#1
Hey guys,
I'm a guitar player but my buddy bought his first bass before I had a guitar.
It is a ESP LTD 5 String Bass (540 euros) and while it looks stunning, he's just not motivated playing it because he's a little overwhelmed with the 5 strings..
He's been thinking about getting a cheap 4 string bass (100 - 150 euros) just to learn on it until he can play it well enough to use his 5 string bass.
Would that be a good idea or should I just kick his ass until he starts to play his 5 string bass again?
For me it sounds kinda ridiculous that this extra string is supposedly ruining his fun but I'm not a bassist and thus don't want to judge.
#2
You don't 'become good enough' to play a five string. If it's his first bass, he's got no frame of reference, so he'll probably find he has many of the same difficulties learning on a four string. Ideally he needs a teacher to get him on the right track.
#3
Quote by Deliriumbassist
You don't 'become good enough' to play a five string. If it's his first bass, he's got no frame of reference, so he'll probably find he has many of the same difficulties learning on a four string. Ideally he needs a teacher to get him on the right track.

I guessed so, he's probably just blaming his gear like I've been blaming my "short hands" when I started to play guitar.
That bass is also setup by a professional.. I'll try to convince him to stick with it.
#4
My dad has short fingers in comparison to me.

He has a 5 string Kay Bass Violin from the 1940's.

He was the one that inspired me to pursue the DBV, which became an EBG obsession.

He and others look at me with 6 strings, which I wanted for 22 years until I got one, and they do not know how I do it.

Hell, it is all in 4ths, Just learn the patterns I say.

Seriously, what is probably happening is that he has a cool looking bass but I does not sound inspiring to him, so there is nothing fueling his love for making any sound with that Bass.

That is OK.

It was not until the Ibanez BTB455 that I ever played an instrument with the Neck and the tone that inspired me.

Cheapest thing to do is go find a SansAmp or other Pedal preamp that helps him make a tone that inspires him.

I have directed others to the Digitech BP8, and two of them have loved it.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
#5
Quote by Sliide90027
My dad has short fingers in comparison to me.

He has a 5 string Kay Bass Violin from the 1940's.

He was the one that inspired me to pursue the DBV, which became an EBG obsession.

He and others look at me with 6 strings, which I wanted for 22 years until I got one, and they do not know how I do it.

Hell, it is all in 4ths, Just learn the patterns I say.

Seriously, what is probably happening is that he has a cool looking bass but I does not sound inspiring to him, so there is nothing fueling his love for making any sound with that Bass.

That is OK.

It was not until the Ibanez BTB455 that I ever played an instrument with the Neck and the tone that inspired me.

Cheapest thing to do is go find a SansAmp or other Pedal preamp that helps him make a tone that inspires him.

I have directed others to the Digitech BP8, and two of them have loved it.

I don't know... He bought the bass months ago (maybe even a year now), played it a few times and then stopped.
I asked whether it is possible that he just doesn't like playing the bass in general and whether he wants to try the guitar or drums to see if it suits him better but he said that he wants to stick with the bass.
I don't even think that he played long enough to blame his gear for a tone that he doesn't like and I have an Ibanez RG421 altough I'd rather have a Les Paul because it suits my style better but that doesn't stop me from playing my Ibanez.
Everyone's different though.
That's his bass btw.
https://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/ESP-LTD-F-155DX-DSTP-Dark-See-Thru-Purple/art-BAS0003498-000
Also, when I told him that buying a new bass won't help, he said that he wants a new one in general because he fears taking his expensive bass to other places.
Which is fine but... in that case, I don't really know why he just doesn't play it at home.
Today he sent me a photo of his new bass.
It's this one:
https://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Jack-Danny-JB-3TSB-3-Tone-Sunburst/art-BAS0000913-002
Thank god, he got a professional setup.
Last edited by juvion at Sep 20, 2016,
#6
His ESP looks like a great start, Basswood and 35"

His new one is not my thing, but whatever gets him playing.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
#7
Well in 1999 after 37 years of playing a four string I bought a Stingray V and my old faithful 65 Fender Jazz only left my wardrobe just once more therefore I sold it and paid off m house mortgage.
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
#8
I used to own a B-155 DX. The only difference between the two is the body points. I was underwhelmed by it. Particularly didn't like the neck and found the tone to just be generally dull. Sold it after it sat around collecting dust for 3 years.
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
#9
Quote by deeptubes
I used to own a B-155 DX. The only difference between the two is the body points. I was underwhelmed by it. Particularly didn't like the neck and found the tone to just be generally dull. Sold it after it sat around collecting dust for 3 years.


My buddy actually started to play again since he got his new cheap bass.
He said that it does it's job and it is fun to play because of the setup.
Also, I was wrong, his ESP LTD bass wasn't setup very well. I thought that it was because the Musicstore usually does a free setup right after buying a bass/guitar but he didn't know that when he got it and thus had the factory setup.
A new setup costs 70 euros... That's ~$80 I think.
I should also do it, my guitar has some fretbuzzing on the low E string and a higher action than most guitars I've played. But that money...
I don't think that he's going to sell it though.
He seems to be emotionally attached to it, which I understand because I'm also attached to my first guitar.
Last edited by juvion at Sep 26, 2016,
#10
I bought an far eastern Squier Affinity jazz bass V £219 British Pounds I installed a John East J-Retro kit that I once had on my 65 jazz, the Affinity is my current gigging 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
#11
Quote by juvion
My buddy actually started to play again since he got his new cheap bass.
He said that it does it's job and it is fun to play because of the setup.
Also, I was wrong, his ESP LTD bass wasn't setup very well. I thought that it was because the Musicstore usually does a free setup right after buying a bass/guitar but he didn't know that when he got it and thus had the factory setup.
A new setup costs 70 euros... That's ~$80 I think.
I should also do it, my guitar has some fretbuzzing on the low E string and a higher action than most guitars I've played. But that money...
I don't think that he's going to sell it though.
He seems to be emotionally attached to it, which I understand because I'm also attached to my first guitar.


You're about to get my set up speech...

Learn to do your own setups. It will save you a ton of money over the years, and you will learn what you like and how to get it there. All musicians should know how to set up their own tools of the trade. It's actually rather easy, and you'll be glad you learned how. Your friends will be stoked and ask you to set up their guitars. You need a tuner, a capo, a phillips screwdriver, allen wrenches, and a decent gap measuring tool (I got a digital caliper from Amazon for $6). For less than the price of 1 setup, you'll be able do setups forever. I initially used Fender specs but now use my personal setup specs on all of my basses. I've learned what I like and how to achieve it, down to the string-body gap.

Your first time will be intimidating. You'll second guess everything you're doing. No worries, keep moving forward. Tune, truss rod, tune, bridge saddle height (action), tune, intonation, tune, pickup height. Tune between each step because altering the truss rod, saddle heights, and intonation will all change the strings' tensions and end up out of tune, even if only a little bit. Also, check your measurements from the playing position. If you setup with it on its back, the specs will change when you move it to the playing position. Try this. Tune sitting down the body laying flat across your lap. Move it to the playing position and check your tuning. It's off, isn't it? The same will likely happen to all of your setup specs if you do it laying flat.

My first time took more than an hour. I was second-guessing everything. I thought for sure that I was going to break something. Didn't happen. 25+ years later, I can now setup all 6 of my basses in less than an hour.

Good luck!
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
Last edited by deeptubes at Sep 27, 2016,
#12
deeptubes I use an Imperial measurement Micrometre for checking the string gauge
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
#13
I use a 1mm Allen key as a feeler guage
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B