Hmmm.. Its a common point of view that its better to get a good bass. Not in my opinion. I started out playing on a Washburn xb-120. It was garbage. There were soooo many dead spots on the neck, the fretboard was completely undressed (usually touching undressed things is better....), so I cut myself a bunch. The sound quality was pretty bad no matter how I played it. The action was terrible (partially my own fault) and I think I remember it being pretty heavy. But didnt it pay off in a big way? I got used to hitting the strings HARD to get them down, and thats also sort of how I learned to synchronize myself. My fingers also got a lot stronger. I learned to make my own sound with my fingers. I also got calluses up the wazoo. Isnt the lesson we should be sending to new bass players that they should play the crappiest bass available? Think about how much you would have learned had you started out on a Fodera. As one person I once met put it, Foderas practically play themselves. What do you learn out of that? I mean... besides the fact that he IS actually that much better than pretty much everyone (IMO)... isnt part of the reason why Victor Wooten is so good because his bass practically plays itself (I am NOT saying hes not good... Im saying that it really helps him out that his bass is so easy to play). No pain no gain?