#1
So, first thread on UG (First post, even), but longtime reader. I recently acquired a Fender P-Bass from my grandpa for free. He bought it in hopes to learn to play, but years passed and that never happened. First time ever playing bass, but played guitar for a decent while. ANYWHO, my big complaint about the thing is that it's flat. Constantly. Fret buzz, strings won't stay in tune, etc. It just feels... Sloppy. For a first time bass owner, how would I go about giving this thing a nice tune up?
#2
You said you played "regular" guitar for a while. In my experience, switching from a regular guitar to a bass feels bad whatever the setup. Basses are sloppy feeling anyway, going back to regular guitar feels awesome!
As for a tune-up, the first thing you want to do is raise the action then. That should make it sound better instantly

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#3
Alot of the time the manufacturers site has manuals and maintinence guides. Thats how i have set up my bass. Action is a bit high, but its the best set up ive ever done haha.

Edit: http://www.fender.com/en-GB/support/articles/bass-guitar-setup-guide/
after googling fender p bass set up manual. 1st link.

Hope that helps
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Last edited by Cantplay4penuts at Jan 19, 2012,
#4
Quote by ewashbrook
You said you played "regular" guitar for a while. In my experience, switching from a regular guitar to a bass feels bad whatever the setup. Basses are sloppy feeling anyway, going back to regular guitar feels awesome!
As for a tune-up, the first thing you want to do is raise the action then. That should make it sound better instantly


You've never gone from a regular guitar to a decent bass, it seems.

Anyway, it depends how bad it is. Does it have fret buzz on particular frets, or all? How's the intonation?

Out of curiosity, is it an actual Fender? If so, do you know where it was made and what year it is?
#5
Quote by Ziphoblat
You've never gone from a regular guitar to a decent bass, it seems.

Anyway, it depends how bad it is. Does it have fret buzz on particular frets, or all? How's the intonation?

Out of curiosity, is it an actual Fender? If so, do you know where it was made and what year it is?


I too am curious about the specs on the bass. Maybe some pictures?

And the flat and dead sound may be due to the strings being old, some of us like that thump, others not so much.

Take it to a decent shop and have them do a tune up and a string change--the difference will be noticeable. Also fret buzz can be caused by poor technique as well.
#6
Quote by anarkee
I too am curious about the specs on the bass. Maybe some pictures?

And the flat and dead sound may be due to the strings being old, some of us like that thump, others not so much.

Take it to a decent shop and have them do a tune up and a string change--the difference will be noticeable. Also fret buzz can be caused by poor technique as well.


This^

No offense to you, but any new musician needs to think from every side of a problem, don't immediately think the bass itself is the issue, none of us start out perfect.
#7
I shot off some pictures for those who inquired.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/travman93/6727770017/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/travman93/6727772847/

To answer some questions, I get the fret buzz horribly when I'm in anything other than standard tuning. I know that a little is expected, but even in a Drop C, it sounds... Not so great. I've replaced the strings on it, but in less than a week, it's back to the same problem. As far as technique goes, I can safely say that I'm probably not the greatest haha. I use a pick, and a lot of my guitar habits have transferred to the bass. So there is a fair room for error in that department.
#8
Unless you buy heavier gauge strings, you are definitely going to have problems playing in drop C (or lower, like you imply)

And yes - it's a Fender - a 2002-2003 Mexican from the looks of it.
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Last edited by Killerfridge at Jan 19, 2012,
#9
Quote by askrere
This^

No offense to you, but any new musician needs to think from every side of a problem, don't immediately think the bass itself is the issue, none of us start out perfect.

Yes, when i passed from guitar to bass, i played sloppy and the strings kept buzzing, until i built finger strength. Also, a good profesional set up and new strings will help. if not, set up by yourself, but I'd ttry to play the bass for a couple of weeks so you can notice the difference when you have stronger hands. for now, try out every fret with each string, but fret them as hard as you can (without hurting yourself) and pluck gently. if you still get fret buzz, the chances are you need a good set up. if fretting harder makes the buzz disapear, it's just a matter of getting used to the bass. remember that bass is more a "strength instrument".
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#10
Damn I've had several free pieces of gear in my life, but I always get insanely jealous when someone get one lol.

I'd love that P bass, but yea down tuning with no doubt old strings is a bad deal. With a string set featuring a .110-.115 E your lucky to go from standard to C standard without need of further adjustment. Most people who play with such varied tunings either have several basses with several tuning or go for a 5 string.
#11
Start playing it like a bass and not a guitar and you'll probably see some improvement.
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#12
Drop C?! In standard gauge? With a bass that has been unplayed for 9-10 years and probably needs a set-up (and definitely a clean and some new strings). No wonder it's buzzing.
#13
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=glxAKmY8p1k

Ok, just saw this on notreble and couldn't resist.

And back on topic...that bass is rather nice. I love black on black Pbasses!
#14
I put the pickguard on there. Never really liked the standard white. Anywho, I'm taking literally everyone's advice here. I'm taking it to a local shop here so I can have a tuneup. Thank you very much for the help so far. Like I said, I'm new at this and I'm seriously open for learning more.