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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gary mitchell, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. I have a older friend who use to play bass. I listen to a tape of him and he was pretty good. He quit playing after having his left hand broken for years.He sold his bass and amp, his bass was a Fender P. John told me he would like to start playing again. He won't go to any place to try out a bass. He is afraid to be made fun of, so me and a couple of guys have decided to get him one. My question is would a Jazz type neck are a thicker P type neck be better for him. I know its up to him but he won't go with us, and its sort of going to be a surprise. We got him a nice old TNT bass amp. Again Thanks.
  2. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Get either one at GC. If he doesn't like it, return it and get the other.
  3. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    It's very thoughtful of you and your friends to want to help your friend get back into playing music. Obviously, your efforts are complicated by his timidity toward trying out instruments in a store. I would suggest buying from a store with a good return policy, in case he wants to return or exchange the bass. I don't know the extent of his injuries, so I really can't comment on whether you should be looking at narrower necks, or perhaps even shorter scale necks. But if you get him something he can try out at home for a week or two, perhaps he'll be comfortable going into a store to exchange for something else if he doesn't care for your first choice in instruments. Good luck!
  4. Luv2Pla4U


    Feb 18, 2011
    Richmond, VA
    I would suggest trying to find something close to what he originally had - that would at least address the 'comfort zone' factor. BTW, I thiink what you are doing is a sign of a true friend.
  5. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Employee
    Does he have full mobility of his hand now?
  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Banned

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    I'd look towards a PBass since that's what he played before. As it stands there are so many different models of P's now from MIA's to MIM's to Squier's you should be able to find a PBass with a neck width and profile close to that of a JBass.

    That's the direction I would go keeping in mind what others have said about buying from GC, MF or anyone else with a liberal exchange policy. Either way there a many good choices and you can't go too far wrong whichever way you go.
  7. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    When I first started, I went to the local shop and tried out a ton of basses. I didn't really know any songs or fancy riffs or anything, and there were few people already auditioning instruments through the amps. (Talk about stage fright!) So I tried everything unplugged. Once I found a couple that felt good and an amp opened up, I just played some quick scales, intervals, arpeggios, etc. at low volume on each bass while fiddling with bass EQ knobs, etc. to sample the sounds of the different instruments.

    Knowing now that most combo amps have headphone jacks, I suppose I could have done that. It would have been significantly less intimidating! I could have used the excuse that I wanted to hear the instruments without all the background noise. So that's my idea for your friend. And if he doesn't already have good headphones, the local music stores will probably have some decent demo headphones over in the keyboard section. He can ask a clerk if to borrow a set for a few minutes. Also - see if he'll during normal work/school hours. The store will probably be much less busy.

    As for what bass to get him if he's absolutely against going to the store... No idea. I'd guess a P since that's what he used to play. It'd probably feel the most familiar to him. Honestly though, I wouldn't want someone else to select an instrument for me.
  8. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I'd bet on a nice, big, thick neck. IMO that is much more comfortable than a skinny one.
  9. Bluesgrunt


    Dec 18, 2011
    i don't know what type of break or to what extent your friend's hand was injured but, after enduring broken fingers on both hands, a full width 13/4 nut width and a relativly low profile is what I find most comfortable and less fatigueibg.
    Brfore my injuries I had no problem with the 1&1/2 nut width of a J bass, after, J bass is akward and uncomfortable.
    Your friend's injuries may dictate something different this was only my experienc/

    You and his other friends are doing a fine thing and your friend must be an exceptional fellow to have earned such regard.
  10. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Nice! Way to go.

    My 2c is that the neck width is less important than scale length, if a hand injury is involved. So, if you are sticking with 34" scale, then I would advocate the P, since he knows it.

    Otherwise, a 32" scale bass might really help him out. On that end, and based on only some shop playing, I would suggest one of the Fender Jaguar basses. Seems they might be too pricey at ~$800 on the bay. VERY easy playing and pretty decent tone. Nice axes. There is also a Squier version, but no idea if those are OK or not. Don't know if that helps, but IMO.

  11. Made fun of? At Guitar Center? He'll probably be the only one worth listening to!

    Good on you for doing this. The earlier posters have given some good advice. Get him what he had, then if it doesn't work, take it back. Maybe after playing the first one, he'll change his mind and go with you for the second one if needed!
  12. Mad props, man! This totally reminds me of General Electric's big thread. Awesome!
  13. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Can't you just let him try your bass to see if he works with that neck?
  14. I have no recommendations on what to get him but have to say he's really got some great friends Gary. Way to go man.
  15. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
  16. Chef FourString

    Chef FourString

    Feb 4, 2011
    Ya'll are good friends. That is rare. Go to GC and if he doesn't like the first one then take it back and get another one.
  17. if you get made fun of at guitar center you are either REALLY bad or in the company of drummers/guitarists
  18. XtheDeadPawn


    May 24, 2008
    Untrue people at GC will laugh at anybody good or not to make themselves feel better. I heard a guy playing the Munsters theme song on a Epi get laughed at by a guy who 5 minutes later bragged about playing the crappiest version of Smoke on the water I ever heard. They braggart guy 50 the Munster kid early 20's YOU do the math.

    But, I digress.

    Anyways to the OP I might think of getting your friend a nice strap also not the $5 nylon kind the $20 and up kind. If he has a hand injury a quality strap can insure he doesn't have to exert as much pressure to keep the neck level while freting and it'll feel good too.
  19. radmin

    radmin Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2006
    Columbus, Oh
    Here is what I would do:
    Take him with you.
    Let him feel the neck unplugged.
    Play it for him though an amp to hear it.
  20. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    This ^^^

    I like this idea a lot.

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