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What is a nice beginner bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ephemophile, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Ephemophile


    Dec 8, 2010
    Hello guys. I have decided to learn bass guitar. I have been playing acoustic guitar for 8 years, and electric for about 3. I have strong, flexible fingers, and I know bass will be fine.

    I'm looking for something nice, but not too nice, that will be good for slapping, but that has 5 strings. I was looking at dingwall, but I think that's getting ahead of myself. If y'all could recommend some nice basses in the $500 to $1000 range that are good for slapping, I'd be much obliged to you.

    Thanks for having me on your forum,


    EDIT: I forgot to mention, some music I'm into: tool, pink floyd, dispatch, insomnium, paul simon, nickel creek, robert johnson, andy mckee, eric johnson, jimi hendrix. Lots more, but that covers a wide swath of the spectrum.
  2. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    Slapping is harder on a 5 string due to the string spacing. Look on rondomusic.com . Sx basses get great reviews on here. I own a sx j bass and love it. The neck is alittle chunkier then a normal j bass but that doesnt bother me. Theres lots of different models on rondo and all they need is a proper set up.
  3. Ephemophile


    Dec 8, 2010
    Excellent, thanks, I will check it out. I have been browsing the forum here, and learning some things. I definitely want to buy a used bass. If I can swing it, I might even get a 4 and a 5. I really need that low B though.

    EDIT: hoping to get something a bit nicer than a bass for $200 retail.
  4. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Its good to see one with enough insight to want to spend a nice amount for a begginer bass. Doing such gives one a better playing, sounding, and made bass in most cases. This leads to more enjoyment with the instrument which of course benefits learning. Id recomend Ibanez, ESP Ltd, Schecter, and BC Rich in that price range. For the latter the eagle basses along with the innovator are going to be the more conservative looking yet still a little unique. In that price range these have neck thru body construction with mahogany wings, active 2band eq and P neck and bridge pup set. The Ibanez, ESP Ltd and Schecter basses have soapbar type pups and active 2-3 band eq's onboard.

    Best thing though is try as many brands as you can in that $500-1000 range and a few lower priced ones if you like their upper line. Sometimes a lower price model will fit a player better sound wise. Especially if you prefer a more modern & aggressive and/or crunchy rather then more conservative or vintage pop rock and smooth tone.
  5. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    Well You cant go wrong with a fender, G&L, or one of those 600$ stingrays. I just figured you would want to go cheap since Everyone else seems to want the cheapest bass.
  6. Ephemophile


    Dec 8, 2010
    Yeah, I have 5 guitars, and they're all pretty darn nice, so I understand that quality not only lasts, but it increases the likelihood of actually playing the darn thing.

    I went to guitar center a couple days ago and played a bunch of basses. I found an Ibanez that was ok, but it didn't really sit all that well with me. Guitar center always disappoints me. I guess that's what happens when you spend your time in boutique acoustic guitar shops.

    Edit: spelling. Also, since, I'm new to bass, maybe you could answer this question: will it be significantly harder to become fluent at slap style on a 5 string? I have a 7 string electric guitar, so I'm relatively comfortable with tight string spacing, and I also have fairly small hands. Not tiny, but not the kind you'd want to bring to a bar fight.
  7. I would think slapping on a 5'er wouldn't be a problem. You can get used to anything if you practice it enough.
  8. ian_s


    Jul 10, 2009
    What are you going to do for an amp? Is $500-1000 your budget for the instrument itself or for an amp also?
  9. For the upper range of your budget I would suggest a (used)Stingray 5. From what you've said that seems exactly up your alley.
  10. Ripley


    Oct 25, 2010
    Decorah, Iowa
    Mexico Fender Jazz 5 - around $300 on ebay. Also, check out Yamaha. I'm not sure how they price for a 5er, but they're a quality instrument for the budget minded.
  11. Ephemophile


    Dec 8, 2010
    So, my rig will be bass > axefx ultra > QSC K12s
    That is my guitar rig, and from what I understand, it will be suitable for bass in a pinch.

    I will check out the basses you guys have mentioned. Thank you ever so!
  12. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    If you can spend 1k then go Fender.
  13. I really think any of the Sterlings by Music Man ( import ) would be great. Neck shapes are comfortable, and they play easy
  14. dogofgod


    Dec 24, 2009
    Fender American P, very easy to play. ;)
  15. A passive G&L Tribute instrument (SB2 or JB2) will not only start you off right, but can bacome a main player worthy of gigging and being seen with for years. Since the OP wants a 5er, that means different options. There are some great active 5ers from G&L in the $700 range. There is also the cachet of being in a somewhat exclusive club, with G&L, due to the brand's "below the radar" profile to most consumers. Some of the new Squiers are quite good, as well, but there will be others out there who would sneer at the name on the headstock. That never happens with a G&L, in my experience. Other bandmates are more curious and respectful of the G&L, but some of that could be the player. I am also impressed with the Schecter Raiden Special, having demo'd the 5er recently. String spacing's too narrow for me to slap on, but it did everything else very well.

    YMMV- go with what feels good in your hands, and offers room to grow, with versatility.
  16. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Used Peavey Foundation or Fury.. can be found for about $150.. made in the USA.. pro class gear.. very under rated.

    Then get it setup..

    If you chicken out , can always sell it and recoup your cash
  17. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    FWIW 5 Strings don't always have tighter spacing. I've got a Squier 5 String (according to their marketing speak I fit into the bassists who want a low cost backup 5 string) that has similar specifications to THIS BASS.

    String spacing is 19mm similar to most 4 strings. The neck is a bit chunky but nothing too dramatic to get used to and I've gigged mine quite happily alongside my posh 5 string and my Ric.
  18. Cyber Soda

    Cyber Soda

    Sep 24, 2008
    1.) Slapping a 5er isn't that difficult, and it won't make it any more difficult to learn. I promise. I am a finger style player and I usually slap when I've got nothing better to do. 5 strings have become my new preference.

    2.) I'm a known Spector whore around here. I say you go with a used Spector Euro. If you've got a nearby Guitar Center, they might have a Euro in your price range. I do recommend getting it set up somewhere else though.

    3.) If you don't want to go used, can't find one in your price range, or just don't like Spectors the way I do, I will recommend G&L basses. The online pictures really don't do them justice. They are really beautiful, well made basses. You would be very happy with one.

    I really do think that if I could go back and start all over again knowing what I know now with the price range you have, I'd go for a Spector Euro.

    NOW I have a question for you. I'm getting ready to start taking guitar lessons after years of playing electric bass. It was recommended to me that I start out with acoustic guitar and move on to electric with time if I want to like it seems you did. I have no problem with that, and I generally prefer the tone of acoustic guitars. However, like I said, I have been playing electric bass for quite some time now. Do you think it would be beneficial to start out with electric guitar?
  19. Jon_West


    Jan 8, 2009
    GTA, Ontario
    And on the other end, I have a 16 mm 5ver, and I slap it all the time. :bassist:
  20. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Not sure which bass to recommend, but I would suggest taking whatever you get to a reputable repair person to have it set up correctly. It will be worth every penny and make the bass play and sound better.