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I really want to try playing bass guitar, but....

MoosBros

Member
Messages
340
I really want to try playing bass guitar and because my budget sucks right now, I'm looking at the cheap "off brand" basses thinking that if it doesn't hold my interest, I have little to lose. I've heard enough of "You'll get what you pay for..." and I get it. But I've learned quite a bit from working on previous lesser expensive guitars and think I can do just as well with my own labor to tweak, cleanup, & setup a new, inexpensive model bass, or maybe a beat-up used bass if I'm lucky to find one cheap enough!
So, how bad are the low-budget basses now-a-days? ....any that stand out? I've read & seen videos where so may brag about the better quality $100 cheapos that, unlike the old days, are a hell of a lot better than years ago.
Am I totally wasting my time? Or are opinions really useless because those that can afford more expensive guitars will automatically criticize the inexpenive models, and the $100 owners wil always up-play the comparison to expensive models?
About 10-12 years ago I had rotator cuff surgery and for quite a while during recovery, playing my regular basses was impossible. A friend of mine loaned me an Ibanez Mikro bass guitar, and I was able to play all my gigs and not cancel any. It was super easy to play, sounded great, and the intonation was perfect. I was sad to return it, and wouldn't hesitate to buy one and gig with it. They're around $100 on the used market.
 
Messages
1,007
I have a good vintage bass but a lot of times my go-to for gigs and even recording is a cheap used Squier J bass that i put new pots in. The cheap stuff really varies in quality so yeah, go down to the pawn shop or used instrument spot and play a few.
 

NamaEnsou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,650
...friend of mine loaned me an Ibanez Mikro bass...super easy to play, sounded great, and the intonation was perfect...wouldn't hesitate to buy one and gig with it. They're around $100 on the used market.
Got mine in a pawn shop and it's been great.
 

Five Aces

Member
Messages
56
Thanks for all your coments..... I've been looking at the Squier Afinity PBass (Olympic White) with the PB & JB pickups. I tried one at a GC and it's the one I've liked best so far! Quality seems right up there & It feels pretty good & played well. Plus it seems versatile enough that I can probably hold on to it for a while if I get serious at playing bass! I'm keeping an eye out that maybe I can get lucky and find a used deal but at GC and others its only $230 new. I'm thinking i'll wait a little with Black Friday and the holidays coming up, some new deals may pop up, too.
 

RockDebris

Member
Messages
3,966
I really want to try playing bass guitar and because my budget sucks right now, I'm looking at the cheap "off brand" basses thinking that if it doesn't hold my interest, I have little to lose. I've heard enough of "You'll get what you pay for..." and I get it. But I've learned quite a bit from working on previous lesser expensive guitars and think I can do just as well with my own labor to tweak, cleanup, & setup a new, inexpensive model bass, or maybe a beat-up used bass if I'm lucky to find one cheap enough!
So, how bad are the low-budget basses now-a-days? ....any that stand out? I've read & seen videos where so may brag about the better quality $100 cheapos that, unlike the old days, are a hell of a lot better than years ago.
Am I totally wasting my time? Or are opinions really useless because those that can afford more expensive guitars will automatically criticize the inexpenive models, and the $100 owners wil always up-play the comparison to expensive models?
Get what you can afford to get and make the most of it, that's all you can do.
Cheaper guitars and basses today are much better quality than a couple decades ago. If you are looking for a recommendation, if I was in this situation, I'd probably look at used G&L Tributes and put my spending limit at no more than $500 (you could score a deal in the $300's, but low $400's is about where they sit). There's no reason those basses will hold you back and will go as far as you are willing to go. I do like G&L basses and have a few, so that's where my bias is. I'm not discounting others that may be even less money.
 

original6dan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
195
As a guitar player with relatively small hands, I got a Jackson Minion JS1X Concert Bass that suits my needs just fine. It's a shorter scale. Is it high quality? No... but it is NOT low quality. In fact, there are some who have upgraded certain components and find it to be exceptional for the price. Check out this guy's video:

 

777

Member
Messages
824
My son is a pro level player. He has found that Squier is a great option & right now is playing one. He could afford anything, but has had the best luck with Squier.
 

Blackmoreguitar

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,142
I bought a secondhand Sterling bass. It plays nicely and has active electronics and cost me less than £150, can't remember exactly how much. I bought it to add bass to demos and I enjoy futzing around on it and trying, (and failing), to play YYZ. This bass is so nice for so little money that it's changed my perspective on buying guitars, and made me much more open to the idea that actually I don't need to spend thousands to get a nice instrument, although it won't necessarily stop me doing so :)
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,594
Buy a new or used Bronco bass. Have it set up. Begin journey. THere are plenty of decent learning basses for less than @200.
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,568
I am very impressed with the quality and ease of playing with Ibanez basses. Very good QA/QC with Hoshino - plus there's always several on Craigs List in a larger city market.
 




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