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Finding a good bass guitar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WendySue, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. WendySue


    Feb 8, 2004
    I don't have a bass guitar of my own and I have been looking around for one. I don't really know where a good place to look or what kind of brands, style, size, and whatever else to look at. What are some good, affordable brands that woud work good for someone just starting out?? I'm just going to be playing for fun, nothing serious.

  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Welcome to the world of bass playing from another lady bassist.

    Many companies make cheaper versions of their basses. These include staples such as Fender and Gibson, but also others such as Peavey, Ibanez, Epiphone, Carvin, Jackson, Hamer, even Tobias.

    I don't know what budget you have set, but you must also include money for a strap, cable and bass amplifier/speaker.
    You may also want to buy a tuner, a bass case, either hard case or "gig bag" which is soft. Other gadgets you may want to buy are a bass guitar stand (which I advise, because you can damage your bass in a hurry if it falls over and crashes on the floor.) Too, you may want to buy at least one extra set of strings and maybe some picks if you plan to play with a pick. Buy at least a dozen as they don't last very long or get lost.

    Too you may want to buy an electronic metronome for practice. There are metronome/tuner combinations that are handy. BE SURE you get a tuner that is for bass and not just guitar.
    Also if you buy a five-string bass, make sure the tuner reads a B string. An even better choice is a chromatic tuner that reads every note, so you can use alternate tunings or flat tunings if you need or want to.

    Make sure your amp/speaker is for bass. A guitar amp, while cheaper, will not do your bass low frequencies justice.

    Your first choice will be to decide if you want to play a five-string or start out with a four-string. I started with a four, but fives were just beginning to be popular back then. They are much more popular now.

    Another choice is to buy a new bass or a used bass. If you buy a good used bass, you may be able to get higher quality for the same price, but you'd better know what you are getting. If you know nothing about basses, buy new.

    Another consideration is tone which may be dictated by the style of music you want to play. One way to decide is to read up on your favorite bassist and find out what bass he or she plays. You can ask at the "Bassists" forum here if you don't know. Someone here WILL know, guaranteed. Then you can buy the cheapest version of his or her bass. You probably will not sound exactly like your favorite bassist, though, no matter how hard you try, but that isn't really important anyway.

    It is best to "try on" a bass with a strap before you buy. Some basses are really heavy and some are really long or have very wide fretboards or are badly balanced for your height and build. Ibanezes can be a good size for a gal because they are built smaller--at least when I was in the market. At one time I had several basses, but I really liked my Ibanez for "comfort."

    Do keep in mind that not every bass is suitable for every style of music, both because of tone, but also because of appearance. Some basses look very aggressive and are suitable for metal, punk, and similar music and some, such as traditional Fender Precisions look more like blues, traditional rock and reggae. Again, find out what your most admired bassists play. Try to get a similar look, if not exactly the same brand because professional basses are probably too rich for your budget at this time.

    Good luck. The hunt for a bass and bass equipment can be lots of fun. I LOVE shopping for bass eqipment. If you know someone who does play bass, take them along with you. Their advice can save you from a big mistake.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Actually you can do both--play for fun and be serious. In fact, if you learn seriously, it will be MORE fun because you will play so much better. And it is more fun to play better than to play badly. Honest. :bassist:
  4. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Moved to basses.

    Welcome to TB!

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