PLEASE PLEASE help me decide which type of bass to buy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FunktheBlues, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. FunktheBlues


    May 16, 2017
    Austin TX
    Hello new friends and badass bass players. I want to first off thank everyone so much for taking the time to help an old man (just turned 58) help buy the correct bass for my needs. I am so freaking confused and will 100% buy the bass that the majority of you recommend as you are the pros.

    So here's my deal. I am a serious guitar player and been playing 44 years. I bought my first guitar at age 14 after seeing Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden in 1977 just to give you a sense of my love for music. My second concert was Black Sabbath with an unknown opening band call Van Halen. I was 15 and tripped on acid at that show and as great as Eddie was, Sabbath blew my mind. Geezer Butler is one of the greatest rockers of all time.

    So my question is this. I want to seriously learn bass and really am digging the idea of an acoustic/electric bass so I can also take it outside and practice and also plug into an amp and jam outside with friends. I live in Austin so there are many cool musicians to always jam with outside.

    My other question is it possible to learn funky marcus miller type slapping style on an acoustic electric? I am really going to take bass seriously and plan on practicing a few hours everyday. I prefer to sit outside and watch youtube videos on my ipad. So I am hoping playing an acoustic electric will not hinder or slow down the learning process especially slap bass.

    My last question is can you learn slapping style on a 3/4 acoustic electric like the Taylor Mini acoustic electric? I ask this question because the reviews I read from bass pros seem to love the taylor mini basses. Can I master slapping style on a smaller bass or are the frets too close? I only am considering this approach because as a guitarists it may be a lot easier to play a smaller neck.

    I am buying used and my budget is $600 but would be happy to spend less if possible.

    I am open to all suggestions and will purchase the bass that the majority of you recommend so thanks again for helping out an old rocker.

    For those about to rock I salute you.

    Stay thirsty my friends.

  2. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Most people here that have acoustic/electrics don't use them. My first good bass was a Fender Precision which is what I always recommend, they will teach you how to get a good sound out of a bass because you can get almost any sound out of them by varying your technique. Those three band you mentioned all used Fenders at least part of the time. P basses are more solid than Jazzes and are great for rock.
    obimark, Santinotafarell, zie and 9 others like this.
  3. FunktheBlues


    May 16, 2017
    Austin TX
    I love electric instruments but at moment I can only buy one bass. I would love a P-bass but not sure if it would be my 1st choice knowing I will be outside the majority of the time many times jamming with acoustic guitarists. And of course I am going to get a battery powered bass amp like the Roland Bass cube and could carry a P-Bass around with me but the acoustic electric appeals more to me. My main question is can I master slap bass not only on an acoustic electric, but a 3/4 like the Taylor mini? And thanks for your quick reply.
  4. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    How about a Fender P/J fretless? They sound great with acoustic guitars, but I'm not much of a slapper so can't help you there
  5. FunktheBlues


    May 16, 2017
    Austin TX
    Would LOVE a fretless bass. But as you said not sure if they are best choice for slappers. I will do some research so thanks for recommendation. Peace
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  6. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I wouldn't use an ABG for slap at all. It's not built for that. A 3/4 Taylor is going to be even more inappropriate. ABGs are barely adequate for grabbing while there are commercials between TV shows, and are easily drowned out by an acoustic guitar and mandolin. I got rid of mine as it really became useless.

    Once you have an amp (even a small one) an ABG becomes pointless. Get a good bass and decent amp. Play different models and find the one that works for you.

    Oh, and the comment about a P bass being more solid than a Jazz is pure nonsense. They have different designs and pickups that contribute to a different sound, but both are made of the same woods, hardware, etc. And it's not like P and J are the only options in this world, although the brainwashed F-crowd would have you think so.
    lermgalieu, M0ses, wboyd68 and 20 others like this.
  7. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Slapping on an ABG, not something a bass player would do... sounds like an exercise in futility to me. But, since you are hell bent on an ABG and don’t want to hear the advice, good luck.
    BazzaBass, smogg, geof_ and 4 others like this.
  8. I have found that there are few if any acoustic bass guitars that can hang volume wise with acoustic guitars. Because of that you will likely always end up with an amp when trying to jam with the acoustic guys. At that point an ABG has more points against it than for. Plus as mentioned before while someone likely "could" learn the styles you suggest on one it would not be ideal at all.
    SJan3, Tampabass, GregC and 2 others like this.
  9. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I'm big on acoustic basses.
    Can you slap them?
    Hell, I've seen people slapping Thunderbirds and Hofner 500/1s!
    With that said, I recommend the Dean Exotica...older models with the Aphex System electronics: Aural Exciter with Big Bottom Sound. More tone options than quite a few solid-body basses I can name.
    They're so good, I own two!
    Usually a few available on Reverb, ebay or sometimes even Guitar Center. Bought this one for $300 and my other one for $250 with an ABS case.
    By the way, I play this all the time.
    Yes, even outside with no wall outlets in sight.
    Seriously, battery-powered amps come in cheap,, mid-priced and expensive. I just bought this little Joyo amp for $59 and the Roland is $299 new, but I've sern used ones for $200...loud enough for any acoustic jam.
    Don't let anyone sour you on acoustic basses if you really want one.
    As for ease of playing?
    D'Addario black tapewound strings.

    Usually a few Exoticas available on Reverb, ebay or sometimes even Guitar Center. Bought this one $300 and my other one for $250 with an ABS case.

    As I mentioned earlier, of course you can slap an acoustic bass.

    Need I post more?
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  10. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013
    You "could" hypothetically slap on an acoustic bass, but a more appropriate question would be "should" you. I don't think it's impossible to slap on an acoustic, but it's not...preferable.

    For $600, here's what I'd pick up, which could help you get the best of both worlds:

    *One of the Ibanez A/E basses, which are surprisingly very good considering that they are cost more than a third less than the Taylor you mentioned. Can be found new at $250; used lower.
    *A short or medium scale bass of your choice. I played one of those Ibanez Mezzos the other day and was really impressed considering it was, like, $300. Again, cheaper used.
    *A used Roland Cube if that's what you want to bring for jams (because, depending on the ambience and amount of other musicians, an acoustic bass is hard to hear). The 1x8 on Sweetwater is $219 new, but you could find cheaper used I assume (or, if you do go with Sweetwater, sometimes they are cool if you ask for a discount. Never hurts.)

    So, buying all new you're maybe at $770. Which is obviously over your budget. But you could go used and knock that down. There's a medium-scale Ibanez A/E on Reverb right now for $170 shipped, and one of the Mezzos I mentioned for $240 shipped. If you snagged those, that would leave you $190 for an amp. That Roland Cube could probably be had for a little less than that if you asked the Sweetwater sales guy for a discount reaaallllly nicely.

    ANYWAY. I'm not saying that's what you should do, but I think having a backup in case that acoustic bass isn't enough is essential. Trust me. I bought a $500+ acoustic bass as my first upgrade from my Squier Affinity, mostly because I was using it predominantly for bluegrass/folk music at school. Realized VERY quickly that it wasn't loud enough, and a few months of saving money later I found myself buying an electric bass, which was infinitely more useable. Finally sold the acoustic last year because it was just not getting any playing time. They're a lot better in theory.
    doran.dragic, GregC, Powbob and 2 others like this.
  11. Any bass with a neck that feels good to you when you are holding it, will suit you best. The size of your guitars necks will play a part in what kind of bass necks you will like.
    As previous answers have mentioned, almost any acoustic/electric bass will probably need a small amp to compete with even one acoustic guitar. If you would have to use an amp anyway, a good P or J bass would serve you well. It doesn’t have to be a Fender, just a copy.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    Funky Phantom likes this.
  12. Jamin of NouS

    Jamin of NouS

    Dec 17, 2019
    Interesting... Led Zep, Black Sabbath... and you want to slap? Acoustic basses will not ever give you satisfaction...
    John Paul Jones uses a Fender (P and Jazz I think) ... Geezer Butler uses Lakeland basses, which are very similar to the Fender Jazz... these basses are versatile and give you the action (string height) necessary for slides and walks critical to the Classic/Prog/Heavy Metal sound... a stomp box or 2 would be a must to enhance the sound... I like the Boss ME-50b for a wide variety of sounds...Flange, Chorus, Echo, Distortion, Wah.... I also like active basses... Rickenbackers are very fun to play... Gary Grainger’s (PRS) are also fun and have tremendous sounds... in the end, it’s up to you... go try a few and see what feels right for your style of play...
  13. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Don't hold back now. Incidentally I was talking about the sound not how solid the body was.
    thabassmon likes this.
  14. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
  15. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    I would not recommend an ABG for anyones first bass.

    But any solid-body will make enough noise to practice by yourself, but you will need some amp to play with others. (Sorry, that why its called an electric bass.)

    As far as choosing your first bass, there are two basic types of necks, J necks and P necks. P necks are wider at the far/low/nut end and J necks taper to 1.5 inches at the nut.

    You need to try both and decide which feels better to you.
    Santinotafarell likes this.
  16. Mister Molina

    Mister Molina Mister Molina Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2020
    I'm no expert on acoustic basses so i cant give you advice on that. But that Marcus Miller double thumb slap style is not a walk in the park...
    Funky Phantom likes this.
  17. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I'm going to wholeheartedly echo those who are saying you won't hear an acoustic bass when playing with acoustic guitars. It's just a sad reality. Coming from the world of guitar and wanting to move to bass, I so wanted an ABG to do it for me, but I've tried lots and none hold a candle volume-wise to the quietest parlor guitar. You get two acoustics together over you and you'll quickly find you're playing for yourself. An upright can get you more volume, but even then it's not going to cut through with any mid-range. A portable amp with a regular old electric bass was the eventual satisfier for me. :thumbsup:
    GlennRH, Powbob and Funky Phantom like this.
  18. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    Bronze bass strings are really hard on the fingers man. And I don’t mean the tips. You try popping on one with incorrect technique and you could damage the second knuckle on your index finger pretty badly. You can sort of slap on an ABG, but until you have good technique I wouldn’t recommend it. Sit outside with a little Roland cube amp. We bassists use electric Basses for acoustic gigs more often than not. A Jazz Bass will get you that sound with decent resale if you don’t dig it.
    Tampabass and Funky Phantom like this.
  19. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Forget about the acoustic (at least for now). An acoustic bass won’t generate enough volume to be heard with other instruments playing, so you will still need some kind of amplification. With your budget, and fondness for Marcus Miller, have a look at the offerings from Sire…

    Experience the Joy of Music with Sire
  20. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    By the way, a lot of us love the idea of acoustic Basses, we keep buying them cause they seem so damn cool. Then the majority sell them when we can’t find any practical use for them. And the smaller they are the more useless they are acoustically. Even double basses can be hard to play loud enough. They look cool, and we get why you want one, but at 58 you probably can take a lesson from the collective experience. You’ll most likely dig it for a week or two and then forget about your bass dream altogether.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 21, 2021

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