Learning bass w/out an amp?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by aszl3j, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. aszl3j


    Jun 29, 2008

    I always wanted to learn bass and I finally purchased my ESP LTD B-50 beginner bass :). The problem I am facing right now is deciding whether or not it is possible to become a pretty decent bassist by just practicing on headphones?

    I am going to be moving into the city in a few months and would imagine that playing bass on an amp, while living in an apartment building would not be a good idea.

    So I actually have a couple questions:

    1. How likely is it to become a decent bassist while only practicing on headphones? Do you recommend any specific gear for that?

    2. How many of you live in apartment buildings and still play with an amp? How do you manage not to disturb your neighbors?

    Oh, and also: Hello to everyone - I'm new here :).
  2. Dude, there are plenty of low-power combos out there for cheap money that sound decent & with small form factor (like 8" speakers) that actually sound pretty decent, and most of those have auxilliary ins so you can hook up a cd player too, and practice the whole deal through the speaker or headphones....

    A win-win, and they won't produce earth shaling lows so yer new neighbors won't get pissed....best of luck on the move...and your future bass-ing.
  3. LzeroKI


    Dec 24, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    A friend of mine learned to play bass without using an amp, he just dug so hard that he could hear the notes acoustically. Consequently, anytime he is plugged in his tone is terrible becuase its 90% fret buzz and 10% awful technique.

    My question is what sort of rig will you be using to play through headphones?

    Also, I agree with Mon, save up a few bucks and hit up a pawn shop for a small (8 or 10 inch), low watt combo.
  4. Arsenal_Fierce


    May 28, 2008
    Welcome! I'm fairly new myself, both to the forums and the instrument.

    I live in an apartment and have a 15w First Act amp, which sounds pretty good. I usually plug headphones in so I don't tick off the neighbors, but sometimes I just play without the amp since I can hear my strings fairly well anyway. Occasionally I'll play with the amp alone, keeping the volume low, and I haven't received any complaints yet. If you're not cranking it, it really isn't that much different than having a stereo or tv on (heck, I think my downstairs neighbors' tv is usually louder than my amp).
  5. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Welcome to TB!

    Picking up a cheap, low power practice amp is a great idea just so you can get a little volume, and I'm sure if you keep your eyes peeled, you can find a good deal. I found a tiny little (I believe) 8" speaker Epiphone practice amp at a church yard sale for $10 once, and that thing is still kicking (doesn't sound too bad, either, as long as the bass is passive). A small bit of volume won't disturb anyone.

    However, I've been playing for probably around 10 years at this point, and would estimate that 90% of my practice time has been down unamplified. I typically only plug in when I'm playing with others. I can hear/feel what I'm doing just fine.