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So.. I'm 45 and don't play an instrument. Little help...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ElwoodPDowd, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. ElwoodPDowd


    Jan 2, 2013
    I have always wanted to learn Bass guitar. My lessons start next week. NO this is not a new year's resolution.

    I don't have a guitar yet. I am borrowing my brother's reproduction '73 P-Bass.

    What I want is a bass that is easy to play. Though I don't know the difference right now.

    I like the looks of the Hofner H500. But again I like everything at this point.

    I don't want a budget guitar that I will not feel proud of. Not to be a snob. There are probably cheaper guitars that are a pleasure to own and play. But I don't know enough to navigate those waters.

    What I would like is some suggestions of guitars that will be a long lasting joy to play. Not just a get me started. I have the PBass for that. (for awhile anyway)

    I am open to entry level and moderate expensive. Though if it is an expensive guitar I will be shopping the used market.

  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    I'm sorry if this is a more broad response that what you wanted, but since you said that "I like everything at this point," I would go to a music store (you didn't mention if the lessons were at a store or a private studio) and try every single bass they have. Start from there, and find out what works for you and what doesn't. Also, talk to your instructor and find out what they would recommend, but more importantly find out WHY they'd recommend it.

    A lot of people would argue that a P-Bass will suit you well your entire career, but unless you get out there and try some yourself, you won't really know what works for you.
  3. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    What would be your price range? What type of sound are you looking for?

    Frankly, a Precision Bass is nothing to take lightly. It's the choice of countless pros, and the original successful bass guitar. I own two, and am planning to own at least one or two more in the future. Great "do everything" bass IMO.
  4. jbossolo

    jbossolo Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    Hi there, I'm 44 and been taking lessons for about a year-year and a half now. I started with a lowly Squier Affinity-P, now have 16 axes and three amps! You're already on a good path if you have a P. Wish you all the best! Whatever you do, stay off the classifieds!!!
  5. Gaolee

    Gaolee It's all about the polyester

    A P is a great way to go. A short scale bass is easier to play and can sound great, too. Fender makes a couple short scale bass guitars as do Epiphone/Gibson. Neck width is also a variable. The wider the neck, the more you have to stretch your fingers. None of these things are good or bad, they just are, and what you may find is that as you learn, your preferences change.
  6. Play a bunch and see what you like. A Precision will serve you well for years like others said. However you may end up liking the feel of a Jazz bass neck, Ibanez neck, a short scale, a certain tone etc...

    Good luck and have fun thumpin low! :D
  7. ElwoodPDowd


    Jan 2, 2013
    Thanks for the responses.
    I know the PBass is good. it is only on loan though.

    I don't know what sound Im looking for. Alphonso Johnson of Weather Report is a start.

    I have no ambitions. I just want to play for enjoyment. I love the sound of a bass.

    The Music Man Stingray SUB 4 string looks like a nice entry guitar. And the price is low.

    Let me know what you think of that.

    However, I will play for awhile before purchasing...I think ;)
  8. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was gonna suggest a P until I saw this...However I'll still suggest it. A good P is a real players bass. And it will keep you focused on playing and not "tweaking" your sound all the time.
  9. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    When I started out 42 years ago I got a Klira (Hofner knock off) then a Hofner. Both were nice basses but I soon found myself wanting something more powerful and authoritative. For me that turned out to be the Gibson Thunderbird, they have been my main bass since '76. I must have been playing 35 years before my first P bass LOL. The P bass I think is a good place to start, versatile, simple well built. You can play anything on a Precision. Are there bassists that you like and want to emulate? Check out their gear and of course get your hands on as many basses as you can before you make your purchase. Good luck on your endeavor!
  10. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    SUB has gotten a good deal of praise around here for it's brief life. Sometimes, though, you can find a good deal on the USA made Music Man SUB Stingrays, which are very highly regarded around here.

    Since you think the P is good, maybe check out a Fender Standard Precision Bass or a Squier Classic Vibe Precision.

    You must try some out for yourself - that's the only way you'll ever know! Visit the local music stores and chains.
  11. michael_atw


    Feb 28, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    There are some nice Ibanez SR-series basses that can suit. Very cheap and great starters.
  12. The SUBs are great basses. Probably the best new entry level model out there. But they aren't strictly "entry". Try one out and see how it feels.
  13. ElwoodPDowd


    Jan 2, 2013
    Alphonso Johnson that is.
    Of "Weather Report"
  14. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Since you're pretty new to all of this.....do you have any friends who play bass? Might be a good idea to take someone with you who knows what to look for when selecting an instrument. By all means try as many as you can (and the final choice is yours) but it wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion.

    Best of luck to you! It's never too late!
  15. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    Many years ago, I was in a music store just killin' time, when I picked up my first Fender jazz bass. It was like the angels sang and a light shone down from above. Before that, I had owned maybe a dozen basses, ranging from Steinberger to Yamaha to Peavey. When I picked up the jazz, it just felt like it was built for me, it just fit. I didn't care for the sound right away, but now I am seeing the beauty in the sound also.
    Play lots of basses at music stores, see how they feel in your hands, and on a strap - standing up. Some basses feel great sitting down, but not so much when you stand up with it on a strap. I wouldn't worry too much about the sound right away, but something that feels good ergonomically. The sound (the pickups, mainly) is fun to mess with a little later on... and hardware... and amps... and effects...
  16. I pretty much also agree to go to a good music store or two and try as many bass guitars you can. You get lots of recommendations but you know yourself what feels good and what not.

    ...if I would get a single new bass just now it would be a Sterling Ray34...
  17. VinKreepo


    Nov 13, 2009
    Ahhh! You need to look into Warwick, Fender Jazz, or any Ibanez with a parametric mid knob. These basses will help you dial in that bridge pickup burp.

    Heck, pickup a cheap ibanez or squier jazz and throw some expensive electronics in it.

    An Aguilar OBP-3 with variable mid pot mod and some Bartolini or Nordstrand pickups will bring you close to that tone. Very close.
  18. Most basses can be set up to be fairly easy to play, assuming they are in good working order. First things first - go to your lesson and ask your teacher what he thinks about how the instrument you are borrowing fits you. Then go from there. Good luck!
  19. macrocheesium


    Sep 12, 2012
    I started out on an Ibanez SR and I wouldn't have had it any other way. The slim neck is ridiculously easy to play for beginners. A lot of people think that the necks are too thin, so of course you'll want to try one out first. With such a broad question and so many great manufacturers, it's hard to give you an answer other than try them out for yourself (and I really hate having to say that).
  20. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Get a P. Go to a guitar store and play some to determine which P is for you.
    The Hofner 500/1 is a great bass but in the end you'll be disappointed that you really don't look anything like Sir Paul when you hold it.
    Just get a P and call it a day.