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First instrument ever - which one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jello, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. jello


    Apr 13, 2004
    Cumming, GA
    First, the setup - Almost 28 years old now and I've decided the 12 or so hobbies I already have aren't eating enough time already. Between my dad being a pro player for 25ish years and Les Claypool being a deity in my eyes I've decided to learn how to play the bass. The catch - I've never played anything, ever, at all. Everyone's advice of "go play some stuff and see what sounds good to you" doesn't help much since I can't play anything. I did sorta hold and bash on a dozen or so basses with the nice people at Ponce De Leon Music to narrow it down a bit and here's what I'm down to choosing between three:

    Peavey Grind which I love the looks of and it felt better to me than the fender types I tried (although, again.. for all I know I wasn't even holding the damn thing right). I can afford it, but it is a bit more than I was hoping to spend. But damn does it look nice and the thin neck works better with my not-huge hands.


    And one of two essex models (based on all the raves here) either the SX SPB-57 which still looks decent if kinda average or the SB-301 which is butt-ugly imho, but has both the j and p style pickups which may be useful in getting more variety out of the bass from what I've heard.

    In the long run I'm hoping for some Primus/Holy Mackerel/Sausage type feel. Also worth noting is that for the near future it's not gonna do anything bit sit in my room and be played through headphones. Just me and some lessons from my pop, no bands/jams/out&about planned. Picking it up purely for the desire to learn how to make some music.

    From what I've seen, all other things being equal I would probably just go with the grind since it just visually grabbed my and said "Buy me!" (and is pretty enough to make pretty wall decoration if I'm not playing) but spending 1/3 of that one the SX is mighty appealing since I have no idea yet if I'll even 'get it' and be able to play worth a damn at all anyway. The only real issue I've run into so far is that with the exposed pickups of the fender types about half the time I popped anything the string bottomed out and killed the sound for an instant, which is one kind of pop I suppose, but not the kind one wants. Most probably my know-nothing technique, but if there's something more to it then now would be the time for some info. So what would you tell a complete newb/rube/uninformed joe blow to do?

    (p.s. Sorry ahead of time for the long post and thanks to anyone who read this far)

    Edit: Well, as always one has to take what life throws at us. When I saw this t24 for less than what I was gonna pay for the grind, I jumped and in a rarity for eBay the bidding didn't kick up in the last two minutes of the auction. After it gets shipped I'll be the (i truly hope) proud owner of a Taurus neck through with a hardcase. Now, gotta go find an amp.... =)
  2. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I dig it when people start playing just cause they just really love the idea of getting to do it.

    I've heard good things about all the basses you've mentioned, especially in the context of them being starter instruments. I haven't personally played them, so I'll suggest something that I have played:

    An MIM Fender Jazz.

    They're comparatively cheap, and for starter instruments I think they're really well-made. They've got thin necks like you said you like (I like them, too), so that'll work, too. You might want to give them a shot.

    edit: Regarding the popping you talked about, you might be doing that just a teensy bit on the hard side. Babysteps, man; babysteps. The guys in the Technique forum here are generally top-notch, should you need their advice on things like that. Best of luck to you.
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Welcome to the lows

    I agree with Eyescream in saying that you are going to fast trying to slap or pop just yet.

    Claypool is a god to many beginners, (and just as many pros) but you will need to do some practicing before you are ready for most Primus songs. After you get experienced you will realize that most Primus is relatively simple when compared to some of the Super-wank playing that is out there.

    Just practice scales and simple riffs, and get a teacher if you feel the need. Also try to learn as much as possible by ear, instead of running for the tablature.

    Good Luck :bassist:
  4. This bass with this amp with this accessory kit and I say you'd be set and on your way to making sweet low sounds.

  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    If you would like a clean, bright-sounding bass that will be good for slap, then that would be a good choice; but unlike Eyescream, i would not recommend a MIM Jazz - the quality control of those basses is not quite working :rolleyes: so you might end up witha bass that will have issues... But if you have your Dad come and hlep choose, then you may take that risk. However, I would still recommend the SX over it, as I have heard many good things about them (though I have not yet had any in my hands, so far, because they are not available here...). I would also recommend looking around on the used market - tell us the deals you found, we'll help you decide if itsworth it ;)

    And also WELCOME TO TB! :D
  6. E-rock


    Mar 3, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I would say get what you like. If you can afford the Peavy bass, then get it. It's a great bass! But if you are really unsure about "committing" to becoming a musician, I would get an Essex for $110. There's nothing set in stone saying that you have to keep and use that bass forever. Just something cheap to learn on. If you find yourself playing more and more each day, and getting better and better, then you can always upgrade later. :cool:
  7. jello


    Apr 13, 2004
    Cumming, GA
    Oh, yeah.. absolutely. That was just me more or less beating on things to get the instrument to make some kind of sound. =)

    <nod> I've heard a lot of that kind of stuff in my time. Dad played jazz bass for 25ish years. Very little of it ever interested me on an expressive level. That may change as I learn to play though and better appreciate the actual musicianship.

    Definitely getting a teacher. That's a big part of the reason I'm doing right now in particular. After 12 or so years of asking on and off if the above mentioned dad would teach me I finally got a yes.

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