Bass for a ten-year-old?

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by Paul Conway, Apr 15, 2018.


  1. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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    Hi. Been asked for a recommendation for a bass for a friend's kid. Budget fairly limited. What's affordable, easily available and suitable for smaller hands? Thanks
     
  2. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    All of these are inexpensive short-scale basses that would probably work for a child
    • Fender Mustang Bass
    • Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II
    • Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special SS
    • Hofner Ignition Club Bass
     
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  3. soggy mittens

    soggy mittens Member

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  4. No_Stairway

    No_Stairway Supporting Member

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    I was a bass player in a past life I have never really grabbed an Ibanez I didn't like. I think they continue to produce one of the top quality budget basses. Ibanez wins out over most in the 200-600 $ range.

    I would give the Ibanez GSR200 a look, standard 34" 22 fret but smaller body and a 1.614 nut. I picked up bass at 11 with a pbass copy and it took me 2 years to really be able to stretch across that neck.

    Being 10 I would suggest full scale, if they start working on playing figuring correct scales from the beginning ( maybe down around the 7th fret for starters) it won't take long til their able to stretch all four out across the top frets, plus puberty is coming soon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    One of the MIM short scale Fender basses.
     
  6. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Ibanez Mikro is a well balanced, well made bass - amazing for the price.
     
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  7. joshinthecity

    joshinthecity Member

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  8. jwguitar

    jwguitar Member

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    Jay Turser makes a nice 3/4 size bass that would be suitable for someone that size and age.
     
  9. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    Second this. The Mikro is way better than it has any right to be at its price point ($179 at GC). Its scale length is 28.6"; standard short scale strings work fine.
     
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  10. Thor

    Thor Member

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    Have a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special SS and originally picked it up for my son when he was about 9. Pretty solid bass stock, but in true TGP fashion, I could not resist putting on hipshot ultralight tuners and swapping in some better pups.

    Another thought is the Kala U-bass. VERY short scale, but a blast to play and a really cool sound.
     
  11. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I have the Squier VM Jag SS (which I also put Ultralite tuners and Bill Lawrence pickups in) and the Ibanez Mikro. If I had to pick one it would easily be the Mikro, for comfort, build, weight, balance, and playability.
     
  12. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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    So here's another question (maybe a little controversial): if a kid wants to end up as a well-rounded musician,is it better to start on a treble clef instrument (given the prominence of treble clef in school lessons) ? Especially if they are not also learning keys.
     
  13. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    I don't think it matters. The main thing is that the kid should play an instrument that really speaks to him. If he really likes bass, then let him play bass. If there's something else he'd rather be doing, let him do that.

    The thing I always say when someone asks me if bass is easier to learn than guitar is this: In some ways bass is technically simpler (only four strings and you don't have to play a lot of chords), but the really hard part with any instrument is not the technical part. The hard part is learning to be musical, and that's hard on any instrument. It's probably a bit easier if you're playing an instrument that's right for you, which is why I said the kid should play an instrument that speaks to him. If it's in his nature to play bass, it will be more of a struggle for him to really develop as a guitarist, and vice versa.
     
  14. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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    Yeah. I figured that the bass is tremendously important in the sense of defining the overall harmony, but it's not really an instrument you play harmony on. I guess that's why they make you play keys to a certain standard at university.
     
  15. royd

    royd Member

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    Add me to the chorus. The Mikro is a great bass for a child or for someone who just wants a smaller instrument. I often see them used for a little above $100 and they always tug at my gas. They play well, sound great, and they are small enough to be a great travel instrument. It is just a bonus that they also work well for small hands and bodies.

    The Squier Jaguar SS is the only other I’d consider. It is also quite nice but is a bit larger, heavier, and costs a little more and doesn’t bring any additional strengths to the table IMHO.
     
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  16. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    Squier Jag Vintage Mod. Short scale neck and around 200 new. I love mine!
     
  17. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    The Mikro is killer. Great quality for one that's on the fence of short vs very short scale at 28.6". The Squier VM Jaguar Special short scale is also right there for a 30" bass.
    Both are easily upgradable, too, with lots of parts options available. I always consider what the future may hold for an inexpensive instruments and the changing tastes in sound and function. It's nice if an instrument can stick around longer and grow and change with the player.
     
  18. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Member

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    I'd say the Ibanez Mikro GSRM20 or GSRM20B is proberly your best bet.

    It will have a nice small neck that will fit the hands of a 10 year old well, as it is only 28,6" scale length vs. a normal short scale 30" or a regular bass 34".

    Also the Ibanez Mikro basses are generally of a surprisingly high quality compared to the low price the come at.

    Personally I play one as my main, on which I swapped the stock pickups with a pair of P/J EMG Geezer Butler pickups, even if the stock pickups actually are quite decent too.

    I even don't have particular small hands and am 6'4", I just happen to prefer the comfort of the small neck and don't really experience any trade offs.
     
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  19. Holzar88

    Holzar88 Silver Supporting Member

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    I got a Mikro for my 11-year-old. He loves it. Another vote for that one!
     
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  20. bojocatkite

    bojocatkite Member

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    May I mention another short scale bass worth looking at: The Ibanez TMB30
    I was looking at it for myself and read a few reports from some users on TalkBass and it seems a pretty good option, especially at the price.
    And if you replace the pickups with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder it can be a pretty good instrument.
     

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