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Starting to teach: what can I recommend as good beginners basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Willem, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005

    I want to start giving bassguitar lessons to beginners. I expect some students (and/or their parents) will ask for advice on what to buy for a first bass.

    Which brands/models can I recommend without them going out and getting a piece of crap? 4 and 5 strings up to $300/€300!

    Thank you guys!
  2. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007
    Oh Men I get requests all the time for teaching but i always refuse because i don't have pedagogy.. lets see! Good Question!
  3. pierreganseman


    Aug 23, 2008
    to me ssquier seems to be a good start...
  4. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Banned

    Jun 30, 2010
    You'll get a hundred answers that say Squier and Ibanez, because they make good cheap stuff. But they'll always be someone who has something else that THEY like.
  5. thomasthecat


    Jul 12, 2010
    +1 to squire they are really makin some good stuff now. Ibanez makes some ok basses for cheap just dont get the cheapest basses they make. Dean, possibly but i would say squire, they give you plenty of bang for your buck. a used one would be great.
  6. Why not go to your local music shop and see if you can find a good beginner kit. The Squire Kit I got my GF's son had the bass, amp, tuner, gigbag, headphones and even a dvd all for under $500Can. 1 price and 1 box. No list of stuff to forget when the parents go in to pick it up for them.

    You might talk to the store and tell them you will be referring your students to them for a particular package and the store could be sure to stock a few. You might be able to work out a small discount for your students because you will refer all your students there and the store might then refer all potiental students to you.

    Win/Win/Win Teacher, Student, Store.

  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Ibanez or Essex
  8. I always try to help my young students and their parents come up with a decent first bass, it saves a lot of headache down the road. I have had students make some terrible uninformed choices, so it saves everyone time and money by having me help.

    I usually go to sites like Rondomusic.com, Musiciansfriend.com, and look for the best deal on a good starter guitar package. Sometimes it's easiest to just go down to the nearest Guitar Center, pick up a Squire Pac, and get the return policy in case something goes wrong. The basic requirements that I promote are playability, tune-ability, stability. Anything beyond that is lost on the beginner, but a stable instrument that tunes up, plays well, and stays in tune is mandatory.

    I will also take a peek through Craig's List and send my students/parents links to whatever promising deals I see there.

    Being a parent myself, and knowing that young students don't always maintain interest, I try to help parents make reasonable choices with the financial expenditure in case this little fad burns out quickly.

    With adult beginners, I give a little more flexibility in what they acquire. Sometimes an adult really wants a "nice" bass, a keeper, and they have the expendible income to go for it.
  9. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    SX, Squier, Sadowsky...

  10. Used Mexican Fender... P or J.
  11. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007
    Ken Smith..
  12. Aunt Babe

    Aunt Babe

    Jan 19, 2010
    My teacher's suggestion was to buy from a local dealer who will take care of your student. That way, if there is a problem with the bass, the parent can drop it off somewhere locallly to get it fixed, instead of paying $$ to pack and ship it to MF or GC.

    (Squier is a good choice, I just got my first electric bass (a standard jazz squier) and it's great!)
  13. I just got picked up an ESP LTD B-55 as a backup. I traded for it but the ticket price was $225. I've found it to be a really nice playing quality bass for the money. I think I would suit any beginner well. The Xtra Jumbo frets make for easy playability. The string spacing is noticeably tighter than my Fender Jazz V but I guess that could be a good thing for a beginner huh?
  14. If the student is looking for decent bass for the least amount of money possible, as many students are, then I don't think you can go wrong with a low end Ibanez bass. If they want to spend just a little bit more, I think the Squier Vintage Modified basses are very good for the money.

    After that, there's plenty of brands that offer basses in the $400-$800 range for students that are serious and willing to save up and spend more (or happen to have wealthy parents).

    It depends on where the student is at financially and how serious they are about playing. My first bass was $450 and after 2 years I'm still quite happy with it.
  15. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    If I was starting all over, I wouldn't buy new/budget like I did.
    I'd definitely do a little forum research, pawn shopping and CL scouring to find something like a USA Peavey in good shape.
  16. Yamaha RBX line ... why? ... 24 frets, lightweight, fast standard neck, pretty decent sound, cheap, well crafted
  17. madrob


    Aug 22, 2006
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I just helped a buddy get a first bass for his daughter. We ended up getting the Squire Jazz starter set after I played a few Squires on the wall.

    After adjusting the neck relief and string height I am very impressed with how it plays and sounds. I couldn't get the action as low as my Lakland but it came close. This bass should take her well past beginner stage and I would not hesitate to use it live.

    It even has me seriously thinking about that new Squire Jaguar for something to play around with.

  18. I tried the affinity basses and they feel cheap to me. The Vintage Modified series on the other hand feel and sound like premium quality instruments. The tone isn't "inspiring", but it definitely sounds good.

    As for the classic vibe series, I can't get over the neck finish, if I bought one I'd strip it.
  19. I always encourage my young students and parents to take excellent care of their first guitar or bass to help ensure decent resale value should they chose to upgrade and sell their first instrument. I try to educate them on proper care for a guitar, do's and dont's. Young people tend to think their guitar or bass is indestructible, get rough with it, leave it in harsh climate conditions, etc., and pretty soon they are facing either repair expenses or a beat up instrument no one wants.
  20. mcapote


    Sep 9, 2009
    Miami Florida
    i had good experience with a laguna believe it or not, fast neck, good tone, pretty good construction. neck felt alot cleaner than the squier and sx necks

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