Hello to all

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassCamp, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. BassCamp


    Mar 1, 2005
    Greetings everyone, new member here.
    I am planning on buying and learning to play bass guitar.
    I have just turned the 50 year old corner and although not yet a musician I am an avid music lover and audiophile, with a few close friends who are good musicians
    My taste runs from 60's British pop, 70s classic prog rock, Blues, Jazz to contemporary rock bands like Porcupine Tree.
    favourite bass players include McCartney, Entwhistle, Jack Bruce, Felix Pappalardi, John Paul Jones in the ancient or deceased category and Victor Wooten in the present.
    If you learned Bassists could give me some advice on what i should buy( used or new) I plan on bugeting $700 for Bass and $700 for head & Cabs. also what is a godd starting point besides the obvious lessons ( is music reading a prerequisite or will tabs do)

    thanks in advance

  2. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Welcome Basscamp! :hyper:

    The good thing is that, unlike when your bass heroes were learning to play, there are a LOT of really great instruments available at your price level. Amps too. :) Based on the styles of music you like, the bass heroes you listed, and your budget, you'll probably want to look at the Fender MIM (made in Mexico) line of Precision and Jazz basses. Most players start on one of these two instruments and then grow from there. They're the classics...the bread-n-butter basses for most popular music over the last 45 years or so.

    As for amp recommendations, you might try doing a search or posting the question in the "Amps" forum. There are also a lot of great amps out there in your price range, but you'll probably get more direct and more informed options in that forum. Good luck with your gear search, congrats on picking up the bass after all of these years, and congrats on finding Talkbass! ;) :bassist:
  3. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    If you're careful, your money would go a lot further buying used gear. I recently saw, for instance, a '62 reissue Fender Precision for $750 on another website.

    P.S. Welcome to Talkbass.
  4. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Welcome, BassCamp.

    There are lots of threads in this forum dealing with good value basses in your price range. Look for the "NEWBIE LINKS" threads in each of the forum sub-sections.

    In general, you can often get a used piece of bass gear that is much more bang for the buck than a new instrument, but the quality of instruments in your price range has improved dramatically over the past few years.

    Regarding reading music: You should learn to read notes and chord charts. This will definitely prove more valuable than tabs when you begin playing with other musicians. I keyboard player is not likely to write out a bass tab part for you.

    Time spent in ear training and general music theory will give you the greatest benefit in the long run. Find a good teacher who will work on these things with you.
  5. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS

    Welcome. For the music you selected I would start with a P or J Bass. They are simple, readily available, and they have the classic tone heard on a ton of old recordings. JPJ used a J bass up until he got his 8 string. Entwistle on the other hand was a Tbird/P bass guy in the early Who years, but later switched to Alembic (among about a million other basses)

    Either would get you started, have a good resale, and allow you to find what kind of tone you are searching for. I would get a cheap combo until you have learned a little and then go and get you a larger setup. You will learn what you like and I can almost promise you it won't be the sound that you like when you first get started.

    Tabs help for beginners, but after you get a feel for the instrument I urge you to learn songs by ear. Reading music will be beneficial, but definitely not neccessary unless you are playing purely standards or don't have recordings of the songs you are trying to learn

    Good luck,
  6. welcome to the world.
    ebay is good for basses but make sure you try it first, don't bother with a cab and head to begin with, a decent 50 to 100 watt combo is good (ashdown in particular).
    Get ya records out and play along,lessons are great but can be dear. Good idea though.
    sites like this are brill. Have fun man
  7. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Welcome to talkbass :)

    With the money your bugeting, you can get some really nice stuff. The obvious starting point is likely a Fender P Bass or a Jazz bass. Id recomend going to a music store and playing a few different things, see what feels best to you and sounds best to you. Im sure others will pipe in their suggestions as well.

    As for amps, you might look at combos for the time being, and no need to spend that much money on one. If you plan to play live shows with a gigging band, most good combos will do the job for you in club type settings. A large amp and cab may be too much to start with IMO. You will get a lot of different opinions on those as well, but the Gallien Kruger, Ampeg and SWR all make decent combos. They all sound different as well, so once you pick a bass thats comfortable and your happy with the sound of, try out the combo amps of those companies and see what sounds good to you. Even the most expensive combos should be well under or at your budget level. The Ampeg B-100R was the one that did it for me, 100W amp and right around $400.

    Also, check out the used market as well as you can likely get a much better quality instrument and maybe amp if you buy used as opposed to new.

    As for lessons, do it if you can find a teacher and have the funds, its worth it to have a teacher at least in the beggining. You can maybe take lessons for a few months, then go off on your own for a while. Come back to lessons when your ready to progress or have run out of your own ideas on how to move forward. A good teacher will also be able to help you with a bass and amp purchase for your needs.

    With reguards to learning to read sheet music or using tabs, it all depends on how far you want to go with it. Learning to read music will give you several tools for you to draw from, such as general music theory, time signatures and things like that. I look at it like this, do you want to be a bass player, or a musician? A musician will learn as much as they can about theory and its translatable to other instruments and in many situations playing with groups. A bassist may only learn whats necessary to fulfill their personal role, but may not have the understanding and knowledge to be flexible and fit into any situation. Tab is certainly something I used early on, and still if I want to learn something specific and my ears arent doing it for me. But it can be a crutch, and it wont teach you much except how to mimic someone. You wont understand the concepts involved from tab alone IMO.

    Im sure others will chime in here, but if you have any other questions, or need any clarification, feel free to ask :)
  8. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Welcome to TB! We can always use another older guy here :D You're making a very positive start by checking in here at TB ... lots and lots of very knowledgeable people are in the forums. Realize that you'll get lots of opinions from a variety of members, many times at opposite ends of the spectrum, so be careful not to put too much stock in any one persons opinion. But the varying opinions are cool, too ... gives you a lot to think about.

    As stated above, a basic Fender is a great start and at the price points you're willing to spend, there should be a good selection to choose from. Be sure to check out the For Sale section of the forum, lots of good stuff in there from players that generally care for the basses.

    I'm a major proponent of developing reading skills ... a good local teacher can do wonders. Don't be afraid to search out references from the TB pool, there are some really good teachers here and one may be in your area.

    Enjoy the experience ... you'll find that there is nothing quite as satisfying as when you play your first gig and you see all those people shaking their as*es to your bass lines :hyper:
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Welcome to Talkbass!:cool:

    I would recommend a nice used USA Fender P bass or Jazz bass. They were the basses of choice for the bassists in most of the music you mentioned.

    If you are not planning on playing out any time soon, a decent 25 - 50 watt combo will do for practice.

    If you are looking at a budget head and cabinet, a lot of guys swear by Avatar speakers, although I have never tried them. I would get a used bass head. Just play through it and make sure it sounds OK, and it should be fine.
  10. I'd say find some used equipment around town that speaks to you. If you like the way something sounds, feels, or looks go with it. You'll more than likely grow out of whatever you start out with anyway, even if there is nothing wrong with the stuff. Learn everything you can including tab, notation and charts. Most importantly though, take advantage of the fact that you already have friends to play with. You'll learn more from the time you spend with them than anything else.
  11. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Key to this is be CAREFUL if you get a used bass. Lots of fake vintage Fenders out there -- a reissue is a good choice if it's in good shape, but always check for solid construction, straight neck, no strange noises, etc. As someone else mentioned, play a lot of them until you find one that "feels" right; consistency of construction is sometimes lacking in the cheaper Fenders.

    Some sort of Fender Jazz or Precision bass sounds like just what you're looking for, based on the styles of music you've listed.

    As for amps, nothing wrong with getting an Ampeg combo. A used SVT head/cabinet would give you really classic tone but might be out of your price range.