A bit of all round bass help plz

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VJIvesVJIves Frets: 212
Some pals of mine has asked if I can fill in on bass for them on a bunch of dates in October. Coincidentally, I bought a cheap Ibanez Talman last week to use on home recordings. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to enjoy being tuned down to C, which conjures all kinds of rattling from the bottom string. Is there anything I can do besides pick up a Drop/Pitchfork?

I also need the cheapest possible little practise amp. All suggestions gratefully received!

Finally, what's the best way to learn relatively complex songs? For the tracks they've done videos for I've found it helpful to utilise YouTube's slow mo feature, but other than that I'm worried I'll struggle with weird time signatures and such.
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 1015
    You could buy a B E A D set of strings, or a 5-string bass.
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7024
    Get thicker strings, the nut will probably need filing but it's the best way to go vs getting a pitch altering pedal IMO. I use www.stringtensionpro.com to calculate an ideal string gauge, note there's a tension difference between steel and nickel strings, and that site is for D'Addario, but it should roughly translate.

    For a cheap practise amp if you can find a used one the Line 6 Lowdown 110 (now discontinued) was pretty cool.

    Other than that Roland Cubes are worth a look.


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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2930
    Most if not all of the Talman basses have a 30" scale which is the exact opposite of what you want for low turnings. It will suck.
    Personally i would sell it, get something with a standard scale and a bass string set with at least a 125 on the low string.

    I love peavey microbass amps, bargains.

    Overall with the cost involved in getting something decent and the work involved you are better off passing on these gigs unless the money is really good or you genuinely want to play bass and woodshed these tunes.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32838
    The Talmans are actually 34" I think - certainly the current ones are. Even at that you will probably need a very heavy set of strings to tune down that far, probably at least 60-120 which are usually found as the bottom four strings in a medium/light 5-string set. That will mean widening the nut grooves too.

    I doubt that a Digitech Drop will work properly on bass, but if you can try one before you buy (or buy second hand at a good price so you don't lose money if it doesn't) it may be worth a go.

    You'll get a cheap "bass" 15 or 20W practice amp for about £30 to £40, but don't expect it to be worth using except for *very* quiet bedroom practice - any more than that and the speaker tends to flap alarmingly… especially if you're tuned that low. The Fender Rumble might be an exception - it has a very effective limiter to prevent that.

    Surprisingly, you can often pick up much higher-powered amps second hand for not a lot more, if they're both medium-powered (around 50-100W, too little to be taken seriously as a giggable amp now) and heavy, which a lot of old mid-price ones tend to be. If you don't have to carry it anywhere or turn it up too far you'll get a far better sound out of something like this, especially for very low tunings. Look at Laney, Peavey, Trace Elliot etc.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • speshul91speshul91 Frets: 1299
    Look at laney rb amps. 
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  • BluesyDaveBluesyDave Frets: 303
    PM'd.
    No Darling....I've had that ages.
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  • VJIvesVJIves Frets: 212
    I eventually opted for thicker strings, and went for GHS Boomers which has totally solved everything. Between that and my pedals, everything sounds lovely.
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  • paul_c2paul_c2 Frets: 400
    Just because they're downtuning doesn't mean you need to. If you did go down that route though, and needed another bass, then it would make sense to buy a 5 string and do it that way. My fear with using BEAD on a 4 string is that you'd need to file the nut, then replace it if/when you decided to go back to EADG tuning. 
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  • paul_c2 said:
    Just because they're downtuning doesn't mean you need to. If you did go down that route though, and needed another bass, then it would make sense to buy a 5 string and do it that way. My fear with using BEAD on a 4 string is that you'd need to file the nut, then replace it if/when you decided to go back to EADG tuning. 
    You don't need to replace the nut if it's cut properly. 

    Even if you did, it's not an expensive job really, in the context of the price of a typical instrument 
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  • paul_c2paul_c2 Frets: 400
    Yeah I was wondering.....I've never done it so could only guess really. Anyway the OP is sorted now, which is good.
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