much about it, but your point still stands. Walking before running and all.
  17. raventepes


    Jan 7, 2012
    Reno, NV
    Basically, making sure the neck and bridge are adjusted properly for optimal performance. Most of the time, it's really a non-issue if you're buying from a local dealer, but sometimes when you order offline, things can go out of whack during shipping. This can also cover a string change if you don't like them. One of my personal preferences is to always change the strings, depending on what the manufacturer shipped them with. Usually I'll restring with a good set of DR Lo-Riders or GHS Boomers, depending on what I'm in the mood for.
  18. dusterdan


    Feb 24, 2014
    So Cal
    Bingo, I 100% agree with this!! The resale value will be better if you decide its not for you, and both sound great! I started on an ibanez iceman icb200 bass, was ok but soon switched to a fender jazz and i'll never look back:) good luck to you!
  19. Not sure why everyone is so adamant about buying a metronome. If you have a smartphone you can download metronomes and drum machine apps

    I bought a metronome when I first got my bass, but after downloading a metronome app on my phone, I wouldn't even know where the metro IS anymore. I just don't use it.

    More often nowadays (I'm still learning) I look up backing tracks or online drum machines to practice to. I don't like how boring the metronome clicking or beeping sounds are

    But that's me.

  20. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Oh yeah: tablatures and backin' tracks to learn songs

    and before all of that, get your fingers goin' if you want to feel
    the bass

    but as the most important thing is to enjoy what you're playin'
    d'ya told you played guitars?
    fine: I'd have told you to go the Atk way to play fingerstyle and get accustomed to a proper 12lbs ash bodied bass guitar, but comin' from electric guitar, you'd possibly better look for a smaller, lighter, more versatile (two pickups) carved top bass like Sr300 to use a pick to get started