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My First Bass Guitar/Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by broken keyboard, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. broken keyboard

    broken keyboard

    Feb 28, 2016
    Hi, I've been reading some of the threads and there's a lot of good advice here so I decided to jump on board so I could ask some questions of my own.

    I play acoustic and electric guitar but I want to learn bass. So I recently bought a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar in silver. It's a short scale guitar. Got it on sale for $150 and thought it would be a good guitar to learn on but there's a couple of things I'm unsure about.

    I'm wondering for someone just learning the bass, if maybe I'm starting off in the wrong direction learning on a short-scale guitar?

    And for my first bass amp, I'm wondering if it would it be wise to get a powerful enough amp to jam with others (drummer and guitar player) so I can jump right in when I'm ready rather than buying a low powered practice amp and then having to upgrade later?

    Any advice would be really appreciated as I'm hoping to avoid making common beginner mistakes. Thanks.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  2. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Plenty of people play short-scale with no desire to play long scale...it shouldn't be a problem. Also, you can easily find replacement strings...flatwounds or tapewounds...when you decide to change strings.
    Your Jaguar is a pretty good bass to learn on...plenty of tonal options with that pickup combo.
    I'd definitely suggest at least 100 watts when it comes to an amp, even 150 or more if you can afford one.

    Peavey MAX 112 II 1x12" Bass Combo Amplifier with DDT

    Fender Rumble 150 2013 Black | Reverb
    The Fender is used but the new Rumble amps are available everywhere.
  3. broken keyboard

    broken keyboard

    Feb 28, 2016
    Good to know the short scale isn't going to be a problem with learning. So if I did want to jump to long scale down the road, after I'm more experienced, it shouldn't be much of an adjustment?

    And regarding the amp, I really want something that will rock and sound good. That's one thing I feel will keep my motivated is if my amp sounds really good and rocks hard when I want it to. Being a guitar player one thing I know is it's better to spend more of your budget on a good amp verses the guitar. A nice expensive guitar will sound like crap through a crappy amp but a decent inexpensive guitar will still sound awesome through a really good amp. I got that Jag really cheap but I'm prepared to buy a nice amp. Just not sure if a good powerful bass amp will still sound good turned way down when I'm practicing?
  4. The amp in my practice room is a little 5 watt POS. It sounds like crap for a bass , has almost no real bass response , but I can hear the notes very clearly on it. Tone for practice isn't a big deal for me. Hearing the notes clearly is. On occasion , I go down to the band room and practice on a 250 watt bass amp with an 8 10 cabinet turned down very low. Still sounds darn good.
    If you think you will be jamming any time in the near future , I would suggest at least a 200 watt amp. The Fender Rumble combos are pretty nice for this. They are fairly light , loud enough , don't cost an arm and a leg , and have a reputation for getting the job done.
    (Oh crap...... can an Ampeg guy like me even make a statement like that?) :nailbiting:
  5. Cuzzie

    Cuzzie Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    A good combo amp will do the job

    I have a TC Electronic BG250 115, been no bother

    Short scale fine, good move coming from geetarrr
  6. broken keyboard

    broken keyboard

    Feb 28, 2016
    Thanks for the suggestion. I do think/hope I'll be jamming sometime in the near future. I been playing guitar for many years so hopefully the transition to bass will go smoothly and I'm able to begin laying down some cool bass lines relatively soon.

    By the way, speaking of Ampeg, I just bought an Ampeg PF800 800W Class D Bass Head. I was looking at the PF350/500 but got a great deal on the PF800 ($386.99 w/free ship). Now I just need a good cab.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
    sharkbait130 likes this.
  7. That PF800 is a great head. Great tone and plenty of guts with a good cab. As always , my preferred cab is an 8 10. The PF800 will also pair well with a 6 10 or a couple of 2 12's.
  8. broken keyboard

    broken keyboard

    Feb 28, 2016
    What about just a single 12" speaker cab for the PF800 for now? I have a spare cab with a single 12" Celestion guitar speaker in it right now. Could I just buy a 12" bass speaker and swap it into this cab? Any suggestions on a 12" bass speaker?
  9. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i, too, started on guitar for over 20 years before starting on bass. i have a jag ss, and i love it. i moved from long to short scale with minimal adjustment.

    that's a very nice head choice, but much of the good tone it's capable of will be lost using an ex-guitar cabinet that's not voiced for bass with a speaker that isn't meant for the cab. cabs aren't just wooden boxes you stick speakers in - they're designed very specifically, with baffling inside and ports to design the sound. a 12" cab would probably work well with your rig, however. there are some good lower-priced cab options including one or two from the portaflex line.
  10. broken keyboard

    broken keyboard

    Feb 28, 2016
    Thanks, I kind of had a hunch that a guitar cab with a bass speaker in it might not sound all that good. That's exactly what I needed to hear. Great advice, thanks. You guys are really helping me avoid mistakes.

    And although I haven't got the head yet, I think you're right, it deserves a nice cab designed for it to really shine. Again, great advice. Thanks.
  11. jaybones

    jaybones Banned

    Mar 4, 2015
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    Your choice of the bass is a good one. I think that a short scale might be better to start on as you'll be able to get the feeling of bass playing compared to guitar.

    As for an amp, I would try to buy used. I don't think you need a large wattage quality rig right off the bat. A decent wattage (70 or more) with a single speaker (12"+) would serve you pretty well. Believe me, a 70 watt with a bass type speaker will more than keep up with a guitar and drummer. And if you get into a band wand start to play in front of people, most bass amps have a direct out/power in (to the PA board), so you can run the amp into the PA.

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