Difference in Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ninthwondernj, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. could someone break down the difference between 4, 5 string basses and electric/acoustic basses (sorry again im new) thanks
  2. 4 String basses are usually tuned EADG with E being the lowest, G being the highest. 5 strings are usually tuned BEADG with an added low B, but can be tuned EADGC, with an added high C. Electric basses have pickups and can be plugged in, and usually have solid bodies. Acoustics have hollow bodies and can not be plugged in. There is also acoustic-electric, which looks like an acoustic, and sounds like one when not plugged in, but when plugged in, sounds a little more like an electric.
  3. well i honestly know nothing...but as a beginner what would you recommend to start off with....im thinking electric???
  4. Definately electric. How much money do you have?
  5. from 100-300 bucks. whats a good brand
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Go used.

    Peavey is a good place to start. Old Ibanez Roadstars fall into that range too. Some decent used Mexi Fenders in there too..
  7. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    If you're starting and have the oportunity to check out a Cort Curbow, you'll be amazed at how playable this instrument is (thin neck and very soft and fast sensation). You can get one used for 200-300 bucks. It's quality is that of a much more expensive bass. Both the body and the fingerboard are not wood but composites, wich makes it a very light weight instrument. And it sounds very nice (I have a Fernandes Gravity V and a MusicMan Stingray 5 and use a Cort Curbow 5 as an absolutely decent backup for any of them). In your case I wouldn't recomend a 5 string. A 4 will do the job OK and you'll fall in love with this bass' playability, no kidding (I thought the Stingray 5 was as far as thin necks could go, but then I bought this bass...).

    Take care...

  8. If your total budget is 300 bucks, you will need to hold some of that back for an amplifier & speaker, or combo unit.

    A 10 to 30 watt practice amp will do to play along to CDs etc, but may not be powerful enough to play along with (amplified) friends' guitars. Some do, some don't. Some sound good, some sound horrible. The Peavey Microbass combo amp seems to get a lot more good reviews than bad, so you could use that as a yardstick.

    The choice of a 4 or 5 string will be affected by what you have decided you want to play. You can play anything on either, but some music e.g. modern worship music, is easier with a 5 string. It depends what key the music is written in.

    Having said that, most rock/pop that you hear will have been recorded with a 4 string, so if that is what you want to play, a 4 string will be fine.

    Stay with it. It doesn't take long before it starts to be fun.
  9. I'd look for a used Fender Standard Jazz Bass. How much do yyou have for an amp? Or is that 300 for an amp and a bass?
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Simply put - a 5-string bass offers 5 more notes that a 4-string can't reach.............unless you detune the 4-string and then, the action of the E string typically stinks because it's too floppy.
    Plus, the larger gauge of the B string on a 5-string offers a more "huge", "in the gut", sound than the E on a 4-string.......if the 5'er is a decent bass AND your amp can handle the lower frequencies of the 5'er.

    So, one thing I'm saying is - a 5'er will make a cheaper amp sound like a mess.....a cheap amp can't handle those 5-stringer frequencies that are below, oh say, 41 Hz's.

    Nonetheless, I'd rather listen to a bassist who can smoke on a 4-stringer than a 5-stringer who relies on their B string and has really nothing "musical" to offer. There's a load of 4-stringers who have my ultimate respect.
  11. wow so a four string is my best bet....along with a practice amp? and other extras i need to pick up as a beginner?
  12. BenderR


    Jun 1, 2004
    Tucson, AZ
    5 or more strings has some advantages but I think you'll find plenty to keep yourself amused in a four-string.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think a Squier or a Fender Mexico bass would be a good starting bass.
  14. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    I havent that much experience playing but I learned tapping and slap in my MIM fender Jazz-V, this is my second bass (i've been playing for less than 2 years but I know a lot about basses) my first bass was a crappy Corean made that sounded awful. For a beginer a jazz bass its probably the best choice it has a good range of tone, and if you get a MIM jazz you can modify it with some good add-ons from www.warmoth.com (bodies, necks....) and www.bestbassgear.com (primary source of electronics for most of the basses but essentialy for the jazz-like basses)
  15. BenderR


    Jun 1, 2004
    Tucson, AZ
    As mentioned above you can accessorize. I am actually thinking of putting a Warmoth neck on me MIM jazz and then replacing the body later on. Eventually I will have enough of the original parts to reassemble the MIM Jazz and sell it. It's like making payments but without the obligation and you can do it at your own pace.
  16. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España

    If you atach the neck to the MIM jazz it probably wont fit any other body, mostly becuse you'll have to drill the bolt placement thats diferent in every bass body even in those with the same shape and the same amount of bolts.