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Just got my bass!! Need Help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jkrobs, Feb 16, 2006.


  1. jkrobs

    jkrobs

    Feb 2, 2006
    Hi there, I just picked up my first ever bass guitar from my local shop..I love it. Looks beautifull sounds great! it's a Yamaha RBX-375..It is brand new, but was sitting on the wall of the shop..Before I took it home the guy tuned it for me and also put it in a box...

    but not the original box. It did not have any owners manual with it..so Im very confused as Im complete novice to bass. Can't even play one. anyway, Ive tryed palying it...but Im having big trouble with it. First it dam heavy and I can't seem to relax with it..all the strings seem tuned..but the thickest one..the Low B..(oh and by the way It's 5 string )

    Well the low B..seems not in tune, but he sayed it was fine. it makes a strange buzzing sound. Also Im not sure of the 4 buttons on it..and there a battery thing at the back..Im wondering if It's dead or not? Like a 9v batter. square battery thing. To be honest with you I love this bass..but I wanna feel comfortable..Im not sure where to start. Where do I press down on the string? on the metal line bits? or inbetween them? I know those are frets. It had 24 frets by the way. Please help me!!
     
  2. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Well, first of all, congrats on the bass!

    You really need to get a few minutes of very basic instruction about the parts of the bass and how it works. Take it back to the store you bought it from and ask them to help you understand what all of the knobs/switches do. That will at least get you started.

    If you can afford it, find a bass instructor and take a few lessons. If you can't afford a teacher, try and find a friend that plays and get him/her to give you a few tips.

    And of course, stay logged in here at TB. You'll get lots of opinion and advice, but some of it will be over your head and frustrating if you don't at least get a basic idea of how the bass works.

    So....

    You put your finger in between the frets, not on the fret itself. Sit down with the bass and balance it on your leg. If you anchor your thumb on the top of the pickup it'll give your hand some stability when plucking the strings, Start by plucking the strings with your index finger.

    The battery is part of the electronics on the bass, it supplies power for the pick-ups (and other stuff as well, but we'll just start there).

    The strings are generally tuned in 4ths, so your bass from low to high would be B-E-A-D-G. If you press down on the low string (the B) on the 5th fret and pluck the string, the tone should be the same as the next string up (the E) if you pluck the E without holding down on a fret. You can tune your bass by following that pattern on all strings .... press down on the 5th fret of a string and the plucked sound/tone should be the same as the next string if plucked open (not held down).

    I'm sure other info will be coming, but get back to the store and ask for some basic help ..... :cool:
     
  3. just to clarify, if you fret the b string at the 5th fret, you should get E, right? not the mentioned A.
     
  4. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    WOW!!!! That's a lot of questions!

    First, congratulations and welcome to the fraternity of those that play the greatest instrument in the world, and carry the torch for some of the most legendary players in history. Smiling? Good.

    I recommend picking up a beginner's book to start. There should be plenty to choose from at your music store. It will help you with the basics, and get you comfy with making a tone, and just holding the instrument properly. It should also get you started with some actual basic "playing". I don't know if there is one, but try to pick up a 5-string book if you can.

    Next, I would suggest some lessons. I'm sure that somewhere in your town, if not at the store, someone is teaching for not too much money. It's important that you consider that. Not only will you get started in playing that way, but you'll learn about the workings of your instrument.

    You have an "active" bass. In most basic terms, this means that your pickups(the square or rectangle plastic things under the strings), are powered for more output and tone. You do in fact have a 9V battery in your bass that makes that work. Your bass will not work without it, and as the battery begins to fade, there will be a drop in volume, and a loss of clean tone. Keeping at least a fairly new battery is pretty important. Also, don't leave your bass plugged in when you aren't playing it. It will continue to drain your battery, even if the amp is off.

    I've had students that were very uncomfortable at the beginning. It took a while to get a feel for holding the instrument. It took a while to develop a reasonable tone, etc... But don't worry, it will come. It's not instant for everyone. Hang in there, and have fun. You have embarked on a most joyous journey. The further you travel the road the more enlightened you will become.

    The discoveries and epiphanies are endless. The "cool factor" is the highest.

    Don't forget to visit this site often. There are a lot of great folks here who are eager to help, and really know their stuff. Best of luck to you!
     
  5. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    Wow, two of you posted while I was typing my response. See how eager we are?
     
  6. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    right ..... old age is a b*tch :rollno: ;) My idiotic response has been corrected above :D
     
  7. toad

    toad

    Jun 26, 2002
    NYC
    as far as the knobs go--the yamaha website says its Master Volume, Pan-Pot, and 2 band EQ. I'm sure you can figure out which is which if you fool around with it and listen.
     
  8. jkrobs

    jkrobs

    Feb 2, 2006
    Guys, thanks for your help. I hope Im not an embressement to people who play bass. Im gonna work hard. Well one thing I noticed was I checked out the battery and guess what the date is on it...It says March 2006. That baterry must be allmost dead? Im trying to find out from Yamaha website the date my guitar was made..I heard there was a website where you put in the serial of the guitar. Mine is on the back of the guitar. Better change that battery. Got some batteries in the ermengency Cupbaord.
    thanks for your help guys.
    Im gonna get a starter book for bass. ;) I can't wait to be able to play a song.
     
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Get a few lessons. Have someone show you how to hold the bass, how to properly position your hands and finger, etc. It's totally worth it! I don't believe you can learn those basics from a book or DVD, and without good basic skills, you will struggle.

    The book to get is Ed Friedland's series published by Hal Leonard.
     
  10. alanbass1

    alanbass1

    Feb 8, 2006
    London
    The ideal would be to get some basic tuition as you may quickly get frustrated and even turned off playing by using just a book. I know from when I was thirteen and got my first guitar along with a book, I just couldn't figure stuff out and assumed I was not cut out for playing. Only after two years, when a friend of my brother came round to our house, noticed the guitar and showed me a few things which I could actually relate to and play, was I hooked and I never looked back from that point. Is there a bass player or guitar player that you know that could give you some basics, just to get you started.
     
  11. StarMountainKid

    StarMountainKid

    Nov 6, 2005