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NEWB needs advice...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by shatterd, Feb 24, 2008.


  1. shatterd

    shatterd

    Feb 24, 2008
    I am a beginner/intermediate guitar player. I started late at age 37 and have about 2 years in the instrument. I currently own a Line 6 Spider Valve 2x12 combo amp and a Ibanez RG 2570 Prestige guitar. I've taken a few lessons from private teachers and also have been working with the Metal Method guitar course by Doug Marks.

    I've been thinking about trying to learn how to play bass. I have no idea where to start.

    I guess the first thing I need to do is buy a bass and amp.

    Which bass should I start with? Should I get a 4, 5 or 6 string bass?

    I don't want a cheap bass. I'd like to get something that I can grow into. That said, I don't want to spend a mint. Maybe 500 to 800 bucks???

    I was thinking about getting a Line 6 Lowdown amp. I figured that would be a great place to start since I already use their guitar amps and like them.

    I was also thinking about ordering some lessons on DVD from musiciansfriend.

    My favorite music is Dream Theater and progressive rock/metal/fusion/alternative. Really love John Myung!!!! ....and Geddy Lee.

    Please advise! Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    5 to 8 bills will get you some decent gear. My first inclination is to tell you to buy a Lakland Skyline, but that would be me trying to superimpose my wants onto you.

    The best advice I can give you is get out there try as many basses and amps as you can and go with what you like. Your fingers and ears will not lie to you.
     
  3. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I recommend against starting out with a nice bass, actually. You will develop preferences over time that could be very different from your first choice, or anything we could recommend to you, without knowing in advance what you'll grow to like. If you do want to get a decent bass, get a used one that's common, like an American Standard Fender P-bass or Jazz, that you can resell without losing much if/when you realize you'd like something different. I was in almost exactly the same situation as you... Played guitar for many years, decided to give bass a go, and my first bass was an American Standard Jazz, which I bought used. I figured I would be happy with it, since my main guitar was an American Strat.

    When I first started bass, I liked it fine, but over the next five years, I discovered I don't like single coil pickups for bass, that I prefer 5-strings, wider spacing, very high radius or flat fretboards, very thin or asymmetrical neck profiles, 3-band active EQs, etc. My main bass now is an MTD Artist 5 (single humbucker in the Music-Man sweet spot, 3-band active EQ, and volume knob). This is about as far as you can get from a Fender bass.... but I never would have gone this way if I hadn't taken the time to discover my preferences. I've gone through about 5 or so basses on my way to this one, which I now consider the perfect bass for me (others include Modulus Quantum 5, Spector NS-5, Line6 Variax, and a few others).

    Actually, the Variax was very helpful in figuring out what tone was ideal for me. I tried out a bunch of different sounds in gigging and recording situations, in a mix, solo'ed, etc, and settled on the "Modern Green" setting, which turned out to be a model of an MTD 435. Shortly after, I bought an MTD Artist 5 (similar, but Korean made and about $3k cheaper!) and that's my main bass.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. shatterd

    shatterd

    Feb 24, 2008
    Thanks for the recs. I'll take a look at those.

    Meanwhile, I found this one on AmericanMusical.....

    http://www.americanmusical.com/Item.aspx?i=GLG+TL2000+LIST

    Here's a youtube demo of this bass....

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=WT4AP58jC5o

    How would this work as my first bass. I was thinking of adding a Line 6 Lowdown amp, maybe the studio version for now(75 watts). Beyond that.... I'll need a tuner, some strings, and a cable. Oh yea, a few lesson DVD's too since I'm a beginner.

    Any good recommendations on lesson DVD's. There are tons of them listed at musiciansfriend. I'll probably invest around 150 bucks in DVD's. Good teachers may be hard to find around here since I don't live near any decent music stores....which is why I'll probably be buying my bass and amp online.
     
  5. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    That G&L L2k is a great bass. Check out the G&L forums for what people have to say on them. The active electronics may take some getting used to, but it puts a lot of tones at your fingertips. Be aware that it does take batteries for the on board preamp to work.

    I have a G&L JB-2 Tribute 4 string that I've only had for a day but I have a wonderful 1st impression. It is passive, but the controls are very intuitive. It is far different from my other bass (Warwick Thumb Bolt-On 5 String) but that is what I was looking for.

    You'll find a lot of opinions on the G&L forums where I've been lurking since I picked up that JB-2 ($329 new + tax)

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=148

    The amp you are thinking about will probably do you just fine, but once you start gigging you'll probably want to upgrade it, unless you gig with a full powerful PA
     
  6. RedCoatMonster

    RedCoatMonster

    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    If it were me, I would start out cheap, cause like Dave said earlier, you dont know your preferences yet. You can get an Ibanez ATK pretty cheap, and theyre actually pretty damn nice, alot of people around here rave about them and I love them as well from what experience Ive had with them. And I actually played it through a Lowdown Line 6 at GC and loved it! So there ya go!. =]
     
  7. shatterd

    shatterd

    Feb 24, 2008
    Hey, what strings do I need to buy if I get the G&L Tribute??? Just any strings?
     
  8. I played guitar in my band for about a year. After going through a couple of bassists we were stuck with out one, from there I decided I would just play bass.

    I played my guitarists Ibanez Gio 4 string for a month until I went out and bought a Dean Edge 6 string.

    If you want to play a 5 or a 6 string eventually I think it is best that you learn on one. Decided what you want to do now, and jump all over it. 95% of my experience has been on a 6.. So yeah. Good Luck!!
     
  9. shatterd

    shatterd

    Feb 24, 2008
    OK, I work fast. I just ordered the G&L Tribute L2000 and a Line 6 Lowdown Studio 75 watt amp. The youtube demo kinda sold me on it. I also got about 5 instructional dvd's. I'm ready to get started. When I'm eventaully ready to do some kind of gig, I'll upgrade to a more powerful amp. I'm guessing that the 75 watt Lowdown will be plenty loud for the house, and good for recording on my Boss BR600.

    Now I guess I'll be selling my guitar and guitar amp at some point, assuming I am going to make an all out transition to the bass.
     
  10. shatterd

    shatterd

    Feb 24, 2008
    Jmeid...

    Thanks for the feedback. I see myself at some point in the future playing 5 or 6 string bass(I'm a huge John Myung fan!!!). I'm sure in the long run I'll own several bass guitars. For now, I'll learn the basics on this 4 string. Perhaps my next bass will be a 5 or 6 stringer. I'm sure that wont be too far down the road. Sound like an OK plan?
     
  11. shatterd

    shatterd

    Feb 24, 2008
    Some of you guys said start out cheap. Well the G&L wasn't the cheapest of the basses I considered....but still below the initial budget I set for myself. I also got the Lowdown Studio amp instead of the 150 or 175 watt model I would have preferred, so I came in a bit under budget. I was a bit gun shy about buying something really cheap, having learned as a guitar player that you have to be satisfied with the instrument because you are going to wish you had just went ahead and spent an extra 200 bucks on something a bit better. Atleast that was my experience with guitars.
     
  12. RedCoatMonster

    RedCoatMonster

    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    Well I think you made a pretty good buy, it sure beats my first srt up haha I had a Squier P Bass and a Behringer 10in practice amp. After abput a year or so Id plan on getting a different amp though if you plan on using any effects, cause while the effects on the Line 6 amps are cool, theyll never replicate what some pedals will do. Good buy my friend I wish I woulda made a purchase as good as yours when I first started playing. ;)
     

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