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

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

  1. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder

    Congrats on your choice to learn the bass! I started out on g$%tar and wish I had picked up the bass from the beginning.

    I'll add this. Yes, learning the basics is great, but if you've been playing guitar for a while, you should already be familiar with scales, modes, sheet music and tablature, and the basic fingerboard overall. With that said, if you're leaning towards a 6 string, go for it. Regardless of 4, 5, or 6 strings there are only 12 notes in the western scales that we all know and love.

    Start listening to everything you can get your hands on from a bassist POV, and start learning the bass lines from as much stuff as you can.

    I love my old p-bass, but it doesn't get played that much anymore due to the lack of the low B string. Seems like every project I've been involved with in the last few years makes use of those notes below E, and several sessions I've been to were all concerned `cause they tuned down a half or whole step. No biggie on my 6'ers, I can get down low when needed without having to retune my whole bass.

    A 75 watt amp is okay for a practice amp, but as soon as you start playing with other musicians it's not going to cut the mustard. With bass, the more power the better to increase your head room. As they say in drag racing, "There is no replacement for displacement". I would suggest nothing under 200W at 8 ohms for a bass head, regardless of the brand. 300W - 500W, or more at 8 ohms is even better! Those low notes really need a lot of power to be created properly with a solid fundamental and no distortion.

    I agree with many of the above posts in that there is no need to go overboard and spend$1800 on your first bass. You can get a really, really nice bass, even a 6'er for much less than that. Play as many as you can before buying one. The Yamaha TRB series have very wide string spacing, Carvin's are a bit narrower, etc.

    Hope this helps, and again, welcome to the Bottom!

  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Welcome to TB!

    Me too I converted from guitar...:D as did many of us here. So looking for a bass to begin that has 5+ strings? Well, most of the aforementioned basses are good and theres a reason they said that: either they are a great budget bass (I mean great compared to their price) or simply great overall, but for a bit more.

    Try out as many basses as you can and you'll see which one you will like. One great bass company they didnt mention much so far is Warwick; my Corvette 6 is a great bass and cost me about $1550 made for me; so, if you can, try a used Warwick. oh BTW try some other high-end basses too in your price range (maybe some used Alembics or Moduluses) The only hazard is that if it turns out that bass isnt for you after all... but that doesnt look possible, does it ;)
  3. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...
    I used to play GUITAR (heh, bad mouth guitars) but I sold it for a bass, I do miss the guitar though, I would suggest starting on a 4 string, no it dosent have to be 'cheap' you can go get a Fender American Deluxe or a used MM Stingray, those are two top of the line four strings that WILL tickle your fancy, and after some time, work your way up to a 5 or 6 string, but I would suggest giving the bass time on a four string first.

    Hope this helps! :D
  4. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...
    Ohh, if you still like the guitar, try to learn some Dream Theater, or Joe Satriani, they are two of the best guitarists ever and I think you will enjoy there kind of music (progressive metal)
  5. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    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.


    Try out a Spector Czech Rebop 5, this meets all your criteria and budget, they come with EMG active electronics, the lows are awesome and the mids and highs cut very well, your cab and head set up will have something to do with your overall tone as well.
  6. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    awesome awesome awesome guys!!!!

    I love the help and support. The only thing of concern for me is how many strings to get. I don't want to limit myself (I hope you understand what I'm trying to say).

    But through your all's advice I have decided to very seriously check out the use market (ebay, are there other used sources?). Which only brings me back to - how many strings?

    Thanks Everyone!
  7. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
  8. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    oh yeah! the bases i need to put on the short list need to have a wide string spacing (because of my big fingers).

    Hope this helps!

    as for my research - i've found a few brands that i'm intersted in. I have in the past played several but please let me know if i've wandered in the wrong direction - okay?

    here's the list:
    Modulus Quantum series
    Tobias buzz series?
    Music Man series
    Warwick Thumb
    Lakland 5594

    I know this is getting to be a fairly long thread. I do appreaciate all that everyone offers. It is so very much appreciated!!!!

  9. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    get a 5, you got big paws and you can tune beadg or eadgc, with c tuning and your guitar background you could ripp it up pritty good I imagine, in a nut shell its more versitle and it may feel more comfortable in your hands.
  10. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    As for the thumb, it's got a bit of a balance (neck dive) problem, and unless it has THAT tone, I'd suggest a Corvette. It's not good to get used to bad balance on a bass.

    Also, unless you're 100% SURE that you will LOVE the bass, those are some pretty expensive basses, not saying that it's wrong to have them, but... just know if bass is for you or not. But then again, if the "buyer's time" thingy is true, then go for it!

    And string-wise, I'd say 5 string, again. You can do some decent chording on it, and 6 might be a bit steep to learn. I'd really recommend a 5...

    Anyway, those are all great basses, but quite different. And tone, Warwick has definitely warm bottom end (especially with woods like Bubinga or Shedua), so check those out. A Corvette growls like a fricin wolf...:D

  11. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    i've just not had the time to check out basses over the years so i have no idea what makes one bass better "tone wise" for what i'm looking for....

    I'm looking to play rock, metal, funk, jazz...

    (in that order of frequency played material.)

    I'm a complete riff fiend. i just love learning new riffs and lines. I just want a bass with a warm bottom end with a very punchy midrange - of course i grew up admiring the chops of flea...

    i think you all have helped me settle on a 5 so.... That's deffinitely what i'm looking for.
  12. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    everyone else is suggesting budget options, so here i am to break the trend

    a modulus quantum 5 would be my choice with that kind of budget. a new one won't fit anywhere close to $1800, but used they run $1200-1500. Neck/headstock completely made of graphite. neverending sustain. tone monster. slap sound like your mom wouldnt believe :eek: :eek: :eek:

  13. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
  14. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    hey bro... another converted dental-flosser here... in fact, I was just playing around with my MIM 60's Strat through my Line 6 AX2... :D

    That modulus is cool... and I certainly do love the sound... but I am a diehard Lakland freak... you might want to check out the Skylines, which are all killer basses, or maybe even that 55-94 you mentioned in a post above. I just got my grubby little fingers on a 55-94 and it is the coolest bass I have ever seen or ever played... IMHO, of course!


    [email protected]
  15. jazzcatb17


    Dec 27, 2002
    Louisville, Ky
    look bro, im saying you buy something hi end used, so you can get full resale back if you change your mind. Also, just play a six string, if it doesnt feel to big, just go for it. All this hogwash about learning the basics on a four string is just that. Anything you do on a four you can do on a six. So if you think you want a six, just go with it
  16. Why not start with a much less expensive bass?

    If you get a decent workable bass for $200 and under then you cna test the waters without having to make major financial changes. I assume that the dollar amount quoted includes the sale of your guitar gear. Which you wouldn't have to do with a low cost bass.

    Sure it won't have the tone of a really high end bass, but then again, until you get some experience, you won't have much use for it either. The important thing would be to experience how a bass plays, and whether you like it or not, and learning the fretboard and the techniques.

    Most importantly you wouldn't have made an almost irreversible decision which you might regret. You might find that you really like playing the bass for a time but that you really prefer the guitar. You might find yourself re-energized for the guitar by playing the bass for a time.

    *shrug* and there are a huge number of low cost basses out there that a great many bassists enjoy.

    Just my two shekels.

  17. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    Thanks for the help. I've played bass before - to me it's just more fun - bass players have all the fun. They get to lay down the groove and get to be a big part of the reason you tap your toes to a tune.

    As of right now, I don't think I will sell my guitar. I think I will keep it around just a little longer (we will see....)

    As for further progress I got a chance to check out some basses, but I didn't get to play around too much. so.... just a getting the feel and plucking just a little bit.... so i haven't had a chance to decide on tone. i really don't know what to look for in that. i just want something a little agressive but fairly meaty.

    the basses i think that will make the chopping block:
    (all 5 strings)
    Lakland 5594
    Warwick streamer series
    Modulus Quantum and new Flea series
    Zon sonus
    Music Man Stringray

    (all of these would either be bought new or used)

    I just want to jam guys!!!

    Thanks so much - this place has been so awesome with all the insight. This place just rocks!
  18. I'd also suggest bookmarking http://www.activebass.com and checking it out. I hit the site during my lunch hour when I play my bass instead of gaining weight. :)

    It's got a lot of nice features that would take too long to list. Instead I'd suggest looking for yourself.

  19. Very good advice. And I'm older and Wiser too! LOL
    I might suggest an early 70's SVT head as well, but that ashdown VU meter definatly has the cool factor going for it!
  20. optikill


    Aug 1, 2003
    I'm taking notes ;-) I already have a "wish list" running. My birthday is coming up as well !!!

    I know that I want a 5 - are any of the 5's i listed very versatile? the modulus flea 5 string is looking mighty mighty tasty.