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Future bass player seeking advice!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kyuss80, May 11, 2004.

  1. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL

    Here goes, I'm new... I used to play guitar several years ago but was never really great. I quit and haven't played an intstrument for several years now. I'm 23, and a big fan of Opeth and Meshuggah... My Dying Bride, Tool, Cake, Moonspell, Candiria, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, and dozens more. Despite my (mostly) listed metal interests, please don't stereotype me as "just another metalhead" -- I listen to all kinds of music, just metal tends to be the stuff that "fits"

    Basically I'm trying to find a good bass for under a budget of like 300 (or up to 400 but not desired) -- in case I don't stick with it, I'd rather not lose money if I decide not to play 6-12 months from now.

    I want to just jam out with some friends, maybe if I get good enough one day form a band with them, or join another.

    I've looked at Yamaha's, SXs, Ibanez, Jackson, BC Rich, etc -- and I'm rather confused.. I don't know anything about then really... and have only played my friends bass a few times many years back. I plan on going to a local store (there's not much to choose from here though) and trying to get ideas.. but I'll probably end up ordering one online, in order to get the best price, and to get what I want as far as color/looks/reputation/reviews go.

    If you guys could give me any suggestions I'd really appreciate it, thanks :)

    If I'm rambling or make little sense, it's cause it's 5am here and I've been up all night trying to find info on guitars.

    That and my browser just totally ate the last post I made cause I forgot to log in. That was awesome.
  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    First, welcome on TB ! ;)

    When I was a teenager, I also switched from guitar to bass. My first bass was a very cheap one, because I too was limited on budget. The only difference is that in my case, money was an issue, and the reason of the cheap buy was not that I was unsure I'd keep on playing.

    However, I can witness you can learn bass on almost ANY instrument. You just have to like it, feel ready for a story with it, well actually many "esoterical" things that no-one can find out except yourself.

    In any brand, you'll find good and bad things. Some basses, in any price range, will be killers, since others will be sick dogs.

    Your choice for now is very important : the more you feel well with your bass, the more chances there are that you keep on playing on and on and on and on...

    If I were you, I'd go out to a shop (or even several shops) and try as many instruments as I can, in my price limit. Because there is no absolute truth when you A/B between Ibanez or Yamaha or SX etc. The only truth is yours, and in your case it is specifically important.

    Hope this helps,
  3. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    I`d say go for an SX...
  4. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL
    Yeah like I said at the end.. my browser ate a really long post I had made :(

    And I forgot all of what I said was, but -- I did mean to say (if I didn't in this post) that I, too, am on a budget. If money weren't an object then, yeah... I'd buy a really nice one.

    It's not really an issue of me not being sure if I'll be playing, I think even if I end up not playing as much as I like to, I'd probably still pick it up every now and then for something to do. That's one thing I miss about having my guitar (ESP Mirage, I gave it to my brother basically, he's in a band in LA called Insecto Circus heheh) -- whenever I was bored as hell, which happens often in a small town, I would pick it up and play for an hour or two. I want to at least be able to do that again, though my ultimate goal is to be able to jam out with my friends :)

    We only have like 2 or 3 music stores in my town here that I know about, the two I can remember offhand are a bit overpriced and don't have a great selection. There is no Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc here...
  5. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Look for a used MTD Kingston or Carvin,, you should be able to find one for under 400 bucks. The upside is that you could sell it for about what you payed for it, if you decide it's not for you.
  6. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL
    Hmmm. I totally forgot about Carvin, I used to get catalogs from them back in the day.

    Loosely related -- if anyone listens to metal, and has heard Individual Thought Patterns by Death -- is Steve DiGiorgio playing a fretless like I've heard? I'm not sure on it, cause though I know I've heard a fretless in songs before, I can't "picture" the tone for the life of me.. or remember what songs they were I heard.

    I'd like to have both a fretless and a fretted eventually.

    I'm guessing it's probably not a good idea to start off playing on a fretless though?

    From what it seems they might be a little harder to get used to playing on -- could anyone clarify this? I'm a total newb but I think I would really like playing on a fretless :p
  7. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    the thing i've found with cheaper basses is even a bass that looks identical to another one can be completely differant. My first bass, and still my main bass is a sub $200 ibanez, i just put a new nut, new pickups, and am getting ready to change the bridge, but even before the mods it was better than most of the GSR200 basses (one step up) and sounded and felt better than all of the other GSR100 ive played.
  8. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL
    Well I don't want to go into tinkering or whatnot, I'd rather just have something out of the box that plays pretty well with only needing a few slight changes. I don't have the knowledge/experience to do any modifications on a guitar.

    I've been reading about these SXes though.... hrmmm. Seems like you guys here really like them. And my is that pricetag nice...

  9. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL
    Getting a little excessive on posting, but I'm just being a spazz cause I'm excited about getting a bass in the future. :)

    I am really curious -- is starting on a fretless really a bad idea?

    I want to be able to play straight up rock/metal almost exclusively, and it seems to me that fretless players tend to lead towards genres such as Jazz. Is it possible to start out as a new bass player on a fretless, and be able to play rock music?

    I don't know the reason for wanting to play a fretless, maybe it's just all based on "+ Style Points", as my friends like to say.

    Regardless -- I really like the SX basses, the BG-180... but the HXB 405 Fretless just makes me drool. (http://www.rondomusic.bigstep.com/item.jhtml?UCIDs=850849|940496&PRID=812851)

    Perhaps I should just start with a Fretted though, and eventually try a Fretless. I've never played a Fretless before, but I have fooled around with some Fretted basses before -- you know.. playing basic stuff like.. Crazy Train or something. What can I say.. I was a guitar player then.

    :eek: :hyper: Oh! Oh! If you guys want to hear my dream guitar sound... please listen to "Stage III" by Kyuss, on the album "Wretch" (honestly.. go download it somewhere!). If I can ever figure out what he did to get that sound out of his bass... man oh man. :D I just love cranking this song up in my car and pounding away on my poor steering wheel, right along with the bass line.

    I'm just full of energy and questions today -- geez, I hope someone can make sense of all of this and perhaps help me find the right direction. I have to go to work in like an hour, so... yall will be spared of my spam for about 9 hours :p
  10. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I would say DO NOT.
  11. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Yes, the price tag is nice. They are cheap basses. They feel and play like cheap basses. If you don't want to do modifications and upgrades, you probably won't be very happy with an SX for very long. I think that the talkbass megathread has really built up the Essex brand to be more than they really are. Quality control is very hit and miss. I've bought two - my daughters short scale is a great little bass - everything is strait and solid and it has a beautiful sunburst and is quiet with nice tone... it's a real keeper. I bought a foto flame P clone and it is a dog (in more ways than I care to list) IMO, it is really a throw away bass because I don't want to put a dime into it and I couldn't imagine asking somebody to pay me for it used - it's junk. Buy an Essex, roll the dice.
  12. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I would suggest buying a used MIM Fender - the quality is well above that of an Essex and they can usually be had used for about the same price as the Essex. Mexican made Fenders are considered quality gear and from what I hear, they are often played at gigs by seasoned bass players.
    Also, I would suggest that if you can, you set aside a day when you can go out of town (to the nearest larger city) and go to several music stores and play as many basses as you can. Check pawn shops for used gear. Good luck.
  13. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL
    I've also been eyeing the Yamaha RBX170 (or maybe a step up from that, even) -- any input?
  14. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    can't go wrong with yamaha. i've got a yamaha BB thats been my main bass for 3 yrs.. tone is on the warm side, and can be shaped in to almost anything. good slap tone on ghs boomers light guage.. although some say its "hi-fi" sounding, they've got excellent quality and a great tone. but i second the MIM fender suggestion. you can get them used for 200-250 bucks and some say the quality is indistinguishable from a MIA fender so.. i wouldnt personally know
  15. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA

    I would suggest looking at what your bass idols play. I have had 6 different basses in 2 years, and have only found the bass I think I am going to stick with - the exact bass I didn't think I wanted to start with. I listen to a lot of classic rock, and my favorite is Rush. Geddy plays a Jazz, and has since the first album (except some misguided work during the 80's on a paddle-bodied Steinberger). It's a straight-up Jazz with a upgrade bridge, but the same old single-coils and the same volume/volume/tone control setup. Nothing fancy, but it has the tone!

    How many strings do you want? A lot of metal players and progressive bassists play 5 string to get those low B's, C's, and D's. Fieldy of Korn plays an Ibanez 5. Then again, metal band bassists have been using 4's for decades (Nikki Sixx, Cliff Burton, etc). I just traded a Lakland 55-01 5-string for a Fender Jazz 4-string (almost the exact same bass as Geddy). I found that I almost never used the 5th string in what I was playing.

    Active or passive controls? That Lakland was sweet! The only problem I couldn't get the tone I wanted. Active controls (powered by a battery) give you a lot of tonal flexibility, but the tone tends to be smoothed out and a bit generic (at least to my ears). This is a more modern tone. Passive pickups tend not to give as much tonal flexibility, but also tend to give tones that other basses try to emulate. A Jazz Bass has a particular tone that is classic to a lot of classic rock, as does a Precision Bass. The Music Man Stingray tone is a fundamental sound found in a lot of funk, but you can find it in rock as well. Do you want a more vintage tone, or a more modern tone.

    I have found that weight is also a factor. The Lakland was made of ash, and it was heavy! My Jazz is made of Alder, and is lighter on my shoulder.

    Ibanez makes good basses for beginners. You should also check out Rondo Music and look at their Brice line of basses. You can also find some good deals on Ebay. I understand the problem of not having music stores around to try things on. You might find basses that look good and have good descriptions, and then ask folks here whether they would be worth your money/time.
  16. I personally dont like Ibanezes as a starter bass. This sounds silly but i dont think it feels friendly enough. You want something that you enjoy playing and will motive you to play more.
  17. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    I think with pretty much any "cheap" bass you will eventually get tired of the way it sounds and feels. Especially after you start playing on nicer basses (which you will do whenever you get the chance if you decide to get serious about the instrument...at least thats how me and all the bass players i know are.) If you like the way they feel the MIM Jazz are great out of the box basses. You should really take a trip to the nearest guitar shop and play on as many basses as possible, in your price range but also above and below it. You may find one that you like for under the price you are looking for. The reason I included above is so you can start to feel the differance between some of these cheap basses and their better counterparts. ex.: Squire Jazz -> MIM Jazz -> Geddy Jazz -> MIA Jazz -> MIA Deluxe Active Jazz all based off the same design but they just become better basses as you go up the scale. Thats the best way to gauge the worth of a bass. The Geddy is like $700 I think, so play it, then play the MIM Jazz which is in your price range, if you think the MIM is worth any less than the differance then it's probably not worth it. I hope you understood that, I had a real hard time wording it.

    (Those were just expamples, I'm not trying to get you to buy a Jazz bass.)

    As for starting off on fretless, I say don't do it. If later on you would prefer it you can save up and buy a second bass, or just buy a fretless neck that fits whatever your first bass may be.
  18. Kyuss80


    May 11, 2004
    Panama City, FL
    Considering the only basses I've played were a friends Tobias, and my brothers old 80s Washburn double neck (no headstock, 4 string bass, 6 string guitar -- i have no idea what model it is). I don't have much playing experience to go with. I think what I'll do when I have the funds (cause there's nothing more frustrating than to be seriously jonesin' for something I can't afford until a month or so from now) is go to the music store downtown here and just pick up some basses and see how I like the feel. Hell, I haven't been there in years so maybe they've lowered their prices -- doubtful though.. I'll probably have to order online, but at least maybe I can get a hands on feel first.

    Thanks for the help so far!
  19. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In
    You might want to look into dean?? Stay away from bc rich although the guitars look cool im preatty sure they're crap.
  20. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    One of the most underrated stoner bands of all time...rumor was they used to record outside in the the desert southwest to get that "Kyuss" sound. THEY ROCK!!!! Btw, go for a Carvin. I love mine and it wont destroy your bank acount.BTW, Bass player from OPETH plays a Fender Jazz.
    Just make sure you are playing through an SVT :D Those Randall heads get pretty loud..... :bassist:
    Keeping the Funk Alive.....sortof...