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I am going to start learning Bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Maj. Pain, Feb 5, 2004.


  1. Maj. Pain

    Maj. Pain Guest

    Feb 5, 2004
    Ontario
    I am a new member, and was directed here by someone I met who plays bass. I have become very interested in the bass guitar, and am needing some advice. As a begginer, what kind of bass should I get, and how much should I spend on the bass itself (please try to answer in Canadian dollars)? I also need all the the accessories, including an amp, strap, case, etc. How much should I spend on each of these?

    Also, what is the difference between a four and five string bass?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Of course this is posted so many times but I am willing to help all new players, unlike some of these older guys! :p

    The kind of bass depends on the kind of music. I would recommend, as I do for most beginners, a Squire or SX Precision Special. These basses have plenty of thump because of their precision (split) pickup, and also have lots of cut with their jazz (straight single coil) pickup. A squire or SX bass will run you around $250-$350 canadian. You will want to upgrade later of course but that can wait.

    As for amps, any old practice amp is good enough to start off. A 15W-30W combo amp works fine for practice, but keep in mind to get over drums and guitars in an actual band situation you will need at least 100W. That should run you probably $100.

    Accesories annd all that crap are gonna run you probably $60 or so total with a gig bag.

    As for the difference between four and five, the main difference of course is the fith string which is a low B, giving extended lower range. Most fivers are also tighter string spacing, making them a little harder to start on, and some are extended scale of 35-36".
     
  3. Maj. Pain

    Maj. Pain Guest

    Feb 5, 2004
    Ontario
    So it would be good to start with a pretty good, brand new bass? Over something less expensive, or a used bass? Price shouldn't be a problem, as I am broke now, but my birthday is in less than a month ;). Also, are Squire and SX Precision Special pretty common? I am in a city right beside Toronto, and I don't know anywhere to go for guitars or basses. Would most shops have the basses you specified, or are they hard to find?

    Thanks for your help :D
     
  4. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Squiers are common. Essexs you can really only buy from one place. (www.rondomusic.com) There arent really any basses cheaper than Essexs and they are great for the price.
     
  5. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have a Squier for sale (see this link). If you're interested at all, let me know.

    Mods:
    If this is inappropriate, please delete and let me know.
     
  6. GUIDELINES FOR BASS GUITAR BUYERS

    Here are a few tips to ease your pain.

    First, have a budget in mind before you go into the stores, so that you won't be dazzled by the flash and splendor of the "SPGX5000VR"!!!. With today's instruments you should be able to find a good, playable instrument for between $250 & $500.


    Second, look for simplicity. Basses with tons of controls and gold hardware add to the price and are a distraction from the goal...to learn to play bass guitar. Watch for easy to understand control layout and straight forward hardware (tuning keys and bridges).


    You will run across two different types of pickups, the single coil & the hum canceling

    Single coils are usually about 2 cm wide by 9 cm long and offer a brighter sound. Hum canceling pickups are made up two coils each 3 cm wide by 6 cm long. They are set up in a staggered side by side format and produce a darker, beefier sound.


    Third, ask the salesman about the materials the bass is made from i.e., the woods for the neck and body. Some $250 range instruments have bodies made from plywood that don't produce as nice a tone as many solid wood basses do. The neck of the bass is the shaft where a player presses the strings down against metal bars called frets to produce different notes and sometimes chords. Necks are typically made of maple wood and their fretboards may be either maple (known for a brighter sound) or rosewood (known for a mellower tone).


    Finally, avoid obscure brand names no one has heard of unless there are undeniable good qualities that show you that the instrument is an excellent deal. Recognized brand names will help you when either you decide to upgrade because you're getting so good! And you want to trade your bass in or you decide bass isn't for you and you want to sell the instrument.


    With all this in mind, make sure that the instrument is comfortable to play, hold, wear on a strap, etc. Don't be afraid to ask the salesman to correct things like strings that are too high off the fretboard or buzzing, rattling frets. If you've noted these points you should come away with a great bass and potential for a lot of enjoyment.


    My suggestion would be any one of these starter packs.

    http://www.all-bass-guitars.com/

    Squier Bass Pak

    Convenience and value is the name of the game with these all inclusive packages. A Squier Affinity P-Bass is paired with an amp and packaged with all the accessories you'll need to plug in and play! This package was designed by professionals who know that beginners need to have affordable quality in both the amp and the bass.
    [​IMG]


    Ibanez IJSB190 Jumpstart Electric Bass Package

    You've got everything you need: axe, amp, cord, instruction book video, and more. Don't confuse Jumpstart packages with other value packs that contain bottom shelf generic grade equipment. Jumpstart has name brand, good stuff that you can still use when you get good yourself.
    [​IMG]



    Silvertone LB11 Bass and Amplifier Package

    The Silvertone Bass Package comes with everything you need. Featuring the Silvertone SSLB-11 "Precision" style 4-string bass (34" long scale, 20 fret Maple neck with Rosewood fretboard, 1 split "P" style pickup, 1 volume and 1 tone control, chrome die-cast enclosed tuning machines, fully adjustable chrome bridge), the Silvertone Bass package also includes the BA-10 bass amp (10 watts RMS, 7" bass driver, 3-band EQ, headphone jack), GT-8 tuner, gig bag, strap, cable, pickpack, and instructional video.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  7. Maj. Pain

    Maj. Pain Guest

    Feb 5, 2004
    Ontario
    Thank you for the tips. I contacted a local guitar shop called Long and McQuade, and they suggested the Fender Squire Precision Bass package. I am most likely going to rent it ($20 canadian a month) for a month, then buy it. It comes with a 15 watt bass, patch cable, the bass itself, and an instructional video.

    Is this a good deal?
     
  8. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Well i really really disliek Squiers but if you're set on that, it depends, what would you pay, after you rented it, to buy it?
     
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    welcome to talkbass major! :D i would endorse an essex over a squier as well - the squier's that i've seen i haven't been that impressed with, whereas i know of gigging musicians who play with essexes in their stables.
     
  10. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I was going to recommend you go to Long & McQuade. They have very helpful salesmen, who are willing to spend time to help you get what you want. They also have a good selection of basses from lower priced Squier to Modulus Quantums. I wouldn't recommend you go to Steves music until you have a better understanding of "the bass" and basses. It is a little overwhelming.
     
  11. Maj. Pain

    Maj. Pain Guest

    Feb 5, 2004
    Ontario
    Well, it is $20 a month to rent, and $420 to buy. It comes with the bass, amp, patch cable, and an instructional video.

    When I visit today, I will check to see if they have any other packages.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, remember, fender is not the same as squier. oh, fender sells them, to be sure, but the quality and workmanship of the instruments isn't in the same league.

    i've seen some squiers that were fine, and some that were trash - wide disparity in the instruments. perhaps get a salesman to check out the instrument before you take it home. they are NOT all the same, even though they come from a factory where they're all made in the same automated machines. you will probably be fine if you get someone who you can trust to check it out a bit and make sure there are no obvious flaws or problems.
     
  13. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Im still saying that maybe a package deal isnt the best way to go..
     
  14. nick g.

    nick g. Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Chandler, Arizona
    As early as two months ago I still had my Squier. When I had played it again after having my SR 490 for about two weeks, I could literally feel the difference.

    But that's not to say that getting a Squier is a bad choice. They serve their purpose just as well as my Soundgear: it's a lower-quality bass meant for beginners. It's not meant to be this astounding, incredible, extravagant work of art.

    But I've never played an SX or any other 'starter' bass beside my own.

    Anyway, PLEASE, before you poison your career as a musician, do not use tabs as your primary means for learning music. I'm not saying it's not okay to use them, just make sure you know and understand notation before you become dependent on tabs.

    Get lessons from a good bass teacher, you'll learn to appreciate the difference it will make in your capabilities as a musician.
     
  15. Maj. Pain

    Maj. Pain Guest

    Feb 5, 2004
    Ontario
    I just got my bass today, and have set up lessons starting Wednesday of next week. The guy seems pretty good, as he was the bassist for Ryan Malcolm (the Canadian Idol). I am hoping he will help me get started.
     
  16. Maj. Pain, what did you end up purchasing for your new bass?

    Share your thoughts and experience with us, we would love to hear about them!

    [​IMG]
    Treena