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Intro / Questions

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by MO542, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. MO542


    Jan 6, 2006
    Hello all!

    First off I wanted to give an introduction and some background before I dive into the questions. I have played sports my whole life, but now that I’m a few years out of college (27) I’m coming to the realization that my life with sports is now over and I need a creative outlet. So I came to the conclusion that I should take on playing an instrument. So here I am!

    The main reason that I want to start playing is that I have had a great passion for music. I have stacks of CD’s that are taller than me. I listen to music constantly, any kind will do but I have my preferences. I enjoy tracking bands influences and picking a band and buying all of their CD’s and then buying all of the bands that influenced them to hear the similarities. I love finding bands that are awesome but you might not hear on the radio.

    The reason I picked bass is because it seems like everyone and their grandmother wants to play lead guitar and I wanted to be a little different. Plus I think it’s cool to be the guy laying the foundation. I have never played an instrument nor do I have any clue if I have any talent for music. It doesn’t matter to me though, because I believe that persistence and dedication can make up for lack of talent. I’m not looking to be the world’s greatest bassist, I just want to produce the thing that I love and have great passion for: music!

    I’ve been lurking this board for the past couple weeks and wearing out the search feature. So I gotten some info that is helpful, but I still have some questions.

    1)I know that everyone recommends Essex basses for beginners and that is what I’m going to get. However, I’m a little confused on what model to get. I’m looking for a more hard rock sound; think Queens of the Stone Age / Moistboyz. There is another consideration that I’m worried about; I have really big hands (my hands measure a little over 11 inches from my thumb to middle finger.) I want a bass that will feel comfortable for someone with big hands. My budget would be up to $200. Does anybody know which model will accommodate my needs?

    2)I’m really, really confused on amps. From what I’ve read, I think a combo amp would be good for me. I’m a total music beginner so I may not need something to gig with for a while. I’m mainly looking for something that I can practice with and learn the instrument. I’m also looking for a hard rock sound. I know that people say not to skimp on an amp, but I’m not sure what will meet my needs. Any recommendations?

    3)From reading posts for the past couple weeks. I know that I need to develop my ears, learn to read music, and develop timing. I’ve already started learning how to read music and I go to one of those online metronomes while I’m a work and tap my foot just to get a feel for how to keep timing. I’m looking for exercises that can help me develop musically. I want to start with the basics because I’m a total beginner to music. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for any help!!!!!
  2. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Get a good inexpensive bass. The SX are good or a Fender MIM (made in Mexico). A combo amp is a very good idea, don't worry about a big one, just go for a good sound.

    GET WITH A TEACHER! Most important. They will SAVE YOU TIME. They can help move your progress to the next logical step and keep you from getting into bad habits and answer questions that might take days to figure out.

    No need to spend a lot of money right now on gear, in about 6 months you'll know if you want to spend more and the important choices can wait until then.

    Stop planning to do this... DO IT TODAY!
  3. I think you'll be fine with any bass size. If I can play a 13.75 in scale length mandolin comfortably with a 9.5 inch thumb to middle span, then you'll be fine with 11 inches on a 34 inch or so bass. 1.45 3
  4. MO542


    Jan 6, 2006
    Can you recommend a specific combo amp that has good sound and is fairly inexpensive (under $400)?
  5. DeepCalls2Deep


    Jun 25, 2005
    East Texas
    welcome to the deep end :)

    looks like others have or will be answeing your questions...

    I want to leave you with one piece of advice...

    Being a former athlete, you are probably familiar with "the wall" .... music has the wall also... when you hit it, do NOT give up.. you will get over it eventually!

    Good luck, and have fun!
  6. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    I think you are off to a dandy start.

    Consider getting back on that search function and check out threads which contain "easy songs" "beginner songs" ..etc etc. Learning other material will give you a kickstart to different styles.

    Before I answer any more questions though, I have a question for you.

    You mentioned you were an athelete. Did you pick on, pester, beat up or terrify the band geeks when you were in school?

  7. MO542


    Jan 6, 2006
    Absolutely not! I had a lot of friends that were in the band. I’m not your typical meathead athlete. I’m actually a programmer now. So I guess you could say that I’m a geek in a meatheads body! :D

    Anyhow, any help you could give me to the questions above would be greatly appreciated. I want to get playing quickly, but I want to do my research before I make any investments.
  8. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    The info you received in this thread alone will keep you busy for quite a while. We all were where you are now.

    Since you are a programmer perhaps further responses shall be answered in binary.

  9. Get a teacher! If only for a few lessons. He'll make sure that you don't use the wrong technique, which is VERY bad later on.

    Listening guide. Check out the best bassists there are, in every genre of music. Search is your friend here.

    As far as gear goes: I'm not commenting on the basses (you seem to have made up your mind there, good thing). I started with the Peavey Microbass, which is a great beginner amp (look up the details if you want to know more). Don't get an amp in the 80-100-150w-range. Imho, they're too underpowered to gig, and the money you invest in the extra watts you can't use could better be saved to buy a decent gigging amp.
  10. +1 to JDT's amp suggestion.

    There is no reason for you to spend anywhere close to (as you say "up to") $400 on an amp. I don't know how much small combo go for today, but I would spend almost as much time searching for an amp (even your starting one) as you did for your bass.

    Whatever you do, get in lessons. -hmm- I hate the phrase, "You need to take some lessons!" The reason is because EVERYONE needs to take some lessons. Taking lessons can only help you; and you'll be bass-to-bass with a guy (or gal) who knows his stuff. I don't recommend shoveling out tons of cash for the best possible teacher available, but I also don't recommend letting a friend teach you or someone who primarily plays guitar teach you. This is because a friend (unless they already give lessons) may be really talented (and should be used as a resource alongside a teacher), but a friend doesn't have the experience of teaching lessons to know how to motivate you and get you to where you need to be. (I speak from experience, me being the friend trying to teach someone to play on a few occasions...haha, maybe I'm a bad teacher or I have shallow friends. Haha.). I am wary of guitarist teachers simply on the fact that they might incorporate techniques that shouldn't be used as a primary technique on bass, and play off their pseudo-bass technique for real knowledge. However, this is just my bias. I have met a very talented bass teacher who primarily teaches guitar.

    Whew ok, I talk too much.