This is a real article for beginner bassists. There was another one submitted by someone which totally bombed so I thought I outta help out those beginners who read the other one and actually thought it was good.
Ok, so you decided to take up bass guitar, you dont have much money but you have some, this is what you do. You can go and buy a Bass Pack for around $500, those are pretty good. Bass Packs are good and they last for awhile and they'll good for beginners. But what I recommend is to go out and search for that Bass Guitar that suits you, thats what I did and I am happy with the Bass Guitar I have. Some good brands are Squier, Fender, Epiphone, Gibson, Peavey and Ibanez. You can find a Bass Guitar at a cheap price from any one of these brands, and they are good too. I always say why buy the cheap brand when you're gonna end up buying the good brand later on, so dont go out and buy a cheap no-name guitar, buy a good brand and you'll be happy with it. The cheap no-names sound alright but always end up breaking down after a year or so, with a good name brand they sound awesome and last for many years. Used, it doesnt matter because every musician who is serious about what they play always takes care of their equipment. Just make sure to look into it before you buy it. New is garanteed to be good, but you just gotta work it in for the first week or so. Pickups dont really matter, it doesnt matter is your Bass has 1 pickup or 5, it will always sound good. But if you think the sound needs to be improved go out and buy some pickups and get them installed. I've had 3 Bass Guitars since I started and I got them at cheap prices too and they were pretty good. I first had a Squier Affinity P-Bass- $300, second was a Epiphone EB Bass- $350 and now I have a Squier Precision Bass JV Series.
An Electric Bass Guitar isnt complete till you have a Bass Amp to go with it. You can buy regular amps for your Bass but its best to buy an actually Bass Amp. There are many good brands out there like Peavey, Fender, Yamaha, Marshall. For a beginner, a 20 watt would be good but later on a bigger watt would be needed. 20 watt Bass Amps usually only cost around $150 or $200. It is always best to buy an Amp new, I would never trust a Used Amp. And it is always best to bring your Bass with you and try out the Bass Amp you're looking at because you wanna make sure it sounds good with your Bass. Never just buy an Amp and go, always try it out first, I made the mistake of just buying an Amp and going and now I'm screwed. I have a Peavey MicroBass Amp 20 watts and it isnt very good, I would not recommend this amp.
Now usually advanced bassists use Bass Effects Pedals but its always good to start off early with one. Anyone who says a Bass sounds crappy with Effects on it has never actually listened to it, Effects on a Bass are wicked. Bass Pedals have many different costs but most of them are good quality. The prices can go from $80 to $500 or so. Some good brands are Digitech, Boss, Zoom. Bass Pedals are good for just having fun and messing around or actually taking it serious and making good music. People may say Bass sounds ridiculous with Effects but look at Cliff Burton, he was one of the greatest bassist and he used Effects on his Bass like distortion and wah, same with Flea. I have a Digitech BP-80 Bass Pedal and it is wicked.
A Bass Tuner is a must have, because you're a beginner, you most likely do not know how to tune properly. Bass Tuners usually cost around $10-$50 and the brand doesnt really matter, any tuner is reliable.
A set of strings always comes with the guitar but just to be safe it is best to buy an extra set of strings. Name brand doesnt really matter, any brand is good. Strings go from $15- $50 or so. You can get light strings, medium strings or heavy strings. I myself love heavy strings, you can ask anyone, the heavier the better when it comes to Bass but light and medium are also good.
It is best to have a case for your bass because it keeps it safe and good for transportation. Again name brand doesnt really matter, any case is reliable. Cases usually cost $30- $200, they are good at any price but the more they cost is usually the better. Most case's have the high neck rest so the tuner keys dont hit the case. And most cases usually have storage compartments so you can put your cords, extra strings, tuner, notes, etc in.
A strap isnt really needed at the start but it is nice to have. Name brand doesnt matter and they usually cost around $10- $40.
So this is the end and I hope I did a good job. If you have something nice to write, write it, if you have something bad to write, write it. Good luck everyone.