First bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alex-hi78, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. alex-hi78

    alex-hi78 banned.

    Jun 11, 2001
    Honolulu, Hawai`i

    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!
  2. Well..

    If the salesman isn't eager to help me, then that is not the store where i want to spend my hard-earned cash. I was looking for a nice bass too recently.. i went to a store, and said to the saleswoman ( yeah ! ) " i want a bass that fits me ".
    She spent almost 5 hours with me trying to find a bass where i was satisfied with.. that's a good store.

    but to get back on your question.. if you're going to choose between the Fender and the Squier.. I'd say go for the Fender.. Squier comes from the same factory as Fender, but the finish isn't as well as the Fenders, that's why they're a tad cheaper...
  3. actinglikeafreak

    actinglikeafreak Guest

    Apr 24, 2000
    Puerto Rico
    Well your right, its hard to find a good Bass even for the most experienced bassist it can prove almost like a quest. I LOVE MY SQUIER!!! Alex-hi, i didnt like it much when i began, but i just changed the strings, u can ask some one in the store or even your friend can help you, anyway squiers for me a very good for begginners and even experts and are very affordable (around $199.99), i still play gigs with mine and i love it, the Jazz Bass is my recomendation cuz the pickups are nice, they give you that sound your looking for and a very high treble-y sound, though my tip, is when u buy a bass buy strings too, you never know where those strings on the bass have been. Also i recomend to buy DR strings Lo-Riders or Fat-Beams, or Gibson strings are nice too, and very affordable $9.99.
    Also a nice amp or combo wouldnt hurt, if u dont have one, Laneys or Fenders or Pevey are very good.
    Good Luck Drummerbassist
  4. Archelenon

    Archelenon Guest

    Apr 30, 2001
    Martin, TN
    Yeah... I'd agree with actinglikeafreak. The squire's a great bass for its price...and Jazz pickups are the way to go! I have a friend who taught himself to play a short-squire...(Only as long as an electric) And he loves its tones and punches. I would definitly recommend the squire, cause it's cheap... and you would probably have money left over for accessories.
  5. Pau


    Dec 8, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I agree with the fact that you should buy good strings. My first bass was a 300$ fernandes and i thought about selling it but i put warwick blue line strings on it and it sounded a lot better. I still own it. About the amps I think fender are quite good but I don't like laneys at all. I can't help waiting to earn enaugh to buy an ampeg. They are very good but maybe but also expensive. Think that you will probably buy more than one bass but it's possible that you will mot be ale to buy another amp soon. I've you buy a squier a good amp will do a lot for your sound.

    sorry about my english but I'm Spanish and it's not easy for me.
  6. I suppose you could say I was lucky when I got my first bass because it had good strings on it (Rotosounds) :D . It was a Squier Precision-bass. Judging from your wide ranging tastes (which are great) I'd have to back up the others who suggested you pick up a Jazz. This is because of the two single-coil pickups that it has as opposed to the single split-coil of a Precision bass. The two pickups each have an individual volume that allows you to control the blend between them and thus allows you the achieve a wide range of tones. As to which brand to buy, it really isn't a matter of any one in particular being better. Just try the options out and see which one you like better.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    While Squier and Fender are marketed by the same company, they are not made in the same factory.

    The Squiers are made in China, Indonesia and Singapore, while Fender has entry level instruments made in Mexico, and their American series and Deluxe instruments made in the USA.

    The Squiers are OK for the price, you can get a Squier Affinity Precision bass here in the lower 48 states for around $129 - $149. I'm not sure howm much they are in Hawaii.

    For a step up, you can get the MIM Fender Jazz for around $299.00, and if you can afford it IMHO it is worth the price difference over the Squier series.
  8. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    my first bass was [i still have it] a Fender MIM Jazz Bass-uncle recommended it for my age & hand size [started @ age 10, now 15]. He has a MIA 70s [real] P-bass in Candy Apple Red. I like the Fenders-Squiers are fine but if you can get the Fender. thats all
  9. I thought that they made Squiers in Korea too?
  10. ross

    ross Guest

    Mar 17, 2000
    i love my peavey milestone2 (its soo well i think so at least) perfect
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    They used to make Squiers in Korea, but they haven't for at least 2 or 3 years.
  12. alex-hi78

    alex-hi78 banned.

    Jun 11, 2001
    Honolulu, Hawai`i
    Over the past weekend, I went around to some of our local music stores; Squiers are hard to find here, but Fenders seem to be plentiful. I found a Fender Jazz Bass for $229. That appears to be cheaper than any other price I have seen (especially on the internet). I'm pretty sure that this is a good price, but I just wanted to confirm it. I hate being ripped off.

    How a good bass is $229 while milk is $6, orange juice is $4, gas is $2 and a small house is $280,000 (quarter acre lot), I will never know...

  13. Hi Alex and welcome to Talk Bass.

    I don't think there's any doubt that the Mex. Fenders are better than the Squires. But you'll need to look carefully @ whatever you buy. The advice on here is play as many as you can and pick the best, not always = the cheapest.

    Rockin John
  14. alex-hi78

    alex-hi78 banned.

    Jun 11, 2001
    Honolulu, Hawai`i
  15. Newsted


    Jun 24, 2001
    i think that we are out of the point ok squier but if he wont play heavy and death metal?is the worst basse i belive tha a yamaha rbx260 is better and it cost about 150$
  16. DrunkenJoker84


    May 11, 2001
    My first bass was an Ibanez GSR200. Wow, I love that thing. Even though I evolved, I still like to take it and remember the "good old days". And it only costs about 200$, Musiciansfriend.
  17. I think the trick is, Alex, to consider whether or not buying via the WWW is the best way to utilise your hard earned cash. Perhaps it's a presonal prejudice, but I'd really want to play a bass before I shelled out for it.

    Take (say) 6 Precisions: they'll probably all be different in feel, tone, whatever. In a store you can play all 6 and buy the best one. What can you do to buy the best of a bunch by buying online: how do you know the one you're getting isn't the worst of that model ever made, etc?

    I honestly don't know the DeArmond so can't say about the value for money.

  18. dwynsen

    dwynsen Guest

    Aug 31, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    For $300 you're not going to get a world-class bass. There's no way around it. However, you CAN get a decent sounding and easy-to-play bass for $300. For me the trick is to shop, shop, shop. You WILL find that bass! One more thing: Pay special attention to having the bass PROPERLY set-up! It will most likely NOT be set-up well from the store. I can't stress this last factor strongly enough. It matters. You should also check out used instruments. If you do this, take a bass-knowledgable buddy along for the ride. You can find some real bargains...and junk.

    Lastly, I don't believe you should get too caught up in the brand name game at $300. Choose from the main brands and pick one that feels right, looks right, sounds right, and plays right...for YOU. You might also give some consideration to "upgradability" in your quest. For instance, can you eventually swap out the cheap pups on the Squire and replace 'em with something better? Yes, you can. I'm unsure about all the other brands, but I think it's something to keep in mind.

    Hope this helps.

  19. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    hm There is a De Armond blow out at, they are selling the De Armond Pilot 5(List $399) for $160 brand new.

  20. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I would go with the MIM Fender. When you have more money you could easily upgrade this bass. And when you have enough money for a more expensive instrument, you will have a good backup.

    The DeArmond Pilot form Scam Cash sounds like a very good deal. BP gave them a good review. (at least I think this is the same bass).