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What to look for in a Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LiL BaSS DuDe, May 24, 2001.

  1. LiL BaSS DuDe

    LiL BaSS DuDe Guest

    May 15, 2001
    Hey guys, am going bass shopping!
    Not intending on buying one.. But I want to have a good loook at some.
    But, I have no idea what to look for!
    So what should I look out for?

    What sort of strings? (I don't know about .67 stuff, so please xplain :))

    And, whats a plectrum to look out for? Graphite? Or just plastic??

  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Look for quality, sound and feel. Don't think how it looks. Try any bass you can find(and get the one that works for you).

    Check out atleast brands like Ibanez, Yamaha, Peavey and Squier.

    The "standard" string for bass is nickel roundwound in gauges of .105 inches for thickest string and .45 for thinnest, but pretty much every bass comes stringed with these so you don't have to worry about that.

    Also, you don't actually need picks for bass, play with your middle and index finger(known as fingerstyle), but if you want to use picks, just buy few different picks.

    After checking few of these 'monsters' out, you'll prolly be running to your daddy asking for one. Basses tend to do that.
  3. td1368


    Jan 9, 2001
    Look at the neck. There should be some curvature but not a lot.

    Check all the switches, volume and tone knobs to make sure they work properly with no popping or hiss.

    Excessive string buzz or rattling when you pluck the strings or play a note.

    Does everything feel and sound tight. Neck joint, tuners, bridge.

    You might want to consider a used guitar. Also, if you can, keep your first bass. I wish I had and I think most guys around here would too.
  4. leftybassdog

    leftybassdog Senior Supporting Member

    I look for a bass that will feel good to me , I play alot of gigs and need a working bass with a good sound and feel, there are alot of great basses out there, but look for a bass that will do what you need , I use two stingray 5s one with rosewood and one with maple and a warwick corvette rosewood, But thats the sound I need, strings .45-130=light on the stingrays and .40-120=very light on the warwick, try alot of basses and dont buy for the name ! buy for the feel,sound, and price! set a price you want to spend and try to find what you need in that range,
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Hey...WELCOME to Talkbass!:D

    Things I'd recommend for you are to keep it as simple as you can. When you start out playing, you haven't really developed a feel or ear for music or tone yet (and, if you have, more kudos...you're well ahead of where I was when I started).

    Anyway, just pay attention to the basics:

    How does the instrument feel in your hands? To test this, I'd recommend playing as many as you can get your hands on for comparison purposes.

    How does it sound to you? Same as above.

    How's the overall basic construction? There are things that you just won't know to look for, and we couldn't possibly give you an entire list on the internet without confusing and overlooking something. So, use your ears and eyes...if it doesn't seem right, it probably isn't;)

    Lastly, don't spend a ton of money on your first instrument. If you like playing, after a while, you'll develop as a player and know more about what you like and don't.

    Enjoy, and again, WELCOME:D:D
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Try this out: go to www.bassplayer.com , click on "Gear" at the top of the page, then scroll down and you'll see a link you can click on titled, "How to Buy the Right Bass" by Jeff Berlin.
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    If you're not buying,,,,what's the issue? Just poke around and see what you find.;)

    If you are to buy, find a quality axe that fits your hands, body, ear and budget. Just make sure it fits all of that, unless you wish to rebuild it in some manners.
  8. Hello Lil BaSS DuDe, how are you?

    Welcome to Talk Bass.

    Always try the instrument on a strap, standing up. Is it neck heavy (my pet hate as Suburban will tell you!!!)? The bass feels very different when you're sitting.

    Many guys on these boards advocate playing the bass acoustically before plugging in to check how it sounds without the amp.

    Watch what amp the shop plugs it into. They quite often - and, perhaps quite naturally - shove it into some top-of-the-range piece of kit because the bass'll sound better like that. And you'll then obviously want to buy it. But it'll not sound like that when you get it home. Therefore, ask to try the bass on another amp as well.

    Some great advice given to me on these boards was to try a number of different of the same type: if they've got (say) half a dozen Precisions and that's what you fancy try each one because they'll all be different.

    Happy hunting.

    Rockin John

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