Aloha, For a while, I've been playing around on my friend's bass guitar. I only play on it because I am not too great on the regular guitar or the ukulele. Either way, I've developed quite a thing for this instrument. I also a liking for the drums, and I own a kit, but it is in Atlanta, and I am in Honolulu and the shipping and insurance is a bit high to haul that kit here. I've decided that to keep myself creative and my mind strong (and maybe even speed up my weaker drumming hand, the left one), I am going to purchase a bass guitar. That, and its fun to play. I went to Mars Music in Marietta, Georgia the last time I was there and played with a few different ones: a Yamaha 4 string (the E string was really messed up on that one), a Squier 4 string, a Fender 5 string and a Fender 4 string. I thought the Fenders and the Squier were nice, but the sales associate there was not much into helping customers, so I was not able to learn much. Now I am presented with a passing opportunity to purchase the 4 string Fender or the 4 string Squier, but even if I understand correctly that they are manufactured by the same people, one has to be at least a wee bit better than the other. So for a beginner, what would you recommend? Unfortunately, price is an issue, and $300 is pretty much the most I can come up with right now. In case it is of any help, the genre of music that I listen to are reggae, rap (you'd be surprised where you can find an interesting bassline there), some older rock, 70s music, late 60s music (like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, etc.), Fats Domino, R&B, techno because they tend to "revive" some older tunes, acid jazz, "local" music (think reggae, but change the strumming instrument to the ukulele, and change the song structure to 3 verses, two of which repeat themselves) and occasionally some foreign tunes, and those are mostly Russian. I've heard about 5 or 6 Russian tunes (Prince Igor, the song from which the "Tetris" was derived, some folk songs -- there's a good one at the reception scene in the movie "The Deer Hunter" -- even their old Soviet National Anthem) and they were all pretty cool. Thanks for your help!