Starting Bass Guitars?

IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy CanadianToronto, Ontario
edited March 2014 in The Pub

So basically I want to start playing an instrument, when I was little my parents got me a starter acoustic guitar but I never really got into it partly I imagine because I was a stupid kid and didn't like practicing anything.

Anyways as the thread title says I'm looking into starting playing a Bass guitar but I have no idea where to begin in that regard I imagine I'd start with some form of beginner Bass and a dinky Amp but my knowledge of instruments or musical equipment (Beyond how to mess with Equalizers and Music Software) is pretty much nil.

I figure there's got to be at least some musically inclined individuals on IC who could help me out so thanks in advance!.

Note: I'd be looking into getting into this later in the summer after I've acquired some disposable cash.

EDIT: I'm also a lefty if that causes any problems with instruments, I honestly have no idea beyond maybe not being able to hit the strike board on a right-handed guitar.

-Ilriyas

oni_dels
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Comments

  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related
    edited March 2014

    Calling @primesuspect‌

    Also have future interest in this. I have a bass and amp in my closet that I haven't had time to mess with for over a year and want to get back into eventually.

    How to this?

    Just kidding, that shit is impossible. More like this.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    Step 1: Get a lefty bass. Since you're starting from scratch, do it right. There are plenty of amazing lefty instruments.

    Step 2: Play this:

    Step 3: Profit.

    Ilriyas
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario

    @Primesuspect What constitutes a good lefty Bass? Do you have any suggestions or should I just try a bunch within a price range and take a pick from those?

  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA

    @primesuspect said:
    Your first bass should be a piece of shit.

    So much this. My first acoustic guitar was $50. I wish I still had it, but it was stolen. If you're at all sentimental, it will end up with a special place in your heart.

    Do NOT skimp on learning music theory: this is the best time to learn it. Get some elementary cheesy bass guitar books that teach you scales. MEMORIZE YOUR SCALES. IT'S SO IMPORTANT.

    As someone who skimped on theory for a long time, I hate to admit it, but he's right. Learning even basic music theory will make your life 1000000% easier.

    The only thing that I'm a little different on is learning songs. My experience might be different because I started on guitar, but learning songs (and paying attention to how they sound) has made picking up theory much easier for me. I think in part because I started to recognize the difference in sound between notes, chords, etc.

    You're going to love this Illy.

    Ilriyas
  • I worked with a man, great friend of mine. I helped him move in November, his bass and amp collection is pretty obscene.

    I asked him about a good beginner instrument and he said the first question is what kind of music do you want to play? If you knew, it might simplify the setup a little, if not, there were more versatile bass and amp combos that would allow a new player to fool around a bit more.

    Do you know what kind of music you might want to play? I'll ask Patrick if he has some advice.

    Ilriyas
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK

    Just posting to agree with pretty much all the advice - music theory, picking songs you want to learn, cheap starter instrument, lots of pain, lots of frustration. Slowly the pain and frustration goes away and gets replaced with fun and euphoria.

    I'll also put in a plug for Rocksmith 2014. There is a lesson mode in this game that's really good for learning basics as well as songs.

    Ilriyassharkydart
  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec.

    @primesuspect said:
    Your first bass should be a piece of shit. Seriously, do not spend more than, say, $300 on one.

    my first bass cost me roughly 150$. then maybe another 100-150$ for amp, wires, stand, gig bag.

    also i recommend http://www.songsterr.com/ for tabs, since you can play along.

    here's a rather easy song to start with. maybe. http://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/killswitch-engage-holy-diver-bass-tab-s23661t3

    i'm not as pro as other icrontians, i've picked up bass in high school and i'm on and off with it. (we use to have a system of a down cover band in high school. sue me.)

  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec.

    also here'S what learning bass makes you become. at some point. in a distant futur.

  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec.

    @primesuspect said:

    Source: I was a bass instructor for a couple of years :D

    maybe you give us some skype classes? eh?

  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario

    Thanks for the advice everyone, I found what is supposed to be a fairly decent Ibanez running for less than $300, likely grab it later into the Summer.

    @Cliff_Forster My favourite genre of music is rock and I'd like to learn how to play the Bass lines for most if not all of the Dire Straits and Jethro Tull songs, maybe some of my favourite metal bands too but primarily rock.

    oni_dels
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US

    Can I recommend an Ibanez GSR200? That was my first bass, I still have it. They are extremely versatile for a cheap bass.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ibanez-GSR200-Black-Left-hand/dp/B004MMO5IA

    Ilriyas
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario

    @Sonorous said:
    Can I recommend an Ibanez GSR200? That was my first bass, I still have it. They are extremely versatile for a cheap bass.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ibanez-GSR200-Black-Left-hand/dp/B004MMO5IA

    Funnily enough that is the exact Bass model I was looking at!

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US

    @Ilriyas said:
    Funnily enough that is the exact Bass model I was looking at

    That's a wonderful guitar to start with. I've had mine for about 13 years now and while it isn't a Warwick or a top of the line Music Man, it's a hell of a bass for learning.

  • trooster89trooster89 Are you from London?

    Those I'd recommend one of those starter kits by Squire (fender) are pretty nice for beginners. They come with a p-bass style gutar, practice amp, cable, tuner and little booklet for basic instructions. I think they runn $100 - $200.

    As for being lefty, just learn it righty. It'll be a lot easier. Lefty instruments are harder to find. tabs are all written for righty. etc.

    I'm left-handed too. It was a little awkward at first, but you get used to it. Frankly I'm glad I went this route because all the fretting is done with your left hand. I feel like it puts me at an advantage.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    @Trooster89 makes a fair point; lefty instruments are hard to find (though getting easier) but learning right-hand guitar as a lefty does have a lot of advantages as well.

    A CONUNDRUM

    JBoogaloo
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US

    What are you going to do about that sweet amplification?

  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>

    I have a lefty Fender J. I had a right-handed Ibanez that I gave to my brother-in-law. Having seen both sides and knowing how my hands work, I made the decision that lefty was gonna work better for me. I am rhythmically retarded in my right hand, so trying to play that way was getting me nowhere. You really just have to know yourself and make the decision based on that. It'll be much easier to just pick something up and go with right-handed instruments as that's what most of them are. If you want really good lefty basses, you'll likely have to custom order stuff or just get really lucky with the one you want coming in a lefty model. Both hands are going to be doing complicated things, so pick up instruments with both orientations (like, physically. Don't buy both.), and try them both out a bunch of times. Learn the basics both ways. I think you'll figure out pretty quickly which works better for you, and then you'll be able to commit to one or the other.

  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA
    edited March 2014

    If you live in a relatively populated area, craigslist can get you a decent deal on a cheapo.

    midga
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>
  • ketoketo Occupied. Or is it preoccupied?
    edited March 2014

    The Ibanez stuff is not bad. Yamaha also make pretty good stuff for beginners. The entry level & Squier Fender stuff I don't have experience with, but the reputation (especially on Squier) is good for what it is. I have owned a couple of Squier Classic Vibe Telecasters and one CV Stratocaster, and they were all excellent instruments regardless of price. I have a MIM (Made in Mexico) Jazz Bass, which is a step up in price range though still considered 'budget', but anyways is also an excellent instrument.

    If you can find a bass with humbuckers, the benefit is less background noise (aka 60 cycle hum) than single coil pickups. Or even single coils with an active circuit that's noise cancelling, the downside being that (as with any active system) you have to keep a good 9v battery on hand in case the one in it fails.....and when they start to get low, they can cause wierd hard to diagnose sound issues....so, all in all, I'd say passive humbuckers is the way to go.

    I've been playing guitar for 20 yrs, and my brother has been a bass pro for over 25 yrs. He teaches and etc etc, and always tried to get me into theory and music reading. I SORELY wish I had taken his advice early in the learning curve....it's never too late but, as advised above, DO IT NOW at the beginning of the curve.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US

    I'm definitely speaking from the preference and opinion side of things, but I have never felt that Fender makes instruments as versatile as other manufacturers. Yes they make a good instrument, but I feel like they just don't do well with all types of music. That to me would be a big deal. Now I play metal, so I have guitars more catered towards that genre, including some Ibanez stuff, and along my somewhat limited musical journey I have tried to branch out and play other styles, and my Ibanez guitars have always been able to somewhat meet that challenge. Not that they are suited for funk, jazz, country or pop type stuff, but they always seem do the job just well enough to get by. That includes the GSR200. Just my two cents.

  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>

    The Ibanez I had was a GSR200. Was a good bass. When I decided to go lefty, I went with a GSR200L. I was sorely disappointed. Sometime in that few years span Ibanez had really cheapened up their manufacturing. Plastic where there had been metal, poorly-fitted components, etc. It didn't feel like the same model bass at all. I sent it back and that's how I wound up with my Fender J. It was more the style I wanted anyway, so it worked out. Still took two tries to get one of those that was in good working order, though... Buying online definitely has associated risks.

  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA

    @midga said:
    I sent it back and that's how I wound up with my Fender J. It was more the style I wanted anyway, so it worked out. Still took two tries to get one of those that was in good working order, though... Buying online definitely has associated risks.

    My first was a Fender Standard (Mexican) Jazz Bass that I managed to pick up new for $400. I didn't start playing until after I had played guitar for a while, but I absolutely love that bass. I've been hard pressed to find another one I want to play that doesn't cost $1000+. I play mostly rock, but I've found it to be very versatile in the right amp setup.

    That said, different strokes.

  • My buddy says is that if you stick with a name brand beginner bass even if you are not in love with it, generally resale is very good if you take care of it so don't over stress. He says, look you gotta at least spend $250 on the bass itself to get anything that's even remotely worth playing so forget that $149 starter bass / amp combo you might see.

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-GSR200L-Left-Handed-4-String-Electric-Bass-Guitar-106354830-i1549302.gc

    He says Ibanez makes the GSR200 in a lefty model, pick it up, see how it feels, sit down with it, see how it feels, says that's actually pretty slick for $250, should be a good beginner rock bass.

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ampeg-BA-110-Bass-Combo-Amp-481787-i1491915.gc

    He says you can pair it with the Ampeg BA-110 for a nice beginner combo amp. The thing apparently about other amp brands is that their build quality at the lower end is very suspect but apparently Ampeg has always played in that space and makes pretty good inexpensive amps. This one has a CD/MP3 input so you can practice along with music. Flexible, small and reserved enough to not blow out the windows of your apartment, but meaty enough to gig a small venue. He speaks really highly of it, and this is a guy that is not into budget gear.

    IlriyasSonorous
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US

    I LOVE AMPEG! I have a BA-210SP and it's a dream for small gigs and jam sessions.

  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA

    @Cliff_Forster said:
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ampeg-BA-110-Bass-Combo-Amp-481787-i1491915.gc

    He says you can pair it with the Ampeg BA-110 for a nice beginner combo amp. The thing apparently about other amp brands is that their build quality at the lower end is very suspect but apparently Ampeg has always played in that space and makes pretty good inexpensive amps. This one has a CD/MP3 input so you can practice along with music. Flexible, small and reserved enough to not blow out the windows of your apartment, but meaty enough to gig a small venue. He speaks really highly of it, and this is a guy that is not into budget gear.

    I have a higher end Ampeg half stack and a lower end practice amp and would agree. Their build quality is pretty great and, honestly, good for the price.

  • edited April 2014

    @oni_dels said:
    ...
    also i recommend http://www.songsterr.com/ for tabs, since you can play along.
    ...

    The tab community online used to be vibrant, with a number of great sites and much active social collaboration, but then the MPA smelled lost potential revenue, and decided to threaten everyone. Songsterr basically bought the tab archives and domain names of these sites, to turn around and offer a for-pay service, using tabs that were created with the intention of them being free interpretations of the music; learning material. I'm happy that at least it exists as a (mostly)free resource, but it's sad to know that better ones were absorbed to do so.

    Also, I agree with @mertesn‌; I have had tons of fun with the bass on Rocksmith 2014, and it has really helped me become more comfortable on guitar too. I'm still pretty far from saying that I play guitar though!

    As far as basses go, I wouldn't say that you should concern yourself with getting "a bass suited for the type of music you want to play" - I think marketing and branding has a lot to do with those decisions - you can always get pedals to modify your sound to be exactly what you want. Find one that feels good; shape of the body, circumference of the neck, weight of the headstock, etc. are all variations that you aren't (as easily) able to change. The capabilities of the pickups, electronics, and composition of the instrument are definitely important, but as far as genre; you control HOW you play it.

    oni_dels
  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec.

    i see a couple of peeps saying rocksmith is fun, but isn't it just for guitar? i mean obviously it helps to know guitar too, but anyone has tried Bandfuse? same concept as rocksmith, but you can play your bass or sing. it's to rocksmith what rockband was to guitar hero i guess...
    i haven't tried it yet but it's a future plan, since it's rare to get such material actually for bass, as oppose to only be for guitar.

  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>

    Rocksmith supports bass now.

    oni_delsMiracleManS
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