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Just starting.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Danny E., Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Danny E.

    Danny E.

    Apr 16, 2006
    Hello, I'm new to these forums and to anything musical for that matter. I've never played a guitar or bass, don't know how to read notes, I was in a school band once but that was in the third grade with a violin for about a semester, its been six years since then (yes, I am a freshman in highschool). I am, so to speak, fresh outa' the womb.

    I've no idea why but the electric bass just appeals to me. Maybe I just like the sound, maybe It's my need to be unique in a guitar/drums oriented community, whatever the reasoin I'm on the market for a beginer's bass.

    As I said I'm completely new to the music scene. I read things like Fender, Ibanez, or any other brand name but I don't know what that means. One of my other hobbies is airsoft. I know what makers' reputations are. If I'm looking for a matal body I go to Classic Army. If I'm looking for easily upgradable I go to ICS. If I'm looking for cheap POS I go to CYMA. Sorry to bring up unfarmiliar terms but now you know what I'm talking about. I guess what I'm asking is What brands are trusted and what should a beginer like me should stay away from?

    Is there a place that defines all the terms of bass? While I look around I see things like MIM or MIA, J and P, I have learned the different parts of a bass like the neck, frettboard, pick ups, body, but stuff like styles and designs I have not found anything on yet.

    Well, I am looking for my first bass. All I have established is that I want a 4-string fretted electric bass thats around 250-300 and thats it. What are some other things I should consider when lookin at a bass?

    Well that's about it. I'm a quick learner if my mind is set to it. I've checked out the newbie FAQ thread. Doesn't really help much, It says what I should know, but not about what I should know.
  2. Most people here will advise you to look at SX (Essex) although I've never played one the amount of talk here about them says to me that they are worth it. For my first bass i was told to buy the worst POS I could find to learn on, I bought a Rockaxe P-bass rip off, the strings were about an inch off the fretboard and it sucked, but when I bought my Yamaha I really appreciated what learning on a crappy axe had done.
  3. jim1457


    Mar 29, 2006
    Honolulu Hawaii
    >>Is there a place that defines all the terms of bass? While I look around I see things like MIM or MIA, J and P, I have learned the different parts of a bass like the neck, frettboard, pick ups, body, but stuff like styles and designs I have not found anything on yet.<<

    MIA= Made in America
    P= Precision
    J= Jazz
    (P and J are classic, time tested Fender designs)
    There's a couple I don't know either, but I can't think of them right now.

    For your first bass, I think you should look for something used. Not POS, but nothin fancy either, that way you won't have to take such a loss when it's time to resell it. Try to find someone local that can help you find, and choose, a good deal. Someone who can test drive it for you... and I don't mean the salesman at the local shop.

    Best of luck to you.
  4. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    +1 on the SX bass. Great quality and easy on your wallet. I gig constantly with a mildly upgraded SX myself. It's an instrument that will last you for years. Have a tech set it up for you, and you're good to go. You should do this regardless of what brand you decide to buy. It'll be better for you to learn on a properly set up bass. It's money well spent.

    As for the definitions... here are a few you'll see a lot

    MIM refering to Fenders Made in Mexico
    MIA " " " Made in America
    MIJ or CIJ Made in Japan or Crafted in Japan

    P --- Fender Precision or copy

    J ---- Fender Jazz bass or copy

    Hope this helps a little.
    Remember to have fun while you learn to play.
  5. Rockman


    Mar 2, 2006
    Basically i wouldn't pay attention to brand names, because then you will get to the store, say i want a Fender, i am not saying that is a bad thing, but when you get your first bass, tell the guy your money range and he will show yopu available basses, play them take one home. Of course you could always rent a crappy one froma local music store and then decide it sucks, but you still want to play, soi you go out and get your own.
  6. I am a firm believer in getting good equipment. Your first bass should be one of good quality and tone. you dont wnat to buy something of cheap quality. you will hate it. Remember you dont have to buy one right away. dont let the sales person talk you into it. If you like the fender type basses, You may want to check out SX basses (below). You made a good move posting on this forum. I am sure others will give you advice and guide you. As others mentioned, I also heard good from SX basses. You can search ESSEX or SX, but be prepared to spend a few hours reading all the posts. :) There are a bunch of people using them for live gigs also. www.rondomusic.com sells them.

    Good Luck
    Let us know what you end up with
  7. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    SX is probably the way to go.
  8. mahc


    Nov 14, 2005
    San Diego, CA
    I also recommend the SX basses at rondomusic. I bought my first bass there and its a good bass for its price. Its about $150 including shipping, which is really cheap. You can use the rest of your money to buy an amp. Also if there is a guitar center near you, go to it and just play every bass there (in your budget)..find out which basses you feel most comfortable with
  9. Hey man, where's your credit to Tokyo Marui:D Yeah, their arent full metal bodies, but the hop-ups are godly. I love my TM M-4.

    But anyway, as far as basses go, I also agree that you should go as good as you can afford as your first. If you have crappy gear, your gonna sound like crap, and sounding like crap isnt much motivation to keep playing.

    I definatly say look for a good used bass. Check local stores first. Any bass you purchas, you want to make sure you like how it FEELS before you buy it, so don't order anything you havent played. Look around for a used Ibanez BTB (I got mine for 350), or a used Ibanez Soundgear. Maybe look into some used MIM Fenders. Play lots of different basses and find what you like, then buy it.

    And don't worry about an amp just yet. Maybe try and borrow a small one from a friend or something, but in your eairly stages its not as nessicary. I didn't own an amp of my own until I was playing for about 6 months.
  10. clanner

    clanner Token Black Guy.

    Apr 27, 2005
    ummmmm, marietta GA
    just go to the nearest instrument store near you, be it small mom and pop style (normally better customer service & knowledge IME) or a guitar center type store (wal-mart esque of the guitar music world) or sometime a store that an in between. multiple stores with a wide selection and a knowledgeable staff. and play everything in you price range until you find something you like.
  11. Danny E.

    Danny E.

    Apr 16, 2006
    There is a music shop around here, I think I'll go and look around there.

    What is the difference between P and J designs? And if there is a clear cut answer, which is better?

    Also, why does it matter where the bass was made? Are different countries know for different QC?
  12. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    I'm new to all this too--started out December. I'd say definitely get something you like the feel, sound and the looks of; it'll make you want to practice. You can try out a few basses at your local store and then order the one you like for less online...lots of good deals online. I'd also recommend a chromatic tuner as it makes life simpler. You can find free metronomes online.

    This is a great site. I've had nice, intelligent people help me with everything from setting up a used bass to finding Bach scores.

    Good luck! :)
  13. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    J[azz] Bass

    P[recision] Bass

    The Jazz has a slightly different shaped body, a thinner neck, and you can see is has two small skinny pickups (jazz pickups, or jazz pups for short) opposed the the pickup style on the Precision (P pup). The Precision will get you a more thicker, thumpier sound ala motown(of course there is more than one sound that you can get out of it, but this is just giving you a main example) The jazz will get you a huge range of sounds, from guys liek Jaco Pastorius, Geddy Lee (Rush), or Marcus Miller (all of which a bass player should really know of)

    There is no better or worse, it's all preference.

    As far as the place where it is made is concerned, with fender the order goes, MIM, MIJ or CIJ, and the MIA. MIM being the cheapest, and lowest quality, MIA being the most expensive, and nicest quality, and MIJ sitting in the middle. Of course some people will argue this, there are some materials on the MIAs that are not used on the MIJs, and the MIM.
  14. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    I can't really help you too much, since I myself learned on a Squier Affinity P bass. It's good to learn on, but not really that great of an instrument. If you didn't know, Squier is like a little brother company to Fender. Those instruments are made in Korea, so the quality's lower, but they're good for beginners.

    I can't really recommend an SX, but I've only heard good things about it. People tend to compare them to entry-level Fenders (or MIM's), so it's probably a good instrument. As for P vs. J, it's really up to you. I'd say go to a music shop and try them out and see what you like. You could also go to PJ route (P pickup at the neck and J at the bridge). I've got one of those right now (a Spector, actually), and I can tell you you can get alot of sounds out of it.

    Anyway, don't worry about reading music (although it wouldn't hurt if you learned how to). Really it's easier to read tabs. And if you REALLY wanna make it easier to learn a song, I HIGHLY suggest you getting Power Tabs. What it does is show the tabs (also the actual sheet music), and plays it along with a midi file, so you can hear the song being played (sort of) and see what goes where. I've seriously learned songs much quicker with it.

    But hey, welcome to the world of bass. Hope you find a love for the instrument.
  15. Danny E.

    Danny E.

    Apr 16, 2006
    Is it important not to buy anything you haven't played?Becaue I was thinking of buying this:


    but I dont know if I'll be able to find a music store to test drive it at.

    And would you say this is a good choice?
  16. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    it seems fine. i'd probably get a similar style bass (PJ) for my first one. it gives you a bit of both.
  17. Danny E.

    Danny E.

    Apr 16, 2006
    Oh, I forgot to ask.

    What is reffered to with the terms "active" and "pasive"? Also what is the differnce?

    I know these questions must sound really "newbish", but everybody was new to this at one point in their career.
  18. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I believe in getting something that feels good and works for you if you get something that appeals to you physicaly as well as visually it's really makes you want to play it more.

    There are plenty of inexpensive "stater" basses out there to choose from. Go to the local Guitar Center or other large music stores and check them out. You can find a good quality starter bass from Ibanez, Epiphone, Yamaha, and Peavey at a price less than $250.00. The big music stores like GC and Sam Ash usually have a large supply of starter gear on hand.

    Go to the GC or SA and play with the basses even if you don't know what you are doing. You will find some just feel better to you, maybe it's lighter or the fretboard feels better because it's thinner it's all up to you.

    You can get some good advice in here but it's advice not direction. Take it for what it's worth to you but you will have to make your own choice.

    As for "active & Passive" it's refeering to the bass having it's own pre amp built into the bass or the pick ups are powered with their own power supply. Active basses require one and sometimes two 9 volt batteries. Both options send a stronger signal to the external amp or mixing board and give you more EQ options to vary your tone. The term passive means the bass has no pre-amp or seperate power supply for the pick ups. The Fender Jazz and P-bass are passive basses. My advice would be to go with a passive for your first bass. It's one less thing to worry about and it doesn't really benefit you as a beginning player.

    Good luck.
  19. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Good choice, but unless you're near Union, New Jersey, there is a very slim chance you will be able to test it - thats Rondo's only store.

    On the other hand, if you don't like it or antyhing, Kurt at Rondo is very helpful with customer service...

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