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Recommending a bass for beginning students

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by AndreyR, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Hello there fellow bass players!
    I'm sure that many of you teach or taught private bass lessons.
    I get a lot of beginning students asking me to recommend them a bass. Usually, I would recommend the Squier jazz bass, but I'm sure there are many more great basses for beginners to start on. Also, same thing about bass amps. I tend to stay away from "starter packs", as they don't seem to be good. For example, I heard I should stay away from recommending Rogues.
    Can you guys please recommend some beginner basses/amps? Any price range will do!
  2. The best bass for any student is the one the student likes and what he can afford.
  3. I realize you said you stay away from packs, but the Squier starter pack is what I started with.

    It comes with either a P- or J-Bass, a Rumble 15 practice amp, a strap, a cable, a gig bag, a pair of headphones that can handle bass frequencies along with an adaptor for the amp, and a (although quite crappy) "getting started" DVD. I think it has a Fender bumper sticker in it too, I don't remember. It's like $320 if I remember correctly.

    Good luck with your new student! :)
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    People here can recommend lots of different basses. However a student might have particular preferences. One of the main points here is neck size. Some people prefer the wider precision necks while others like the narrower jazz neck.

    The best thing is for the student to try out as many basses as possible within their budget. The bass that feels good in their hands, and sounds good to their ears, is "their" bass.

    It is also very important, regardless of what brand the student chooses, that the bass is set up correctly with low action, so that it is comfortable to play.
  5. The only problem I see with this is that the student doesn't likely know much about how to play so what feels good now might not feel good once he or she is taught proper technique. However, it is also difficult to predict what will feel good to them in the future. I suppose the moral of the story is to not spend a ton of money on your first bass.
  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    I disagree. Even without knowing correct technique, a person can still tell if a bass feels comfortable in his/her hands. If a bass feels good in your hands when you first pick it up, there is a strong chance that it will still feel good in say, a year's time. Even if you are correct, a person has to start somewhere, so is it not better to start with what pleases and is comfortable to someone ? :confused:

    By definition, a beginner or starter bass will be upgraded at a later time one way or the other.
  7. tomsthumb


    Jan 11, 2013
    Mehhh, it's pretty easy to ballpark a 'good' setup for a beginner. Drop the action low enough that it's easy to play without John Henry Hands (tm) but give them a bit of space to dig in without massive buzzing. Though it should buzz if they're overdoing it, as that'll be bad for their hands over time.

    Honestly, I can't believe how many people never mention making sure the thing is properly intonated. It's really difficult to develop an ear if anything over the 6th fret is sharp/flat.
  8. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I would have thought this would be included in a set up, as per my quote below. ;)

  9. Here's an idea, have your first lesson in a guitar shop and see which bass feels best when they're learning.
  10. baddarryl


    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    People all the time dump used packages after they give up on CL and Flea Bay.