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New Player Needs Advice

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stace, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Hi everyone

    Erm, well that's not exactly right....yet. I've decided after years of wanting to learn to play a bass guitar to finally get round to doing it.

    I was wondering if some of you might be able to offer me some useful advice in terms of buying my first bass as it seems quite a daunting task with all of the guitars on the market.

    Oh, and I'm a leftie. I worked that out when I picked up a friends bass and it felt totally wrong the way I was holding it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    It's not hard, really. Just go to as many stores as possible, try every bass in your pricerange, then pick the one that you like the most. You might have to ask which basses come in lefties and then try the right hand ones, as not that many stores have lefties in stock. But don't be afraid to try them out.

    Every suggestion you might get is really just a recommendation to see if you like the particular item. But, as it's your bass, you are going to have to make the decision.
  3. Many thanks :)
  4. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    Getting a good starter instrument is vital, something you can live with for a little while while you're learning that you'll actually look forward to playing. Yamaha and Ibanez make good reasonably priced instruments. In the end, your hands and your ears are the final judge. No sense buying an instrument that sounds like crap and fights you when you try to play it. Personally, I'd stay away from Squire altogether, and cheap off-brands in general (with rare exceptions, however, Rondo Music actually carries some good budget priced instruments that are worth looking at)

    The next thing I'd say very strongly is start off on a 4-string and get used to the finger spacing, then later if you feel so inclined, move up to a 5-string or 6 if you feel really adventurous.

    Ampwise, start with something that will give you good tone and would be good for practice and/or low volume gigs to start, Hartke for instance makes some fine, reasonably priced small bass amps as does Yorkville Sound.

    In general, get something of good quality to start with that will last you for a bit, then as you get better, then think about upgrading if you're really serious.

    Nothing wrong with being self-taught if you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, otherwise, get good teacher to start off with. Listen to lots of different types of music and keep in mind that a bassists primary job is to lay down a rhythmic and harmonic foundation for music, not be a frustrated lead guitarist. If you can do solid grooves and add harmonic/melodic interest while keeping it solid, you'll find yourself very much sought after.
  5. Well for a start I listen to practically anything in terms of music from Metallica to Elgar. My favourite music type is Ska music, particularly 2-Tone and Madness. I also like Level 42. Mark King is something of a hero for me because of his fantastic bass playing skill

    Solid grooves and harmonic/melodic interest will do me very nicely

  6. Bassmonk3y


    Sep 19, 2005
    Tacoma, Wa
    dude. you're a lefty? That hasn't started playing yet? let me suggest something. if you have the ear/drive to teach yourself how to play, get yourself a RIGHT HANDED bass, and play it lefty. no restringing, no nothing. I suggest this for numerous reasons.

    1) practicing is SO much easier.. think about it.. you'll be able to play any right handed bass around, and so your options for practicing will be infinitely more possible.

    2) it's an awesome gimmick. after three years of playing with many different bands, I can tell you that if people see you playing inverted, they will pay LOADS of attention to your band, end even better, pay loads of attention to your bass playing. Like when does that ever happen?

    3)believe it or not, there are things you can do, which nobody else who plays conventionally left or right handed will EVER be able to do, such as using your hand to slap, and your thumb to pull. you can get fast. and, it allows you to use your fingers seperately. It's hard to describe in words, but think of what Les Claypool does, being very very easy.

    Then again, if you're thinking you'd rather play conventionally, don't let anything I said stop you. You'll find inifinitely more instructional help if you play in the standard way.

    Just thought I'd expand your horizons! :)