Newbie questions about new bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Lacuga, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. Lacuga


    Mar 6, 2011
    Austin, Texas
    Let me apologize in advance for this stupid post. As you will see, I don't know a lot about playing the basss. However, this site has been a wonderful font of knowledge, and I thank all of you contributors who have indirectly helped me out in myriad ways already.

    I have just started playing the bass. I bought a new instrument from GC several weeks ago. It is a Squier Jaguar. I am generally very happy with it, except for the following:

    1. The second volume control (for the straight/back set of pickups) hums when I turn up the volume.

    2. My left index finger frequently brushes against the frets, which has caused me to callus on the side of my finger at the second joint.

    I understand that problem no. 2 is probably due to my poor (newbie) technique. But, should I try to have the end of the frets shaved down to minimize the impact on my finger? Or, is this just part of playing the bass? The calluses on my fingertips are fine; it's the callus on the side of my index finger that makes me wonder whether this is a player problem (me) or a bass problem.

    As for no. 1: should I bring it back to the store to get it fixed? Is there an easy fix? I opened up the circuitry and found nothing obviously wrong, other than the fact that it just hums.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. MdC64


    Jan 25, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    GC has a 30 day return policy. Have you had the bass for more than 30 days? To me, a new bass shouldn't have issues. I'd return it or have them take a look at it. A friend of mine bought a flea bass from them. He got it home and it hummed from the tone knob. He returned it a couple days later and got something else.
  3. Testing_123


    Jan 23, 2011
    WMass, USA
    The back pickup (known as the bridge pickup, since it's closer the bridge) is a single coil pickup, meaning you're likely to get a slight bit of hum at full volume...

    Did it hum when you tried it out in the store? Does the hum level change if you turn the bass, towards or away the ceiling lights? A little hum may not indicate a problem, and sometimes it is exacerbated by lighting/electrical work nearby. If it's a consistent (regardless of location and amp) noisy hum that overwhelms the sound of you playing, that's a problem that can be fixed.

    Do you have any bass-playing friends who can check it out? Someone should be able to tell you right away if it's a normal hum or if something is wrong. Get a third party opinion before taking it back to GC, so you can push back in case they question you about the problems.
  4. Lacuga


    Mar 6, 2011
    Austin, Texas
    I agree, but I have had it more than 30 days.

    I didn't try it out at the store. I unpacked the box at home.

    It's a pretty constant hum that is not affected by location, it seems.

    No, I don't. I do have a friend who's a pro guitarist, though. Maybe he can help me figure out where the problem lies.

    Thanks for your input. I think I need to get some more information from knowledgeable people and then go back to GC to get them addressed.
  5. A set up by your local music store will normally run $35 to $55. Most entrance level guitars do not receive a lot of tweaking at the end of the manufacturing process. It's end of the line right into a box for shipping. So -- IMHO a set up is always a good idea.
  6. Lacuga


    Mar 6, 2011
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks. Paid the $ to get set up and it's made a big difference. Good tip!
  7. makkE


    Jan 19, 2010
    Normandie, France
    It sounds like the frets are a bit sharp on the treble side - it's on my squier too, the only flaw, but it doesn't impact me. Your index finger should not really be touching the frets there, or "brush against" them.

    Pay attention to "page 6" of that little applet with the pics.