Hello, somebody told me to ask for advice here. So I want to learn to play bass, budget is 400, I want to play some rock like blink, the strokes and general jamming. My third world town only has to offer me a washburn t bass pack for $255 and a Ibanez Jumpstart for $320. Buying a bass and an amplifier and an amplifier wire and a case is over 500 in ibanez costing only the bass 300. Which one should I buy and why?.
The problem with your question is that you have no bass playing experience so you have no idea what bass rig is right for YOU. Asking a forum to recommend gear for you has limited value. By that I mean the recommendations you receive will be largely what forum members like, not necessarily what's best for you.

This means that you need not worry a great deal about what your first bass rig is. It just needs to be playable and provide a decent tone. You can sort out a lot of the options for your second bass rig yourself when you've outgrown the first rig, based on your own experience.

So... here's my 2 cents. I'm just one guy and not everyone will necessarily agree with my recommendations.

First off, avoid the bass packs (those packs that contain a bass guitar, amp, and cable). They are pretty much bottom-of-the-barrel gear and come with an amp too wimpy for anything except bedroom practice. Secondly, budget your money so that approximately $150 goes toward a bass guitar and approximately $250 goes for the amp and cable. Bear in mind that it can be challenging to come up with a complete bass rig for $400, but it can be done. I'll show you one option. There are many more.

Most forumites will suggest buying used to get the most bang for your buck, and this is true to an extent, but if you don't know how to properly evaluate used gear then you may just buy somebody else's problems. With new gear you do pay more but you do have a warranty and return policy to protect you against defective gear. If you have friends that can adequately evaluate used gear then you can save some money.

Otherwise, look at new gear that is currently on sale. A quick look at Musician's friend reveals the Squier Affinity series P-bass to be currently on sale for $140. This is a fine beginner bass. Some people gig with an Affinity. In any event, better than the Washburn or Ibanez starter pack basses.

Peavey amps have a reputation for being reliable and durable. $250 will get you a 200 watt amp with a single 12" speaker, plus it has an on-board tuner and a headphone jack. This amp will be fine for bedroom practice, but more importantly it has enough beans for casual jamming with friends and will even work as a gigging amp if the venue is a small one.

MF also has cables currently on sale. Most of the El Cheapo cables are 10 feet long, which is a pretty short leash. The MF cables are 20 feet long and on sale for $5 apiece. Get two. Cables eventually fail; it's just in their nature.

Soooo, you have many options. Choosing my recommendation has you coming in right at $400 (shipping is free) but there are many options out there. I'm sure others will provide their recommendations as well. In the meantime, check out the links below. Remember that the sale items will return to their normal price at some point. Good luck in your search and welcome to the forum.



I have to agree with VeloDog - his advice is spot on. The only thing additional I would suggest is to try Ibanez Sound Gear basses. Their system for models and prices is actually simple: SR200 is low-end or entry level, SR300 is slightly above, SR400 has more features and higher quality, and so on. The prices are similar - SR200 is about $200, SR300 is about $300, .....

I have owned Fender Jazz, Rickenbacker 4003, and Ibanez. All are good and have their own unique benefits. I owned an Ibanez for 28 years. Ibanez has good "bang for the buck".
Last edited by smtp4me at Oct 3, 2014,
Agreed. Ibanez offers very good value for the dollar. My first bass was an Ibanez RD300 I bought at a pawn shop for $100 and included a gig bag. The Squier P-bass I suggested just happened to be on sale and the OP is on a tight budget.

Here's a link to the Ibanez GRS-200 bass guitar, which would be a decent starter bass, and you get two pickups instead of the one on the Squier:
I can't help with the gear issue, but to budget....
Musiciansfriend used to have a partnership of sorts with Talkbass, where TB members could get an additional 15-20% off gear purchases. I never used it, and it may take a bit of looking around, but if
MF is still offering this discount, it could be helpful.

Good luck.