What should I look for when I buy a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sigurd Nermoen, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Sigurd Nermoen

    Sigurd Nermoen

    Jul 23, 2009
    Hi my fellow bassists!

    I'm a drummer (actually), but i started playing the guitar for 5 years ago to write songs and such. I'm mostly self-thaught, and I have had great fun with it! But on my music directed school I have been playing my friends bass and I found that I got talent! The last year I've played his US fender p-bass almost each monday-friday, and I've really started to come somewhere here! I use the rythmic advantage as a drummer to really groove!

    www.youtube.com/yetanotherprog <- here is me drumming. The first drumvid is actually the best

    So I have decided to purchase a bass. My budget is $1300-1400, I really want to do this, so don't hesitate with suggesting a good bass!
    I've been through these forums and read peoples opinion, and I've been leaning towards Warwicks, Fenders, and many others.
    I also would like what the most important things for me to look for when trying basses at stores. I read about fret buzz and action and such, got any tips or something?

    I love Progbands like Yes, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant and many others. I also love many other genres of music, from metal to jazz, and the Beatles is actually my favourite band! I would like a bass with strong mids, so it really cuts through live! Mostly i would like a bass that could provide both warm and punchy sounds.

    Well, I guess I kinda told my whole life-story here XD, oh, and sorry for my sentences and such, I'm Norwegian and didnt really spend much time writing this!

    Thank you.
  2. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    If I were you I would probably find a good Mexican Jazz Bass (Jazz over P because of the music you listed deffinately leaning that way) and spend the rest of that budget on a good amp. once you get a solid bass you NEED a good amp or you'll sound like crap.

    By The Way... your sentences are way better than mine when I write on here.
  3. Sigurd Nermoen

    Sigurd Nermoen

    Jul 23, 2009
    ...but my friend's brother has this decent/good amp he never uses no more, so he said I could buy that for a small price once I get the money after my summerjob is done! So I'm all on the bass now. thanks for the advice anyways man, really apreciate the speed on these forums!

    I've concidered MIM jazz basses though, but some people say they arent as good as MIA ones. Why is this, and is it true?
  4. Sharko


    Jun 18, 2009
    Washington, DC
    Well, you must try every bass you can get your hands on and see which one feels and sounds right to you.

    But from what you described I can tell you exactly what I'd get. I'd find a used Fender P Special (p bass body, Jazz neck, P and J pickup, truly booming mids). I'm not sure if you can find an American P Special for that price, but either get a used on eor get a non-US P Special and use the rest for the amp.

    ...but to each his own.
  5. Sigurd Nermoen

    Sigurd Nermoen

    Jul 23, 2009
    thanks for the advice ;)
  6. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    No problem; you write better English than 95% of Americans. :crying:

    If you like the Precision, why not stick with it?

    Or try the Lakland Skyline P-basses: Bob Glaub or Duck Dunn.
  7. Sigurd Nermoen

    Sigurd Nermoen

    Jul 23, 2009
    I really liked the p-bass, but there may be better alternatives? From what I've read the Jazz bass would suit me even better :D
  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    Just get off here and out there into the stores and start playing everything that's in your price range. Then go with the one that sounds and plays best to you.

    Don't rule out used gear either. It'll open up more options to you as well and for much less money. So I would also advise looking through your local craigs list for sale forums too.

    Though good basses, the P and Jazz bass is not the end all be all of bass guitars. As I said, play a huge variety of basses in your price range, you may find something you like even better than both of those.
  9. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Another +1

    Find the bass that says "I was meant to be played by you" when you pick it up and play it.
  10. Sigurd Nermoen

    Sigurd Nermoen

    Jul 23, 2009
    Thanks for all the comments so far! I'm exited to go to the store this saturday and try out a few!
  11. JT Bass

    JT Bass

    Jun 2, 2009
    Not sure how it is in Norway, but that would be a lot of coin to play with in the US. Fret buzz and action depend a lot on the setup and strings, and are relatively fixable. If I were you I'd really research materials, craftsmanship, design... active vs passive, neck-through vs bolt/set neck, how are the bridge and nut constructed and how do they adjust, how many piece neck, how adjustable, etc... go out and play a bunch of basses, and really take a close look at how they are made. It's fun to research the history behind companies and examine their different design philosophies. And I'm a big proponent of buying used- as long as you know what you're looking at, it's easier to recoup your losses if you feel you've made a mistake.