Okay, I'm pretty bad at choosing good titles, so I'll try to elaborate as much as I can. I'm a pretty good bass player, by anyone's standards. I picked it up 5 or 6 years ago, and progressed VERY rapidly, probably because I've been playing Cello since I was 3, and am intimately familiar with the function and execution of playing stringed instruments. I also have a tendency to pick up on style very quickly on anything I do, such as Drums, I listen to a lot of Rush, and I've got Neil's style DOWN. (I'm not nearly as good, though .) And recently, a group from school that I play with did some Phish stuff, and I was lost for a little while, but I eventually got the Jon Fishman style down pat as well. Same on Bass, I play Remarkably like Geddy, but when I play other stuff, I can match the style very well. I don't really know why I'm saying this, probably just to prove that I'm no newbie to the electric bass, or music in general, and I understand that a lot of the sound comes from the player, and that you need to try different stuff and pick what suits you best. Despite my skill and proficiency, (wow, I sound like a pompous ass, I'm not, trust me.) I am completely lost when it comes to getting gear. I got my bass as a Christmas present, and it's just a Fender J-Squier, with a Fender Rumble 15. Nothing fancy. Anyway, I'm going to need to get a new bass at SOME point, because I plan on making a career out of playing rock music, (I know, right? ) and I need something more than what I have. I like the tones I can get out of my bass right now, but I know that I can't really say that I like it more than anything else, because it's what I know. So the solution would be to go and test-run basses, and see what I like. There, I run into a couple problems. First off, There might be a tone that I really like initially, but that I would grow tired of within a little while, and have wasted my money. Secondly, I don't have money to spend, because I don't have a job, I don't have a driver's license yet (time constraints), and I'm going to college next year, so I'm in a very financially... UN-powerful position. Also, with no car, and little time to work with, I have no way to get to a music shop to try basses, and the best place is QUITE a drive, an hour or two, and it doesn't even have a great selection of basses (it's a guitar center), although on second thought, there is a bass shop I could look at, but I still can't drive to get out there, so the point is moot. Another problem is the fact that I use Rotosound swing bass 66s, and most basses do NOT have those strings on them at the store, so they're going to sound MUCH different than they would if I decided to buy them. That one's kind of minor, but it's still a factor. The last problem is I just don't know where to start. With the different strings they have, different amplifiers, different playing conditions, I will just have no way of telling how I like them. So to recap, I have no money, no car or license, no experience choosing basses, and no time. Any bass I buy is a MAJOR investment, because if I don't end up liking it, I just threw away a lot of time's worth of money. I should probably find a job, too, and I've got some applications, but I've never applied for one of those, either, and... yeah, it's a problem I have, I get stuck if I don't know what I'm doing, and end up doing nothing at all. One solution would be to look at reviews, but that really doesn't give me an idea of what the bass would sound like when I play it, or how it would feel to me. And.... Basically, I know the answer to the question posed by the title is, "Go out and try them, and get the one you like best." And I guess I'm saying that that's much more easily said than done in my case, and I really, REALLY don't want to make a mistake, because it's a serious investment, because I don't have that kind of money. I kind of just need help, suggestions are sort of welcome, but I really need to know WHAT IT'S LIKE, not just, "this bass is good, feels nice, sounds better." I need to find a bass that I like, and that fits me. So I'd rather just get help and advice on what I should do in my situation, where I need a new bass, because I'm much more serious than my bass is, but I don't have the time, money, or opportunity to go out and go bass fishing. I'm just kind of stuck, and I don't know what I should do. If this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move it. Any help is VERY much appreciated. I'm going to be famous some day, so help me out!