Thinking about bassing - comments/advice/etc invited.

What's Hot
2

Comments

  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11514
    TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Personally, I wouldn't - but you can't argue with the price!
    octatonic said:
    TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Nope.
    Messages received and understood - thanks.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 1463
    Carl Thompson six string fretless "Rainbow" bass - as used by Les Claypool. ;) 


    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    I think I smell a @GSPBASSES build thread coming soon..
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11514
    Well, I did finish my last contract on Thursday ...

    But I've got a long backlog of house jobs, and a bit of gardening to do (as in a full time job for the next 3 months)  and a cabinet making course to finish, and I told GSP that there was "no great rush", so breaths shouldn't be held just yet ....
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 1893
    edited September 3
    Any reason you want to start with a 5?
    95% of music out there is comfortably played on a 4 string. 5s are also heavier.

    Nothing wrong with a budget P bass until you decide to upgrade. J's have smaller necks but sound a bit cleaner and nasal (on the bridge) than Ps, they work for funk and driven indie tones but a P has a better basic tone for typical rock music.

    Then again if you listen to some Sade and your mind is blown by Paul Denman (1993 concert dvd recommended) get a Sterling Ray 34 or a US Sub.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11514
    Reason for a 5?
    Nothng other than I thought it might be 25% more useful than a 4-string ;).  Slightly more seriously, I thought the extra low end would make it bassier and give me more to learn.

    Im currently leaning toward a P that I could easily "amend" with an extra p'up.

    Or perhaps a 5er.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 16243
    TTony said:
    TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Personally, I wouldn't - but you can't argue with the price!
    octatonic said:
    TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Nope.
    Messages received and understood - thanks.
    I was trying to be subtle...
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    octatonic said:
    TTony said:
    TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Personally, I wouldn't - but you can't argue with the price!
    octatonic said:
    TTony said:
    ESP Ltd for £120 ??

    Nope.
    Messages received and understood - thanks.
    I was trying to be subtle...
    In that case I was positively cryptic...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607

    TTony said:
    Reason for a 5?
    Nothng other than I thought it might be 25% more useful than a 4-string ;).  Slightly more seriously, I thought the extra low end would make it bassier and give me more to learn.

    Im currently leaning toward a P that I could easily "amend" with an extra p'up.

    Or perhaps a 5er.
    5s are more about playing across the board rather than along the length - and less about extra low end. 

    Go for a 4 - you really won't be missing out on very much at all
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTony said:
    Reason for a 5?
    Nothng other than I thought it might be 25% more useful than a 4-string ;).  Slightly more seriously, I thought the extra low end would make it bassier and give me more to learn.

    Im currently leaning toward a P that I could easily "amend" with an extra p'up.

    Or perhaps a 5er.
    I got a 5 string for the extra low notes but in fact I very rarely use them. I also find that making sure that all the unplayed strings are muted when playing fingerstyle is a lot more tricky on a 5 string.
    It's not a competition
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Agree to both those answers.

    Honestly, it is a more comfortable experience playing 4 strings for most people.  It's similar to the 7 and 8 string guitar thing.  Yes you can still play your normal EADGBE stuff, but it's less comfortable and involves more string muting.

    With a 5 you can access more range in one position, but unless you need that then you could consider tuning a 4 string BEAD.

    I'll point out that IMO, to get a good low B takes a little more robust construction than to get a good E, though this would apply to both 4 and 5 strings.  It's not impossible to get a good low B out of a cheap bass - but there's definitely a correlation between good basses and good B strings.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 10405
    For what it's worth, as a guitarist who dabbles in bass purely for recording purposes and only when absolutely necessary...I have the pick of my dad's bass collection, and the ones I always go for are the Musicman Stingray or one of his Warwick Corvettes. The Corvettes feel much more guitar-like and have a very unique "growl" to them. That's great when I need that sound, but it's not something you can easily dial out...so for non-growl-y stuff, I use the Stingray.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 2675
    If you played a P with a 1.75" nut and were comfortable then great, but it's worth going to decent size shop and trying a few. I have very short fingers so the 1.5" nut on a Jazz is much better for me.

    Having said that, sound wise I much prefer a Precision.  I've actually had my jazz modded into a PJ pickup configuration.  I much prefer it.

    The old Indonesian made Squier P Bass Special would be a good place to start.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RockerRocker Frets: 2128
    I learned what little I know about bass playing on a s/h Aria STB, details here: http://www.ariaguitars.com/english/products/stb-jb-dx.

    I compared it to a Squier PJ bass recently and it was a very close thing between the two basses, the Squier winning out due to it being lighter in weight.  The strap buttons are a little on the small side, I replaced them with a pair of bass string trees from Axersus, http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Bass-String-Trees-Button-Style-p/bassbuttonstringtrees.htm

    Good luck and play well whatever you end up with.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11514
    I'm pretty sure that I have a plan now.

    Based on the comments here, it'll probably involve 4 strings rather than 5, and will probably be Precizz-ish.

    More when it happens
    ;)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Sounds like a plan!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • paul_c2paul_c2 Frets: 399
    There's two paths you can follow, in switching from guitar to bass. First is, you can take it easy and relax knowing the fact that 99% of the time, a bass line need only be a simple thing which can be produced without much effort or skill. Its probably a bit contentious to admit, but a LOT of bassists get by doing this, and have done for years, and it all works out fine. Or you can fully grasp it as another, distinct, instrument and put 100% into the study of how to play it, how to best master the techniques, and learn that other 1% of stuff which shows true mastery of the instrument. The fact is, as a bassist you can "fake it" for a long time and it could be considered one of the easier instruments to play.

    Regarding instruments, I've personally always fallen on the Jazz side of Precision vs Jazz but I know there's a good reason why Leo make the P-bass as it is now, and why many many people prefer them. They work (in a mix) and it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. Also there's a rabbit-hole of "the world beyond precision and jazz basses" where smaller/lighter bodystyles, humbuckers, active electronics, 24 frets etc etc all come into play. All told, a jazz bass is fairly comfortable but is still on the heavy side; a precision, I'm not 100% sure (because I've played mainly Jazz) but its a bit like tele vs strat in that the jazz bass is offset contoured, and a precision isn't. So, a smaller bass may be even more comfortable, hence there's lots of choices beyond just P and J. 24 frets - I've coped for 20 years without going beyond fret 9, but recently needed to go to fret 12 in actual music performed. So you can see why for some people 24 frets are a bit alien. Similarly, 5 strings, there's pros and cons but lots of people cope with 4 and never miss what they don't have. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    paul_c2 said:
    There's two paths you can follow, in switching from guitar to bass. First is, you can take it easy and relax knowing the fact that 99% of the time, a bass line need only be a simple thing which can be produced without much effort or skill. Its probably a bit contentious to admit, but a LOT of bassists get by doing this, and have done for years, and it all works out fine. Or you can fully grasp it as another, distinct, instrument and put 100% into the study of how to play it, how to best master the techniques, and learn that other 1% of stuff which shows true mastery of the instrument. The fact is, as a bassist you can "fake it" for a long time and it could be considered one of the easier instruments to play.

    Regarding instruments, I've personally always fallen on the Jazz side of Precision vs Jazz but I know there's a good reason why Leo make the P-bass as it is now, and why many many people prefer them. They work (in a mix) and it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. Also there's a rabbit-hole of "the world beyond precision and jazz basses" where smaller/lighter bodystyles, humbuckers, active electronics, 24 frets etc etc all come into play. All told, a jazz bass is fairly comfortable but is still on the heavy side; a precision, I'm not 100% sure (because I've played mainly Jazz) but its a bit like tele vs strat in that the jazz bass is offset contoured, and a precision isn't. So, a smaller bass may be even more comfortable, hence there's lots of choices beyond just P and J. 24 frets - I've coped for 20 years without going beyond fret 9, but recently needed to go to fret 12 in actual music performed. So you can see why for some people 24 frets are a bit alien. Similarly, 5 strings, there's pros and cons but lots of people cope with 4 and never miss what they don't have. 
    I think I'm going to go right ahead and disagree with most of your post..
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Squier VM are just as good as their MIM counterparts if price is a factor for you.

    Just like six-string guitars, some basses will feel more comfortable than others and is a personal preference. 

    As a Gibson-man, I was disappointed by Epiphone basses, but most of what is heard on record is generally a Fender.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 279
    paul_c2 said:
     The fact is, as a bassist you can "fake it" for a long time and it could be considered one of the easier instruments to play.

    Regarding instruments, I've personally always fallen on the Jazz side of Precision vs Jazz but I know there's a good reason why Leo make the P-bass as it is now, and why many many people prefer them. They work (in a mix) and it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. Also there's a rabbit-hole of "the world beyond precision and jazz basses" where smaller/lighter bodystyles, humbuckers, active electronics, 24 frets etc etc all come into play. All told, a jazz bass is fairly comfortable but is still on the heavy side; a precision, I'm not 100% sure (because I've played mainly Jazz) but its a bit like tele vs strat in that the jazz bass is offset contoured, and a precision isn't. So, a smaller bass may be even more comfortable, hence there's lots of choices beyond just P and J. 24 frets - I've coped for 20 years without going beyond fret 9, but recently needed to go to fret 12 in actual music performed. So you can see why for some people 24 frets are a bit alien. Similarly, 5 strings, there's pros and cons but lots of people cope with 4 and never miss what they don't have. 

    A couple of things here ;
    I don't think you can 'fake it' and get away with it, a bad bass player is like a drummer who can't keep time and a guitarist who doesn't bend strings correctly, it's all obvious to anyone without cloth ears.

    Also, the Precision is contoured, much like a Strat, okay it's not offset but on the Jazz that seems to push the neck further away when playing. So in reality it's the Precision that is like a Strat and The Jazz is like a Jazzmaster in terms of design.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • @TTony can't speak highly enough of the PRS SE, I just got it today and it sounds great and plays like a dream. Exactly what I was looking for!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 1463
    I don't think you can 'fake it' and get away with it, a bad bass player is like a drummer who can't keep time and a guitarist who doesn't bend strings correctly, it's all obvious to anyone without cloth ears.
    I agree with this.

    In my opinion, bass is a role that you must want to play. (Doesn't matter whether it is on bass guitar, upright, tuba or Moog Taurus pedals.) Play with conviction or fornicate elsewhere.

    It is beneficial to have some music theory under your belt. There is a paragraph in Sting's autobiography describing a time when he had joined a local jazz fusion band and been "relegated" to bass guitar. Thanks to his understanding of music theory, young Gordon soon realised how his note choices could alter the harmonic structure of what the rest of the band played on top. 




    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Think long and hard about a five string.

    They have a lot of plus points but also some serious downsides (for starters, you have to be willing to commit to properly learning muting techniques).

    This video has a clickbait title but it actually covers a lot of sensible stuff regarding the pros and cons of five strings.


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    Think long and hard about a five string.

    They have a lot of plus points but also some serious downsides (for starters, you have to be willing to commit to properly learning muting techniques).

    This video has a clickbait title but it actually covers a lot of sensible stuff regarding the pros and cons of five strings.


    I would say I've spent more time consciously working on muting than any other technique on bass.

    Left and right hand, it's different to guitar, and it can have a massive impact on your playing too. 


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Muting is harder on guitar because there are more strings and they're a lot closer together, and you tend to play more chords. Trying to play strummed chords on just the inside strings without causing extra noise is actually harder than most people realise until they hear recordings of themselves.

    The problem a 5 or more string bass introduces is just sheer physical size, it's harder to keep it all clean just due to the distances between strings, and stretch positions your hands get in to reaching the lowest string, if you were to not play accurately.

    Bass fingerstyle does require different plucking hand technique but what I think is harder is getting a really even attack and timing, it's not something you can do without practice just because you can play guitar. It's very rewarding when you start getting somewhere with it. There's no right or wrong way when it comes to pick vs fingers but the results and tone are quite different, it's nice to be able to do both.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • PhilKingPhilKing Frets: 57
    edited September 9
    I play both guitar and bass, but you have to be able to think differently when you swap over.  Bass is all about knowing where the drummer is and locking down the rhythm, it's what makes people want to dance.  I have 4, 5 and 6 string basses, but my last band was an old blues and 60's pop band, so I used my Bravewood 57 Precision with flat wound strings and a piece of foam under them by the bridge for cutting down any ringing.  The band all loved the way it sounded, though I have played 5 string and fretless on some gigs with them, but now it's just the Precision.  If I was left to my own devices, I probably would use my 66 Precision, as I've used them for many years and like the neck.  A good bass for a guitar player to pick up is a Rickenbacker, but for a starter, they are expensive.  All my guitar playing friends like the Ric neck and feel.

    As long as you listen to the drummer and keep time, then you should have a great time playing bass.   Most of the time I play with my fingers, which does also put you in a different mode, though I do play finger style acoustic too.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RolandRoland Frets: 1299
    @TTony Why don't you treat this as a journey? Start with a cheap Precision, get used to it, and then think about where you want to go next.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11514
    Roland said:
    @TTony Why don't you treat this as a journey? Start with a cheap Precision, get used to it, and then think about where you want to go next.
    Because I generally prefer to get to the destination rather than suffer the journey to get there
    ;)

    When our favourite @GSPBasses is fighting fit again, he's going to see what he's got lost in the depths of his workshop.  If he's got something in there that would make a viable project, then I'll do that.  If not, I'll watch out for a cheap, but not nasty, s/h bass to learn the trade on.  

    It'll be a 4-stringer based on the comments here.

    And if anyone has the Lick Library bass tuitiion DVDs that they've either finished with or would be happy to library-lend, then I'll not have to wait for one of their fairly regularly bogoff deals.  I guess they'll be a good place to start my learning journey!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SporkySporky Frets: 10961
    TTony said:
    If not, I'll watch out for a cheap, but not nasty, s/h bass to learn the trade on. 
    No.

    Buy something decent.

    And a decent amp.
    Ich bin ein Hamburgler.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    Sporky said:
    TTony said:
    If not, I'll watch out for a cheap, but not nasty, s/h bass to learn the trade on. 
    No.

    Buy something decent.

    And a decent amp.
    Obvs not a Stingray then..









    ;)
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.