Help a guitarist play bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by .357, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. .357


    Jan 16, 2005
    Hi all,

    I've played guitar for some time and would love to take up bass, too. Budget is rather limited, so I was wondering if you all could steer me in the right direction on gear. Of the basses I've tested so far, I'm leaning towards a Jazz bass, but I'm open to any suggestions. Here's some info that might be helpful: I'll be playing mainly with a pick at first while I learn fingerstyle. I mainly want to play varied rock styles at first (RHCP, Rush, Zep, The Police, The Cure, Weezer, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, early Metallica, etc.) and then probably branch out into reggae, funk, R&B as I get into it.

    Here are a few specific questions:

    What's a versatile bass that can handle the sorts of things I want to play? What I liked about the Jazz basses I tried was the tonal variety.

    If I had to choose between a MIM Fender Jazz or an SX clone, which to go for? I'm interested in quality and bang for the buck more than what it says on the headstock. (I'd also prefer a new instrument since I don't know enough to evaluate used basses.)

    I need a combo amp for home practice and playing along with CD's and hopefully jamming with friends at some point at reasonable volumes. What wattage amp do I need for that? 60? 100?

  2. I won't be commenting on the amp really except to say that if your going to jam with a drummer and guitarist, 100watts would be best IMO.

    As far as a bass...I noticed you really dig those jazz basses and looking at what styles you want to play, I'd stay stick with the jazz. I've owned 2 SX basses and they are definently bang for the buck. From my experience and general opinions that I've read, the SX jazz basses are pretty much up there with the MIM Fender Jazz. If you can't go and check them out at the Rondo Music store, then be aware that if you buy one online, it could possibly be a lemon, BUT, Kurt of Rondo Music is a totally awesome guy and will help you out if that happens.

    If you find a MIM Fender Jazz at a local store that you really dig and like the tone and it feels good, go for it and you won't have to hassle with an online purchase and the possibility of a lemon and having to return it.

    I recommend making a post over in the Amps forum and let the amp experts help you out with finding an amp.

  3. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I would most certainly go for the MIM Fender Jazz - there are some real cherry ones out there. That bass would work well for the music you mention and is easy enough to upgrade electronics, etc if you decide to later on.

    As far as an amp goes, the obvious answer is the more power the better and generally speaking you need 4X the wattage your guitar players are using. I played a 200W 4x10 combo in a relatively loud rock band and it was BARELY (and I do mean BARELY) enough. If you have been playing guitar for a while, you should be up and running on bass reasonably quick and able to jam with your friends - if so, you'll need some power. I was in your situation starting out. I had a little 50W Ampeg that sounded great and seemed very loud on its own in my living room. When I took it to my first band rehearsal, I couldn't be heard at all. So I found myself looking for a bigger amp within a few months of starting out. Go used and get as much as you can afford...