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  #1  
Old 08-04-2010, 12:01 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

I am considering learning how to play it after 30 years of drumming and percussion. I don't really know much about it technically speaking, but have always thought it would have been my instrument of choice had it not been for drumming being my first love.

Anybody here played bass or have any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

I played bass for a few years before picking up the drums, and recently came back to it to fill a hole in a band. I was amazed at how much I missed it.

I'm a big advocate for learning multiple instruments, and learning the bass will definitely get you in on the ground floor of all the chords and root notes and things that guitarists ramble on about incessantly. It's also a very logical progression from the drums, because it's percussive in playing style and very rhythmic. It's also much more portable than a drumset...

Just like drums, best bet is to buy secondhand. A good compromise between performance and cost is the Squire series by Fender, or the Epiphone series by Gibson. Don't worry about too much earth-shattering amp stuff yet; get a good solid practice amp built especially for bass.

A lot of stuff that was on the radio when I started playing bass in the 90's was simply the bassist picking eighth notes on an open E string - even less musically demanding than playing the 'boom-chick' beat - no fretting required. I looked into more interesting stuff to play (like hooking up with my high school jazz band and learning to read music written in bass clef). Fortunately, a lot of today's music is more complex basswise and you should be able to flex some chops-building muscle as you learn those songs. Tab for songs is available freely all over the internet. Don't be afraid to find out how to find thirds and fourths of chords and explore what can underpin the guitar most effectively for the song.

Have fun and good luck!
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

I too always thought it would have been my instrument of choice had I not gone into drumming. I think as drummers, we feel a connection to the bass since we often work so closely with the bass parts.

Somehow, though, I bypassed bass and went to 6 string guitar. LOL

I seem to know several bass players, and they don't flake on me. Guitar players, on the other hand, seem to flake, and thus I took up the 6 string so I wouldn't have to rely any flakes any longer.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:30 AM
AtonalConductor AtonalConductor is offline
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Default Re: Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

I've played bass for a few years now. I play a Yamaha BB414 - which is a fairly low-mid level bass, but is well featured. The trick is not to fall into the 'light strings' trap like I did. I thought having lighter strings would make it easier to play - it doesn't and in fact having more resistance against your picking fingers gives you a more confident and defined tone.

As for a starting instrument? There's a lot to be had out there. My Yamaha is what I would actually recommend as a basic workhorse and as is the same with drums, Yamaha make great instruments at all price points. I was recently surprised by a rather good low-end Dean that a friend bought. Just look for good build quality and the rest will be secondary.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

i play guitar and bass plus several other instruments. i always thought it was fun to come up with my own stuff, then add other instruments on top of it and see how far i could take it just by myself. playing with other people is always great but sometimes i just get that spark in my head that nobody but me understands...

i'm not a big fan of the epiphones or squiers really, but thats just a personal prefrence. ibanez also makes quality basses for reasonable prices and you can get them used for real good prices. just find one that feels good in your hands. they make them in varying widths and thicknesses in the necks so you don't want one thats too small or too big for your hands and fingers to navigate across, replace the stock strings immediatly and look for a quality amp. relating it to drums, your neck is like your sticks, gotta feel good and play good. strings are like your heads, stock ones are just crap, break, don't sound very good. the amp is like your drum shells, go cheap and you get muddy thick distorted sounds but you also don't need to go top of the line to get a quality sound. i would suggest a nice solid 1x18 combo amp, maybe a 100 watter or so but you don't need a 8x10 1000 watt super stack either. stay away from the cheap little practice amps, they have a lot of static and a lot of times sound hollow and pathetic.

and again like drums, lessons don't hurt either. no subsitute for an experienced player to show you exactly how things are done and tech you exactly what you need to know.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

Also a multi-instrumentalist. My main instrument is the guitar, I can also play the bass too but I really don't identify as a bassist. I'm a guitar player that can play bass.

As for buying gear I'd go for a used Fender of an Ibanez, Gibsons are great but can be pretty expensive. This way if you don't stick with it you can always sell it and break even. Any ol' clunker will work for a practice amp. Obviously you're gonna want something bigger if you start gigging though.

Research the model you're looking for and pay special attention to the width of the neck. If you have smaller hands you're gonna want something with a slimmer neck like an Ibanez. Go to your local music store and try some models out and get a feel for what you like, then go online and see what the construction is and especially the neck width. This is very similar to how I found my favorite model of drumstick.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

Since I first went hybrid (acoustic/electric) and bought two Roland PM-1 amps, buying a bass for my jam room was almost a no brainer. The PM-1's are very versatile. 60 watts, great bass response. (They are, after all, designed for e-drums).
Add to the equation, a Roland KC-100 (keyboard amp).
Fast forward to now, I've added a 3rd Roland PM-1.
An Epiphone SG bass, for whoever wants to play it. A Stratocaster, and an RMI 368X Electra-Piano.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:07 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: Speaking of the Bass Guitar...

Great! Thanks for the advice guys. I've been doing a bunch of YouTube searches and have determined that this is the sound I really enjoy. The problem was after I researched what an Alembic bass guitar actually costs! Holy smokes, I thought Sonor and Drum Workshop were expensive!!

Anyways this type of sound is what I would like to be able to develop... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr7tM...eature=related
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