Thinking about bassing - comments/advice/etc invited.

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TTonyTTony Frets: 14221
Hi.
My name is TTony, and I played bass yesterday.
And I quite enjoyed it.

There, got that bit out of the way.
 :3 


In the lead up to the forum jam session yesterday, I volunteered to cover bass on a couple of the songs just so that we had all the parts covered.  I "learned" the bass part on the bottom 4 strings of a guitar, and transitioning to an actual bass (thanks @bridgehouse!) didn't seem too hard.

I did briefly consider buying something pre-jam, but decided that was probably a little OTT just to be able to practice for a couple of songs for the one day.  But, bass playing was fun.  Plus I do keep promising myself that (when I get time) I'll do some proper recording with guitar (tick), keys (tick), drum machine (tick) and bass (no tick yet).  Plus if I had one I could do some more playing at the next forum jam session.

So ... If I were now to go and buy an actual bass, where would I start?

I saw the PRS SE bass that @Jonathanthomas83 acquired a few weeks ago, and I'm guessing that one of those would be a safe place to start, but I'd prefer to wait until they became a little more available s/h rather than paying the full £600ish new price.

I like the idea of a 5-string, but that might just be my sub-conscious justifying that if it's only got one less string than a proper guitar, that it couldn't be too bad.
;)

I like the more adventurous designs (eg the stuff that @Andyjr1515 designs and builds normally grabs my attention!) too.


Thoughts and opinions on brands / models / things to consider to inform my choice / etc ... ???
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 13113
    Stingray, obvs.
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • Did you like the sort of noise my P bass was generating? P's are very universal for recording, playing live, practising.. they tend to do any style well. 

    Jazz's are similar, and both would be a 'safe' bet. 

    @Sporky was always going to say Stingray and they are great basses - they do most things well - you wouldn't be disappointed. 

    @ICBM will of course say a Ric, but they can be pricey...

    Knowing you, and your penchant for a bit of workshop time.. I'd say get a @GSPBASSES body and neck and kit it out yourself - we could 'help' you to get the right pickup combo :)

    I'd stick to 34" (full) scale if I were you, and I'd probably stick to a relatively well heeled pickup combo. 
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  • The Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass is a nice instrument. I wish I'd kept mine!
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 14221
    Asking Graham to do me a 5-string neck is something I'm considering ... 
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17825
    Honestly, I would start with a Fender P Bass, or perhaps a Jazz.
    A Squier or a Mexican Fender and a small practice amp.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • Oooh the bass, IMO the greatest instrument of all time, I wouldnt bother with a 5 string 4s will do everything a bassist needs to do , I would start with a decent Mexican precision, great sounding and playing or a sub musicman. The amp obviously is just as important, hartke are brilliant and well priced. 



    As I'm sure you know, You are the fundamental instrument in pretty much all music, so a different approach is needed, it's less about being the centre of attention  and flamboyance of the guitar and more about groove and locking in with the drums, a good bassist will bring all the other instruments together and solidify the music.

     Some like playing with a pick but for me fingers and thumb give you a bigger tonal pallet and flexibility. 


    Here's my one and only bass, it's used for stage and recording... 

    https://imgur.com/gallery/xVloa


    www.deadhappyband.com
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  • @TTony - pop over to "the other place" (bass chat) and have a browse through the classifieds.. there's some real bargains to be had over there...
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  • The obvious place to start is your choice of Fender style.  Either P or J according to your tastes.  Unless you specifically want the scoopy sound of both Jazz pickups on, or the bridge pickup sound, a P is probably the safest bet for a first bass.

    A good sounding passive bass will sound great, and you can always add a preamp pedal later for more control as necessary.

    I'd probably suggest starting with a 4 string bass.  5 string necks are wider and it's quite a big jump from guitar.  Most guitarists can play most 4 string bass necks without too much hassle.  

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  • The obvious place to start is your choice of Fender style.  Either P or J according to your tastes.  Unless you specifically want the scoopy sound of both Jazz pickups on, or the bridge pickup sound, a P is probably the safest bet for a first bass.

    A good sounding passive bass will sound great, and you can always add a preamp pedal later for more control as necessary.

    I'd probably suggest starting with a 4 string bass.  5 string necks are wider and it's quite a big jump from guitar.  Most guitarists can play most 4 string bass necks without too much hassle.  

    Having said that - @TTony's first sample of bass playing was on my '64 P with a 1.75" neck... I know there's some fivers out there with about this sort of nut width!!!
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  • Plus the fact, @TTony, you know perfectly well that this will end up as a P, a J, a 5er, a GSPBASSES home made, a stingray, a headless.. etc. etc.  :D
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  • mellowsun said:
    The Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass is a nice instrument. I wish I'd kept mine!
    I really like my Squier Vintage Modified Jazz 5 string. I prefer it to more expensive basses I've tried.
    It's not a competition.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 14221
    @TTony - pop over to "the other place" (bass chat) and have a browse through the classifieds.. there's some real bargains to be had over there...
    But I wouldn't know a bass bargain from a slap in the face (or a bash on the head if you're delivering it).


    The obvious place to start is your choice of Fender style.  Either P or J according to your tastes. 
    Watching YT comparisons now ...



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  • Never seen those PRS SEs before, look good. 

    I still need to sort out out a new bass for my son, when we tried a bunch the MIM precision came out tops, even compared to some more expensive basses. 

    He's got a Fender Rumble 40 combo which is incredibly light ( lighter than my tiny Fender Mustang II) and cost £100 used but sounds good and on an emergency was used in my band. Really clear in the mix, I'd assumed it was also going through the PA but it wasn't. Some amazing bass stuff out there. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • TTony said:
    @TTony - pop over to "the other place" (bass chat) and have a browse through the classifieds.. there's some real bargains to be had over there...
    But I wouldn't know a bass bargain from a slap in the face (or a bash on the head if you're delivering it).

    There's plenty of us bass types over here who will give you a honest view on whether it's a bargain or not - if you see something PM a link to a few of us and we will let you know the score.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31553
    edited September 2017
    Bridgehouse said:

    @ICBM will of course say a Ric, but they can be pricey...
    No, ICBM will say a Squier P-Bass .

    Even I don't think you need a Rick as your first bass.




    You can just upgrade to one when you get serious about it

    TTony said:

    I like the idea of a 5-string, but that might just be my sub-conscious justifying that if it's only got one less string than a proper guitar, that it couldn't be too bad.
    It's actually harder - the neck feels much wider and more of a handful, and the tuning is more confusing because the lowest string is no longer an E, and the interval between all the strings is a 4th rather than one being a major 3rd, which is difficult for simpletons like me…


    "And the Lord spake, saying, "Four shalt be the number of the bass, and the number of the bass shall be four. Five shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, or three, excepting that thou then proceed to four. Six is right out! Four strings, four beats, four notes, the righteous bassist shalt live by this rule."

    "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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  • ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    @ICBM will of course say a Ric, but they can be pricey...
    No, ICBM will say a Squier P-Bass :).

    Even I don't think you need a Rick as your first bass.

    Can you let me know in advance when you are going to post stuff like that so I can put my coffee down...
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  • The obvious place to start is your choice of Fender style.  Either P or J according to your tastes.  Unless you specifically want the scoopy sound of both Jazz pickups on, or the bridge pickup sound, a P is probably the safest bet for a first bass.

    A good sounding passive bass will sound great, and you can always add a preamp pedal later for more control as necessary.

    I'd probably suggest starting with a 4 string bass.  5 string necks are wider and it's quite a big jump from guitar.  Most guitarists can play most 4 string bass necks without too much hassle.  

    Having said that - @TTony's first sample of bass playing was on my '64 P with a 1.75" neck... I know there's some fivers out there with about this sort of nut width!!!

    Yeah if he can play your Precision he'll be able to play any 4 string he fancies for sure
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  • TTony said:
    The obvious place to start is your choice of Fender style.  Either P or J according to your tastes. 
    Watching YT comparisons now ...

    This one is pretty good for fingerstyle


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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 3129
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 14221

    This one is pretty good for fingerstyle

    That was good to watch @guitarfishbay and leads me to ...

    Sporky said:
    Stingray, obvs.
    I wasn't too keen on the Stingray at first @Sporky - it looked a bit "odd" to my eye, and the price tag looked too expensive - but watching the vid, I liked the sound.


    Which leaves me with Jazz > Precision I think, just for the extra tonal options.  I think.

    Bridgehouse said:
    There's plenty of us bass types over here who will give you a honest view on whether it's a bargain or not - if you see something PM a link to a few of us and we will let you know the score.
    Having done a quick trawl through the first few pages of ads, I didn't see anything that look bargaintastic in my price range.  Will scan the local gumtree too, just in case ...


    I'd prefer to spend <£500 on the guitar, which would probably just about allow a self-build if @GSPBasses had anything hidden under a pile of cobwebs in a dusty corner ...
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  • I'd prefer to spend <£500 on the guitar, which would probably just about allow a self-build if @GSPBasses had anything hidden under a pile of cobwebs in a dusty corner ...
    My 52P GSPBASSES green machine came in at under 500 notes all up fighting weight.

    Knowing your current stable it might be the best bet for you ;)
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 14221
    equalsql said:
    Hmmmm, there's a J version - a *5* string J version just up the road ... collection only too.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 14221
    edited September 2017
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

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  • TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Personally, I wouldn't - but you can't argue with the price!
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 13113
    The J is prettier than the P, but the Stingray is the best bass
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • Sporky said:
    The J is prettier than the P, but the Stingray is the best bass
    Prettier? With all that offset nonsense going on? After Leo had already perfected the design? 

    PFFT.
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2257
    edited September 2017
    You appear set on 5 string. If you're just starting out I'd go with 4 (and stay there). Does it have to be long scale? I use a Gibson SG bass and I'm very happy with it; coming from guitar it might be a good halfway house.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17825
    TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Nope.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • GSPBASSESGSPBASSES Frets: 1112
    edited September 2017
    @TTony I do indeed have lots of bass bodies and necks gathering dust. I have some part built P bass bodies that could easily have the J pickup routed, a couple necks to go with them part build. I have several Jazz bass bodies, I think there is only one neck, that is a B grade nothing wrong with it apart from the binding has got some funny marks on the top of it. I also have Ricky part built. If you remember the pink one I made about four months ago this is its twin except the pickups are not routed yet still work to do to the neck, which has an ebony fingerboard. I also have a four string Stingray, the neck is not finished yet . If I remember correctly it's Maple / Maple. I also think I have two five String stingray  bodies nearly finished. I think one neck is finished and ones part finished these are also both Maple / Maple. Not sure if I've got any Warwick bodies and necks left in the workshop. its a while since I've made any of them. I also have a small boded Jazz bass with a 24 fret neck that only half built. They might even be Flying V Bass somewhere in the workshop half built.

    I may well be able to supply a fair bit of hardware to go with the bodies and necks. I certainly have a large range of four and five string bridges in stock. And if you're interested in a five string bass I have a complete set of active Seymour Duncan Jazz bass pickups with the active circuit to go with them. I also have lots of EMG active circuits in stock, which will be heavily discounted as will all the above necks and bodies.


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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 14221
    PM'd you ;)
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