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Yamaha BB164

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jkrobs, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. jkrobs


    Feb 2, 2006
    Hi there, Im new to this forum..but I just rencently went to my music shop and part exchanged my Roland Keyboard for a Bass guitar...I wanted a Warwick streamer stage 2..but offcours it was tooooo expensive. So instead I got a Yamaha BB164...It looks really nice, But Im very new to Bass guitars..actully I can't even play one. But I just wanted to get one. But Now I feel like I have rushed out and made a mistake. Firstly It;s on order and It;s gonna be 2 weeks before I get it. It cost me £294, it was £369..but with my keyboard in exchange was bit less. It's only 4 you think that's right for me? Will I still be able to make some good music with that? Also Ive been hearing that 24 frets is a must..but I just found out this ones only for 21???? what does that mean? and does that mean, It;s not good? Please help me..also if anyone could look that guitar up for me and tell me what you think..that will be great. I hope I made the right choice.
  2. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Where to start. . . (clunk!) (face hits computer keyboard).
  3. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    I'm assuming you are talking about the Yamaha BB614 (not 164 ;) )

    If so, there is a lot of information on TalkBass about it. You can start with this link and go from there:

    To your questions ...

    * It's only 4 you think that's right for me?
    For someone just starting out, a 4-string bass will be more than fine for you. Many bass players (even some who have been playing for decades) never play more than 4 string basses.

    * Also Ive been hearing that 24 frets is a must
    Not so. For someone starting out, 21 frets will be just fine.

    You've made a great choice -- relax and enjoy it!
  4. Most people use 4 or 5 strings and a lot of basses have 21 frets.

    You'll be fine, that's an awesome bass to start out on.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    IotaNet covered most of it, but I'll take a gander at your questions one at a time.

    * I too believe you're talking about the BB614. It's a new model with the 80's BB design and active electronics (meaning onboard tone shaping such as EQ)

    But Now I feel like I have rushed out and made a mistake. Firstly It;s on order and It;s gonna be 2 weeks before I get it. It cost me £294, it was £369..but with my keyboard in exchange was bit less.

    Why do you feel it was a mistake? Good things are worth waiting for, and it sounds like a good deal to me.

    It's only 4 you think that's right for me? Will I still be able to make some good music with that?

    I've been playing four strings for five years. Haven't stopped me from making good music. 4 vs. 5 strings is all a matter of preference. Some prefer four, some prefer five. Different strokes for different folks.

    Also Ive been hearing that 24 frets is a must..but I just found out this ones only for 21???? what does that mean? and does that mean, It;s not good?

    In no way do I feel 24 frets is a must. Actually, I find it to be a hinderance if you slap. My Fenders have 20 and Fenders have always had 20 except for a few exceptions, and they're pretty much the standard for a good reason.

    24 frets simply allow you to play two octaves on a single string. 21 Frets allows 3 octaves from your lowest E to your highest note, the E three octaves above. The last three frets extend your range a step and a half to G. Not a must IMO, and if you NEED those notes, there's always false harmonics ;)

    Please help me..also if anyone could look that guitar up for me and tell me what you think..that will be great. I hope I made the right choice.

    I think the BB614 is a great bass, for a beginner like yourself or a relatively seasoned gigging amateur like myself. I almost bought one as a backup in fact. Phenominal bass for a phenominal price. You should be very happy with your purchase.

    Take pictures when it comes in.
  6. jkrobs


    Feb 2, 2006
    Hi there, I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your kind help. Im one of those people who worries about things a lot..but Im much much happier now..I just have one last question...Will I be able to play songs from 311 on it..such as "Amber" "Down" and general 311 songs? Sorry for silly questions. Oh and by the way..sorry it was typing error. Yes it is the Yamaha BB614..Sorry about that. I also forgot to tell you..I orderd it in the colour Natural Yellow. :d Im really excited now! also does anyone know what Yamaha normaly give you with it for free? I mean Im guessing it comes in a box and with something or the other?? Also when I looked on the website of Yamaha..the string look so weak at the top..looks like red string or something? is it strong?
  7. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    You can play 311 songs on anything, don't sweat it.

    The stock strings will be ok, but nothing special. Check out the strings forum on talkbass for an idea of how frighteningly obsessed you can get with strings.

    as for the 21/24 frets thing, I've been playing bass for about 15 years and i just the other day ran into a situation where I actually needed a 22nd and 23rd fret. for the first time.
    So no, I wouldn't think you'd miss them for a few years. :D

    Welcome to bass. Chill out a bit, deep breaths.
    Break your posts up into paragraphs. It's painful to read those chunks of text. You'll get much better responses from people on here if you take the time to make your post easy to read.

  8. Man you need to chill out. The BB614 is a great bass, you can play any music you like on it, metal, funk, jazz whatever. Most of all have fun and enjoy it, that's all that counts.

    The red "string" at the top of the strings is the binding, made from cotton, it's wrapped around the the string to help them bed in to the bridge and the macnine heads, they're supposed to be like that.

    For me Yamaha basses are the best, you've made a good choice.
  9. Yeah, I just got a super deal on the passive version of this bass (the BB414) and it's a very good bass. I don't even feel right qualifying that with "for the money". It's just a good instrument.
  10. Exactly.

    It's a great bass, regardless of cost.
  11. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member


    My feelings on this topic are WELL documented!
  12. jkrobs


    Feb 2, 2006
    Hi guys, well thanks for all your help.

    So I have like 2 weeks before I get it. Is there anything I can why I wait?
  13. jkrobs


    Feb 2, 2006
    Ah Also, I don't have a Amplifier yet..but when I get my guitar, will I be able to play it without the amp? is it possible?

    Well I do have a 5.1 sub..would it connect to that?
  14. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Yes - you can seriously CHILL -- you are mad-hyper, right now!!! ;)

    All B.S. aside ... see if you can find yourself a good instructor. (This is actually harder than finding a good bass.) Be very explicit about what you are trying to to achieve, what your talent level is, and what you can afford.

    If you're lucky, by the time you get your bass, you will have found someone and then you can start getting some serious work in.

    Good luck and welcome to the world of Bass! :D
  15. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    As everybody else stated, you've got a GREAT starter bass to work with, so you should be set in that department for a number of years.

    In the meantime, I'd explore the different forums of talkbass, but pay special attention to the Recordings, Technique, and Lessons portions of the site. I'd actually avoid doing too much lurking in the general bass discussion forums, because like me, you may very well find yourself wanting things you don't need again (like those 5th strings or additional frets). I actually own five basses right now, and as recently as two weeks ago had the urge to buy a Natural Yellow BB614, the EXACT instrument you'll be receiving in the mail shortly. I liken this urge to buy redundant musical equipment to a low-grade chemical addiction.

    When you listen to music over the next two weeks, pay special attention to the part the bass plays, and how it adds to the song. Open your ears further and start paying attention to drumming, and how in good rock bands, the bass and drums stay very connected with one another.
  16. You can play it without an amp, but you won't be able to hear it too well, so, you need an amp. My advice is buy a small cheap one, no need for GK stacks just yet. A Roland bass cube is a fine practise amp if you can afford one, otherwise get a used small amp from ebay, anything'll do to get you started.

    My favourite thing to use at home is a Tascam CD-BT1, a great headphone amp with a CD player built in, so you can jam along to your favourite music with your 'phones on and no-one can hear you, a great way to learn.
  17. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    As everyone else stated, relax, you've got a good thing coming. You can play a 311 song on there, or any song for that matter. However P-Nut did use a five string and IIRC he utilized the low B string for a lot of stuff. No worries, you can take parts up an octave, or simply do things YOUR way instead.

    Natural yellow is a nice color and you should be very excited. I bought a BB404 before the model change and it came with a small manual and a hex wrench for the truss rod, and I think it came with a cable. That's all, but you really don't need anything besides an amp.

    The red "string" at the top is simply a silk or cotton winding and is wrapped AROUND the metal windings on the string. Partly cosmetic and partly functional, but not necessary. I play D'Addarios which don't have the silk winding and I've noticed no adverse effects to either design.

    The stock strings are much better than I expected from what can be considered a budget bass. Feel kind of like GHS Bass Boomers to me, but they're some pretty okay nickel wound strings. I don't think you'd need to change them for some time, but you know we're here to help when you do need to change them.

    Is there anything to do while you wait? Yes, clean your room so it's in a safe environment, and do some reading up here, the technique forum here, and maybe search for some online beginning bass lessons. Grab yourself a book like Mel Bay's Bass Method 1 and take a gander through it, and more importantly, get out there, listen to more music and keep an eye on the bassist.

    As far as not having an amp, it's not the end of the world. I'd recommend picking up a small practice amp for bass USED for around $50, or if you want something giggable, and reasonable, pick yourself up a used Peavey TKO combo... plenty of wattage for about $200, resale doesn't deviate much from that and one hell of a workhorse for the money.

    However, you can play plenty without an amp, that's how I started. You'll just find that you need to hit the strings a little bit harder in order to hear yourself. Just practice with your chin resting on the upper horn and the vibrations through your chin will help you "hear" what you're doing.

    Connecting to a 5.1 sub? I wouldn't. I'm sure there are plenty of adapters out there that you can make it work, but for all that effort, and money, you'd be much better off with a used practice amp, which would probably sound even better.

    Now that I've typed all this, let me ask you a favor. Fill out your profile so we can know more about you and give you a little bit more help pertaining to what you are and what you're looking to do. Fill that out and you'll find more people are willing to help out.

    Good luck.
  18. jkrobs


    Feb 2, 2006
    Hi, so do you mean, It's not possible for me to play any 311 songs on my guitar???? dam I should have orderd the 5 string version :(
  19. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    You will be able to play every single 311 song in their catalog on your bass. There will be some RARE moments on certain songs where one or two notes will be out of your reach. In most of THESE circumstances, you will be able to detune your e-string temporarily to make up for the problem, if you wish, though you will likely prefer to play higher octaves, or simply choose other notes to match the song.

    You have a 4-string bass, which is what most of the rock song's you've ever heard have been recorded with. If P-Nut went out on stage and then magically had the low 'B' string on all of his basses snap off, he would be able to soldier on without anyone noticing, including most likely you.

    There is no reason whatsoever to regret or in anyways double-think your purchase. You have done the right thing.
  20. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    just in my opinion, it's a good thing you didn't get that Warwick. the Yamahas are pretty nice basses, especially for beginners. 4 strings will be more than enough to start on. start from the bottom, don't rush into things.