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Soon to be bass player seeking LOTS of help!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tigerorchid, Jul 17, 2004.


  1. tigerorchid

    tigerorchid

    Jul 17, 2004
    Deep South
    Hey guys! I have a huge dilemma here: I have wanted to play bass for a long time (when I say long, that is an understatement). However, I never had the money to pursue it. Now that I've saved up a nice chunk of money from my many jobs I am ready to go. But, I don't know what type of bass guitar I need. I have looked at many Fender bass guitars, but I am not sure what my needs will be so it kinda leaves me up in the air. I love rock, and I would most likely play with some of the Praise bands in my area. Can any of you tell me about the Jazz and Precision bass guitars? Any thing I need to know before I dive right in? Any particular amps? Any cautions as far as what not to buy? I have never played before, but I do know what type of sounds I like (I've played orchestra for four years, band for seven years...but I played brass)I am definitely a bass virgin here! You guys, please help me!
    Thanks, Megan
     
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Rock and Praise going just by the Fender line, I'd suggest a Jazz deluxe (with onboard pre amp). The Made in Mexico (MIM) are pretty ok, especially to start out on. The Made in America (MIA) are better IMO. You might want to look at a G&L "tribute" series... they are from the company the Leo Fender started (and died while working for) after Fender and Musicman were sold. The L2000 or L2500 will give you a wide variety of tone options.

    But as always, play everything, listen and find out what the tones you like are... the bass is just a piece of the sound your hands will make.

    Amps, something 150 to 200 watts will take you far. I like Ashdown combos for something cheap, good sounding and portable. Ampeg, GK, Hartke, SWR,Yorkville, Peavey are all good brands that make good little combos (there are more, but that's what came to my head)


    Another thing to think about is "how many strings?" 4 is great and many never need more... but I usually recommend a 5 string from the start for my students. But really just because I feel the low B of a 5 is something I'd rather not be without... just my opinion.


    Anyway, Welcome to TalkBass! :bassist:
     
  3. tigerorchid

    tigerorchid

    Jul 17, 2004
    Deep South
    Thanks for the quick welcome! I was worried it would be forever before I got a reply. I like the American made Fender bass although the Mexican made is cheaper! So are you saying for my type of music I probably should go with the Jazz? Can you tell me, what is going to be the main difference between the Jazz and the Precision? I was going to go with a four string, but I'm gonna check out the five strings, too. Does the five string have any disadvantages, or is it just simply the benefit of a lower register? Sorry for all the questions, but I'd hate to make bad choices from the start...this is really something I long to do! Thanks again for all your help! Meg
     
  4. Jazz basses have 2 pickups (the retangular objects which pickup vibrations of a string and send it through the output jack), and tend to have a more growly tone. The also tend to have a slimer neck. Precision basses have one pickup, and tend to have a little more oomph as far a tone goes. A little more bassier. They also have a thicker neck than the Jazz.


    Like everything it has it's advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that it does have a lower register, so it would give you the freedom of having a bit more options when playing. The disadvantages of it is that when you're beginning, if you're use to playing a 4 string, you might forget it's a low B, and go for an E and hit the wrong note. But usually nobody will notice, except for us bass-folk ;)

    No problem. That's what we're here for. If you have any more questions feel free to email me. :)
     
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    that only affects those who are already playing a 4 string... if you no 5 might be what you want/need... it's just logical to start there IMHO/E

    with a 5 it's just not the extra 5 notes I get... It also helps reduce movement ( like playing in F# with the root @ the 7th fret on the B string instead of the 2nd on the E ). I also like the tone of playing the same note on a shorter section of a thicker string.
     
  6. Yeah, My bad, I re-read your post and I thought you said to go from a 4 string to a 5.


    I also like that tone as well. Gives is a well rounded upright-ish sound...

    Sorry for my mistake.
     
  7. Looks like my imput isn't needed, but welcome and I like the name :cool:

    I would definately say try both (4 & 5 strings) and if you feel comfortable with the 5 string and think it might be what you want to play, then get that, if you like the feel of a 4 get that. You can play the same stuff, maybe with slightly different tone, but same notes, so you wont be limiting yourself with a 4 string.

    The main thing when choosing is this: extra strings mean either wider neck or strings being closer together. Extra strings give you a little more to play around with, but when you are first starting (particularly if you use tabs) the extra string might confuse you on where you are (what note.)

    Have fun and good luck! :)
    Jamie
     
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    no... it was a valid point, switching from 4 to 5 or any other number of strings requires getting to know where the new one(s) are. That's why I suggested a 5 if the thought of using a 5 was known at the start.
     
  9. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    i'd recommend a simple Squier Percision Bass, theyre really cheap and good for rock.
     
  10. BassGod

    BassGod

    Jan 21, 2004
    I gotta disagree with you here. The Squier Precisions are terrible, IMO. (unless I just happened to get a bad one). I've had many problems with mine so far, including stripped screws, loose tuning knobs, a faulty bridge, as well as many more problems which escape me at this time. On that note I think a Jazz bass would be best, because IME you can get more unique tones out of it. Actually, I don't know how much it would cost, but the Reggie Hamilton Signature Fender has an active/passive switch, so I'm guessing you could get a lot of tonal styles out of that. It may be a bit pricey though. And like James Hart mentioned, Yorkville makes a killer amp. I have the Yorkville xm200, and I love it! :)

    Peace,
    Graeme :bassist:
     
  11. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Can you tell us who some of your favourite bands and bassists are? That would give us a better idea as to what kind of sound you're after. :)
     
  12. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    how much are you willing to spend on your first bass? i was thinking that your first bass shouldnt be too expensive, thats why i suggested a squier P bass.
     
  13. redneck2wild

    redneck2wild

    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    If you are just starting out, try to find a bass that fits your hands. If you get an instrument that is too bulky or too heavy you may give up playing before you get anywhere. There are a number of short scale basses (30"-32") on the market that your hands may fit better that a standard electric bass (34"-35"). Try different instruments and notice the thickness of the neck - it can make a big difference.
     
  14. SuperSluggard

    SuperSluggard

    Jan 2, 2004
    Just to let you know: Jazz basses aren't always growly! I don't like that sound so I just turn down the tone knob. With some good EQ adjustments, that's a great sounding and not growly bass.

    Go here and listen to Monkey Lost His Banana to hear what I'm talking about. It's a Fender Made In Mexico (MIM) Jazz Bass.
     
  15. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Depending on your budjet, Ibanez GSR 200 bass is a great starter. Nice all around bass, has P-Style and J-style pickups, is under 11lbs, so not too bulky, balances well and is well constructed. Can pick one up for a tad over $200. SWR makes some great low end amp combos, the LA series. You can pick up the bass and amp for under $400 total and it will take you a long way.

    One thing I will say about ANY production bass, that is a bass thats mass produced, not hand-made, is to play ALL of them in the shop. If you decide on a Fender Jazz or whatever, play every single one they have and pick the one that sounds best (not the coolest color hehe). In production instruments, there is quite a bit of variation in sound. Also, even on electrics, play them in a quiet room unplugged. The louder and clearer they sound unplugged, the better they usually sound plugged in too. Tighter neck joints, hotter pickups ect.
     
  16. tigerorchid

    tigerorchid

    Jul 17, 2004
    Deep South
    No prob. I have an extremely eclectic taste in music, but I'll focus on the stuff that involves bass guitar at some point or another (don't think opera qualifies, although I may be wrong). I like the older rock (Led Zep, etc.), but I like the new punk stuff, too. I like Blink 182, Yellowcard, Nickleback, Fuel, Whitestripes, collective soul, evanescence, godsmack, 3 doors down, casting crowns, black eyed peas, lots of R&B stuff, Prince's new stuff and some of his old stuff too, bluegrass stuff like Alison Krauss, blues (muddy waters)...the list goes on. That's why I'm so up in the air on my particular genre! I have no idea...although I do lean more toward blues and rock.
     
  17. tigerorchid

    tigerorchid

    Jul 17, 2004
    Deep South
    My budget right now is about $4000 max for everything. But in no way do I intend to spend anywhere near that just starting out. I am looking to spend a little over half of it eventually...so, about $2500. I worked my behind off for that money, and I ain't gonna spend it on something I don't need right now.
    Y'all pardon my post problems...with the quotes and stuff. I am trying.
     
  18. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
  19. tigerorchid

    tigerorchid

    Jul 17, 2004
    Deep South
    Well I guess I didn't read the question, sorry. Some of my favorite bass players are...ok this is pretty eclectic too...I like Rayna from Coal Chamber, Shinobu Kawai (bass for the Japanese band Super Junky Monkey & I forget the other band's name she plays for...check out parasitic people or super junky alien...couple of other albums but I forget the names), Sean Yseult (White Zombie), Rob Nicholson, Tim Foreman (Switchfoot...i love Christian rock), Nathan Cochran (Mercy Me),Kim Gordon, Flea (RHCP...as if I need to put that in), Will McGinnis (audio adrenaline), D'arcy and Melissa from the Smashing Pumpkins...let me know if ya want more. Sorry if I slaughtered the spelling on these names...
     
  20. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    In that case an Ibanez might do just right for you. Check out the Soundgear or BTB series, they are excellent value for the money. But you should definitely try the bass you are getting before you buy if this your first. Try to bring someone who knows their stuff with you so they can help (and keep you from getting ripped off!).

    Have Fun! :)