String Bass Rental for 5th grade son

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by westcreekstudio, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. westcreekstudio


    Aug 19, 2003
    I am looking for a rental string bass for my fifth grade son. He cannot get an instrument at school until 6th grade and wants to learn string bass, not start on cello. We found a teacher who will be excellent. Now to find an instrument. The closest rental I have found so far is in Illinois. No shipping. We live in Western Wisconsin and St. Paul and Minneapolis are closer.

    I have read threads that suggest buying. For a fifth grader, I am not sure how long his love of the instrument will last.

    Any suggestions out there?

    Westcreek Studio
  2. dvmweb


    Apr 20, 2002
    Atlanta MI 49709
    Have you talked to the teacher or Band/Orchestra director about this? They probably have a rental program of some kind.
    Good Luck
    Walt MI/US
  3. My advice is this: Don't waste money renting an instrument. The bass your son will get will most likely be a pretty bad instrument, and definatley won't be inspiring to play. If you make a small investment in a quality instrument, you won't lose money on it. Either your son will continue to play it until it's time to upgrade to something better, or if he gives it up you can sell the instrument and get your money back.
  4. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    In St. Paul you'll find John Michael Smith, an excellent bass luthier, (651) 647-1148. If he can't help you, he'll know who can.

  5. Ehuwiko


    Aug 18, 2003
    Gardiner, Maine
    Renting a Bass from a music store can often be a bad experience. They're usually either cheap china basses or poorly maintained Kays that have been beat up beyond recognition.

    I rent mine from my bass teacher and it is a great instrument. It was one that was given to him and was then professionally rebuilt. It beats the Kay I used to rent from a Music store in Maryland hands down. I would highly reccomend renting from a private teacher, or at least having a teacher look at the instrument your planning on renting. It's hard to learn when you're playing junk.
  6. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I've told this story before, but it's appropriate: When my (then) 8 year old nephew wanted to take up bass, I found I could rent a bass for $60/month or buy a pretty good Chinese 1/8th bass for $1500. Since a year's rental would cost $720, and I could easily sell the bass at the end of the year for not much less than I paid for it, it seemed like an eassy choice.

    Since then we've traded up to a 1/4 size bass, which cost me only a new set of Helicores to replace the Chinese strings that came with it, and we'll soon be moving him to a 1/2 sized instrument. (He still loves playing bass and he's trying out for a local youth symphony next week.)
  7. westcreekstudio


    Aug 19, 2003
    Thank you for the advice so far.

    I will call Michael Smith and check back both with the private teacher and the middle school teacher.

    The private teacher has other students, but all have school instruments. They are sixth grade or older. The middle school teacher would lend us one, but it is in use. She teaches a fifth grade string program, but would start him on cello and my son is definitely taken with the bass. She is very enthusiastic about the private teacher and my son will be able to join the fifth grade classes for some concerts. I am pleased that the two teachers can work together. I think we can wing it for a while by borrowing from the private teacher, so I do not have to make a rash decision. The Illinois rental would be 60 a month and if that is all I can find, I may consider buying. I am not sure of the quality of the school instruments, so I will talk to the private instructor about his experience there.

    Thanks again to all who have replied.
  8. Most Music stores have a "rental/purchase" program in which rental is applied to the purchase of an instrument even to a larger size or upgrade in quality. A fifth grader will probably requie a 1/2 ( or 1/4 in some terminology) size bass. Be sure to insist on a proper setup according to the teachers specs. Most rental instruments are poorly adjusted due to lack of knowledge on the part of the vendor.

    Bob Monroney (newbie with a lot of years of teaching and repairs and setups))