Lead guitarist looking at buying first bass...no idea what I’m looking for

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Looking at buying my first bass guitar. I don’t really have any idea what I’m looking for.
I just fancy something different.

I don’t want to spend a great deal, so any recommendations for something new or second hand will be gladly received.

Ive seen an Epiphone Thunderbird IV on Facebook for £150. Is this a consideration?

When it comes to things like strings...are all the same go to names in electric guitars, still applicable for bass? 
I don’t have a gambling problem, I’m winning, and winning is not a problem for me. That’s like saying that Iron Maiden have an awesomeness problem.
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  • fftcfftc Frets: 282
    Precision.


    Thank me later.
    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!
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  • Thunderbirds are an absolute pig... they sound great, but they're awkward, cumbersome and unbalanced. Something you don't want to be dealing with for your first bass. 

    Precision seems to be the go to recommendation, although personally I'm not keen having tried them. Jags are a good best of both option, ibanez make some great starter basses. GSR 200 would be a good, neutral bet. 

    Go try some. 

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • What sort of price would I be looking at for one?
    I don’t have a gambling problem, I’m winning, and winning is not a problem for me. That’s like saying that Iron Maiden have an awesomeness problem.
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  • What sort of price would I be looking at for one?
    If you mean the Ibanez, you can regularly pick them up for around a hundred second hand. You can also try one in nearly any guitar shop first. 

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • AlvinAlvin Frets: 89
    Don't be clever and get a 24 fret , it's a long reach , surprising how much so .   Yes i did make that mistake.
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2700
    Aria STB are good quality instruments. Squier Jazz is good. As has already been said: Precision will go a long way to where you want to go.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32184
    I would say the Thunderbird is OK, especially if you're tall. The Epiphone version actually seems to balance better than the Gibson for some reason - £150 is a fair price but not actually a huge steal for one, they're not that expensive new. If you're looking for something to play more rock-sounding bass from the point of view of a guitarist converting to bass, I'd take one over any of the quite generic and bland 'modern style' basses you get for around that price.

    The Squier Jaguar bass is a real bargain though, even new - if you're OK with short scale. Likewise the Epiphone EB-0, although it's quite limited soundwise.
    "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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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2861
    A Precision bass is a good alrounder and just sounds right. If you want to play funk/rock/reggae then perhaps a Jazz. 
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  • ash96ash96 Frets: 55
    I'd massively recommend the Sire basses. Incredibly good value for money. Way better pickups and playability over the fenders / epiphones too.
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1407
    I did this 5 years ago and started with an Ibanez GSR. Very playable neck and it was an easy transition from guitar but I soon tired of it tonally.

    Since getting a Sire V7, I've not looked back and it's a jazz bass with a very versatile and powerful preamp, great tones, looks and neck. You can pick them up used for good prices but look at their V3 models, which are cheaper.

    The Squier Vintage is another good one.

     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • fftc said:
    Precision.
    Perennially popular - partly because it was the first commercial design, partly because its sound almost always fits in a mix. Also, the simplicity of a single pickup instrument obliges the player to just get on with it.

    Squier VM Jazz 
    More versatile but, in some respects, less "bassy". Tighter string spacing suits some hands and hamstrings others.

    ash96 said:
    Sire [V3] 
    Nicer than the Squier VM but over budget.

    ICBM said:
    Thunderbird ... Epiphone version
    Older examples have rectangular pickup cavities. These should accept aftermarket 3.5 x 1.5 inch "soapbar" pickups. Plenty of scope for customisation.

    Alvin said:
    Don't be clever and get a 24 fret. it's a long reach, surprising how much so.
    How so? The number of frets makes no difference to scale length.

    Perhaps, a more important consideration is the body shape. This will influence how an instrument will hang on a strap and, hence, how far the player needs to reach.

    Kebabkid said:
    I ... started with an Ibanez GSR ... but I soon tired of it tonally.
    The pickups in budget bass guitars can sound bland. Replacement pickup availability favours the more popular shapes - P, J, double J, 'Ray, -35 and - 40 "soapbar", narrow Bartolini "soapbar". Some pickup shapes and mountings are unique to one brand, making them difficult to upgrade in the future.

    When it comes to things like strings...are all the same go to names in electric guitars, still applicable for bass? 
    Mostly, yes. There are a few specialist bass brands, some of whose prices could swallow over one third of your budget.  :o



    Plenty of pre-owned bargains to be had within your budget from makers such as Yamaha, Cort, Sterling/SUB, some Höhner models, Overwater/Tanglewood Aspiration Standard, blah, blah.

    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3769

    If you can cope with the 34" scale and the wider neck then the precision is the best option.

    I have short fingers so I prefer the neck width of a Jazz and/or a shorter scale length.

    If you can find one the old Indonesian made Squier P Bass Special is very good value.  It's hyrbid Precision/Jazz.  Has a Jazz neck so easier to play, but with a Precision body and pickup.  Also has an added Jazz bridge pickup.

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1799
    Looking at buying my first bass guitar. I don’t really have any idea what I’m looking for.
    I just fancy something different.

    I think you first need to clarify a few things: what do you want to do with the bass? What style of music/style of bass playing?

    What do you want to be "different"? Do you mean playing bass will be different from playing guitar? Or an unconventional style of bass?

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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1407
    This vid may also help but you've mentioned looking at a bass for £150 - is that your budget as these are sub-£250?

    This should give you an idea




     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • Two candidates right here in this Basses £ thread.



    DLM said:
    I think you first need to clarify ... what ... you want to do with the bass? 
    Specifically, is the hypothetical bass guitar for home recording or live performance?

    Hum-rejection is a concern for stage work. If the intention is just to lay down guide bass parts in song demo recordings for a band, there is an argument for getting something cheap 'n' cheerful. This way, the band's bassist will not imagine that you are taking over his or her role. 


    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • neil68neil68 Frets: 3
    I'm looking for £100 for this Ibanez GSR 200B - had it for a couple of years now, but barely used it and it only has a light scuff on the underside. 
    neil68 said:



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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1799
    Solid starter for 10x10 there!
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4764
    You should at least try a Squier VM or CV Precision and/or Jazz.
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  • Was in my local 2nd hand guitar swap shop type place this afternoon. He had one of these - https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Vintage-VJ74-Reissued-Bass-Sunburst/T53?origin=product-ads&utm_campaign=PLA+Shop+-+Avid&utm_medium=vertical_search&network=google&adgroup=*All+Products.+Avid&merchant_id=1279443&product_id=37767d1&product_country=GB&product_partition_id=64705664527&gclid=CjwKCAjwuO3cBRAyEiwAzOxKsvE983TaoN6sQ7jJlmRxAroTI9jZVgB88LnI03nsp_GzpmBJLE558RoCyHYQAvD_BwE and an Aria STB jazz bass copy. Both seemed like nicely screwed together things for the price, pretty playable even with my midget fingers. I'm guessing you could definitely find one in your budget.
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