I wanna start playing Bass Guitar...Comments Please

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by SnowBaby518, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. SnowBaby518

    SnowBaby518 Guest

    Jan 11, 2004
    Southern Cali- US of A
    I would like to play the Bass Guitar...But I don't know what kind to get,or How to recognize a Bass Guitar when I see one,but most of the time I can recognize the sound...Do you have any comments for me,or any suggestions?? Thank you
  2. Recognizing one isn't hard, generally it has 4 strings. Other's have 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 strings, but most don't have higher than 6.

    As for what kind of bass, well, what kind of music do you play and what is your budget? Obviously you will need a bass to start on and an amp.
  3. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Don't forget to budget for a tuner, cables, a 3 inch wide strap (preferably leather), and a case for the bass (don't go with the really cheap gig bags - they're crap). Other than that, what Tyler Hole said.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Another way to recognize a bass guitar is that in a band with guitars, the bass is the "big" guitar with the long neck.

    In fact, that will be a guide even in a music store. The bass guitars are bigger, have longer necks, bigger tuners (the knobs at the end of the neck), fatter strings and are heavier as a rule than "regular" guitars.

    I suggest that you go to a music store rather than ordering a bass on line or from a catalog. As you are totally new to bass, you will need to be fitted for one. Choose one that isn't too heavy for you, or too long for you. In order to do this, you must actually put a strap on the bass and wear it so you can feel how comfortable it is.

    Another thing is be careful to get one that does not have a neck so wide that it is difficult to finger the frets. The store clerk should be able to give you guidelines about what is suitable for you based on your size, your budget and what your goals are as a new musician.

    As was said above, you must also budget for a practice amp, a tuner, a strap,a cable and a good case for your bass. Other expenses might include a music stand for your sheet music or bass practice exercises, a stand for your bass, and a book that introduces you to playing the bass guitar, preferably on that has a CD with it, so you can hear what the drills and exercises should sound like. You might also want to buy some picks if you plan to use a pick. I do advise you to learn fingerstyle too.

    Last, if you can afford at least a few introductory calsses with a bass teacher to get you oriented and to help you get off to a good start, that would be cool too.

    Best of luck to you and let us know what you eventually do buy and how your progress with bass guitar is going. If you have questions, please come back here for help.
  5. UnsungZeros

    UnsungZeros The only winning move is not to play.

    When you first start playing, don't take the plunge into the deep end. Meaning don't start off with the hard stuff. You'll work your way up with simple exercises and will slowly progress. Don't get intimidated by any older, more experienced players because they were all beginners at one point too.

    I'd like to stress learning proper technique when you're learning and to never stray from it. Doing things the right way from the beginning is much easier than starting off wrong and trying to reteach yourself.

    Other than that, I can't emphasize practicing more than anything. Practice, practice, practice. Even the pros have to do it.

    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, sk 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.

  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Hay anything with SPG in it is good by default.
  8. Wildside


    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    best way to improve is to listen to bassists in your favorite genre of music. For me it's 80s rock... so as a drummer I've spent years playing my van halen, ozzy, and motley crue albums over and over just absorbing the beats and analyzing what the drummer is doing and how he is constructing his part.

    Now that I've taken up bass I've started doing the same thing with basslines. I mess with the eq levels on my stereo until I can hear every steve harris note clearly when I play my iron maiden records.

    listening properly is the first and most important step to becoming a quality musician.