trying to buy the very first bass~

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by only4him012, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. only4him012


    Nov 11, 2002
    hey everyone~
    i need some help~!!
    i have played acoustic guitar about two years now and i got a chance to learn bass guitar in my church. since the bass player had to play keyboard, im playing bass for our sunday service. i have used the bass player's bass and now i want to buy my own. i have played bass for about three month now and i got little feel to doesn't sound so wrong in the band. i was looking to buy a steinberger from because i heard it's not that heavy and the balance is good. i also liked the fact that i get a bass that looks very different than what i've seen. but im not sure how the sound, feel, or anything about the steinberger cuz i only looked at it through the web. also i visited guitar center a few times and saw a person playing fretless bass. it seemed pretty fun except the fact i have to get right place without frets' help. i don't think it's very hard to learn the fretless. i believe i can do anything~ anyway, that's only my thought without any experience. i've looked up some sites but i figured asking you would be the best.

    what do you guys thinking about steinberger as my first bass? if yes, what model? xp or xt. if no, what else?
    what do you think about fretless?
  2. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hey there. IMHO, I would not start on a fretless bass. After you learn it, and get better at it, sure go for a fretless. But for now, I would use a fretted bass.
    I hear Steinbergers are not as good as they were years ago-but I don't own one, so somebody who does could answer that better than I could.
    Good alternatives (all IMHO of course)
    MIM Fender-either a Precision, or Jazz but you can always get a good sound out of a Pbass (although I love my MIM Jazz 8->) Would suggest flatwound strings, but thats a matter of personal taste.
    The Yamaha RBX 270 is a nice axe too.
    Hope that helps.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I say if you want to play fretless, go ahead and get one. They are a little more difficult at first, until your ear develops.

    But I think the concept of waiting until you are experienced on a fretted to get a fretless is silly. After all, students don't start out on fretted violins/cellos/etc and work their way up to fretless.
  4. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    The middle school double bassists have markers taped on, and from what I've heard, it would be in everyone's interests that all string instruments have frets at that level!

    Frets allow for a lot of cool modern sounds not obtained on a fretless. Also, since you are required to be a "quick study," a fretted bass would cut down on your learning curve.

    I vote for a fretted bass, and for finding a good deal on ebay.

  5. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    well.. I have a steinberger.. Got it from musicyo because at the time I thought It was a great buy.. and it is a decent bass, nice slime neck, good balance. But the electronics will leave you wanting.. They have a very dull tone... and if you want to replace the pickups, you will have to do some routing.. I think better buys can be had, for sound and quality especially.. something that will last you awhile... such as maybe the following

    Essex basses- about $120
    MIM Fender Jazz or p-bass $200-325 roughly
    MTD Kingston- Can be had used for about $350

    Just some suggestions..

    The MTD Kingston will last you awhile, it will compete with some basses 2 times its price range
  6. only4him012


    Nov 11, 2002
    thank you everyone for advises. but i still need little more....what would be the diffrences between fretless and fretted? and im thinking of paying around $500, less or above. i still like the way steinberger looks...since i really don't have any knoledge on it, i can only rely on its look. any thing to say?
    thanks again,
  7. slick519


    Aug 11, 2001
    Salem, Or
    ok, here is the deal with fretless. to maybe get a feel for what a challenge it is to master good intonation and speed on fretless instruments, you might want to ask a kid at your school who plays the upright bass. Ask him if you could fool around on the instrument to get used to the "no frets." These kids spend the first year or two just trying to stay in tune.

    its not like a fretted instrument, where wherever the fret is, it is always that note. it is more like, ok, this is gonna be a little rough but here goes.....

    say every note can go sharp or flat like an out of tune string on your bass. now, your finger determines wether it is sharp or flat, and it has to be in JUST the right place, or it will be out of tune like an out of tune string. if you cannot tune your bass well without a tuner, fretless bass would damn near be impossible IMO, and it takes a good ear to make sure that every note is exactly in-tune so it doesnt sound like poo when you play it.

    now dont let me discourage you from anything, but if you want to sound decent, real quick, fretted bass will do the job better. but if you want to become a more experienced, and step it up to the next level, then fretless might be the thing for you!

    (but, you know, this is all just opinion)
  8. only4him012


    Nov 11, 2002
    thank you very much for your advice.
  9. Malcom


    Oct 21, 2002
    The Midwest
    I can't claim to be a fretless bassist of any merit, but I do play upright and I will say this:

    When you play fretted do you STARE at the fingerboard the whole time? Probably not, you get and ear and feel for your instrument, so where doest the real advantage of frets come from? It will take some time playing off key to learn fretless, but once you get your "bass ears" it becomes fairly easy.