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My son wants to play Bass in School now What?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KidWantsaBass, Aug 24, 2004.


  1. KidWantsaBass

    KidWantsaBass

    Aug 24, 2004
    Hi, Thank you in advance for any advice you can share. My son just started 5th grade and the school band has a bass player opening. He has never played before, does not have a Bass (yet) and I would like to hear from those in the know, what I should look for in a Bass and Amp for him to learn and grow with. I thought what a better place than a Bass forum to ask. My friend had a B C Rich Warlock when we were younger, how are they, besides the cool look factor?
    Thanks Again
    Brian
     
  2. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    I would personally reccomend against the B.C. Rich for a couple of reasons. First off being htat the necks are ginormous and i cant imagine a fifth grader getting around easliy on one. Also, in my experience the sound on the Riches seems to be pretty thin and boring.

    Also, i have never heard of a hair metal school band.... :bag: ....sounds interesting...

    sorry, neways i know a lot of people on this board will reccomend an essex bass from www.rondomusic.com but i havent had any experience with these. Good Luck!
     
  3. They aren't too great, and to be honest that might look a little funny with the rest of the band in the background. As for starters, you can find bass/guitar combos starting at $200. Such as Ibanez and Squier P basses.

    Good luck.

    Edit - Thanks, I was gonna post the rondomusic site but I forgot the link :p
     
  4. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    1. bc rich, generally a bad idea. they are sort of novelty instruments.
    2. i wouldn't really suggest buying a starter package personally. the amp that they are going to give you with any of those packagest will be a complete joke and they don't even work well for just playing along with the cd player in your bedroom. this is my experience. I don't know if the school band provides an amp or what (it seems like they would, my friend in high school played bass in the school band and not only did they have an amp but also a bass... but neither were very good, the bass had been using the same strings for almost 20 years).

    but anyway, if you buy a starter kit you're gonna get a decent bass and a toy amplifier, i can't really recomend that angle because i can't imagine that he'd keep that amp long enough to justify the price of having it.

    since the school PROBABLY has some kind of crappy gear for him to play through at the school, at the very least i'd imagine they have an amp, you can probably go without having an amp immediately if the price is an issue or if you aren't sure if he's gonna stick with it. amps are expensive and there is no sense buying on that is going to be almost immediately outgrown.
     
  5. KidWantsaBass

    KidWantsaBass

    Aug 24, 2004
    Thank you, great advice, I had not even thought of the neck and small hands issue. What else should we consider in choosing a Bass? Also is there a good beginner Amp that anyone can recommend? Again thanks for the information, it is really appreciated.

    whoops posted to quick; EDIT: no the school does not have an amp, they say to puchase one...
     
  6. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    my advice for amp shopping is to buy used. i don't know what the consensus is on this forum, but as far as price vs quality goes, i've had good luck with fender combos. Personaly i would hate to recomend a practice amp to start with because you're going to have to spend over 100 dollars to get something that doesn't sound like garbage, and it won't be of a high enough quality to gig with if ever that is necessary. I've played through a bunch of 15" fender combo amps before at shows and I've thought they handle themselves quite well for something you can get used for under 300 dollars (i've seen them go for 200 before). anything with less than a single 15" speaker is going to have a hard time holding it's own in any kind of band setting.

    if the school provides an amp, this is pretty much going to be his practice amp you are shopping for, and i guess you could skimp and get a cheap one, but be aware that it will be outgrown if he does stick with the whole bass thing.
     
  7. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    As far as amps go, I'd recommend a small 10" or 12" solid state combo. Since your son is fairly young, hauling around a heavy amp will get tiresome fairly quickly...literally! :D It will also be easy for him to throw in the back seat/trunk of a car and store away easily in his room, etc. Whether you decide to buy used or not, Fender, Peavey, Crate, SWR, etc. all make good quality, low-powered, portable combos are very reasonable (entry level) prices.

    As for the bass itself, I agree with the posts above. Playing a BC Rich isn't necessarily the most ergonomically sound experience a bass player has ever had. :smug: Starting him off with a Fender Precision or Jazz-style bass would probably be the safest route to go. There are MANY varieties and variations to choose from, and even basses that are made overseas these days are high in quality and value. The Fender Squire line would be something to cosider, as would one of the Fender MIM (made in Mexico) basses. Of course, there are TONS of choices other than these, but this might get you started in the right direction. Peavey, Hamer, Yamaha, Ibanez, and many other brands make very good entry-level basses that would be worth checking out too. Good luck! ;)
     
  8. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    i agree, go with one of those starter packages that come with an amp, a strap, a cable, a tuner, a video, strings, and of course....the bass.
     
  9. ApeIsHigh81

    ApeIsHigh81

    Aug 24, 2004
    CA
    Start him off on a "standard" 34" scale bass, that way he grows used to it. The Ibanez gsr200 is probably a best bet since it has a great neck, very good sound, and can usually be obtained for less than 200 used. Peavey 12" and 15" combo amps are also no-brainers since they're 2nd hand bargain-priced, sound awesome and most of the time have adequate power to cut through band practice. Good luck to you and your son. It's great your son has his own interest in playing, if he sticks with it he should get in less trouble through high school and it will get him through rough times and allow him to meet good people. :D
     
  10. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    agreed.
     
  11. hi
    i say go with an ibanez gsr series bass great small necks decent sound and cheap there are also plenty to be found used for cheap. for an amp i would suggest an older peavey 1x15 combo with at least 100 watts to keep up with any band setting although they are really heavy he can just leave it at school also another option would be to look into yorkville i would recomend the yorkville xm200 or the xm200t they can be had brand spankin new for under 800 canadian. you will probably have to buy 2 amps one for school and one for home because lugging a bass back and forth is enough trust me a amp would be too much also as for the second amp a peavey microbass would be a good choice to have at home well i hope that helped and good luck.
     
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Another vote for an Ibanez GSR 200. Also, the SX models from http://rondomusic.bigstep.com are great starter basses, but tend to weigh more than the Ibanez.


    As for an amp, how big is the ensemble he is going to play with? Is it mostly horns, or do they have a full drum kit? Do they have electric guitar? Honestly, without knowing the answer to these questions it is hard to make a recommendation.

    I will second those that said don't get a starter pack. The amps that come with those are junk. If he is accompanying anything more than one acoustic guitar, it won't be loud enough.

    As JPJ said, Fender, Peavey, Crate, SWR(and I'll add Hartke) make low priced combos starting around $150, and ranging to $300, depending on the power and features.
     
  13. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
  14. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    as for the 2 amp suggestion. it might be a good idea, but i wouldn't worry about that for now. first off, ask whoever you need to at the school to find out if they have any existing equipment for him to play through there. if they do, then all you have to worry about is his home equipment, and in that case, you could probably settle for a pretty cheezy little set up just so he can practice. if the school DOESN'T have an amp, then get something decent so he can hear himself over everyone else. you mgiht not NEED all the power a 15" will get you for this sort of application, but you certainly can't go wrong with it i don't think. Plus, that will grow with him and he can use it if he decides to play in a rock band or something when he gets a little older. he might very well be able to do it with a 12" combo of some sort, but it seems like less of a guarentee. I play in rock bands, and I could not possibly get by on any less than a 15" 100w combo.
     
  15. KidWantsaBass

    KidWantsaBass

    Aug 24, 2004
    Awesome! I cannot tell you all how much I appreciate the advice!
    The setting will be a school band without drums, but with horns, flutes, etc.
    It looks like we should get the Amp / Bass separate; that is get a better quality Bass, and get a better Amp as well.
    Does a Bass put off enough sound without an Amp so he can practice at home and just leave an Amp at school? From what I remember they are soft but still make enough volume to practice with. or like posted a micro amp at home and good amp left at school. I really think that that’s a great idea; he’s small for his age so lugging an Amp might do him in.
    I’m beginning to feel my age…. After reading these posts for a minute the Warlock in my sons hands my made me think of Nikki Sixx. I agree not a good school setting. Oh and Nikki Sixx, I had better be careful, I still remember the name, but I dont know if that is an appropriate thing to post to a real Bass Forum ;) Thanks again!
     
  16. Rapscallion2112

    Rapscallion2112

    Apr 21, 2004
    Detroit

    ya...i second the idea for the combo pack...those basses are good to start on
     
  17. heres my 2. a dean playmate would be a good choice i think. if your school is like ours its mostly horns and woodwinds and drum kit. our school provided the bass and amp...a fender p bass....american....not to shabby...but very vintage.i dont play for the school but i know this.my first bass and unfortunately my only bass rite now is the dean. i think it would handle good for him and has a nice thin neck...i think as thin as a jazz bass neck but i cant comment on account of ive never played a jazz bass :bag: .....YET.....but it would be good for him to start on i think.best of all theyre only around 100 dollars...and not to bad in quality. josh
     
  18. bluemonk

    bluemonk

    Dec 17, 2002
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum! Thanks for being a parent who values music education.
    I like the Yamaha, Ibanez, Dean or Jazz Fender bass suggestions. When I was young, I started on a Precision Fender, and it was very large and very heavy for me. The other basses would be better becauseof that. Then, take your son to the musci store and let him try some for feel, something thatfeels good when he is standing with it on a strap.
    You'll need a biggish amp to cut through with the band that he will need at school, then he will probably need a small practice amp for home. You really can't hear a bass unamplified, although he could still practrice his fingerings. I'd suggest a Vox 25 watt amp because they are super light (something like 17 pounds) and cheap. If you start with a practice amp, you can get the larger amp later, as you discover what he needs. Also, be sure you talk to the music teacher before buying an amp to use with the band so you have his/her input.

    Enjoy!
     
  19. Niskamies

    Niskamies

    Jan 13, 2004
    I would dare to say that you are wrong about that. I've played a couple of gigs with an EBS Drome with a 12" speaker, and It is loud enough, and the sound is amazing. I've also played with my EBS HD350 head with the EBS NEO 10" and 12" cabs, and they are really loud.

    And I don't even like the sound of a 15" cab as much as the sound of smaller elements:)
     
  20. KidWantsaBass

    KidWantsaBass

    Aug 24, 2004
    I found after looking at the Ibanez website a "Ibanez Jumpstart Package"... "The Bass Jumpstart kicks it off with a rockin' Ibanez GSR electric bass guitar. Cool looks, high quality and plenty of style! So you can start thumpin' the lows the Jumpstart comes with an IBZ10B bass amplifier with a potent 10 watts, 3-band EQ and a headphone jack to give Mom a break. Other goodies include; gigbag, electronic tuner, instructional video, picks, headphones, strap and accessory pouch"
    I found a price here http://www.music123.com/Ibanez-Jumpstart-Bass-Package-i27209.music
    The reviews look good, but all say the Amp should only be a practice amp and at 10 watts I can see why. This is fine because that would give him a practice amp at home, and we could get a larger amp either new or used and keep it at school. What are the thoughts on this package? I also keep seeing alot of good reviews on the Ibanez Gsr200, and am wondering which way to go. Is the "package" Bass too much of a cheapy? You all have been very helpful!