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I need a comeback bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LeFrog, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. LeFrog


    Jun 4, 2005
    Ok, I must not be a unique case. I used to play bass in rock bands that would argue more about their names than what to play :eyebrow:

    That was about 20 years ago and I played for about 5 years, eventually becoming not too bad in the end, managing to decipher scores with a bit of time :D

    Then life happened and I ended up moving from Europe to America and I sold all my stuff (musical instruments, cameras, computers, comic book collection) and donated most of the rest to friends, libraries and charities.

    My problem back then was that I did not have a good instrument. Never had the budget. My amp sucked, my bass sucked, I could never make any significant progress.

    Now, years and years later, after having worked hard, and now that I have a much better budget, I'd like to play again.

    The worse part is that I have become more interested in playing Jazz than Rock. Remember the kid with the Sax in the movie The Commitments? "That ain't Blues you're playing... It's Jazz!!!" The rockers I played with always complayed my style was too jazzy.

    Anyway, I'd like to know what you would recommend as far as good beginner/comeback bass and amp combo?

    I went to the store tonight, I tried to play and indeed it was amazing how it all was coming back. The thing is that the store did not have a lot of basses, a couple of Jacksons, an entry level Yamaha that did not work and Deans. The guy wanted to sell me a Dean with a BT-50 for 1000 OTD and that's me that went OTD :scowl:

    Anyway... What would you recommend for a total budget of around $1000 for a start? If I get bored of it I can always resell around Christmas and move on or I can finish what I started back then... :bawl: :crying:
  2. LeFrog


    Jun 4, 2005
    I don't know if I posted this in the right forum I hope I did not go off topic. I am sure this question has come out a lot "What bass do I need" duh
  3. I love to help ya but i honestly wouldn't know how to go about telling someone what bass to play. It's like me telling you what your favorite car is :confused:

    my suggestion is start from where you left off; find something that is closest to what you used to play and find a better version of it. many will tell you that some basses go better with certain music m(i.e. P-bass=punk) but go with what you like, a lot of your sound will come through no matter what your on.
  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    In some ways, I was in the same boat. Played for a number of years, then went to grad school, got married, started teaching, had a kid, kid got really sick and was in the hospital all the time, etc. Couldn't find the time to play too much.

    Now I've got more money, and finally a little time. And it feels soooo good to be playing again. It's hard to remember why I stopped playing regularly. Guess life just had me in a headlock.

    I'd recommend getting a good instrument. You're much more likely to play if you've got something that's a joy to play, and your life will be richer as a result. Be warned though, you may become addicted and want to play more and more, and buy basses. It's a condition that can drive you crazy, in a good way. :D

    For equipment in your budget, I'd recommend looking at a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz bass (around $700 new, less used):
    Fender Geddy Lee
    or a Musicman S.U.B. or a Used Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn (around $6-700) if you can find one -- they're outstanding -- like a '60s Fender Jazz bass. Here's one on ebay right now:
    Lakland Joe Osborn
    The Made in Mexico ($400) Fender basses are good, but inconsistent in quality -- TRY BEFORE YOU BUY on these, since they're widely available. The Made In America Fenders are much better quality -- I don't know what they go for used -- probably in the same ballpark as a Lakland. The Fender Geddy Lee is a big favorite here -- It's made in Japan, and a real champion for the money if you're set on getting a new bass.

    Buying a bass without playing it is a bit risky, though if you've played the model in a store and like it, most basses can be set up satisfactorily for not too much $$ if it arrives with "issues." You'll get a far better bass for your money in the used market if you look around and are flexible as far as finish/color.

    As far as amp, I'd look at getting a combo for starters -- separate amp/cabinet combinations will take too much $$ from your bass budget. If you're looking cheap, the Fender Bassman series can be had for not much -- they start under $200 new. The Ampeg b-112 is a nice unit, and you can score one used on ebay for not too much, either.

    One last thing to consider -- it's great to play out loud, but there's a unit made by Tascam that I love called the Bass Trainer. You pop in a CD, and can play along with it. It also has a tuner feature, and you can "loop" a section to learn it, or digitally slow it down without changing pitch, etc. It's a real help in learning a groove you're particularly fond of. Here's a link:
    Tascam bass trainer

    Hit all the stores in your area that you can. Play Fenders, Peaveys, and anything else good you can get your hands on.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    All I could honestly recommend is to hit some stores and check more basses out. Don't disregard any bass solely on the name on the headstock. Let your ears and hands tell you. Looks come into play, but don't walk past certain basses simply because the brand is unfamiliar/unpopular.

    BTW....you looking to spend $1000 on a bass, or on a bass, amp, and cab?

  6. LeFrog


    Jun 4, 2005
    Yes. I don't want to spend that much on a bass only... for the moment.

    Again, I will give myself 6 months to decide if it is just part of the midlife thing or something serious I want to do again for a long time.

    Thanks for the answers so far!
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Alright...I'd set aside at least $500 for a decent amp/cab. $500 for a bass leaves you with alot of options. You should be fine.

  8. Not completelly true, i think jazz basses sound better with punk (no joke), or a P/J configure, just need some bridge growl, unless its pop punk your talking about, it is isnt it :spit:

    But on the score of buying a bass n amp, if your not to bothered about it, id say you should definatly go second hand, for your price range you could get a helluva lot more :)

    Welcome back to the low end :bassist:
  9. clanner

    clanner Token Black Guy.

    Apr 27, 2005
    ummmmm, marietta GA
    how many watts are you looking for in an amp? the fender rumble series isn't bad at all for the price, 100 watt combo for around $350,00 used, I can't really say anything about basses in that range, how many strings? 4, 5, 6, 5000?
  10. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    Behind you!
    $500 amp? I'd go with an Ashdown MAG series combo. I think they sound fantastic and are priced right.

    As for basses around the $500 mark, there are quite a few good ones. Much more so in this lower price brackets than, say, 10 years back. You have the usual players like Ibanez, Yamaha, Peavey, and ESP/LTD but one can also get basses like the G&L Tribute or MTD Kingston.

    Buying used is also a good idea since you can get a higher-end bass for a honey price.
  11. The bassist from Rise Against plays a Geddy Lee jazz with great results recording. Live, less than stellar but still very nice. It could have been the soundguy at the venue or a combination of other variables.
  12. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Sounds just like me. Get yourself a Jazz and a couple of used Alembics. A Conklin, a Spector and a G&L. Get a couple of Trace Elliot heads, a Sunn head and an old Gibson head. Get an assortment of cabs and effects. Then you're ready to go. Make sure you get everything you wanted, but couldn't afford, when young.
  13. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Buy a decent bass, but not one that is too expensive. Find an amp that you like and dont be afraid to get a higher end one... It'll be easier to upgrade one item instead of two
  14. LeFrog


    Jun 4, 2005
    You guys are awesome. Is there a classifieds section here?

    Where should I look besides the sunday paper? Craigs?
  15. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    There's a classified section on this board. People seem to price their items fairly.

    The good thing about buying a quality item used, is that if you decide you're just not into playing bass any more, you can resell it without having lost much $$. If you buy a new Fender Jazz for $450, you won't get nearly that much for it when you sell. If you buy a used Fender Geddy Lee for $500, you'll get it almost all back if you decide it's not for you. You'll also get a better deal on something used here than in a store.

    Play as many basses as you can that sell for less than $1000 in the store, then ask the folks on this board what a fair price would be for the ones you like.

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