I'm a tired guitar player looking to switch to bass - reccomendations?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by optikill, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    Hey everyone!

    I've been lurking around here reading for several weeks and decided to post.

    I've been looking to purchase a bass for several months (looking for both new or used). I'm a guitar player getting tired of playing the same ole stuff. I play mainly rock, funk, jazz (red hot chili peppers, tool, ozzy, and various jazz).

    I'm just tired of playing the guitar as my fingers and hands are very large so I know I will never obtain those chops all guitarist aspire to have.

    So this brings me to the point of my post. I'm looking for a bass just to jam and have a great time just playing along to my favorite tunes. Basically what basses should I be considering? I was thinking 5 or 6 string as I want to play chords and not have to dance up and down the neck so much.

    I'm considering trading my current axe (ESP Jake E. Lee Sig.) for the purchase of a new bass. Either way I have a budget of no more than about 1700 - 1800 dollars (USA).

    I do appologize for the long post.

  2. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    500watt head ashdown

    4 by 10 SWR cab

    most expensive fender jazz V bass you can afford.

    no doubt ill get flamed here by "older" "wizer" players. but thats what i'd get
  3. No need to apoloize for the post(wasnt that lon anyways). For that much money your choices are pretty much endless. I would suggest playing as many basses in your price range as possible and buying whatever you lke the most, we cant tell you whats right for you.

    Also, welcome to Talkbass.
  4. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB

    :eek: Lucky bastard!

    Ok just kidding about the "bastard" part, but man, I wish I had 1800 bones to lay down on a first bass...! You can get some serious bass for that money.

    I will advise you, however, to not go for a full-budget breaker. $1800 is a lot to lose is you decide you don't like bass. I'd suggest to go for something like... maybe for a bit less than a grand?

    The Fender American P-bass is a classic tone machine, and it's got a chunky neck... maybe check that one out? Also, Ibanez BTB's are GREAT for the money, and they got wide string spacing, meaty necks, and are just meaty all around!:D Also, Warwicks are just plain AWESOME, so maybe check out a Corvette Standard 5, I think it retails at $1700, but give our favorite "crack dealer" Gard (he's a TB member who works at a little place called Bass Central:D) a call, he can give you a good deal on mid-and-up-priced basses! (Gard, best buddy, hows about an Aggie 212 for that forward?:D)

    Anyway, I know that's not a lot of info, but there's a huge amount of instruments in the $800-1800 range, so you really have to check them out. And either way, if you're just gonna play in your room, maybe it wouldnt be the best use of money for that kind of bass... Just saying that you can easily make do with a muuuch cheaper 5 or 6 without really killing the whole budget. And besides, what about the amp? Is the 1800 the MAX for the whole package? Or just the bass?

    Hope that helped...:)
  5. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    dude, you know that a 5 or 6 string bass isn't in the same tuning... a 5 string is b e a d g, and a 6 is b e a d g c, so it will be different from guitar...

    but congrats on making the right move... getting away from the g**tar (thats a swear word here...) but if you want to see if you like bass, get an SX. i just got mine today and all i can say is wow. they run for 143 with shipping (well the jazz ones...) and they are amazing.

    good luck,
  6. Welcome, Optik.

    I would suggest that you get a fairly inexpensive used P bass or G&L SB-1 or similar and play it for a while. This is the basic bass "building block" and every player should experience how cool the basic Precision design really is.

    After a couple of months, you'll know which direction you want to move and you can trade or sell (or better yet, keep) it without losing anything.

    Have fun and experiment.


  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I got a Ibanez GSR200, a levy's strap, a fender cable, and a squier bp15 15w amp for sale for $200+S&H

    if your interested.... :p
  8. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    So,, you like rock and jazz,, have big hands,, want a five or six string ey? Probably with a beefy tone?

    I reccommend either a MTD Kingston or Heir 5 string,, or a Lakland Skyline 55-01 or 55-02. Both have wide string spacing,, chunky tones,, and can be had for well under a grand slightly used. The MTD's have a fairly flat neck profile, the Skylines are beefier (apparently).
  9. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    Kings Bay, GA
    i agree with jonathan...definitely go used. for that much money, you can definitely get a really nice quality bass. our very own brian barrett (thelowend.net) has a really sweet tobias 6 string basic that i've been eyeing lately. check it out:

  10. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Yeah, I'd check out the Lakland Skyline series basses for that money. You should have some dough left over too (which can be used up on an amp or effects or I hear that this "savings" thing is kinda cool too).
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I play a Spector and a Rickenbacker. It's much like when you were trying to purchase a guitar some guys play Strats some like Les Pauls, you need to try them out and see what you like, I think overall when bass shopping playablilty is most important but make sure you hear the tone of the bass through a head and cab to see if you like the sound. Personally I feel it's more difficult to get a good tone from a bass, you think the latter to be true but guitar players have an effect 80% if your into rock and stuff like that, that's not always the case with a bass. All the basses recommended are fine instruments,,,good luck
  12. Goalee1


    Jul 1, 2003
    Hey Optik, converted G player here as well. Lots of great advice here. I would definately go with the guys that are basically saying not to blow the whole wad at once before you really know if you want to play bass. Its much easier to say buying something for $400 as opposed to $1400 and walk away from it if you dont' like it. Also, again, remember that the tuning is different from a guitar when it comes to 5's and 6's. I was gifted a 5 and am now looking for a 4 being used to the EADGBE tuning and a 4 the top 4 strings. That low B has been real fun learning on but I need a 4.
    Where comes the next problem. This stuff is addicting to the nth degree. In a very short time, I've picked up some gear and am actually driving almost 500 miles to pick up a cab. Yeah call me crazy!
    I'd say keep the Lee which is a great guitar and go slow. G1
  13. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    thanks for all the awesome replies guys. I will agree with you - g**tar is a bad word to me. It just seems so null and lifeless.

    As for your responses. I have that budget for a bass only. I already have a okay practice amp (Laney something 75watt with 15 driver, can't remember the model off hand). I also already have picked up a couple of pedals through the years as well - mainly chourus and wah.

    I guess what I'm looking for a a suitable "short list" of items to check out. I don't need an amp rig just yet (maybe in the future). I mainly want to play a lot - finger style, plucking, possible slapping if i can figure that out ;-)

    I just don't know if i need a 5 or 6. I just don't want to purchase a 5 and wish i got a 6 - ya know? Other than that, am i missing anything? If any of you have sweet used items feel free to solicite to me.

    Again, Thanks for all the help and support.

  14. My best suggestion is start on a four, learn the bassics and then maybe move on to a five or six. I have been playing for 12 years and I am still learning tricks on the four. I have had fives and sixes and they are fun, but to me they made me lazy and I couldn't play nearly as fast. i would strongly suggest starting with a P or J style bass with passive pickups and work your way into the $1500 six string. Just my opinion-
  15. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I don't think you will be satisfied with that for long (75 watts isnt much for a bass). As far as how many strings to get, it really depends on what you plan to do, you mentioned chordal stuff, and the extra strings would definetly come in handy for that. As far a an amp goes, I would recomend getting a some what less expensive bass and when ready get a killer amp. Look for good stuff in the amp, Bag End Aguilar ect. You will spend some more money, but it can also make your 500-600 bass sound better than a 1800 bass through the laney amp.
  16. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    Come on folks...guitar isn't a bad word, or a bad instrument. You're just put off by the egos that happen to take up the instrument... Some of the nicest people play guitar...as do some of the rudest most self centered people...

    At any rate, Optikill, I wouldn't recommend that you get rid of all of your guitar gear, I suspect that you'd miss it.

    As for a nice usable bass, a Fender Mexican made 5 string Jazz bass is quite nice for the money as are a number of other instruments. I've seen used ones (with onboard preamp) in the $350 and less range and paid quite a bit less than that for a brand new one at a special Guitar Center sale. I also have a Squier Precision Special 5 that has a nice wide, flat neck...works well for my big hands and cost less than $200. It sounds and plays amazingly well for such low cost. As for a 6 string, my Ibanez SR406A is a pleasure to play too.

    While most 6 string bassists tune their instrument B-E-A-D-G-C, folks like Tim Bogert tune their highest string to B like a guitar to facilitate chording. It's really all up to you.

    Amp wise, you'll need a lot more power than you would with guitar...5 to 10 times more. Used gear is really a bargain and you should be able to find a good amp for low $$$

    Good luck and welcome aboard!!!
  17. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    thanks for the suggestions as far as approach, but what basses and/or manufacturers should I be checking out? I'm just looking for a thick warm bottom end (I guess we all are).

    And also, what about the decsion between a 5 and 6? I never really considered a 4. I always thought I would get a 5 or 6.

    As for power as one mentioned. Will my Laney work for now?
  18. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    -Lakland Skyline
    -Fender P bass
    -Fender J Bass
    -Ibanez BTB
    -MTD Kingston

    And used is a great way of saving $$$ if you can try the basses first, and to a beginner, that is necessary.

    Also, putting aside some $$$ for a better amp would also be a good thing to do, but that's a discussion for a different forum!:D

    Again, congrats on the switch!:D :bassist:
  19. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Oh ya about 5 vs 6, 6 is pretty tough to learn on, so I'd suggest no more than a 5. No matter what you want to do, learning the basics is the most important thing.
  20. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    For now it will work, but if you play with a louder drummer or guitarist in a rock setting you will want more.

    As for basses I have been very impressed with the lakland 55 02. It is in my opinion from whatI have played the best bass at it's price point, and they are a steal used.

    Edit: oh and I personally don't like Fender 5s.