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Bass Guitar advice


neoELITE
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My daughter wants a bass guitar and practice amp. She's a saxophone player and is in a band; it's a school band but includes ex-pupils, teachers and they have a professional singer - they play big band, soul, funk, swing and 50s rock n roll. They play paid for gigs. She's quite an accomplished sax player.

 

I can't afford a saxophone but I'm saving to buy one when she leaves school. We currently rent one from the school. The Yamaha she plays costs around £2500. So she's used to quality instruments.

She's learning bass at school.

 

She's a big MCR fan and Mikey Way plays Squire/Fender bass guitars.

 

I've seen this.

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Squier-Affinity-Jaguar-Bass-H-MN-Black/3SZI

preview.jpg.86ac1937a943b8c4b5f0ea2478cb5e8e.jpg

 

Under £200.

 

She'll also need a practice amp. 

 

I don't have a budget in mind. 2nd hand amp would be good. 

I'm looking at Orange Crush amps but any advice would be great as I have no idea, am not musical. 

 

I don't know where she gets her talent from. Maybe it's because I listen to music a lot and have thousands of CDs and she just grew up listening to my music at home. 

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That's a good bass for the price, how old is she? What scale is the one she's learning on at school?

 

As she's already learning at school it might be worth finding more about what instrument she's learning on there. That Squier has a single humbucker which will sound different to her ears (though not necessarily yours) if she's been learning on a split coil.

 

The way she plays would be the same but it may be a little too different.

 

The best advice is, if possible, take her to a guitar shop to have a play and see what she prefers.

 

Also, check out Harley Benton who make some really well received basses that aren't as pricey as your Fenders etc (I'm eyeing up one of their Rickenbacker clones)

 

https://www.thomann.de/gb/electric_basses.html

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, wev said:

That's a good bass for the price, how old is she? What scale is the one she's learning on at school?

 

As she's already learning at school it might be worth finding more about what instrument she's learning on there. That Squier has a single humbucker which will sound different to her ears (though not necessarily yours) if she's been learning on a split coil.

 

The way she plays would be the same but it may be a little too different.

 

The best advice is, if possible, take her to a guitar shop to have a play and see what she prefers.

 

Also, check out Harley Benton who make some really well received basses that aren't as pricey as your Fenders etc (I'm eyeing up one of their Rickenbacker clones)

 

https://www.thomann.de/gb/electric_basses.html

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, that's amazing advice.

 

She's 14. She's not the usual kid who wants a guitar and then gives up as they aren't shredding like Dimebag after a week. She's very dedicated. 

 

I'll do this. We have a decent place locally.

 

Thanks again.

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Can’t really go wrong with a Squier, good comments from @wev on pickup configs too. 
 

On amps, I’m getting a Laney Audiohub 40W wedge amp for Xmas as a home practice amp, can’t vouch for how it sounds yet obviously but will report back. It’s a multi-instrument amp so will apparently work with guitars and keyboards too (or the electronic drum kit my son wants :ph34r:)

 

 

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4 hours ago, lankysanchez said:

Can’t really go wrong with a Squier, good comments from @wev on pickup configs too. 
 

On amps, I’m getting a Laney Audiohub 40W wedge amp for Xmas as a home practice amp, can’t vouch for how it sounds yet obviously but will report back. It’s a multi-instrument amp so will apparently work with guitars and keyboards too (or the electronic drum kit my son wants :ph34r:)

 

 

 

I'm a massive Clutch fan. They use Orange Amps. 

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Squier basses are excellent - I'm not a bass player myself (more guitar) but I bought one just to mess about with to learn some Mick Karn lines - very very good value for money. Exact model is a "Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass - Rosewood - Olympic White"

 

For amplification - I use this amp for everything now including normal guitar (I don't gig anymore) - it's great - had it around 8 years and still working without issue - it's also small enough to be left set up all the time without getting in the way or dominating any room

 

It's an "Ashdown TourBus 15 Bass"

 

20221204_143625.jpg

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I used to have an Orange Crush Bass 50 back in NZ, it was very nice indeed. It had a 12" speaker, which meant it could hold its own in garage-band jam sessions with a drummer, rather than just for playing at home. I was playing a Squier Jaguar Bass SS with flatwounds for a vintage 60s sound, and it was a great guitar. I have a Fender Japan Mustang Bass these days, and I wouldn't say it's any better or worse than the Squier was, despite costing at least twice as much.

 

It might be worth trying a short scale (30" from nut to bridge) bass as well as a conventional scale (34"). A lot of snobs will say that basses have to be full scale, but tell that to Jack Bruce, Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, Trevor Bolder, Tina Weymouth or, uh, that guy from Royal Blood. I have relatively short arms, and greatly prefer them, and I know a lot of female players do too (but not all, Carol Kaye, etc). The trade-off for a shorter scale can be less string tension, but if you put flatwounds on there, they have a higher tension anyway so it all kind of cancels out.

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I'll chime in here with a bass amp recommendation; you can't go wrong with a Fender Rumble.  They sound amazing and the 15 watt version is an excellent practice amp for the price:

 

https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/fender-rumble-15-bass-amplifier-combo-v3?gclid=Cj0KCQiAyracBhDoARIsACGFcS5gbwTUuh1NmpRazZqPk19s8LYZDHRtBKpyv-JoHIOsDisiNZ19B7waAuFUEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

When I bought mine a few years back I tested it alongside an Ashdown practice amp (love Ashdown and one of my full size rigs is an Ashdown head and cab) and the Fender destroyed it.  Such a lovely rounded tone and the bass is really controlled which can be an issue on smaller combos.

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On 03/12/2022 at 11:51, wev said:

That's a good bass for the price, how old is she? What scale is the one she's learning on at school?

 

As she's already learning at school it might be worth finding more about what instrument she's learning on there. That Squier has a single humbucker which will sound different to her ears (though not necessarily yours) if she's been learning on a split coil.

 

The way she plays would be the same but it may be a little too different.

 

The best advice is, if possible, take her to a guitar shop to have a play and see what she prefers.

 

Also, check out Harley Benton who make some really well received basses that aren't as pricey as your Fenders etc (I'm eyeing up one of their Rickenbacker clones)

 

https://www.thomann.de/gb/electric_basses.html

 

 

 

 

 

The school bass is a single humbucker and also a jazz bass as she's been playing two different guitars. She prefers the single humbucker bass. 

We'll visit a local shop at the weekend and see how we get on. 

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@wev @lankysanchez @SharkyOB @Alexlotl @englishbob

 

We went to a local music shop that had the bass in my OP.  It felt comfortable, wasn't too heavy and she liked how it sounded through one of the shop amps (it's a gnarly sound according to Rosie my daughter).  She's a complete beginner but can play a little bit of some Weezer songs (don't ask, her love of Weezer comes from a meme apparently). Her best friend plays bass in her band and he has been having lessons for about 5 years and he's pretty good so he'll give her a helping hand.

 

Gear4music, the online store I was going to buy from is based in Sweden so there's import tax + the delivery charge takes the bass to over £280 if I want it before Xmas.  

 

The local shop only had a limited edition sparkly version of the bass but the guy in the shop said you're basically paying for the paint job and a slightly different set of knobs - the basic version is essentially the same.  That was £700.  

 

I'm going to buy from an online shop called DV247.

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Squier-Affinity-Series-Jaguar-Bass-H-MN-Black/art-BAS0011642-000

  £200 for the bass, Fender Rumble 15 for £95.  The guy in the shop said if she wants a rock sound, the Fender Rumble is perfect. She listed bands she likes - MCR, Korn, Nine Inch Nails, Misfits and he thinks this combo will make her happy.  She's a massive Michael Buble fan too but we won't go there. 

 

Is there anything else essential she needs - I guess a strap and a lead.  Also, how do you actually tune a guitar? 

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I’d also buy this overdrive pedal

 

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Behringer-BOD400-Pedal-Bass-Overdrive/art-BAS0003928-000

 

The Rumble looks like it’s got no gain knob, meaning your daughter will end up with a really clean bass sound, which is great for Michael Buble but not so great for NIN or any Rock. It’s £23, Behringer are good quality pedals and you’ll get a great fuzzy sound out of it.

 

For tuning, unless you’ve got a piano around the house, I’d pick up something like this: https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Fame-CAT-04C-Clip-On-Tuner/art-ACC0007862-000 It’s only a fiver, you clip it onto the bass, turn the string lower or higher until it reaches the right pitch. It’s fairly easy.

 

Yes, get a strap and two leads (one from bass to the pedal, the other from pedal to the amp), a handful of bass picks/plectrums and you should be good to go (check that the bass comes with strings… otherwise get bass strings as well!)

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Here’s a curveball, although it’s probably too late now…

 

You could build your own

 

https://guitarkitfabric.co.uk/bass-guitar-kit-precision-ebony-7141269435943-en.html

 

I’ve bought a kit from these guys to build a guitar for my son. The build quality was really good, but the great thing with a Fender style guitar is that they were originally designed by Leo Fender to be modular (to reduce costs). Which means you can easily swap out the neck (the bit you play on) with a better quality one. These guys do great quality necks https://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/precision-bass-compatible-guitar-necks/ You can even upgrade the pickups over time, if you wanted. The Fenders are totally modular. 

 

The neck you could swap out later on, but if you wanted a father/daughter project on Boxing Day (it literally takes about 2-3 hours to make up the guitar) and I guess it’s something personal, then that would be a good option. If you’re OK with screwing things together. Then you can paint it, varnish it or leave it as natural.

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Gear4Music are

9 minutes ago, gone fishin said:

I’d also buy this overdrive pedal

 

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Behringer-BOD400-Pedal-Bass-Overdrive/art-BAS0003928-000

 

The Rumble looks like it’s got no gain knob, meaning your daughter will end up with a really clean bass sound, which is great for Michael Buble but not so great for NIN or any Rock. It’s £23, Behringer are good quality pedals and you’ll get a great fuzzy sound out of it.

 

Eh, with a humbucker she might be fine for bedroom playing, I'd imagine the bass has a pretty decent output gain. I'd certainly wait and see rather than rushing in to spend more money.

 

Gear4Music are actually a UK company based here in York, but they have a distribution centre in Sweden. It's mainly there to serve the Nordic market, but if they don't have something in the UK they'll offer to ship it from there, although that carries extra costs. Their big showroom here is fantastic, my kids call it the Music Zoo. Come and buy a harp, a piano, a bass guitar, a giant gong, clarinet, tuba, drumkit, DJ setup, synths, you name it.

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I think for now just getting the guitar and leaving pedals for the time being is a good approach, she sounds like she's happy with the sound of the instrument, sure, yeah she'll probably want to investigate pedals at some point but that opens up further gifts.

 

I run mine through the Beringer OD300, which isn't bass specific but gives it a really crunchy sound, I also have an Electro-Harmonix "soul preacher" compression/sustain pedal.

 

This is an old video now, but it's using the set up from above

 

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMFb7wVBo/

 

 

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@neoELITE, one of my friends asked the exact same advice last night. Gear4Music (website) do a Squier package with Fender 15W practice amp for between £230 and £280 depending on whether you go for Affinity Precision, Jazz or Jaguar bass, and another load of packages for slightly more with a posher 20W or 50W amp.

 

https://www.gear4music.com/Bass_Guitars/Fender_Squier_Bass.html

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1 hour ago, Jammy said:

@neoELITE, one of my friends asked the exact same advice last night. Gear4Music (website) do a Squier package with Fender 15W practice amp for between £230 and £280 depending on whether you go for Affinity Precision, Jazz or Jaguar bass, and another load of packages for slightly more with a posher 20W or 50W amp.

 

https://www.gear4music.com/Bass_Guitars/Fender_Squier_Bass.html

 

Thanks. It's expected delivery date is in May though. 

 

I've ordered the guitar, amp and a lead for £308. 

 

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33 minutes ago, neoELITE said:

 

Thanks. It's expected delivery date is in May though. 

 

I've ordered the guitar, amp and a lead for £308. 

 


Lots of ‘in stock’ ones on there for the Jazz shape. The stock level seems to have changed even since last night !

 

Glad you got sorted though - brilliant present :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Awesome man, such a good setup for someone starting out! 

 

Yeah, those amps are amazing aren't they? Mine's from the previous generation where the inputs and controls were on the front of the amp, but I've used a 500 watt version from the current generation quite a bit and it's an incredible amp.

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On 25/12/2022 at 14:23, neoELITE said:

I have no idea where she gets her musical skills from. 


It’s brilliant when that happens though - my mate and his wife have absolutely no musical prowess at all, and three of their sons have gone through the Royal Academy of Music in London as jazz musicians.

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