Washburn vs. Fender

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by missmozart9, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. missmozart9


    Jul 4, 2005
    Hello all! My name's Brittany, I live in Singapore, and I'm a 15-year-old jazz bassist. I started playing bass roughly 6 months ago in the States when our old bassist was kicked out and I was recruited for keyboard bass. My dad surprised me with an electric bass and I learned how to play over the weekend. This bass was a lovely blue Washburn XB-120. It's been a wonderful bass to me. Despite the fact it's just a beginner bass, it's been able to replicate the sound of an upright bass beautifully for jazz band. It worked perfectly for everything, from Rhaspody in Blue to Duke Ellington to Earth Wind & Fire to Jaco's "The Chicken". I also enjoy playing classic rock, mainly Beatles and similar style, and this bass was able to give me almost all of what I needed.

    My dad just found a sunburst Fender Standard Jazz bass for $400-something and told me to research it. I have, but I haven't been able to find a real comparison. Do you think that it's worth buying over my Washburn? Do you recommend a whole different bass altogether? I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks! :)
  2. Hey Brittany, welcome aboard.

    I gotta tell you, that description you give of your Washburn makes me want to own it. My opinion? Why mess with a good thing.

    But, having options is good too. :) It looks like your XB-120 and the Jazz are made out of the same materials, so the acoustic properties should be similar. I've never played a Washburn, so I can't really give you a comparison on tone.

    Probably the only thing I can give you has a useful comparison is that the Fender will most likely have a bigger body, and a bit more weight on it. It's a comfort issue, but hey, we gotta be comfortable when we do our thing right? If you get a chance to sit down with the bass, give it a try, and see if it just feels right.

    By the way, I was mighty impressed that you read off Jaco, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Duke Ellington as stuff you groove to. You can jam in my band anytime!
  3. missmozart9


    Jul 4, 2005
    Well, thank you for your reply! I do appreciate it and I agree, my Washburn has given me all I really require. From what I've read, the Fender is a nice bass (and I love the sunburst finish). Having two very good basses is never a sin, though!

    I've been told that my bass is relatively light, but I do understand that Fenders are a little bulkier. I'm quite little as is, but I've played around with Fenders before and I do like them.

    I guess it really depends on whether not my dad's willing to buy the bass for me or not!

    Thanks for the compliment, by the way! :D
  4. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    Off topic, but how did you learn to play "over the weekend" ?

    Any tips, hints you can give to me? I'm just a hobby player.
  5. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I'm thinking her experience in the band may have had something to do with it. :rollno:
  6. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    I was a gigging drummer for over 20 yrs. Other than me having the built in rythym already, picking up the bass is a challange.
  7. missmozart9


    Jul 4, 2005
    I just used what I knew- I'm a pianist so I can read bass clef. That helped. It was just a matter of teaching my brain to know which fret on which string at which note. I knew the string names and that frets are a half step each, so it really wasn't that hard. A lot of practice, too. I don't know. I was just excited to learn!
  8. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Well definitely no disrespect intended (I don't think you took it that way but it should be said anyway :) ) I started on drums at 8 and switched to bass at 15 so I can relate, except I have been a gigging bass player more than I was a drummer. It wasn't easy for me either.
  9. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    None taken.
    I was just thinking that just because someone plays in a band doesn't mean they are easily adaptable to play all instruments.
    Especially us former drummers! :D
    I was a "natural" drummer who had no idea of the technical terms for what I was playing, but I could play them skins pretty good.
  10. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    :eek: Wow...I've been at it for about 20 years and still haven't got it quite figured out. :)

    Not sure I can help you with the bass question but I sure found it refreshing to read about a young lady playing stuff by Jaco, EWF and the Beatles etc.

    Keep up the good work, and more power to you!
  11. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    It's genetic. I come from a long line of drummers and I am the first in the family to play bass. The rest either still play drums or switched to keys or guitar. :) I love bass and it speaks deeply to me (pun intended) and I definitely wish missmozart the best and as Dave said she is a breath of fresh air.
  12. back on topic, I would suggest the Fender. I've owned a Fender MIM Jazz for over a year now, and it is beautiful. I'd just say try out the Fender in a store, and compare to your experience with your Washy. It's mostly preference and how YOU like the bass. Just shop around and have fun.
  13. Hi Brittany...if you like your Washburn, I would hang onto it and not worry about getting a Mexican Fender. Or maybe see if your dad will pony up the dough for a used American or Japanese Fender. You can usually get them used for slightly more than a new Mexican Fender.
  14. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    Stick with your washburn. Don't consider the Fender unless you've played it yourself and know you like it. Fender can make some nice instruments, but they are all over the freaking map when it comes to quality control. That's why it's important you play it first before you get a fender.
  15. No problem, thanks for the knowledge that I'm not the only one that digs the music that I do :)

    The weight can be a burden, especially if you're not prepared for it. My 5-string bass is about 10 pounds, which was about 3-4 pounds more than any other instrument I had played. If I didn't properly stretch before a show, I was in pain for 3 days.

    The size thing is something I'm still trying to get used to. *LOL* I just got an SX clone of a Jazz bass, and the dimensions are similar. I think it adds some awkwardness to the way you would otherwise move and sit, but it's not a horribly big deal.

    If your dad buys it for ya, I'd say give the man tons of love and hugs because he's a good father. Then, play the heck out of that instrument. They're awesome sounding beasts.

    But for my sake, never get rid of that Washburn. You just made it sound too cool. Oh, and send me some soundclips if you ever get a chance :D
  16. Just you!?!?! I think we'd all enjoy some sound clips!!!

    Man, the guy that marries this chick is gonna be one lucky s.o.b, no kidding either. I'm teaching my girl, and she loves it too... But neither of us have musical backgrounds, so we're nowhere near able to read sheet music... strictly tabs for us!!!
    1 upside and 1 downside to dating a chick bassist... :eyebrow:
    downside... you're no longer sexy when you play naked... :(
    upside... she is. :D
    I might as well contribute too... I think you need to just play around, and see what you are comfortable with in that price range. If you like the Fender, and can find a good one, and can deal with the weight, then by all means, nab one! If it turns out you don't like it, stick with that 'Burner, you made it sound spectacular! It almost makes me want one... but I think I'm gonna go for the Taurus, and try to do some amazing mod to it noone has done yet... replace those gol darn mishaped p'ups!!!!

  17. missmozart9


    Jul 4, 2005
    HAHAHA! Well, thank you! I do require musicianship in any guy of mine. If they can't sing or play something, they either learn or they can't have me. That's just how it is.

    Thanks for all of the help! I do plan on keeping my Washburn. I love it so so so much. I have some jazz band clips but no idea how to get them on here...I don't know where I can load them. :eyebrow:

    I agree, my dad's a great one. He's willing to support me as a musician in any way, as he's an ex-trombonist. I'm also 15, meaning I'm too young to get a job and still dependent. If he gets me the Fender, I'll make sure to put it to good use, but I'll never let my 'burn gather up dust. I love it too much.

    Go for the 'burn by any means. It's technically a beginner's bass. It should only cost around $250. I found it to be perfect for the style I play. The jazz professor at a nearby university told me that my tone was perfect when we went through constructive criticism as the hono(u)r jazz band...so there you go. I love it. :D
  18. Teh_GoAT


    Apr 25, 2004
    Note to self. If I ever want help from the TalkBass forums.. just say that I'm a young, teenage girl that loves the bass.
  19. VellaBass


    Aug 29, 2003
    London, UK
    Hey Brittany. My first bass when I returned to bass playing after a 20 year lay off was a Washburn like yours. It is incredibly light, has a nice, slim neck and is very easy to play.

    However a Fender would be a great step up, and in particular the higher quality bridge and pick ups will give you a better tone (noted that you like the 'burn, but wait till you hear a Jazz!). I would definitely recommend that you go to a shop and try a few, see how you get on with them.

    If you get one, and once you are settled with it, this leaves scope for the next move, once you're ready, (perhaps in a year or two) which is what I did - get the Washburn defretted (costs about $100). With your musicianship and the style of music you're playing, you are definitely going to want to experiment with fretless at some stage, and this is a low risk way, plus the ease of play of the neck makes it a great way to get into fretless playing. (Like your dad I am an ex trombone player, for obvious reasons we have a natural affinity with fretless. My main axe now is a Manson custom unlined fretless but I also have a US made fretted Jazz which I love for playing funk. I gave the 'burn to my 15 year old daughter!)