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My first bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pixiefemme, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Pixiefemme


    Jan 23, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Hey everyone,
    I'm a complete beginner, i have no idea how to play the bass but would like too. The thing is i have to purchase a bass first and i don't know if i should get like say a MIM Fender std. jazz bass or a Korean made 'Feeling' bass. i.e. should i start with a good reputable bass or an OK one? A friend of mine suggested a Washburn shortscale but i am not sure. What exactly is a shortscale? and are Washburn basses any good? From what i gathered in the forums they have quite a bad rep..Why is that? Oh and what do you think of Ibanez and Yamahas for beginners? And seeing as I like the music of artists such as the Pixies and Lenny Kravitz do u think i should go for a bass with a brighter or warmer sound?

    That's all for now :)
  2. absinthe

    absinthe Guest

    Jan 20, 2002
    Great Britain
    Hi, Pixie

    As a female bass beginner myself, I plumped for the Washburn XB100 and am completely satisfied with it. It buzzed a little when I got it - but that's what the little allen key and adjustable bridge is for. ;) Within a few minutes, I had it sounding sweet. Even beginners can give quarter and half twists to an adjustable bridge!

    My Washburn isn't a "short scale" :confused: it's 34" but it does have a super slim neck and very flat fingerboard which is great if you have short fingers (like me!) or if you want to do fast fingering. It's also a very comfortable bass - solid mahogany body but not oppressively heavy. I've heard of people gigging with this bass quite comfortably for a few hours. I think it sounds pretty cool too.

    Take a look at Harmony Central's website ( http://www.harmony-central.com/Bass/Data4/Washburn/XB-100-Bantam-Bass-01.html ) - there are loads of user reviews for this bass - and most people are quite chuffed with it. But opinions are like arseholes - everyone's got one!

    At the end of the day, you get what feels most comfortable for you - regardless if it's an Ibanez, a Squier or a top of the range Carvin! So long as you can afford it and you like it and you can play it and feel comfortable with it. Go to your local music shop and explain your predicament - but don't let them *force* their favourite model on you - use your own judgement as to what you like the sound and feel (and price!) of. But even if you don't buy from them, this way you'll get to test drive different basses and the assistant will show you how to start off.

    Good luck!
  3. Ibanez and Yamahas are great for beginners, very good playability.
    I've only ever played one Washburn and didn't like it, it didn't play well and sounded very muddy, but that could have just been the bass or model I played.
    Being a beginner I would say it's probably better to start with an O.K bass in case you decide it's not really your thing, but if you get into it you'll want to eventually upgrade your bass, so it's kind of a
    lose-lose situation.
    And last but not least I would probably say a bright sounding bass, in my opinion.
    Good luck anyway. :D
  4. Ok, correct me if i'm wrong here...

    Your nickname suggest that you're a girl, right ?
    Your residence is Hong Kong, Assuming you're a native, i might suggest that you're rather small, correct ? :)

    So you don't want to start off with a 38" 9-string "surfboard" then... :D

    The short-scale thingy points at the length of the scale..

    standard longscale is 34", but there is also superlong-scale ( 35" ), and short-scale ( 32" )

    there are other scales, but these are the most common ones i guess..

    About the basses.. Yamaha is a very good beginners bass.. they're not that expensive, and sound really nice. I've got a Yamaha BBG4A-II myself, which cost about 500 US $.. Fender MIM jazzbass is nice too, but the sound is pretty limited.

    my best advice would be to just check what your budget is, go to a store, and try out all the basses that fit your budget.. and if possible.. bring along an experienced bassplayer.. they can give you valuable advice.

    good luck ! :D
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    32" would be medium scale, 30" would be short, IIRC.

    The length of the scale affects the distance between the frets. The longer the scale, the more you will have to stretch your fingers to reach a fret.

    Sound might be "limited" (I don't think it is, you have at least three basic tones from it... two more than a P-bass!), but the bass isn't. A Jazz bass can used in virtually any kind of music and still fit the soundscape perfectly.
  6. Alas, I was born without one. Thankfully, whatever god is up above, gave me opinions.

    I've heard of washburn getting "burnt" pretty bad. I played a friends, and I had no serious issues with it. I'm of the opinion though, that once you start getting into playing bass more, you're going to want to buy another bass, and another, and another (talk to some of these guys who have like fifteen, and up...insane). So, I say, go light at first, have fun, tear it up, and when you feel you're ready, move along to something bigger and better.

    Anywho, just my opinion. Goodluck to ALL the beginners in this post...the world needs more female bass players, let me tell you. More female artists period. I'd like to see the playign field leveled a bit, personally. whoo, sorry, off subject.

  7. Oh... Ok :)
  8. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Get a used quality bass instead of a cheapo new bass. Lesson learned over time. There's no rule that you have to learn on a lame bass.

    My $0.02...look for a used Fender (MIM, MIJ, MIA) in the same price range as what you are planning to pay for a Washburn etc.

    Good advice by AllodoX too, bring an expert if you can and trust no sales clerks (except Gard and NinoBrown).

    Welcome to TB by the way. Two days in a row with new female members...cool.
  9. absinthe

    absinthe Guest

    Jan 20, 2002
    Great Britain
    I have both an arsehole and opinions. ;)

    I agree - I love my Washburn but I know I'll get another bass. And probably another. And maybe another - I'm a collectaholic! (Got my eye on another already....now all I need is dosh!)

    I also agree with you on the female artists bit and also (strangly enough) on the levelled playingfield. But then, I am a wench! :p
  10. Why for art thou so lucky? heh, yeah, level playing fields for all! Women of the female persuasion with talent are mondo wonderful, in my opinion.

    Up above someone mentioned used basses..that is an EXCELLENT idea. I wish I would've had the sense to do that. Find someone who's a collector, and is wanting to skim his/her collection. That way, you know they took good care of it.

  11. Pixiefemme


    Jan 23, 2002
    Hong Kong
    AllodoX: I'll have you know i stand 5f7 tall.. hardly small, :p but i *think* i have short fingers...( how short is short? And does it really matter?)

    Bassboy_jordan: Why bright? :)

    Soo.. hmmm.. ARRRRRGGGGHh.
    I have no idea what to get, I don't really know how tell a good bass from an ordinary one. And the salesppl aren't much help here as my mandarin ain't that great. ( I'm on my gap year in Beijing btw, be4 going to uni in the UK this sept)

    I'm going back to HK for the hols in a week, maybe i'll wait a bit and look in the music stores there.. they should have a better range..
    Soo these are my options so far:
    a) an unheard of, Korean made bass ( sounds pretty good, might get it to practise on as it costs only about US$200. If i get it i have to choose between getting one with a brighter or warmer sound)
    b) Washburn something or the other
    c) Yamaha ( which i will have a proper look in when i get back to Hong Kong)
    d) Ibanez (")
    e) MIM Fender std. jazz

    Any thoughts? anyone?
  12. Pixiefemme


    Jan 23, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Really hard to find any used quality basses up for sale in HK..I don't think there are that many collectors there..
    Dunno if i wanna risk Ebay and the like..

  13. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i suggest the Fender JAzz MIM. it's easy upgradable, easy to play and the most versatile bass design. it's easy to sell if you want to upgrade and that Fender name on the headstock is in certain way a trademark of quality. try some of them, because there aren't two basses that sound the same, even if they are the same model; and buy the one you like the most.
    good luck
  14. hmm.. that is indeed rather tall.. :)

    Myself i'm 1.96 m ( hmm.. 6Ft4 ? ), but i'm also very uhm.. " firmly built " as you may call it.. so my friends always say that i have the posture of a gorilla ( hence the avatar :D )

    what are small hands ? dunno.. i have real big hands.. so compared to me i'd say pretty much all hands are small :D
  15. For the style of music you listen too I would recommend a bright sounding bass, plus in my opinion, it is easier to imitate a warm sound with a naturally bright sounding bass than bright sound with a warm bass. Again though, this is my opinion and some may disagree.
  16. Plus finger length is'nt that important. You get used to what you play. I have medium sized hands and my guitarist has big hands, but I have a bigger stretch than him simply because I'm used to playing a 35 inch scale bass.
  17. I too have just recently started playing again seriously and from My experience you should look into a good used bass. I love my MIM Jazz, I got it for 200$ US from a pawn shop Basically New, the owner of the shop is a DB player and gave me a good deal and didn't try and rip me off. I have sort of small hands and find the Jazz neck very comfortable.
    I don't know what your Budget is but in My experience you will probably need 500$ US for a complete kit with everything you need, bass, Amp, strap, tuner, Gig bag (that’s a soft cover bag for the Bass to carry it in, I prefer the hard cases but I am a duffus when it comes to whacking the neck into things) and the cord for plugging into the Amp (get a 20 foot cord).
    If I were U I would head to a Music store with a friend who knows about Instruments and first thing pick out a Strap that U like, something with some cushion in the neck area, that’s where you will find it most uncomfortable in the beginning. Then look around and try several basses using the strap, don't sit with the bass as one of the things you need to know is if you can carry the weight comfortably and whether you can reach to the top of the neck with it in playing position. Then check out the width of the neck in relation to the size of your hand, count down 12 frets from the top of the neck put the ball of your thumb on the back of the neck and see if you can touch the E string (that’s the fattest one) with your index finger without touching any of the other strings. After about an hour of carrying several basses you will be able to tell the differences in balance and weight that U prefer. Then buy the strap, if you like, and leave the store.
    The Amp should be something over 50 watts, better over 100 but that might break your budget and you don't need one with all the bells and whistles starting out.
    Once you have an idea about what Bass you want start looking for good deals on used ones and don't buy one without plugging it into an amp and playing with all the knobs to make sure everything works.

    Well that’s My 2 cents good luck and remember the most important thing is to have FUN, keep telling yourself that when your hand starts to cramp from fretting.
  18. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    Actually over in Asia, you should be able to find an Ibanez, or MIJ Fender for a really good price, or in Europe a Europe Spector.
  19. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
  20. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    oh yeah, you dont get Chewin' the fATin hong kong

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