Looking for some input on the instrument, here. I'm primarily a performing singer and guitar player, but I picked up the bass last year and started fiddling around with it, and have started to get serious about practicing and playing this year. Up to now, I've been using a total p.o.s. that I inherited from a friend to practice at home, but I don't think I'd be able to take it into a room with other people, let alone on stage. So, I'm in the market for something new. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a gear guy, especially on the bass front. Thus, I'm here for advice.

What I'm looking for: something up to $1,000. I play mostly classic rock, indie rock, powerpop, that kind of thing. I'm fairly new, but I am serious about getting good on the instrument and want to eventually play in live settings, record (including home recording), whatever.

I keep looking at the Rickenbacker 4003, but it's out of my price range and, besides, I feel like it might be way too much instrument for someone at my level. Any expert help and/or advice in terms of where I could/should be looking would be much appreciated.
You can't go wrong with a fender standard jazz bass. Very versatile and well within your price range ~$600 brand new. But I'd encourage you to go to a music shop and try out whatever catches your eye. The jazz bass jives with me but it might not for you, until you try it yourself!
A Jazz Bass jibes with you, not jives.

You absolutely do NOT need to spend $1000 on a bass to get a good one. Also, don't waste your money on a new instrument when you can a perfectly good one used. I prefer the P-Bass to the J. Or for someone who likes both or can't make up their mind, there's the P/J bass.

If you can't find anything locally then go register on talkbass.com and look through their classifieds. There are tons of good basses for sale there.
P vs J is entirely a matter of personal preference.
When I started I was planning to get a P or PJ bass, but when I went to the shop, I found that I didn't like them. First jazz bass I tried, I loved, so I got that one

Go to a music shop and try out different types. Then buy the one that you like, not what someone on the internet told you to
Oh, I'm definitely planning to go try things and no just make a purchase based on Internet advice! This was more just about me being a total neophyte in this space and getting some general guidance. Thanks so much for the input so far, y'all.
Quote by Rockthefaces
Oh, I'm definitely planning to go try things and no just make a purchase based on Internet advice! This was more just about me being a total neophyte in this space and getting some general guidance. Thanks so much for the input so far, y'all.

OK. Good to know

There isn't really too much more to it to be honest.
Just try stuff out and get what you like.
The other things to compare though would be how the neck feels to play (thickness, shape, finish ect) and how the body feels (how heavy it is and if it rests comfortably against your body)
I consider how comfortable an instrument is to hold and play to be the most important thing.
Did you really need to correct my use of the word 'jibe'? You have nothing better to do? I was just trying to help out my fellow bass player and you go and act like a ****.
I didn't post only to correct you. My reply was mainly to the OP. Why does me correcting you mean I'm being an ass? You used the wrong word, and I'm sure you would have continued to in the future. No one here knows who you are. If you're so thin skinned that you're getting offended on a message board then I'd hate to see what you're like in real life. If you were in the habit of saying 'Fender Les Paul' and someone said "no, Gibson makes the Les Paul" would you get into a fistfight over it even though you knew you were wrong? Wouldn't you rather have someone correct you once instead of people cringing every time you said it for the rest of your life?

Settle down, Lucy.
From Wikipedia
"Jibe" and "jive" have been used interchangeably in the U.S. to indicate the concept "to agree or accord." While one recent dictionary accepts this usage of "jive," most sources consider it to be in error.
Let's settle down children, or warnings will ensue. You're off topic.

If you are looking for a workhorse bass, Rics are not a great choice. They have a very distinct tone that doesn't work well with every song or genre.

With a budget like that, I'd hit a good shop with a decent variety and try every bass you can. Jazz basses would fit in well with your music inclination but you are playing this instrument, and it has to feel right and sound right to you.
Just as a personal thing I started off with a Fender Standard Jazz with almost 0 experience and knowledge about guitars or basses beforehand.

It has not failed me so far and it makes real good sound and a joy to play (I play rock/alternative/pop songs on it). I would go into stores and try out the basses there, that's what worked for me. I did some research beforehand but not a whole lot, and it's really a matter of personal preference most of the time. You should definitely try it out, play a few very simple riffs/notes or so to see how it feels in your hands, if it works for you because everyone has different natural ways of playing and different hand size/arm length/etc. As for the whole J/P bass you can do some research but once again it's mostly a personal preference thing. I thought I'd go for a precision but I really liked the jazz so that's what I ended up getting.

Best of luck!
Might be able to find a 4003s a bit closer to your budget. But based off what you want to do just find yourself a nice Jazz or Precision, leaning closer to Precision.
Sound guys know what to do with them so you'll rarely sound bad live, they record well and they're easy to maintain. They just work.
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
Hard to go wrong with your basic P or J bass. Here's some thoughts from an old retired bassist on a fixed income...

Most musicians don't have money to burn so getting the most for my money is high on my list. To that end a good used MIM P or J bass is arguably the best value for the dollar. You can find decent ones all day in the $300 range, use them for several years, and then sell them for about $300 if you've maintained them well.

IME, the best aspect of this is that it provides a gig-ready bass from the git-go, and allows you time at leisure to discover whether or not you really want to pursue playing bass.

Additionally, after a year or so you will have a much better idea as to exactly what kind of bass you really want and you can almost always get most (if not all) of your money back from the sale of the MIM to finance a new purchase, or you can relegate the MIM to backup status. Most bassists have at least one backup bass.

Those with money to burn should feel free to ignore anything I've said...