Beginners Bass Recommendations

psychojohn

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My petite 16 yo daughter, who plays French horn in high school symphony band, melophone in marching band, takes operatic voice lessons, dabbles on a cheap electronic keyboard she got one xmas, and is slated to sing in the jazz band (the point being she is musically inclined) wants to take up bass playing. Visited the local GC months ago and found a red Schecter that was lighter weight than standard by doing some techno stuff with the pups (adding an extra I believe). Add a GC amp, pick, guitar strap, set of replacement strings etc and we were at about $500-$600. I see Fender beginner packs with all of the above and more for $299, but in my brief experience with guitars, it seems like you get what pay for (with a few exceptions).

Any opinions on the Fender starter pack or recommendations on decent (doesn't have to be the best, but don't want the worst) bass, amp etc.

Thanks

John
 

SWeAT hOg

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My petite 16 yo daughter, who plays French horn in high school symphony band, melophone in marching band, takes operatic voice lessons, dabbles on a cheap electronic keyboard she got one xmas, and is slated to sing in the jazz band (the point being she is musically inclined) wants to take up bass playing. Visited the local GC months ago and found a red Schecter that was lighter weight than standard by doing some techno stuff with the pups (adding an extra I believe). Add a GC amp, pick, guitar strap, set of replacement strings etc and we were at about $500-$600. I see Fender beginner packs with all of the above and more for $299, but in my brief experience with guitars, it seems like you get what pay for (with a few exceptions).

Any opinions on the Fender starter pack or recommendations on decent (doesn't have to be the best, but don't want the worst) bass, amp etc.

Thanks

John

I bought my Yamaha RBX 374 for $175 used and I am very happy with it. Active pickups and the onboard EQ give many tonal options. The pickups have a 'thumb rest' which is great for a starter. Tuners are die-cast and sealed. I used it to record the bass track in my sig, if you wanna give a listen.

Good on you for supporting your girl's musical ambitions!!

yamaha-rbx374-red-metallic-177103.jpg
 

Paul46

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Check out the Squier Classic Vibe Jazz or Precision basses.

If those are too big for her, Squier also does a short scale Vintage Modified Jaguar bass which looks uber cool!
 

smorgdonkey

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Ibanez have some absolutely stellar deals on the low end of the price spectrum...notably, the Korean Soundgear series (SDGR on most headstocks). Now...the petite may find them a bit large so some of the Gio models might be a better fit.

Ibanez has done fantastic things with basses for a couple of decades.
 

smorgdonkey

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I should have added that the Soundgear Series is no longer made in Korea but on the used market they can be had for very little. The fact that they haven't held their value has no correlation to the fantastic quality that they are.
 

devnulljp

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I'd say the Squier CV Jazz over the P-bass. They're both good, esp for the money, bu the jazz has a thinner neck. If she's really small though, the Bronco is a cool shortscale bass.

Although if you look around CL, you can get deals on other off-brand stuff. I picked up an 80s Westone Thunder bass off CL for $50, which was awesome.

Actually, now I think about it, the Epiphone Thunderbird is really good, thin neck, cool, cheap bass. The EB3 might not be a bad choice either.
 

CheopisIV

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Stay away from Fender Rumble amps. They're garbage. They are reasonably cheap but (if I remember correctly) have a circuit protection system to keep from blowing the speaker but overloads the amp itself.

edit: Actually I have that the wrong way around; the circuit protects the amp at the cost of the speaker... and the older ones trip the circuit more readily than they should.
 

Sustainamaniac

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I started out on an ibanez starter kit. The amp is certainly nothing to write home about, but I love that gio bass. I don't want to upgrade, and that's even after playing a friend's MIA P-bass and jazz bass. I honestly like this one more.
 

dspelman

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When I started learning bass a short time ago, I picked up a used, cheap passive Fender Squier 4-string bass that had a Precision and a Jazz pickup in it. About $100 from the used wall in a local GC. I eventually followed that up with a used '89 Carvin LB75 5-string with active pickups and neck-through construction, again for cheap (though notably more than the Squier). At this point, I've run both through some very expensive amplification, and both of them hold up very well.

With bass, it's the amp that will get you, both in expense and in weight. I'd suggest taking a look at these: Carvin.com : Tilt-Back Bass Combo Amplifiers.
 

SWeAT hOg

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I'm not sure on how much you want to spend on an amp. But given she's a small lass, I thought of these Gallien-Krueger combos. I picked up a MB210 for a friend who was starting out. At 35 lbs., anybody could carry it to a rehearsal, or in your daughter's case, to band practice. Plenty loud for any type of jamming.

Gallien-Krueger MB Series Combo Bass AmpsGallien-Krueger
 

Ermghoti

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Those starter pack amps are junk, I concur with the suggestion to get something serviceable used. You know how to do a set-up? Get an SX from rondomusic.com. I bought two, one for myself, and one as a gift for my brother. They were both fine (as in "lacked nothing needed for a working instrument") after a little attention to the action and the nut.
 

Alex W

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One good option would be a Squier Classic Vibe Jazz bass. Best Buy currently selling this model for $250 (link). (Store pickup only.) I like Precision basses too, but I don't know of a good sale price on those. Anyway, I played bass in a band for a while and had a nice rig and all, and I have been impressed with the quality/price ratio of the Classic Vibe basses that I have tried out.
 

PhilR

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I'd say go with a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz for the bass. Whatever amp you buy will inevitably be upgraded but those basses are good enough to stick with forever. I bought the VM Jazz in the natural finish with black block inlays a few years back and I still love it to this day. It sounds & plays fantastic, easily as good as any non-US Fender model.
 

old mark

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I started playing bass in 1963, and I do not much like Fender basses. I recommend a used US made Peavey Foundation or really any US made Peavey bass in a more or less standard shape. Cheap, but great materials, well made, great players, best neck in the business. Also, I once bought a used and dirt cheap Aria Pro bass...it was so good I recorded a radio commercial with it. I think it cost $45.

Peavey bass amps are widely used and also very cheap.

Best to have her try it first so SHE likes it. She will be playing it..

A agree - avoid the "starter packs" . nothing good in them at all. Better get a decent used bass and used small combo bass amp. She will still be able to use them if she starts in with a band.

You are doing a good thing by helping her along.

mark
 

psychojohn

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Thanks to all for suggestions, time and consideration. Went with candy Red Squire Vintage Modified short scale Bass ($179.00 from local music store; on sale from $269), Ampeg 180 30 watt amp ($85 with GC coupon), rondo short scale hard case ($56 + shipping), Schaller strap nickel strap locks ($15.00) and yet to be purchase strap. I think shell love it as she "would settle for starter pack."

Thanks

John
 

RaSTuS26

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Should be a real treat for her, good one Dad.

Here's a petite bass player that does alright, could be some inspiration for your Daughter.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgffDVO2UyA]Tal Wilkenfeld - Solo Bass (HD) - YouTube[/ame]
 

Ermghoti

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Nicely done, all solid choices.Keep in mind, that amp will really struggle if she gets to the point where she's playing with a drummer, but it will do fine for practicing.

Edit: Are you sure the amp is not the BA108? I don't see a similar amp designated the 180.
 

psychojohn

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Nicely done, all solid choices.Keep in mind, that amp will really struggle if she gets to the point where she's playing with a drummer, but it will do fine for practicing.

Edit: Are you sure the amp is not the BA108? I don't see a similar amp designated the 180.

I believe you are right
 

Ermghoti

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Ah, OK, my comments on the amp stand then. Good to go.
 

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