Hello experienced bass players, I come here to ask advice for what gear should I buy, considering I'm an absolute beginner at this.

What amp wattage is ideal for practicing?
What guitar should I get for versatility?
What should I look for in an amp?

Also, I would be eternally grateful if you gave me some examples or guitar models or amp models, all in the range of 400 dlls :/

edit: Thanks for all the info, I aim to play mainly indie rock, Arctic monkeys kind of style.
Last edited by Corn. at Jul 25, 2011,
We can't really help much unless you say what kind of music you want to play, and if you're willing to go used.


A Squier VM Jazz bass will be one of the best sounding instruments in that price range, and very versatile.

I own a 77 VM Squier Jazz bass, and it was an great buy. I will often grab this before my more expensive basses, just because it plays and sounds really good.


If you prefer the sound of P basses, the Squier Vm and Classic Vibe line of P basses sound great as well.



As for amps, If you're willing to go used on both the Bass and amp, you're gonna get more for your money. If the Budget is 400, then you should grab one of the Squiers for 300 (Or less, if you can get a deal at a local GC) and a practice amp for 100.



If you can up the budget, or save a bit on the Bass, you can get something a little better amp wise. Most of your tone comes from the amp, so if you can, look for a used Acoustic and a used Squier.
I would always recommend the Squier P/J Bass, which is basically a P Bass with an extra Jazz bass pickup, which is super versatile, fits lots of genres and the neck is also really nice. It's a little bit more expensive than the Jazz or P Bass alone though, but still pretty cheap. As for the amp I don't really have a direct recommendation but for practicing about 20 to 30 watts should be enough, but keep in mind that when you get better you will want to play with a band, so something a bit more powerful is also an option. The features should be the basic ones, remember, that you are playing a rhythm instrument so you don't really need effects, except if you are playing something more specific, and besides, you are still a beginner. Good luck!
I'm no more than an experienced beginner, I've got about a year on bass under my belt (which is next to nothing for any instrument) but for versatility what you will be reccomended around here is the Vintage Modified Squire Jazz.


Its a nice little bass, I've played a few of them around town, I just am not a fan of the Jazz necks, as they run a bit thin for most people. The tone is more of a growling sound, popular in alternative. A few modern acts with prominent bass that used Jazz basses would be Muse or Red Hot Chili Peppers, stuff that really makes the bass 'stick out' or not blend as much with the guitars.

Like I said, I'm not a huge fan of the Jazz necks though, I prefer Fenders other bass, the Precision.


The precision has a thicker neck than the Jazz, and you can't get as many tones out of it, but that doesn't make it a lesser bass. The Precision fits into any genre really. Every genre has people that use them, from the majority of punk and pop-punk bands, to Brit-alt like Radiohead and Coldplay, the Precisions tone always fits somewhere. Try to go to a store and test them out, see which you like the feel of better.

If you're looking in the used market, typically you'll find alot of Peaveys, which are extremely well made for the price, and a fair amount of Ibanez basses, which i do not mind myself, but they have an usual shaped neck compared to most basses, so its either a love or hate thing. Key is to try before you buy!

As for amp, I've had a few different little bedroom sized combo amps, this one has served me the best.


The B20 gives great tone for its size, and is just all around a solid starter amp. It says about $130 on the site, but at my local guitar center, without fail every time a holiday comes around they wheel out their stock of B20s and put them on sale. I've seen them for $115, $130, but I got mine for $99 brand new on one of those holidays (forget which) but its served me well. Hope that helped a bit, im no where near as educated as some people on here but welcome to the low end!
Didn't there used to be a Bass FAQ for this kinda thing?
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