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what makes a guitar good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by svestheday001, Jul 28, 2002.

  1. svestheday001

    svestheday001 Guest

    Jul 28, 2002
    i am wanting to buy a new bass (my current one kind of sucks) but i would like to know what it is that makes a bass guitar good. i would like to know what different types of wood do and how pickups work and which types are the best. if you have any info on bass guitars please help me out.:confused:
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    The one that feels best and sounds best to you.

    Try out as many basses as you can, and pick the one you like best.

    Thats the best advice you will get since everyone has different tastes.

  3. svestheday001

    svestheday001 Guest

    Jul 28, 2002
    what if i am looking a bass guitars on line, what do the different stats mean?
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    nothing. go to a music store and try EVERYTHING.
  5. Definetly don't look at basses online, I'm assuming you're somewhat new to the bass so the best option is to head down the the local music store and just mess around with different basses. If you find one you like, you'll know it, it'll just feel easy to play and it will sound right to you. Don't assume a bass is great and that is exactly what you need (I know it sounds silly but trust me, it happens to alot of people) just because it is expensive.
  6. svestheday001

    svestheday001 Guest

    Jul 28, 2002
    not exactly the answer i was looking for, but.... if i do go go to a store, and try different ones for how they sound what am i looking for in the sound? you have to understand i know nothing about what makes a guitar good, hence this post, so what sounds are good?
  7. Geez, that is a hard question to answer.

    I would say whatever sounds good to you. I have 8 basses from Pedullas to Fenders and they all sound good, just have a different sound that is more useful for certain styles of music.

    Just remember, buying a high end bass etc won't automatically make you sound good,
    tone comes from you not the bass.

    Really nice stuf just makes it easier to get good tone.
  8. It may not be the answear you're looking for, but it's definetly the answear you need. Trying to buy a bass over the internet is an extremely bad choice, unless you're a seasoned player and know what to look for, at this point you need to go and play something, even if you don't know how to play any songs just head down to the store and talk to the salesman, they'll usually be pretty helpful to a new player and will give you the rundown on the different parts. When you play the right bass it will feel comfortable, there shouldn't be very much if any vibration when you fret notes, and when you play higher notes they should sound clean and distinct, lower notes should be very full and heavy. One thing you may want to avoid are masonite/plastic basses, wood basses are the way to go, especially at the starting gate. Take a look at the Fender P's and Jazz's, they are pretty much the standard for everything and that is something to compare to. But what you have to understand is that everything is personal tastes, for example, many people adore warwick basses, yet I can't stand them, they feel very clumsy and uncomfortable when I play them, but others love them. So just get out there and look around, if you see something that looks cool, ask the salesman about it. What's it made of? Is it a very versatile bass? Is it something that you would reccomend to start on? You'll be much more satisfied with your purchase this way.

    P.S. It's perfectly alright if your idol is Mark Hoppus, but you might want to look into various well known bassists, just to broaden your horizons and see what the bass guitar is really capable of. Take a look at Jaco Pastorius first, he is widely recognized as the greatest bassist to have ever lived, and will give you a taste of what this wonderful instrument is capable of. Some other notables are Chuck Rainey, James Jamerson, Cliff Burton, Charles Mingus, Stanley Clarke, Geddy Lee, Victor Wooten, John Paul Jones, Jack Bruce, John Entwistle, Rocco Prestia, Lonnie Plaxico, Michael Manring, Steve Lawson, and various other studio/solo artists. Welcome to the wonderful world of Bass!!!
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    When you go into the store, identify which basses are in your price range. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. If looks are important for you, check out the basses that catch your eye.

    Play the basses unplugged first. Pick the ones that feel the best in your hands, and then play them through an amp.

    When you try the basses out, play them through an amp that is similar or identical to yours. If you're playing a small combo at home, playing ANYthing through a huge Ampeg rig will sound good.

    Pick a bassist that you like listening to; one who has a tone you want to have. Deep? Lots of treble? Grindy? Find which bass gives you THAT tone. Some basses sound modern, some basses sound traditional.

    There are only so many things statistics and numbers can tell you. What they CAN'T tell you is how the bass sounds and feels, which is most important. If you really want to learn what some of the technical definitions are, check out the Newbie FAQ that is on this site. It should answer most of your technical questions.

    Remember, though, the only way you're going to find the bass of your dreams is to PLAY it. Good luck. :)
  10. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    ok, so you can start telling the differences in sounds.

    First pick up a Fender P-bass. Just about everything made is compared to finder so you might as well start there.

    Set the amp you're playing through flat, meaning that none of the frequencies are boosted. Play through a combo amp (speaker and amplifier in the same box) similiar the the one you own or plan to own.

    Play the bass with the volume and tone fully on. Then turn the tone knob all the way down and notice the difference in sound. Also notice the difference in sound from playing the same note on different strings (eg open A compared to the 5th fret.

    Now do the same thing with a Fender Jazz Bass.. notice the differences between the bridge pickup, the neck pickup, and the 2 combined. Also notice the effect of the tone knob.

    This is by no means a course in what is good, but by experimenting, you'll hopefully get an idea of what you like. Then you can use this when searching for new sounds in basses.

    In my opinion, the playability of a bass, things like action, neck radius, string spacing, etc. aren't really important if you're just looking at the numbers. There are so many factors that can affect playability, it's best just to try the bass out and see for yourself.
    So many people will say that they hate a certain string spacing... except on some bass, where for some reason, it doesn't bother them as much.

    I hope i was some sort of help and I'm not just rambling.... please keep writing with any questions.
  11. svestheday001

    svestheday001 Guest

    Jul 28, 2002
    thanx for all the replies, you have convinced me to go to the music store rather than purchasing one online.
  12. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I'm going to use a little reverse psychology here... You say your current bass "kind of sucks". You don't really get into detail about what you DON'T like about your current bass. Why don't you make a list of what you don't like about it, take the list to the store and buy one that is the opposite of that. The reverse of what makes your bass kind of suck makes others kind of great.
  13. Also, if you find the perfect bass in a music store, take note of the price, and ask them if they can set it aside for a couple days. Sleep on it beofre you buy it. See if you can find the same bass online, you might be able to find one for a better deal.

    If in doubt, come here and ask.

    If you go to a chain store (Guitar Center, Mars Music, etc) don't ever pay full price. See if you can haggle your price down, or ask about throw ins (free strap, stand, gig bag, cables, picks, etc.)
  14. svestheday001

    svestheday001 Guest

    Jul 28, 2002
    what is wrong with my bass, one of the little knobby things was really loose (i don't know what the knobby things do) and so was the place where you plug in the cord, so i took it to a guitar center and the guy their said that the nev was "waving" i have no idea what that means but he said i needed a new one.
  15. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I'll assume the "nev was "waving" is a typo and you meant the neck was wavy.

    If that's what you meant, get a second opinion. Particularly from someone who fixes guitars as opposed to someone who sells them. It is possible the guy at Guitar Center was right. It's equally likely that he was not.

    If your neck is warped or warping, there are several remedies, depending on the value you place on your bass. If it's not bad, it can be straightened. If it is bad and your bass has a bolt on neck, the neck can be replaced fairly easily. If your bass is a cheap starter bass (like the *cough* Crestline *cough* I started on) replacing the bass makes a lot more sense than replacing the neck. If you have an MIA Fender, by all means, replace the neck.

    If "nev was "waving" is NOT a typo and you DID NOT mean the neck was wavy, then nevermind


  16. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    If your Id is a reference to the band Saves the Day, then I might be able to help.

    I believe Saves the Day is a punk or Emo or ska band. My band teacher and several friends listen to them, so I figure it has to be one of those styles since thats what theyre into.

    If they are any of those styles, then they play a Fender P bass or Jazz bass. One of those could probably get you the sound you want. Squire is a sub company of Fender which also makes those bases. If you can afford the Fender get it, if you cant, then get the Squire.

    Of course this is all assuming that you like the feel and sound of the basses. Try them out to be sure.

  17. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    the player.
  18. svestheday001

    svestheday001 Guest

    Jul 28, 2002
    hmmm, looks like im checking out the p bass

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