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Looking for a bass for the other half.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SeanNeedham, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Just popped the question this afternoon, to my other half to see if she would be interested in learning how to play a bass; as she keeps "regretting" not learning to play anything when she was younger and she said yes enthusiastically.

    Now, I'm looking for something that'll suit her hands more than my Jazz V as whilst I find that quite comfortable, her hands are a lot smaller than mine.

    In terms of what I'm looking for as this will come out of my pocket I think (but it's an excuse for GAS by-proxy), is a 34" scale 4 string that isn't too heavy, and has a thin and narrowish neck and all in for less than 500€ and fairly local (UK/Continental Europe) to me; as if she doesn't keep up with it the instrument will end up in my hands as a spare/backup.

    What I'm currently thinking is a Squier VM PJ, or a Ray4 as I'm thinking that she'll find them easier to balance when sat with compared to a Jazz (which would be my first choice if I was going for it myself), and half considering a Hohner B2a for the weight/size factor whilst retaining full scale.

    Anyone got any interesting suggestions regarding what sort of instrument would fit in to this category? I'm not adverse to going secondhand (well, probably will as more wiggle room for the money); and looking sometime mid February as a potential purchase date.

    Thanks in advance for any help offered.
  2. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    I'd agree that a second hand 4 string bass would be the best way to start.
  3. javadog


    Mar 13, 2010
    Currently I am enamored with the Ibanez Mikro bass, which has a 28.6 inch scale and comes in a 4 and 5 string. They are a bargain too at right around $180 to $200 new.
  4. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    I have a Gretsch Junior Jet II. It's short-scale, not 34", but it was sold to me as being more comfortable for people with smaller hands, or people who learned to play guitar before BASS. I have to say that I've been quite satisfied with it as a first bass, and it was quite economical.
  5. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005
    Ibanez and Yamaha make lightweight, inexpensive basses with thin necks. Just throwin' that out there.

    But if you're looking for a more Fender-y or classic style, I like your picks with a pref for the Squier (I like P pickups, no other reason).
  6. Thanks all for the suggestions so far, certainly room for thought there! That Gretsch looks rather nice, just trying to work out where there may be a local shop with one to try out.

    The reason I'm looking for a Fender style bass is because it's a solid point of common reference (though I've been looking at the Yamaha stuff for myself, quite like some of them) as if I wander in with something that looks different then knowing my other half she wouldn't see it as "the same thing"; she's an odd case with things like that!

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78!

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    I just bought my 13 yr old daughter a used Peavey Millenium from Guitar Center.

    2 'Jazz' pickups, VERY light with a VERY,VERY thin and comfortable neck (a little jealous here:) ).

    It really does sound pretty decent and plays so easily.

    Paid $140.00 US.
  8. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005
    I totally get that, heck, I prefer more classic looking basses. :)
  9. Formula144


    Sep 27, 2011
    If you need a small neck, the Squire Jaguar SS has a very thin neck. It is a 30" scale. I think the 34" VM Jag also has a fairly thin neck as the current Squiers go.
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Bought one of these for my teen son. Surprisingly good, totally cool Fender vibe.
  11. The Peavy and the Jaguar both are nice suggestions I'd not thought of, I used to have a Peavy Cirrus V many moons ago, and I regret getting rid of that, but it was a case of being young and dumb and thinking the grass was greener.

    As for the Jaguar, that's a tempting option as well, I'll have to see if I can find one about and have a look at it.

    At the moment, I'm going to try her with the Jazz V, just to see how she gets on with the fret and string spacings (as she seems to be ok with the length of the beast the few times she's played it), and then make the decision on that in terms of scale length.
  12. I got to the end of the third paragraph and was ready to suggest a Squier VM PJ, then you mentioned it yourself! That or the Ray4 would both be great first basses.

    I find the PJ very comfortable, the neck is 1.625" at the nut but very thin front to back, great for small hands. The Ray has a narrower nut width, 1.5", but the one I tried was a bit chunkier in thickness - definitely not a baseball bat feel though.

    Both of those basses come in some great looking colours, too
  13. Thanks all for the suggestions so far, I've got a fair list here to be working through now, what with the VM P/J, the Jaguars, the Ray4, the Gretsch and the Peavey.

    It's about time to start putting some shoe leather down and getting round the music shops and having a look, whilst getting her on the Jazz and seeing how she responds to it. All in all, I'll be trying to get hold of the instrument back end of next month at the latest, so it can spend a couple of days with my tame tech as whilst I'm not avert to setting one up I don't really want to let the game away, so it's here for her birthday at the beginning of March.
  14. VintageBassGuy


    Dec 28, 2013
    Epiphone SG used?
  15. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    This was my initial thought. Nice bass to learn on. Nice weight and balance. Body's not too big. Nice neck.
    Very cool she wants to learn.
  16. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    This, highly recommended.

    but I'm biased. :)

    Stop by any of the club threads, lots of information there.
  17. The SG is a nice suggestion as well, may have to think in to that a little.

    I've been looking at the SX kit as there seems to be a lot of love on these boards for them, but where I am they aren't that cheap compared to other basses; which is a crying shame because some of their bodies would make an interesting base for a project machine.

    The SS Ursa out where I am would set me back about 380$ including transport (in Spain) for a new one compared to 330$ for a Jaguar SS locally, and I wouldn't like to estimate how much one would cost shipped from Rondo would be as there's the compulsory hard case purchase, then the shipping and then also the potential of import tax on a bass that wouldn't be covered by any warranty.
  18. I'm well stoked that she does, because she's always saying how she regrets not learning an instrument at school, and now I've got back in to playing she's been really keen on it and when I said to her if she would like to have a try at playing she bit my hand off like a rabid dog!

    Only problem(s) I can see with it, is if she gets better than I do and starts wandering off with my kit, and if she's playing, then I reckon it'll only be a matter of time before the niece asks about it as well.

    I've been having a read on the club threads, and I'll drop by closer to the time when I've made some decisions on the end point. I wish I had this sort of resource available with this goldmine of info when I started playing when I was at school. I'd have probably saved myself a ton of cash on the bad decisions and thin advice regarding the bass back then.
  19. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    First off, congratulations to you both for taking this journey. Never too late for music.

    Now I'll suggest this as a secondary/plan B sorta thing; offer to teach her guitar as an alternative, that way the two of you can play together.

    Can't suggest a bass, don't know what's out there.

    Good luck.