My first bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vox Populi, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I'm a newbie here, and I'm looking into picking up bass playing as a hobby. I have a few questions that have no doubt been beaten to death in the past, but I'm looking for recent info.

    I'm looking for a good bass to start on, having zero knowledge of the bass in the beginning. For the music that I want to play, bass players I know have been suggesting that I get a five-string right off.

    I have been looking at a few basses in this month's musician's friend catalog. The Peavey Millennium BXP-5, Rogue LX405 or (if I wanted to sell my kidneys for a bass) the Peavey Grind Bass 5 NTB. Understand that I'm 17 years old and practically penniless.

    I know Rogue's reputation which tends to make me wary of them, though the LX405 is "nice for the money" according to a bass-playing friend.

    The Peavey Millennium has a good reputation and good reviews, but I've heard the pickups are lacking something.

    The Grind 5 would be ideal, but I would be forced to postpone my purchase for a few months. Would it be worth it?

    Is there another "bargian bass" I could get that is a good startrer instrument, and will also be a good bass when I start to get better?

    The kind of music that makes my mouth water is Primus-esque stuff. I really want to learn music like that, although I understand it takes time.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Don't get the rogue, they suck. Look at some of the basses from The essexes there are very nice basses that are better than Squiers and usually could compete with mexican fenders. I'm getting one soon myself, after I get some cabs.
  3. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Almost any "entry level" insrument will be lacking something somewhere....if you know what I mean. However, there are some VERY good basses out there these days that don't cost an arm and a leg. Peavey makes very good instruments, as does Carvin, MTD Heir/Kingston, Fender MIM/MIJ, Ibanez, Yamaha, etc. Check these out for starters. ;)
  4. Fender MIM/MIJ, depending on how new you are.......

    MIM=Made in Mexico
    MIJ= Made in Japan

    Are you dead set on a 5 string?

    I would start with a four banger and as your skills and taste improve, then I would consider upgarding to a 5 string.

    A good used Fender J or P bass is a good place to start.

  5. I'm going to go ahead and say Essex as well, located at

    They are VERY good basses for their price and if there is a single proble, Kurt, the owner, will help you right away. I've delt with him via E-mail many a time and he has always given me clear and precise answers.

    My first Essex was a 5 string and the neck got warped and Kurt gave me a refund (this after 6 months too) with no questions asked. Great guy! I am actually having an Essex 4 string Jazz sent out to me tomorrow by Smash :D

    Another one I would recommend is an Ibanez GSR200. Maybe go for the Ibanez started pack. Comes with a 10watt amp, Ibanez GSR190, cable, strap and gigbag I believe, maybe some other things.

    Another pack to check out is the Squier starter pack, but with Squier people are more hesitant, AFAIK, about getting them.

    Yeah, that's all I pretty much have to offer on the subject. Good luck on the bass hunt and welcome to TB!

    Best Regards,
    Tyler Hole

    edit: Also, if you want to do music like Primus, I'd say get a Jazz over a Pbass
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Don't get the Squier pack, as you'll wanna quit playing bass within 2 weeks (i've seen it happen).
  7. I've heard people throw those in as suggestions before and decided "eh, couldn't hurt" and went for it ;)
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I have a wall of low line Ibanez GSR's that I've thrown boutique electronics into. Even the Stock pups are fine for beginning. The GSR 200 in particular are light, fast neck, and comfortable playing. And the control bay is large enough for upgrade. I got one with a Bart TCT 3 band and Bart PJs. The main thing I don't like about their cheaper stuff is it's all PJ configuration. And now is a good time to buy on ebay cause prices are down, easily under $150 shipped. Just make sure to get a bass in like new condition from someone with an established track record.

    Keep investment as low as possible cuase you'll be lucky to get half of new price come selling time.

    Also have a Rogue Beatle Bass and it's not a bad piece. There's plenty of good cheap stuff out there, you just have to go through more pieces to get one.
  9. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'm not sure how "new" a player is, should dictate the quality of a bass?

    I also disagree with "start on a 4" if he has already decided that a 5er would probably be in his best interest? Neither one is going to be harder to learn from the get-go, but if you spend a lot of time on a 4, then move to a 5, it will require adjusting your technique some. So why bother with the 4?
  10. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    This is why I feel it is very important to try before you buy, the exact bass you are thinking about trying. I buy higher end used basses sight unseen, but the quality doesn't seem to vary as much.

    There are jewels and turds in every bunch. I have an affinity squier P that actually plays and feels pretty nice, believe it or not, but I have played dozens of them that were terrible.
  11. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    While Ibanez gets a very bad rap, I try not to let others opinions color my own take on things. With that said, I have played a few of these GSR basses, and they were horrible. Cheap, poor quality, neck felt terrible, and sounded even worse.
  12. IIRC they come with a Squier P bass, like a 10watt amp, strap, cable and I think a video or something.
  13. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    Those actually look nice for the price, I'll keep that in mind.

    Does anyone know about those "Brice" basses? Some of them look pretty nice.

    Thanks for your suggestions. :)
  14. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    If you can, by all means try out a bass before you buy one. Starting out and being fairly new to the instrument, I don't think that ordering a bass online would be in your best interest. You don't want to end up with a bass that looks nice, but feels like crap and is too uncomfortable to play.

    As already mentioned, don't hesitate to look at used instruments. In most cases you will get much more bass for your buck. Also, as anxious as you may be, if you get a "less expensive" bass right now rather than waiting to purchase one you really want you may end up regretting your decision.

    Happy hunting!! :D
  15. The Brice basses are all-around better quality. If you have the extra money to throw around, go ahead and get one. Remember that you need an amp, cable and strap and if you want, gig bag.
  16. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    Yeah, I'd like to buy one in person, but there aren't many music stores in my area. There's a Guitar Center in Tacoma, but that's kind of a long drive. The local music stores charge exorborant prices, the Peavey Millennium 5's that are on Musician's Friend for $199 are $400 at the local music store. They only have about 4 basses to choose from as well.

    But maybe I'll take the drive down to Guitar Center. It would probably be worth it.
  17. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I am actually borrowing an amp and cable from a friend until I can scrape together the funds to buy one. I do need to buy a strap, though, and I'll probably buy a cable, they're cheap.
  18. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    1. If you want a 5, start on a 5. I did and I have no regrets. It might be just a mental thing, but I feel to limited on a 4 (PURELY PERSONAL OPINION...don't start flaming me, please)

    2. Definately consider the esses/brice basses from Rondomusic.

    3. If you want a good "starter pack"

    - Essex 5 string jazz: $150 or less
    - Behringer BX300 combo:$100

    I have the behringer BX600 (60 watt, 12" driver) for around $150 and it is a GREAT combo. I got it as a beginner combo, but it is good enough to where I won't have to upgrade to a new combo/amp setup until I gig. It even has a headphone out for silent practice (VERY good option if you live at home)

    good luck!

    oh, 1 more thing: Bass Guitar for Dummies is a FANTASTIC book for beginners. It starts from very basic and goes all the way up to soloing for different music styles. MUST BUY!
  19. a word of warning going into guitar center. as u said you are a newbey so dont get sucked in by the sales guys. just go in and play and try some basses get the one that is the cheapest in you price range. but before going into guitar center look elsewhere like the newspaper and what not. Their basses have usually been sitting on the wall a long time and are set up horribly. so go used first.


    oh and welcome to TB.
  20. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    Excellent point! Something I should have included in my previous post.