#1
Hey guys i need some advice,

As an enthousiastic guitar player i've recently bought an audio interface to start fooling around with recording on my computer. I'm in a band, but we can't find a bass player..
Because I've always wanted to learn bass, and because i want to record some basis bass lines in my recordings, I was thinking about buying a cheap (used) bass guitar and start with playing basic root notes, and teaching myself some more later on. But in recording i think bass is really necessary for rock music.

- is it smart as a guitarist to try and learn bass just to record some stuff and fool around?
- should i spend under 200euros on a cheaper used bass guitar or consider buying something reasonable for 300-400 euros even though i'm not gonna play bass full time? Cause I don't want to end up with a shitty bass guitar? i also don't know anything about decent quality cheap basses. I've played on a squire which was pretty decent


lots of questions, i know.
thanks
Last edited by Thomas_enzu at May 15, 2015,
#2
Primarily a guitarist here, just to make that clear. The hardest thing about learning to play bass from a guitarist's point of view is to learn to think like a bassplayer and not a guitarplayer. The instruments may be similar in design, but their roles are completely different.

I started writing basslines for my songs in Guitar Pro. I looked at basslines of songs I liked and wrote similarly styled ones for mine. And anyway, it's a lot easier to let go of the instincts you've piled up playing guitar when you don't actually sit with an instrument that feels almost exactly the same in your hands.

As for buying a bass, like guitar and everything else the cheapest stuff is junk and not worth buying. Upper end Squier or Yamaha are quite decent. (300-400 euros). There's where I would look.
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#3
There is no downside to expanding your talents; musical or otherwise. Playing bass pays off in a number of ways, from strengthening your fingers to looking at music and playing from a different perspective. And who knows? You might decide that you love playing the bass so much that you decide to dedicate your life to it!

Decide how much you are willing to spend and then get the best bass - in your opinion - that you can find within that budget. To be honest; there are not many truly "bad" basses out there. Even the entry-level basses are light-years ahead of the ones offered back in the 1970s - 1990s.

Welcome to the Low End, my friend!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#4
Quote by HomerSGR
Primarily a guitarist here, just to make that clear. The hardest thing about learning to play bass from a guitarist's point of view is to learn to think like a bassplayer and not a guitarplayer. The instruments may be similar in design, but their roles are completely different.

I started writing basslines for my songs in Guitar Pro. I looked at basslines of songs I liked and wrote similarly styled ones for mine. And anyway, it's a lot easier to let go of the instincts you've piled up playing guitar when you don't actually sit with an instrument that feels almost exactly the same in your hands.

As for buying a bass, like guitar and everything else the cheapest stuff is junk and not worth buying. Upper end Squier or Yamaha are quite decent. (300-400 euros). There's where I would look.


Thanks for your insight. I think you mean that as a bass player you shouldn't try to show off your cool licks all the time, but should play in function of the song and stick with the roots of the song? i'll take a look at the yamaha's as well, thanks!
#5
Quote by FatalGear41
There is no downside to expanding your talents; musical or otherwise. Playing bass pays off in a number of ways, from strengthening your fingers to looking at music and playing from a different perspective. And who knows? You might decide that you love playing the bass so much that you decide to dedicate your life to it!

Decide how much you are willing to spend and then get the best bass - in your opinion - that you can find within that budget. To be honest; there are not many truly "bad" basses out there. Even the entry-level basses are light-years ahead of the ones offered back in the 1970s - 1990s.

Welcome to the Low End, my friend!


when you say "entry-level basses" what sort of models are you thinking about?
#6
and should i buy used or new? i really like the squier vintage modified jazz bass 70s, it sounds good, looks good, and costs 300 euros which is reasonable. Pretty silly though, one of my best friends has got this bass laying around at home but doesn't want to sell me his tsss
#7
Quote by Thomas_enzu
Thanks for your insight. I think you mean that as a bass player you shouldn't try to show off your cool licks all the time, but should play in function of the song and stick with the roots of the song? i'll take a look at the yamaha's as well, thanks!


As a musician you shouldn't try to show off your cool licks all the time, it doesn't matter what instrument you're playing. It's about serving the song - if it requires root notes, play root notes. If the song starts sounding empty, throw in something a bit more involved to fill it out - unless you're going for space with that particular passage.
#8
Quote by Thomas_enzu
when you say "entry-level basses" what sort of models are you thinking about?


Generally, an "Entry Level" bass is a no-frills bass that sells for less than US$200.00. Examples of Entry-Level basses are the Ibanez GSR basses; many of the Squier basses by Fender; and Yamaha's lower-numbered RBX series basses.

Back in the day, instruments that sold at these prices were barely playable, and they were of very poor construction and finish quality. These days, there are definitely some solid basses in the sub-$200.00 range. They would not be my first choice for playing a gig, but that does not mean that I would turn down a gig just because I had to use one of them.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#9
I was in this same boat about two years ago.

The truth is, I have a really sophisticated keyboard setup anchored by a Korg Kronos X, and I grew up playing some pretty sophisticated bass lines on classical pipe organ (both feet, heel and toe), so I already have a good ear for bass.

So I found a Fender Squier Skull bass for around $100 (with gig bag!) hanging on a GC Used Gear wall. It's a full-scale 21-fret (now I'm gonna have to double check) four-string with both Precision and Jazz bass pickups. It's got a goofy graphic of a skull and crossbones on the body, and a single 12-fret inlay that echos that. Otherwise, basic black. I figured I'd pick up a "good" bass later. I actually did buy another bass later, but it turns out this silly "beginner" bass really covers almost all of what I really wanted to do.

Here's what I learned:

Throw the pick away. At least for a while. It's a perfectly valid way to play bass, but you want to learn to play bass the way good bass players do, and that involves thumb (sometimes) and fingers (a lot of the time). You'll spend a lot of time "pulling" the bass strings and using all four (or at least three) fingers.

Learn basic bass lines. It's not just root notes on chords. There are a ton of video-based bass lessons out there. Even if you're not going to use the information right away on whatever it is you're playing, get some of that under your belt.

Find some bass TONES. Don't settle for just one or two. I picked up a used Bass Pod XT, cheap, just to get an idea what the various tones were from different amps and cabinets, and to see what FX did on bass. I'd pretty much ignored my bass players through the years; they seemed to find just the right thing and I was too busy with what I was doing to be interested. Get a *good* set of headphones.

When you're practicing, ignore the guitars and keys in a song and play in sync with the drummer. You'll still need to know what you're doing to stay in key, etc., but you and the drummer are joined at the hip.

Done right, it's a bit like transitioning from guitar to saxophone. Guitar and bass look alike, but they're very different instruments.
Last edited by dspellman at May 16, 2015,
#10
thanks dspellman for your accurate description!
so is it best to start with trying to play all my favorite songs even though they might be too hard in the beginning, or should i start with playing easy root notes and go on from there?
#12
It depends what style of music you and what do you want to play.
I think for Punk or "bubblegum pop" haha its ok to play with pick and play aaaa bbbb you know what I mean, but I think if you want to play complex stuff like jazz or fusion you should get a good teacher which changes your point of view for the bass,
because bass is not a solo instrument like guitar ( of course it can be ) but more just to be the ground like the drums.

My 2 cents
#13
Quote by Thomas_enzu
What do you guys think of this package?

http://www.keymusic.com/be/item/squier-affinity-jazz-bass-pack-rumble-15-brown-sunburst/

looks like a really solid bass guitar to me, reasonable price for the bass, cable, tuner etc..
but it doesn't include a solid case, that s*cks


Almost nothing under US$1,000.00 comes with a hard case anymore, which is downright criminal, if you ask me.

For just getting started, that setup should do just fine. But be warned: "Once you start down the bass path; forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will! Just as it did so many others!"

Welcome to the Low End, my Friend!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#14
hahaha if bass will dominate my destiny, that's how it shall be.
but i think the squier is good for a lot of genres. I might take a look at some yamaha's as well
and i'm not just gonna play "aaa bbb" haha, i'm going to try to learn some slapping! i think my experience as a guitar will help me a bit (note-wise, not quite technique-wise)
#15
Quote by Thomas_enzu
I think my experience as a guitar will help me a bit (note-wise, not quite technique-wise)


Yes it will!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aESPUNm38Ow

Some people put a great deal of "guitar" into their bass playing, and it works.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#16
Quote by Thomas_enzu
hahaha if bass will dominate my destiny, that's how it shall be.
but i think the squier is good for a lot of genres. I might take a look at some yamaha's as well
and i'm not just gonna play "aaa bbb" haha, i'm going to try to learn some slapping! i think my experience as a guitar will help me a bit (note-wise, not quite technique-wise)

Your guitar experience will help you a lot both note-wise and technique-wise (I mean, the fretboard is exactly the same, minus two of the highest strings, and your fretting hand technique is the same). Well, not that much for slapping, but anything will be easier for you than for somebody that has no experience of playing a stringed instrument.

The most difficult thing is treating it as a different instrument than guitar. The technique side is pretty easy, though you need to learn to fingerpick if you haven't done that on guitar at all.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#17
I was in the same boat your in. I,ve played guitars for years and wanted to relly play BASS but was afraid of spending a lot of $$$ so i bought a squire JASS affinity, I really loved it and still do.Then I bought another one! Only difference was the colour,Oh yea, I meant JAZZ...go try one thier well worth the $$$. but that,s only my opinion!!! GOOD LUCK!!
#18
Quote by zorbo
I was in the same boat your in. I,ve played guitars for years and wanted to relly play BASS but was afraid of spending a lot of $$$ so i bought a squire JASS affinity, I really loved it and still do.Then I bought another one! Only difference was the colour,Oh yea, I meant JAZZ...go try one thier well worth the $$$. but that,s only my opinion!!! GOOD LUCK!!


thanks, it's probably gonna be a squier jazz bass
#19
Quote by Thomas_enzu
Hey guys i need some advice,

As an enthousiastic guitar player i've recently bought an audio interface to start fooling around with recording on my computer. I'm in a band, but we can't find a bass player..
Because I've always wanted to learn bass, and because i want to record some basis bass lines in my recordings, I was thinking about buying a cheap (used) bass guitar and start with playing basic root notes, and teaching myself some more later on. But in recording i think bass is really necessary for rock music.

- is it smart as a guitarist to try and learn bass just to record some stuff and fool around?
- should i spend under 200euros on a cheaper used bass guitar or consider buying something reasonable for 300-400 euros even though i'm not gonna play bass full time? Cause I don't want to end up with a shitty bass guitar? i also don't know anything about decent quality cheap basses. I've played on a squire which was pretty decent


lots of questions, i know.
thanks


Get a Fender P or Jazz bass, squier or mexican, best you can afford. It's a great idea to learn some bass.
#20
The hardest part about playing bass as a guitar player is playing it in properly in tune - if any of the notes are fretted too hard you will screw up the tuning and ruin a recording. Out of tune low end is a nightmare for recordings.
#21
Can't praise enough Yamaha bass guitars.
Check out the BB line, with active eq.

All along this path I tread
My heart betrays my weary head
With nothing but my soul to save
From the cradle to the grave.