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Quality of practice equipment

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ptotheATsign, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. Hope this is the correct forum for this!

    I recently decided to pick up playing bass again. I first began when I was about 15 and played in a punk/rock band for a few years, before quitting. The last few years I've just just been concentrating on college- and career-related stuff. So it goes.

    But since I picked it up about 1 1/2 weeks ago, I'm having a blast. Makes me want to join another band.

    The only difference, this time, is that years ago I used a pick; now I'm going for fingers. I tend to like the sound of playing with my fingers more, as my musical tastes have changed, and I feel I have more "control" over my instrument this way, too.

    I own two bass guitars: an Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray and a cheap p-bass, a "learner's" Fender knock-off that was my first bass. I've been practicing on the p-bass, building up some right-hand speed and generally getting back in the groove. It's definitely harder to play the cheap p-bass, as it's just not as smooth as the Stingray, and feels a little rough around the edges compared to my good ol' Music Man.

    Anyway, my question: Would it be better to practice on my cheap p-bass, so that when I do play the Stingray I can simply glide into it and (hopefully) play better? Or should I simply practice on the Stingray because that's what I'm going to be playing live (if I join a band)?

    The reason I ask is that I also play guitar, and I always play regular 6-string guitar on an old, crappy acoustic guitar. When I pick up an electric, or even a higher-quality acoustic, it seems much easier to play, as if my cheap acoustic guitar makes me learn to play around its flaws in the construction and I'm a lot better once I move to a quality guitar.

    Sorry for the long post. Any thoughts or suggestions? Am I nuts? (Don't answer that!) Thanks.

  2. Zachass

    Zachass Peavey Partizan

    I say just play what you'll enjoy playing more. You'll be more apt to practice and improve.
  3. Don't get me wrong; I do enjoy playing the p-bass. And if practicing with it more often could possibly help my skills, I'll gladly continue.
  4. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    It's up to you, but I have always thought it was a shame for beginners to have to play cheap stuff because it's harder to play and they are more likely to get discouraged. You sound motivated so I don't know if that would apply. You have a method to your madness.
  5. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    This probably belongs in Misc.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  6. the only thing i would be worried about is you changing your technique to accommodate the cheap P bass. This might influence your playing in a way that is detrimental when playing on a quality instrument. I'd say, practice on both, but when gig time comes around, spend all your time practicing on the ernie ball.

    great players can play great on cheap basses, but i feel its harder to learn on a cheap bass than a quality one because i feel you dont have to 'fight' the quality ones to be able to do the things you want to learn. just my opinion.
  7. I haven't noticed any real changes in technique I use when I go from the P-Bass to the Stingray, but it's something to pay attention to. Thanks, guys.
  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Just wondering, if you have a Stingray available, why would you WANT to play the knock off'?
  9. I'm currently in college, and decided to just take my cheap bass to practice on, but leave the good one at home with all my other good gear.
  10. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i just play whatever bass i can get my hands on. like at church i bring my LB75, but then go and play a Squier Jazz. i think you should switch it up every now and then. all basses are meant to be played. set up the basses similarly and have a little fun.
  11. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    I don’t think it matters which bass you practice on, the important thing is that you practice. I stopped playing years back after high school and I got back into it about ten years ago. My old guitar player and I started a band and I have been playing ever since.
    I even started taking lessons again which really helped a lot too.
  12. I always used to practice on my EB-0. The neck and body were just so comfortable, especially for just sitting on the couch playing runs while watching TV. That bass is so easy to play, it's like it's playing itself. Too bad it doesn't sound the way it plays.