#1
Hey everyone I am just looking for some helpful advice, I'm going to be buying a bass soon but have never even held one before. So i'll start with the kind of music I am partial to, I mainly listen to metalcore, and Nu Metal (eg. slipknot, KsE).

Now the questions, with those types of genres in mind should I use a pick? I know Mike D'Antonio from KsE does but there are many who frown on the use of picks on bass and I've heard it really limits your creativity on a bass.

Second question, what would be a decent brand to start off with spending (guitar only) $200-$400 (Canadian dollars) and amp $100-$200. I'd also like to hear opinions on a 5 string for a first bass. I'd like to get a 5 string but I watch a lot of videos and have been to enough concerts and realized most don't use 5 strings they stick with 4.

And finally lessons, are they worth it? Of course it depends where you live and who is available but in my area(Southern Alberta) I'm not aware of anyone too great as far as the teaching aspect is concerned.

Positive feed back greatly appreciated.
#2
Try to avoid using a pick until you have learnt fingerstyle to the best of your abilities, and even then try to balance them.

And for basses see Humanity's sig.

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#3
A pick can limit you creativity I believe, but not if you play commercial music or theoretically simpeler music genres such as most metal. You'd just have to play the root note of the powerchords that the guitarist plays rlly in most cases. Don't swarm me with examples of where it is different, I know that.
Finger playing is more for when you'd wanna play more than 1 note at a time, and considering the hard sound of metal, that wouldn't sound too good.

For a bass guitar, I like Cort as a brand. My brother has one, and they're pretty cool.

About 5 strings: they're good if you wanna play hard metal. You can play very low and raw notes with them. But that's about all they do. Musically, they tend to barely contribute to it all. It depends again. If you want raw strength etc take a 5 string; if you wanna progress musically and just learn the basics (cause that's what you'd be doing in the 1st months / the 1st year) then I'd suggest 4 strings.

Lessons... Depends on what you wanna play... If you just wanna play simple metal, you dont need lessons at all. You'll be able to play along with most commercial (mark my words well here metalmonkies) bands and simple metalbands after about 2 weeks to 3 months depending on how you progress and how much you play. Though even more advanced stuff an be learnt by yourself, there's a lot of good stuff available on the net. I would DEFINATELY suggest having a couple of mates as an input of suggestions and new music stuff.
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#4
You only really need a 5 string if you intend to play the heavy type of music.
Meaning you would be able to tune to D standard, C standard, stuff like that.
Example G|-
D|-
A|-
E|-
C|-

I dont play bass myself, i just borrom my friends bass when ever i muck around. He intends to get a 5 string for the hell of it, hell knows why.
But apparently its quite hard to reach to the top string as the necks wider to fit the strings. I would also assume the body is bigger making the bass heavyier.
Personally, i'd stick to the normal 4 stringed bass.

For picking wise, you might want to use it for fast songs. Slow songs, or medium paced you will be able to use your fingers. Gradually, depending on how fast the song is, you will be able to finger pick those fast songs with practice.

I would suggest getting some sort of epiphone. And before you buy the bass, its best that you actually try it, to find out if you like the sound and the feel. Basically if your comfertable with it.

Good luck
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#5
-As for lessons, I've become a firm believer in getting them if your financial situation allows, alongside other factors obviously.
I started bass and played 6 months self taught, my first instrument.
I decided to start getting lessons, and there was a drastic difference.

Videos and lessons online are great and I use them as much as possible, but asking the video if your doing it correctly and getting an immediate response isn't exactly reasonable. Having a "good" teacher that you essentially become friends with can be important in the whole musical process and whatever else.

You won't get worse from having lessons[so we hope], ultimately your choice.
#6
Thanks for the input i think I've decided Epiphone Thunderbird but I don't know what I should get for a AMP.
#7
Welcome to the forums man!

Quote by durr
Now the questions, with those types of genres in mind should I use a pick? I know Mike D'Antonio from KsE does but there are many who frown on the use of picks on bass and I've heard it really limits your creativity on a bass.

In your situation, I would learn to use both. Fingerpicking is much more versatile, and I'm a firm believer that it's where you should do most of your practicing, but the tone a pick gives can't be emulated by your fingers and can really come in handy.


Second question, what would be a decent brand to start off with spending (guitar only) $200-$400 (Canadian dollars) and amp $100-$200. I'd also like to hear opinions on a 5 string for a first bass. I'd like to get a 5 string but I watch a lot of videos and have been to enough concerts and realized most don't use 5 strings they stick with 4.
For the amp, I think the Acoustic B20 is about the best you're going to get...nearly all other combos in that price range have tiny cabs and speakers.
http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Acoustic-B20-1X12-Bass-Combo-Amplifier?sku=481622

As far as starting on a fiver or a four string, it's best to go to the nearest music store and play some of each, to get an idea of which one you like better. We

For the bass, we can provide some good suggestions, but ultimately you have to find one that you like...everyone has different tastes. Generally what people will suggest are the Ibanez SR300 and SRX300, the Squier Vintage Modified("VM") Jazz bass and VM Precision Bass, the Squier Classic Vibe("CV") JAzz and Precision, and on occasion the Peavey Millennium BXP and AC BXP. Some other equally good, but lesser known basses are the Traben Array, the Yamaha RBX374, and the Laguna LB224.

And finally lessons, are they worth it? Of course it depends where you live and who is available but in my area(Southern Alberta) I'm not aware of anyone too great as far as the teaching aspect is concerned.

If you have a good teacher, then yes they definitely are. It helps tremendously to have someone show you how to do things, rather than figuring them out on your own.


edit:
Quote by durr
Thanks for the input i think I've decided Epiphone Thunderbird but I don't know what I should get for a AMP.

Whoa there, hold on. Before you buy one, you need to know some things about it.

First, it neck dives horribly. What this means is that rather than hanging comfortably on a strap, the neck tries to drop to the floor, meaning you either have to hold it up with your left (fretting) hand, or rest your right arm on it to hold it still. Both methods can lead to bad technique and difficulty playing.

Second, the tone can be very indistinct and muddy, meaning most people won't be able toy hear what you're playing, if you're with a band...it'll just be a rumble. You CAN get it to cut through the mix, but it's hard.

Third, the upper frets are not accessible due to the design of the body. You only really have access to about the 15th fret. This can be quite annoying.
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Last edited by Mutant Corn at Dec 16, 2008,
#8
I've only been playing bass for about a year, but Epiphones are amongst the worst I've ever tried. I remember one of my last trips to guitar center picking up a Thunderbird, and putting it back after about 5 seconds because the sound was just that bad.

If you're looking for something cheap, you'd be much better off with a Squier, or a low end Ibanez or ESP.

As for picking... In my opinion not bad to use, but don't become overly dependent on it. I only use a pick on a couple songs, fingers on the rest.
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#9
Quote by Base Ics

About 5 strings: they're good if you wanna play hard metal. You can play very low and raw notes with them. But that's about all they do. Musically, they tend to barely contribute to it all. It depends again. If you want raw strength etc take a 5 string; if you wanna progress musically and just learn the basics (cause that's what you'd be doing in the 1st months / the 1st year) then I'd suggest 4 strings.


So very, very wrong. As I always say (because people don't seem to get it), the low B is about economy of motion- more notes in one hand position.

I see more five strings outside of metal than in metal.

The basics are exactly the same on a five string as on a four. The only difference is that extra string. I've never read such tripe in my life.
#10
Quote by Deliriumbassist
So very, very wrong. As I always say (because people don't seem to get it), the low B is about economy of motion- more notes in one hand position.

I see more five strings outside of metal than in metal.

The basics are exactly the same on a five string as on a four. The only difference is that extra string. I've never read such tripe in my life.


Dudes right. Most metal they arent technical enough to even use 3 strings why get five?
Im a death metal bassist and i actually use a five string. It was a four for a while until i was comfortable enough to play all four then i made the switch.
D00D
#11
Quote by hxc_triple_og
Dudes right. Most metal they arent technical enough to even use 3 strings why get five?
Im a death metal bassist and i actually use a five string. It was a four for a while until i was comfortable enough to play all four then i made the switch.


Why wait till you're comfortable with a four? The switch to a five is nothing, really.

And I wasn't dissing metal technicality- I play a f*ckload of metal, and have done foe years. I was just dismissing the original point that 5 strings are only good for metal.
#12
Oh i see what your saying, but with the whole wait until i was comfortable is something me and my old bass instructor discussed and so i waited a while to get a five string.
#14
In retrospect--I wish I had gone for a 5 string for my second bass. I find that the more I play the more I would love the lower tones and efficiency that a 5th string would bring. Even in Jazz, that ability to play the lower tones would be wonderful.
#15
Quote by durr
Thanks for the input i think I've decided Epiphone Thunderbird but I don't know what I should get for a AMP.



NO! most bassists find that there are alot of problems with that bass.

-neck dive (the neck is TOO heavey and will fall if you don't prop it up with your left hand.
-tone (i have never played a bass with as muddy a tone as a Tbird. well maybe that one leguna with the rusted pick ups. if you like the tone it is much easier to get a muddy tone out of a clear and clean tone bass than to get a clean tone out of a muddy bass)
-24th fret is inaccesable ( it is near imposable to get the last few high frets.)

IMO you can get a MUCH nicer bass for your prce range (squire P or J bass, a cheap Ibenez, ect.) but if you're hell-bent on the tone and none of the other problems bother you, then go for it. but i strongly advise not getting it.
Quote by Deliriumbassist
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#17
Quote by Deliriumbassist
^It's impossible to get to the 24th on a Thunderbird even if the access was there... since there is no 24th fret


my bad , 20th...

my drummer is getting to me. he can only count to 4 and repeat. lo
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Boss pedals drain power like a girlfriend drains your bank account.



GEAR:
4 string warwick corvette $$ BO

acustic 200 head & 410 cab
Last edited by zipper-mouth at Dec 16, 2008,
#19
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Knock off another 2 frets and you're gold


LOL dude. i'm in math class right nowLOL, this is ****ing retarted! >.< i'm gona burn my bass and pick up the drums.
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Boss pedals drain power like a girlfriend drains your bank account.



GEAR:
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acustic 200 head & 410 cab
#20
Quote by Deliriumbassist
So very, very wrong. As I always say (because people don't seem to get it), the low B is about economy of motion- more notes in one hand position.

I see more five strings outside of metal than in metal.

The basics are exactly the same on a five string as on a four. The only difference is that extra string. I've never read such tripe in my life.

You beat me to it. The low B gives you just 5 semitones extra range, on the other hand, it gives you an almost innumerable amount of new possibilities in regards to hand positions.
The same goes for the a high C.
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Dude if i were you i'd look more at bands like Dragonforce, Dragonland, Dream Theatre and Power Quest, most of their songs are either in E major, A major, C major or D majhor