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The Burpster

Buying your first bass....

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[quote name='xreporter2004' timestamp='1293043877' post='1067068']
Hello,

Everything I read so far were really helpful. I used to play guitar a few years ago and i have an acoustic bass as well but I haven't played for a few years and I want to buy an electric bass and start from the beginning again.

I've done a lot of research on basses on the internet but I haven't been in a shop yet ( which i will do soon).

My budget is 200 pounds. Any recommendations for a new or used bass.

I've also seen a few interesting models :

Tanglewood 4PB/4 ST
Ibanez GSR180, GSR 200JB, RBX170
Yamaha RBX170,RBX270J
Peavy millenium 4BXP
Washburn T14 CG,XB 120TR

If you have any knowledge on these instruments please make a comment or please tell me your thoughts.

Thanks
[/quote]

I used to play a Yamaha RBX and it was a fantastic bass, lots of tonal options because of the pickup configuration and it was nice to play standing (because of it's low weight) and seated. I remember the neck was really chunky so really felt like you were holding onto something. These basses come up on e-bay all the time at good prices and you can't really go wrong.
But DEFINITELY try before you buy, it's all down to how it feels.
I tried a more expensive Yam RBX 4A2 (i wanted to see how Yamaha had progressed since i stopped playing Yam's) and it was a horrible bass, really flimsy and plastic feeling. For some this bass may be brilliant but it's lost the appeal for me that the RBX i had had in buckets.
By the way i've still got my Yamaha, had it for 16 years and it's still lovely sounding.

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What a great thread :) Love the advice throughout - it's so important to get [u]YOUR[/u] bass, you only have to look at the forum at people who have been playing for years and years to see we all have different tastes, so there's no one right answer to what you should start out on. I think all the tips on how you should pick are really well covered, but also - Don't feel embarrassed in music shops because you're a newbie, and anyone who talks down to you or tries to make you feel a bit silly (we've all met those people) isn't worth paying attention to - most staff and customers in music shops are really excited for people who are just starting their bass playing journeys and will be happy to chat and offer you lots of advice. As a girl, who used to get very intimidated in music shops, I always get really excited when I see teenage girls buying their first bass and I probably bore them to death when I chat to them!

I was really lucky because my older brother plays bass - so I started to learn on a lovely 80s P-bass (which he later sold for peanuts and not to me!). I spotted my very first bass of my own at a car boot sale in Weston-Super-Mare. It was a sunburst Rickenfaker, it played beautifully, and it cost me £20. Look in strange places, there's often bargains to be had.

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I bought my first bass two years ago. I chose sth cheap, because was't sure if it's just a fling or I'll keep on playing. My current bass is a Warwick's Rockbass, but since I tried playing other basses I wish for a new one. It seems like I have to use so much force with this one, and others I've tried were so smooth to play on, seemed totally effortless.

Can anyone tell me what is the main thing that makes bases soft to play? (I'm translating directly from my language, so I hope I used the right expression).
To know that, would be a great help with choosing a new bass. :scratch_one-s_head:

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I find it's usually a combination of the shape of the neck and a low action. The shape of the neck is totally down to personal preference, so what works for one person might leave someone else cold. If the Rockbass is anything like the German made basses it'll probably have quite a think neck, which might not suit you.

What were the other basses you tried?

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[quote name='s1ngle' timestamp='1396440322' post='2413610']
I bought my first bass two years ago. I chose sth cheap, because was't sure if it's just a fling or I'll keep on playing. My current bass is a Warwick's Rockbass, but since I tried playing other basses I wish for a new one. It seems like I have to use so much force with this one, and others I've tried were so smooth to play on, seemed totally effortless.

Can anyone tell me what is the main thing that makes bases soft to play? (I'm translating directly from my language, so I hope I used the right expression).
To know that, would be a great help with choosing a new bass. :scratch_one-s_head:
[/quote]

Have a look at Yamaha's BB range or Ibanez Soundgear range, you get a lot of bass for little money from those brands. They have good craftsmanship, reliable hardware, half decent electronics and easy playability, everything that makes a bass buyable!

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I have played fender precision standard and mexican models and jazz custom shop but they are all too pricey. What about squiers? Is there anything I should pay extra attention to when buying a bass?

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[quote name='s1ngle' timestamp='1396811756' post='2417617']
I have played fender precision standard and mexican models and jazz custom shop but they are all too pricey. What about squiers? Is there anything I should pay extra attention to when buying a bass?
[/quote]
The Classic Vibes have a great reputation, and even the Standard series can play nicely. As Smythe points out, there are other basses worthy of consideration at this price. The Ibanez's have particularly slim necks if that's what you're looking for.

Did you have a preference for the neck width when you played the precisions and jazz bass?

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First Bass, if your on a budget, I would recommend any MIJ Fender or any of the Epiphones as long as the action is good.

Blue

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[size=4][font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]Hi Everybody, I'm new on here, so here's my first post which I joined up specifically to ask.....I am looking to buy a bass for under £300, as I'm very poor (sigh), and I wondered if I could have some comments from someone who has played both the Fender Modern Player Jazz Short Scale Bass or the Squire Jaguar Short scale Bass. I note the Squire has Precision bass p/u and a jazz bass p/u, and the comments I've read so far seem pretty good. On the other hand the Fender MP Jazz SS Bass hasn't really impressed everyone, in spite of it being 1/3 price dearer. I also note the Fenders 16 Fret and the Squire 20 Fret, though I don't usually play that high, in spite of being a guitarist, not a bassist.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]Has anyone else compared them physically (as I live miles away from the store and they only have the Squire anyway) or can a shop owner / worker give me some advice. They both look great and I'm assuming they both sound pretty good too![/font][/size]

[size=4][font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]NB. I need it primarily for recording, but some live now and again.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]I'd be grateful of some advice. Thanx in advance.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]Indus[/font][/size]

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Since no one has replied to this I thought I'd take a stab at it even though I don't have any experience of either of the basses you mention. :rolleyes:

Personally I'd be more tempted to go for the Squier for two reasons: firstly it has a Precision pickup and I just happen to love the P bass sound(!), and secondly (and more pertinently) it is much cheaper and [i]is[/i] well reviewed. It has to be said that the Modern Player had passed beneath my radar, which could be for all sorts of reasons but it does seem to suggest it hasn't set the world alight. That could be just because of the price differential though - after all the Vintage Modifieds have a great reputation for bang for the buck.

You'd do well to post you question as a separate thread in the Basses forum - the pinned threads can get over-looked as they become so much part of the page 'furniture'.

Oh, and welcome to the forum! :)

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Thanks a lot for your response Musky, I note your comments, and will also repost in the Basses forum.

Thanks again and COYS.

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Hello, looking for a first bass, would like to play indie rock. I've looked at several basses in terms of new stuff, narrowed it down to the Peavey Millennium BXP 4 or the Hofner Ignition Violin Bass (feel this is slightly more on the novelty side though, anyone have any experience with overall sound quality/ease to play?) what do you guys think would be the better of the two? Ideally however, I would like a vintage bass, would be looking to spend £250-300 for the bass alone in this instance, happily pay more for other aspects of the set up - really struggling not only to know what is good in this side of the market, but where is would best to acquire one. Any advice will be greatly received.

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[quote name='will.tyson' timestamp='1454933409' post='2974256']
Hello, looking for a first bass, would like to play indie rock. I've looked at several basses in terms of new stuff, narrowed it down to the Peavey Millennium BXP 4 or the Hofner Ignition Violin Bass (feel this is slightly more on the novelty side though, anyone have any experience with overall sound quality/ease to play?) what do you guys think would be the better of the two? Ideally however, I would like a vintage bass, would be looking to spend £250-300 for the bass alone in this instance, happily pay more for other aspects of the set up - really struggling not only to know what is good in this side of the market, but where is would best to acquire one. Any advice will be greatly received.
[/quote]

Hi Will
Firstly, if you are wanting to play indie rock, i'd go for the Peavey out of the two you suggested.

Youll struggle to get a real vintage instrument for within your budget, but you might get a Squier VM Jazz . . One like this....
[url="http://www.kirstein.de/E-Baesse/Fender-Squier-Vintage-Modified-Jazz-Bass-RW-OLW.html?outm_source=froogle&outm_medium=ncpc&gclid=CMPs7taU6MoCFUHGGwodHZIJcg"]http://www.kirstein.de/E-Baesse/Fender-Squier-Vintage-Modified-Jazz-Bass-RW-OLW.html?outm_source=froogle&outm_medium=ncpc&gclid=CMPs7taU6MoCFUHGGwodHZIJcg[/url]

I would keep an eye in the classifieds section on here. You can pick up some real bargains.

Good luck

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(1) Imho never skimp budget on a musical instrument, especially your first. Cheap poor quality instruments are not "suitable for beginners", they're probably put them off. If you're serious, cut back on almost anything else to save up for a bass that will call to you from the end of the street every time you come home, play me! I gave my 2yo grandson a professional quality ukelele and it's his favourite possession, he is going to be a musician. I went straight for a top-end GMR 5 (was very lucky to get it for £550, above my budget but I fell in love) and I would have given up with anything less enticing and rewarding.

(2) As said before, try out as many as you can - reviews are useful but only by holding a guitar can you tell whether it fits you. It is intimidating going into a shop when you don't know how to play yet, but you can sit with the bass (does it nestle into your body?). Stand with it on a strap (is it too heavy? is it balanced?). Try your fingers round the neck (is it too wide if you have small hands? or is the string spacing too narrow?). Try sliding your hand up and down the neck (does it slide easily or stick? Matt finish works for me but I know people who prefer gloss).

A good guitar shop will be sympathetic and give you plenty of time. I spent 2 1/2 hours in Promenade Music in Morecambe Bay choosing my first, and they were brilliantly patient and helpful, wouldn't let me go until they were sure that I was sure I had the right thing.

(3) As for four strings or five: while I was building up courage to get into this, I talked to a lot of bass players at blues festivals. I knew I wanted to play 5-string, but thought maybe I should start with four. The best advice I had was "Get a 5-string and use the B-string as a thumb-rest until you're ready to play it!"

Hope this helps :-)

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Hi Josie - agree with nearly everything you say but would challenge the idea that all 'cheap' instruments are 'poor' and therefore off-putting to a beginner. These days I think there are a number of instruments at the lower end of the spectrum that are very good quality and enjoyable to play. While there's nothing wrong with starting on a £500+ bass I don't think you have to- £199 should suffice with the right advice.

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I've bought a good few basses for around £50 of less and they've been good. Some have needed some work on them, such as setting up, but they're put there.

I anyone who's starting out reads this and wants to know more I'd happily help you get a deal like this. I can't promise it will be within a week, but it wouldn't be long to wait before you're playing.

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[quote name='joseb84' timestamp='1473436248' post='3130256']
Hi Josie - agree with nearly everything you say but would challenge the idea that all 'cheap' instruments are 'poor' and therefore off-putting to a beginner. These days I think there are a number of instruments at the lower end of the spectrum that are very good quality and enjoyable to play. While there's nothing wrong with starting on a £500+ bass I don't think you have to- £199 should suffice with the right advice.
[/quote]

Agreed. My first bass is a Yamaha, less than 200 quid, and its perfectly playable. The neck is fine, the action is low and the body is comfortable. It holds its tuning and there are no dead spots when amplified. If I keep playing and improving I may treat myself, eventually, to a more luxurious instrument but for what I play it would be vanity. Nowt wrong with a bit of vanity though.

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Happy to stand corrected - probably showing my age... When I bought my sons their first instruments, 25-ish years ago, one had to spend good money to get good quality. It's relatively recent, and excellent, that better instruments are available at a better price.

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[quote name='josie' timestamp='1473893379' post='3134011']
Happy to stand corrected - probably showing my age... When I bought my sons their first instruments, 25-ish years ago, one had to spend good money to get good quality. It's relatively recent, and excellent, that better instruments are available at a better price.
[/quote]

Its true. Not just guitars. I am mainly a drummer but I also play bass and guitar. The Cheap Squire Telecaster I bought 10 years ago is twice the instrument that the Gibson SG I had back in the 70s was. It cost 250 quid back in the day and the intonation was never right, also it was poorly finished. The Squire was spot on straight out of the box. I bought a new mid range Yamaha kit last year, its superbly made and finished, for about half, in real terms, what it cost me for a used Rodgers kit back in the day. Nurse, my medication.

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[quote name='cytania' timestamp='1211275433' post='202674']
Great advice about going along to a shop, one factor with bass is body shape, yours and it's. You can't tell this online. We all have different rib-cages and hips. Most basses feel fine standing up but try sitting down or getting your knee under it. My friend swears by his Warwick but it never feels right to me, not enough body to wrestle with. I settled on an Ibanez SRX400, not something I'd have picked on looks, the body is hardly contoured, but somehow it fits me. Ibanez have many body styles even within the SRX line that look similar until you pick them up.

The other thing is don't worry about playing great in the shop. Everyone's fingers turn to rubber in guitar shops, must be some device they have over the door. Pretend you are one of those heads down no-nonsense brute players ;-)
[/quote]

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