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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BronxBroccoli, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. BronxBroccoli


    Jun 9, 2014
    What's up, I'm interested in learning how to play bass and looking for some guidance on a decent practice bass guitar. I have a budget of $500 - $600.
    I live in a small apartment is there a way to just play through my headphones?
    Also, in the future I would like to be able to record to my computer, is this possible with a Presonus Audiobox USB? What would I need?

    Thank you guys in advance
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Is the $500-$600 budget for the bass alone? Or for an amp and any recording equipment you'd want as well?
  3. BronxBroccoli


    Jun 9, 2014
    Budget is for bass and amp, but would like to play through my headphones. Equipment I already have: Presonus AudioBox USB and ATH-M150 Headphones if that helps
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    For the bass, a good place to start is a used Fender precision or jazz. Lots out there, versatile (especially the j), and even Fender detractors have to admit there is an expected QC level that will be acceptable.
    BronxBroccoli likes this.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    My recommendation is a used MIM Fender Jazz or Precision bass, whichever you prefer after you've had a chance to play both in a store. You'll spend about $300 on the bass.

    Then, buy an Ampeg BA108 for $100.

    Then....assuming you have a tablet or smart phone, get a metronome and/or drum machine app.

    If you can find a bass teacher (not a guitar player who teaches bass) for lessons, you're better off.

    If not, there's tons of lessons on youtube from the absolute basics all the way up to advanced lessons.

    Learn songs, and try to join a band. Playing with a band will speed up the learning process more than you can imagine.

    I answered a few questions you didn't ask, but you said you're interested in learning to play bass, not just which bass to buy, so there ya go.
    BronxBroccoli likes this.
  6. BronxBroccoli


    Jun 9, 2014
    Yo I really appreciate all the help and quick responses, thank you guys!!
  7. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Highly recomend used. You will find tons of Squier and Ibanez basses for around the $100 mark used all day every day. They are decent basses to start on. Make sure to play them a little bit before you buy. Each bass is different and will feel different to you. I recommend going into a music store and trying out all the different basses there just to get a feel for what you like and what you don't. Some have tiny necks, some have baseball bat sized necks and theres a million in between. Like I said, find what you like and try to find a similar bass. If you can go to a store and find a couple you like the most and list them here we can give you a list of makes/models that are similar to help you find the best deal.

    For headphone practice, most small combos will work. lots of them now have headphone jacks as well as an aux in to plug in an ipod and jam along to songs. Ampeg BA108 or the Fender Rumble 15 I think will get the job done.

    As far as recording in the future that interface you mentioned should work. You'll just need software to do the recording. Reaper is my recommendation. Its free and works better than I expected.
    BronxBroccoli likes this.
  8. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I use a Fender Rumble 30 watt amp. It has a headphone jack that will cut the speaker so you can play either way. It also has an aux jack I use to mix in external audio. I paid $29.00 for it at a pawn shop. Those recommending a Fender Jazz or Precision are pointing you in the right direction. You can also get a new Squire Vintage for $299 from all the big box retailers. It really is a good instrument for the money.
    Linnin and BronxBroccoli like this.
  9. BronxBroccoli


    Jun 9, 2014
    Thank you Technotitclan! I'm definitely going to check some out this weekend. And right now I'm using Studio One and Maschine for making Hip Hop beats looking to hopefully one day incorporate my own bass.

    Thank you Gravedigger Dav! I'm gonna do some research. I heard some songs with Jazz and Precision and I'm liking the sound of the Precision, but Ima go to a music store like others suggested and try out both before really having a preference
  10. hhirbe


    Mar 30, 2012
    Athens, Ohio
    Along with what everyone else has said, I would recommend looking into picking up a used class d bass head over a practice (read low watt) amp. My Ampeg pf-350 has a headphone jack, line in for an mp3 player, and a balanced xlr line out for recording, as well as the speaker line out for a cabinet should you want to play out. Just add the cabinet and you're ready to gig.
    Double Agent likes this.
  11. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I agree with a lot of the advice given here. I've been playing for a long time now with several very good bands and I still use a MIM P-bass for gigs where I think it is called for (Classic rock or Motown type shows). I bought it used for $275 and, as much as the more expensive P-basses would be a step up, the MIM P gets the job done gig after gig and I never worry about it getting dinged or stolen. I upgraded the pickup with a "vintage Original", which is what Fender used to put in the 57/62 Reissues, because it suited the vintage vibe I was going for. But, there are other pickup changes that could be made to suit your style and the stock pickup is totally usable as is. Not a bad way to go for a first bass and if I were starting all over again, that is what I would get.

    ^ This! The price of these amps has gone down so much that a practice amp doesn't even make sense anymore. The Ampeg PF series (the PF350 is $300 new, so a used one should be less than $200, well within anyone's budget) or any one of the number of inexpensive, lightweight heads with a headphone out and aux input make for great silent practice tools and you can gig with them when you're ready and can afford a cab or two. I use the aux ins and headphone jack on my SVT7-Pro all the time to practice along with new tracks that I'm trying to learn and I can do it without bothering anyone else in the house, something even the quietest practice amp probably can't do. Great advice!
  12. For just under $600 I got a Squire Vintage Modified Jazz 77, a Fender Rumble 15 practice amp, guitar stand, strap, cord, case, pics and Snark tuner, all brand new at Guitar Center. I run my computer into the amp and use headphones. I can play along with an iTunes playlist and only I can hear it. It is a perfect setup for an apartment. If you go new, you are not dealing with possible neglect and abuse from someone else, plus you get a free setup of the guitar and warranty coverage.:):cool::bassist:
  13. Rattfink


    Jan 31, 2014
    Denver,CO USA
    Pawn shops and CraigsList have been good to me. But know what your looking at, no broken truss rods ect.
  14. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Getting a good setup on the bass is super important too. I've seen plenty of people give up because a bad setup made the bass unplayable.
  15. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I live with a girl who works from home, is burdened with A.D.D. and prone to migraines. This means no loud amplification. To that end, I've been getting by quite nicely with a C-Tech Pocket Rock-It S1b. And since I travel a lot, it fits nicely in my bass case along with some headphones and a 1/8"-to-1/8" audio cable to plug my mp3 player or laptop into.

    As far as decent, inexpensive basses go, the best "bang for my buck" was probably a used Squier Classic Vibe Jazz I got from Guitar Center's used database. The shipping, right to my doorstep, was only $25 and I knew if something was wrong with it, I could return it to my local GC location for a quick refund. I only had to do that once and I didn't get the shipping cost back, but that was a small price to pay given that I got a full refund on the bass itself.
  16. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Buying used is a good idea if you know what you're looking at. Otherwise, be safer with a store that will give you a warranty. Headphone amps are good for silent practice, but also most combo amps will have a headphone jack and an aux in jack. You should be able to get a decent bass, like a used MIM Fender or a new Squier Vintage Modified, for about $300, and put $200 toward the amp. Or if you're not planning to play out loud AT ALL right now, $50 on a headphone amp and save the rest for a more serious amp later. Peavey has some good "starter" basses too, or Yamaha's RBX line. If you do get an actual amp, I'd suggest maybe the Ampeg BA-110. Has all the basics you'll need and can play outside the bedroom, though not enough for full-on rock band gigs. We had a TBer pointing out that he used one on his church worship team and could be heard just fine.

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