#1
What are good brands for electric basses? Are there any "undervalued" brands which kick more ass than they should for the money?

I play guitar. Not great, but I play. How easy/hard will it be for me to learn bass? Correct me if I'm wrong...are the bottom 4 strings on a guitar the exact same as on a bass?

I want to learn bass to augment my guitar work. Plus I want to play bass on Rocksmith. Seems like it might be fun and something to work on when my fingernails are in a sorry state. I'd like to find a light, easy playing bass guitar.

Is this a good bass, and is it a good price for one?

http://www.amazon.com/Dean-Custom-Zone-Nuclear-Green/dp/B000K6B44U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1455518217&sr=8-3&keywords=dean+bass+guitar
Last edited by TobusRex at Feb 15, 2016,
#2
Thank you kabadi for answering so many of my questions.

I didn't even consider the heavier strings and fretting issues.
#3
Contrary to popular belief, playing bass on a competent level is in my opinion more difficult than guitar. It's simply a more physically demanding instrument. But it's definitely doable. I've been playing bass for almost as long as I've been into guitar, but with much less focus, and I still kind of suck. But it's a ton of fun, and a real boon if you're doing home recordings.

About less-obvious brands to consider, Yamaha and G&L definitely make basses that feel great for the price. I'd try the bass out first if I were you, since there are differences. Don't completely ignore short scales basses either, they're easier to play for a guitarist but still sound like a proper bass.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#4
Thanks Keva. I was thinking about shortscale basses after reading kabadi's message earlier. Since they sound like a proper bass, then that is probably the route I should go. I've never heard of G&L.
#5
Quote by TobusRex
I've never heard of G&L.


Have you heard of Fender? I guess so. G&L is like, fender, except it's more fender. It is a company that was founded by Leo Fender himself, and is still owned by his family to this day (as you might know, Fender himself hasn't had anything to do with fender the brand in almost 50 years).

So, in a way, G&L are actual Fender instruments. They're often considered better.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#6
Quote by TobusRex
What are good brands for electric basses? Are there any "undervalued" brands which kick more ass than they should for the money?


It depends on how much money you want to spend. If you're just sneaking into bass from guitar and want to keep your spending minimal, the Squier series of basses is actually pretty good.

Quote by TobusRex
I play guitar. Not great, but I play. How easy/hard will it be for me to learn bass? Correct me if I'm wrong...are the bottom 4 strings on a guitar the exact same as on a bass?


Standard 4-string bass strings are tuned an octave below the bottom 4 strings on a guitar, and they're thicker and the scale is longer. "Exact same," then...no. When I added bass to guitar, I started out playing with a pick exactly as I played guitar, but was quickly informed that I should learn to play "like a bass player" as well. It's worth watching some beginner bass videos to find out what that means <G>.

Since I still qualify as a relative newb to bass, you'll want to rate my advice accordingly when it comes to playing bass.

As for *buying* a bass: My first bass was a used Fender Squier Skull bass (it has Precision and Jazz pickups and a huge silly graphic of a skull and crossbomes on the body http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/squier-mb-4-skull-and-crossbones-electric-bass-guitar ). It turned out to be a quite adequate bass and I still use it.

My second bass was a used 1989 Carvin LB75 five-string in bright Ferrari red with neck-through construction, an ebony fretboard, a "tilted pointy" headstock, active pickup preamp and 24 frets. For a 27-year old bass, this thing is in perfect condition.
#7
What are good brands for electric basses? Are there any "undervalued" brands which kick more ass than they should for the money?
Absolutely but it's more confined to series than whole brands. e.g. Ibanez SR300 line, Squier Vintage Modified and Classic vibe lines, Yamaha RBX and BB series, etc, the list goes on.

I play guitar. Not great, but I play. How easy/hard will it be for me to learn bass? Correct me if I'm wrong...are the bottom 4 strings on a guitar the exact same as on a bass?

If you've got the basics on guitar you've got the basics on bass. With the more advanced techniques you'll see more difference. The strings are the same but it might take you a while to build up the technique, strength and calluses for fingerstyle bass.

I want to learn bass to augment my guitar work. Plus I want to play bass on Rocksmith. Seems like it might be fun and something to work on when my fingernails are in a sorry state. I'd like to find a light, easy playing bass guitar.

You need your fingernails for bass too, sorry. Leaning any new instrument will make you a better musician and a better band mate.


Fucking hell. No. No Dean. Ever.

I recommend a short scale bass. If your budget can stretch far enough then you should get a Squier VM Mustang. It's simply the best affordable short scale and probably the only one that doesn't compromise on build quality for price. I'd happily gig with one. A Squier VM Bass VI might fit your existing skills better too.

I am a Squier fanboy but with good reason.
#8
I've been playing Bass for 54 years, I still play.
Started with a Hohner.
Burns Split Sound 6 string Bass.
1965 Fender Jazz
Mexican Fender Precision
G&L L2500 Tribute
Another Burns Split Sound 6 string Bass.
MM Stingray 5
G&L L2500
Mexican Jazz Bass V
Chinese Affinity Jazz Bass V
All except the Chinese Affinity have gone, I paid £219 for the Affinity from GAK in the UK, I fitted a John East J-Retro active kit and believe me it is great value for money.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#9
Thanks for all the tips guys. I've seen some Squier love in this thread, so will check them out.

Thanks for the warning on the Dean bass. The neon green is hideous-beautiful and hard for me to resist!

I have to admit the warning on Dean basses shocked me. I thought their electrics were fairly well regarded and expected their basses to be pretty solid too.
#10
I will throw in my .02 here as well. Squier has definitely upped their game. I just bought a P/J Affinity after not playing a while and it's a good instrument. Hardly any setup required out of the box. I would highly recommend going to a music store and trying a few different ones and seeing what feels comfortable. Your guitar knowledge will help a lot, but it is a different beast than guitar for sure. And lots of people play with picks. And lots play with their fingers. Think of it as tone options. If you mess around with a bass and decide to go for it, only get a short scale if that's what you want. Some people prefer them and some don't. I wouldn't get one just because it's closer to guitar. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to switch to a long scale bass from guitar. The biggest issue physically will be dealing with the larger strings and wider spacing of frets. Your hand will probably cramp. A lot at first. But it's just like everything else, practice and experience goes a long way.

One other thing is an amp. If you have a guitar amp, it would work for very quiet stuff, but if you're wanting to play somewhat loud, even bedroom volume, I would get an actual bass amp. And don't be afraid of buying used. Craigslist is great, just make sure to inspect the instruments before you buy them. A lot of music stores also carry used equipment.

Good luck on slappin da bass!
#11
Our Bassist was crap, I tried his bass, I thought this is easy so I bought a bass on Saturday and gigged the following Friday.
That was in 1962 just prior to the start of Beatlemania when we averaged 4.5 gigs per week plus daytime jobs.
In 64 I bought a Burns 6 string bass which was actually a guitar with bass strings on (I will try and post a photo of the said Bass).
I now play an affinity Jazz Bass.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn