Good Beginner Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spierbeak, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Spierbeak


    Mar 22, 2014
    Hi, I am looking to start out playing bass. I play the snare drum so I know how to read music and all that the problem is i know nothing at all about basses, so I came here. I am looking for a nice beginner bass. I am looking for a bass to play rock and a little jazz...well I guess an all around bass. I have a small budget 1. because I don't know if I am going stick with it 2. I don't have a lot of money to spend. I am open to all tips suggestion anything, thanks!
  2. Made in Mexico Fender P Bass. 4 string.
  3. Alex E

    Alex E

    Mar 2, 2006
    Yamaha has an excellent $200 bass that plays very well and sounds outstanding too! It's pickup configuration is P/J, so one gets a nice blend of 2 classic tones. I can't remember the model name, but just about any catalog/internet shop has them listed. I think the Yamaha is superb in its price range. I would easily be able to gig with this bass. The neck and fret work are nice.

    The ESP LTD B-50 is good as well. I bought the B-50 Fretless due to wanting to try an inexpensive Fretless and I'm quite impressed with this bass. It was $200 and is also a P/J pickup model. It has a 6 bolt neck that fits very precisely into the body cavity and the neck is a substantial piece of stout wood. That used to be unheard of in such a cheap instrument. Haven't played the fretted version, but it has to be like its Fretless brother and the consumer reviews are positive. I really like mine and friends I play with comment enthusiastically on it.

    Overall, I think the Yamaha's pickups might be a little better-sounding and I'd go with that one. I think it's a bit prettier, too!

    I think either one of these basses is easily the equal of the lower end Fenders. They are that good.
  4. petey293


    Dec 30, 2013
    Rapid City, SD
    I can vouch for used Peavey basses such as the Fury or Forum. They are good players and most are made in the U.S. I personally use a Washburn XB100 that I started with six years ago, and it's gotten me pretty far for what it is. You can find them for dirt cheap online. I'm currently saving up for something nicer, but I will always keep the Washburn. What I think makes the most difference, however, is the setup. Most of the "beginner" basses can be made to play great with an inexpensive setup. You can also set it up yourself for free, which I would highly recommend doing, it isn't hard at all. As long as you stick with the known brands like Yamaha, Squier, Peavey, MIM Fender, Washburn, etc. (I know I'm missing some), you should be able to get a pretty nice bass for a great price once it's set up.
  5. huckleberry1


    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    I like the Vintage Modified series, the jazz 5ver is a decent little bass for $325 or so...
  6. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    RBX 170
  7. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Ibanez SR300 (or other Soundgear models)
    Yamaha (As above),
    Squier Vintage Modified, Fender MIM, etc
    --all good choices and there are others

    -Check out used if you know anybody who is knowledgeable about basses and would be willing to let you decide (As opposed to being stuck in their own opinions and unwilling to bend) and you can go look with them.

    If you buy used you might be able to get a better bass for less--although it likely won't have a warranty-or a short one if you buy it from a store.
  8. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Alpine, TX
    Go get an SX 4 string bass. They dont cost much, they sound more expensive than they are.

    Not know if you are going to stick with it, Id say to not spend more than $150 on it. Pawn shops can sometimes have decent ones. As long as it plugs in and works your good. You will appreciate a nice bass later if you stick with it after playing lower quality basses as well.
  9. A lot of good suggestions here, really can't go wrong with any of them.

    I will second the SX. Check out for those.

    Also I will add the squier affinity PJ bass to the list. Bought one just for a cheap back up and its become my main gigging bass.

    Best best is to try them out and see what sounds and feels good to you. A bass that feels and sounds good to you will make you want to pick it up and play
  10. tedsalt


    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    Squier Vintage Modified or Classic Vibe series (Precision or Jazz). These are more recent squiers and typically have excellent craftsmanship and good components (for the money). If you have big hands you might prefer a Precision. If you have smaller hands you might prefer the Jazz.

    You can find them cheaper on Craigslist or Guitar Center/Musicians Friend Used.
  11. I would recommend also, since I bought two instruments, but just know you can't play them beforehand to get an idea that's what you want. There might be some quality-control issues: terrible strings, some parts are damaged. That's just a risk one takes, and it could very well happen with buying any bass at the local guitar store. Maybe around $100 to $200. My bass was $189.95 (Fretless 6-string), and a hard case $55.95.

    If not there, then consider spending more than $200 for a bass at the local guitar store. Craigslist or even this forum might have less expensive used ones.

    But honestly, for the most part just getting a bass is enough. My first bass, it didn't matter what it was, all that mattered was it was a bass. I could play it, and it sounded good enough for me. For years, I had no idea of its basic specifications, or even what strings were on it. Actually, until recently since I changed the strings myself, I finally know what they are.

    Remember it's not only getting a bass. You'll probably want a practice amplifier (+$50 to $100). Consider getting a strap ($10 to $20), a cable to connect amp and bass ($10 to $20), extra strings just in case, a tuner ($20), and perhaps instruction (a teacher, books, or online).
  12. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    Ibanez GSR200 4-String $199.99. Put new strings on and have it adjusted and this is excellent.
  13. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    +1 to the Yamaha. Also Squier Affinity (the new ones) or an SX from Rondo music would make decent starter basses for under 200$ new.
  14. Either get a bass player to go shopping with you. If you can't find one, a guitar player might do. If you can't get someone who knows basses to go with you, get one to show you some things to play so you can check out basses.
  15. LowNotes1


    Jun 8, 2008
    Here's another vote for Rondo SX. I have a 5-string Jazz and it was a steal for $179. Good wood, the hardware and electronics are decent enough and can be upgraded later on. Rondo also has a liberal return policy so if you happen to get one with problems they'll send a replacement.
  16. GrumpiusMaximus

    GrumpiusMaximus I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe

    Mar 11, 2013
    Kent, United Kingdom
    A Squier CV or VM would be first on my list. They're superb. There's very little about them that is 'entry level' and they are excellent modification platforms with standard sized routs for pickups, etc.

    Yamaha basses in general are good quality, as are Ibanez.

    Your other option would be something like a second-hand Mexican Fender.
  17. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    My suggestion would be for you to go to the Classifieds here on TB, but "Squier" in the search field, and look through that for something that speaks to you and your budget.

    Make certain you spell it S-Q-U-I-E-R. People often misspell it, but I would imagine sellers need only look at their own headstock for the proper spelling.

    You can rinse and repeat the process with "SX bass", "Yamaha", "Fender MIM", et cetera

    GLWTS (good luck with the search)
  18. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    As others have suggested, buy a used instrument for your first bass. Your money will go much further, and if you stick with the instrument, youÂ’ll have lots of time to upgrade your gear down the road. Also, as others have previously suggested, bring along another competent musician so they can give the used bass a quick once-over to make sure it has no fatal flaws as a learning instrument before you part with your hard-earned cash.
  19. aggrokragg


    Dec 18, 2013
    A lot of good suggestions up above. One thing to keep in mind is set aside a little bit of your budget and make sure you get whatever bass you choose professionally setup after you buy it. A good setup can take a bass from just OK to great in terms of playability, and having something that's easy and comfortable to play will go a long way in helping you learn proper technique and sticking with practice.
  20. Grizz33


    Nov 25, 2012
    Rockford, IL
    Definitely go used for your first bass. Like many had mentioned, bring a buddy who plays with you to your local music store, Guitar Center, etc. My first bass was an Ibanez Sound Gear. Nice thin neck, great starter bass. You should be able to pick one up for less than 200 dollars, especially if it's a Gio model. SX also makes great starter basses. Good luck and welcome to the club!