new @ buying a Bass guitar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by behling, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. behling


    Mar 12, 2006

    i have no experience at choosing a bass guitar. Need all the help i can get such as stuff to look out for. etc
  2. if your completely new to it try going for a squire. cheap, and with a suprisingly good sound.
  3. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Well, if you're completely new, I might suggest looking at SX - I have one that I just threw on ebay last night, and am disappointed to sell it...solid instruments, decent weight (well, except for the ash ones; those are HEAVY) and pretty good pickups. The hardware on it was also pretty solid.

    Just fair warning, I'd stay away from Rogue, and I'd take the SX over Squire any day....

    But look for what you like. Basically tonal sound and string spacing and maybe the top wood (if any). Playing something you like looking at doesn't hurt at all; it probably would give you a little more reason to learn instead of playing something you hate the looks of. Thats probably my best suggestion.
  4. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Classic questions:
    What's your budget?
    Have you played before, even guitar?
    What kind of music do you want to play?
    Do you want something to just check it out, or do you want something you won't want to upgrade as soon as you get the feel?
    Is your next question gonna be what kind of amp?
  5. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005

    somebody should make one of those personality quiz type things, but instead of personality it could be "what bass are you?"
  6. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    That should definitely exist. And it should be a sticky here on TB.

    Anyway, I always figure if you're brand new at it, just get what you think is cool that you can afford. If it ends up being total crap, then you know. I learned most of what I know about bass (buying, and playing) from screwing up a lot. It's a much better teacher than anybody on this forum could be.
  7. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    So true. Just on the technique part, just be prepared to break habits if you develop them.
  8. behling


    Mar 12, 2006
    gd question.

    smth below 1.3k? i'm from singapore so it issn't in USD. basically i'd pay for smth worth the price. if its reasonable.

    i've been playing the piano since young (classical) and still playing it. i read music and have a pretty gd ear.

    picked up the guitar abt six years ago.

    for a long time when i hear a song on the radio or an mp3 i would play the bass line out on my guitar or figure out the chords through the bass line and figure out a bass line for the song.

    afterawhile i realised i was having fun playing the bass lines with the song then acutally playing the guitar chords.

    songs i play are guns and roses, black eye peas, alicia keys, pop songs and some rock, thats the main genres.

    yea. and does the amp affect the sound?. i suspect so ya?.

    checking out a few models that are sold here.

    SRX505 SRX Series Bass Guitar (Ibanez)
    Yamaha BB-614

    just wondering if the yamaha BB-614 has a 5 string one?.

    i feel i would need a 5 string bass to play the solo lines.

    much advice is apperciated thx yall.

    p.s wats a pick up?
  9. behling


    Mar 12, 2006
    isn't the string spacing standard amougst all bass guitars? if not is the space difference very great or marginal?
  10. Behling

    Once you decide how much money you are going to want to spend, the next main concern should be what feels good in your hands even if you don't know how to play well or at all.

    In regard to how many strings you should give yourself a chance to learn and grow, meaning start with the basics. 4 String basses are what players will tell you to start with that will give you a solid foundation to build on. That said you could very well start with a 5 string. Before I drop any serious money test them both out a 4 and 5 string see what feels best and go for it good luck have a blast and always stay safe!!! :cool:

    In reagrd to playing solo bass lines you can do that with both a 4 or 5 string. You may want to check out Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller, these guys are super bass players and the both play 4 string basses. I think that Victor Wooten plays 4 strings 99% of the time, that same can also be said for Marcus Miller. Thay both have a unique slap style that will simple say to yourself....."I'm not worthy"!!!!!!!!
  11. behling


    Mar 12, 2006
    nice thx. i'll go try this week end..
  12. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Yamaha and Ibanez are fine basses, they make a wide range of quality so you could find one you don't have to upgrade right away. There's nothing wrong with starting with a 5 string but most don't. Again that's up to you.
    String spacing is fairly close on 4 strings, 5's you'll have some variance. I have some wide and some the same as a 4. Neither one bother me any, some like one or the other.
    Pick ups are the bars ( magnets) under the stings on the body that "Pick up" the sound from the string and transmit it electronically.
  13. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    Welcome to bass playing! I'm sure you won't regret it, but you'll very soon find there are lots of styles and attitudes to how an electric bass can sound. There's good advice above, but I bet (especially with the music background you have) you want a different bass within 6 months whatever you buy. I'd say get a cheap bass, with a name which will let you resell it without losing too much. There's nothing much out there which will prevent you making a start, so, yes, pick something you feel comfortable with. Start on a 4 string to get your technique started.

    Listen to lots of players. Look for some books like How the Fender Bass Changed the World by Jim Roberts. (Not all about Fenders!). That will point you at some of the great players and different styles. It will also answer your questions about pickups (the gizmo that converts the string vibrations into electric impulses..there are different sorts with different tones) amps (yes, they make a big difference) string spacing (not standard)!

    Browse Talkbass and you'll find enthusiasts for every sort of bass under the sun, and pros and cons stated for all of them. Once you've started to play (maybe with a small combo amp you can keep for practice at home) look for a group to play with. It makes all the difference. As a musician already you know about lessons.

    Once you've done all that, then you'll know what bass you want next! For the price you mention there are plenty of excellent instruments.

  14. What ever you pick up (and I agree with all suggestions here so far) have it set up after you get it. It is really amazing to me the difference a good setup makes especially on an instrument that has been hanging on a showroom wall for a while. It may feel ok off the rack - but after a good tech works it over and gets that action just right, you will not know how you ever did without.

  15. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Well, those were just some things that popped into my head. Some people are anal retentative about string spacing, ya know :p
  16. balzac


    Aug 25, 2005
    Cairns, Queensland
    A lot of good advice so far. When I got my first bass, I was told to get 'the best I could afford', and that's something that's always stuck with me. Of course, determining which is 'the best' is the difficult bit.

    So many things come into it - appearance, sound, playability. Knowing the names of all the technical bits and bobs and what they do, and all the different kinds there are is helpful, but not essential - I mean if you like the way it sounds, it feels nice to play, and you like how it looks, then it's all good, right? Youc an always learn that otehr stuff later. I did :)

    What are the local sales guys like? Grab one and explain your situation, and your budget. After all, it's his (or her) job to help you get the right instrument, and it'll definitely be in your interests to build a good relationship with these guys. If he's a good guy, he'll point you in the right direction, and will probably be able to sort you out with a discount, and a bunch of free stuff - strap, cables etc, maybe even a case or bag if it's not included.

    In terms of brand names, what AxtoOx said about Yamaha and Ibanez is true. They make good, solidly-constructed, reasonably priced instruments. The Yamaha BBs in particular have a good reputation on this board.

    Hope that helps.
  17. behling


    Mar 12, 2006
    thx guys yall have been a great help. unfortunately where i live. very few ppl resell their guitars and if tehy do its most of the time to a 2nd hand crap store that sells everything from TVs to microwaves.

    regrarding pick ups, are they replaceable and how do yuo tell if its a gd pick up or not? or is it based on personal preferance?

    would like some minor pointers for choosing an amp.

  18. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Everything is personal prefrence.:) Yes Pickups are replaceable, a lot of people us Seymour Duncan, Bartolini or EMG but it's really not necessary unless you really are picky about your sound. Most stock pickups are just fine. When you turn Pro it might make a difference.:) Best to find a Bass that already has a sound you like.
  19. behling


    Mar 12, 2006
    thx guys for your priceless advices.