Discussion:
Newbie advice - bass I found, finding a teacher . . .
(too old to reply)
Tom Johnson
2003-10-10 05:22:25 UTC
Permalink
I'm new to bass - having made the decision this week, at the ripe old age of
30, to finally pick up a bass and get some lessons to make a long-time dream
come true. I've been scouring sites trying to come up with some options on
basses and finally settled on some of the low-end Yamahas (RBX270 is what I
had my eye on) - everyone says they're unbeatable, in general. So I took a
run down to the guitar store at lunch today and found instead a BB404 for
$199.99 - new. However, it was marked different from the others - the tag
read "BB404-FB" and was priced $100 lower than the rest. The guy at the
shop didn't know why it was cheaper, and I couldn't see any difference
myself. I figured maybe the "FB" means a "factory blemish"? I couldn't see
anything wrong, however.

He plugged it in and it sounded great to my newbie ears. It felt pretty
good too - very comfortable and I didn't feel like I'd think this was a
regrettable choice in a year or so. So does anyone know if this is indeed
simply a factory-blemish, and I've stumbled on a steal?

I'm also looking at a Fender Frontman 25B - of the sub-$200 amps ($179,
actually,) it sounded pretty unbeatable.

Any thoughts on either of these?

And how do I go about finding a teacher? How will I know who will be able
to provide me the kind of direction I'm looking for?

Thanks!

--
Tom
http://www.unproductivity.com

De-SPAMitize my address to email me.
John Shaughnessy
2003-10-10 05:41:00 UTC
Permalink
FB = Fretless bass? Were there actual metal frets on the bass, or painted
white lines? I'd probably skip fretless at this point.

As for finding a teacher, the best advice I can give is to go out to some
music clubs and ask the players themselves. Either the same name(s) will
come up, or one of them tell mention they teach. A good way thin out the
heard is ask each one if they can read music (not chord charts, but the
little dots), and if they will teach you how to read music. If they hem and
haw and tell you don't need to know how to read, move on. Also ask about
their teaching load; good teachers will usually have a pretty full roster.

Also, stay away from guitar players who say they also teach bass, unless you
have seen them play bass on a gig and are impressed with their bass playing.

--
Learning funk bass? visit www.js3jazz.com/store.htm
Post by Tom Johnson
I'm new to bass - having made the decision this week, at the ripe old age of
30, to finally pick up a bass and get some lessons to make a long-time dream
come true. I've been scouring sites trying to come up with some options on
basses and finally settled on some of the low-end Yamahas (RBX270 is what I
had my eye on) - everyone says they're unbeatable, in general. So I took a
run down to the guitar store at lunch today and found instead a BB404 for
$199.99 - new. However, it was marked different from the others - the tag
read "BB404-FB" and was priced $100 lower than the rest. The guy at the
shop didn't know why it was cheaper, and I couldn't see any difference
myself. I figured maybe the "FB" means a "factory blemish"? I couldn't see
anything wrong, however.
He plugged it in and it sounded great to my newbie ears. It felt pretty
good too - very comfortable and I didn't feel like I'd think this was a
regrettable choice in a year or so. So does anyone know if this is indeed
simply a factory-blemish, and I've stumbled on a steal?
I'm also looking at a Fender Frontman 25B - of the sub-$200 amps ($179,
actually,) it sounded pretty unbeatable.
Any thoughts on either of these?
And how do I go about finding a teacher? How will I know who will be able
to provide me the kind of direction I'm looking for?
Thanks!
--
Tom
http://www.unproductivity.com
De-SPAMitize my address to email me.
Tom Johnson
2003-10-10 13:18:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Shaughnessy
FB = Fretless bass? Were there actual metal frets on the bass, or painted
white lines? I'd probably skip fretless at this point.
It was definitely fretted. The more I think about it, the more I think I
should have bought that thing on the spot. I'll have to wait til tomorrow
to do anything about it, but if it's there, it's meant to be . . . unless
anyone can figure out a reason *not* to go for it . . .
Post by John Shaughnessy
As for finding a teacher, the best advice I can give is to go out to some
music clubs and ask the players themselves. Either the same name(s) will
come up, or one of them tell mention they teach. A good way thin out the
heard is ask each one if they can read music (not chord charts, but the
little dots), and if they will teach you how to read music. If they hem and
haw and tell you don't need to know how to read, move on. Also ask about
their teaching load; good teachers will usually have a pretty full roster.
That's an interesting idea, I'll keep that in mind!

--
Tom
http://www.unproductivity.com

De-SPAMitize my address to email me.
Post by John Shaughnessy
FB = Fretless bass? Were there actual metal frets on the bass, or painted
white lines? I'd probably skip fretless at this point.
As for finding a teacher, the best advice I can give is to go out to some
music clubs and ask the players themselves. Either the same name(s) will
come up, or one of them tell mention they teach. A good way thin out the
heard is ask each one if they can read music (not chord charts, but the
little dots), and if they will teach you how to read music. If they hem and
haw and tell you don't need to know how to read, move on. Also ask about
their teaching load; good teachers will usually have a pretty full roster.
Also, stay away from guitar players who say they also teach bass, unless you
have seen them play bass on a gig and are impressed with their bass playing.
--
Learning funk bass? visit www.js3jazz.com/store.htm
Post by Tom Johnson
I'm new to bass - having made the decision this week, at the ripe old
age
Post by John Shaughnessy
of
Post by Tom Johnson
30, to finally pick up a bass and get some lessons to make a long-time
dream
Post by Tom Johnson
come true. I've been scouring sites trying to come up with some options
on
Post by Tom Johnson
basses and finally settled on some of the low-end Yamahas (RBX270 is
what
Post by John Shaughnessy
I
Post by Tom Johnson
had my eye on) - everyone says they're unbeatable, in general. So I
took
Post by John Shaughnessy
a
Post by Tom Johnson
run down to the guitar store at lunch today and found instead a BB404 for
$199.99 - new. However, it was marked different from the others - the tag
read "BB404-FB" and was priced $100 lower than the rest. The guy at the
shop didn't know why it was cheaper, and I couldn't see any difference
myself. I figured maybe the "FB" means a "factory blemish"? I couldn't
see
Post by Tom Johnson
anything wrong, however.
He plugged it in and it sounded great to my newbie ears. It felt pretty
good too - very comfortable and I didn't feel like I'd think this was a
regrettable choice in a year or so. So does anyone know if this is indeed
simply a factory-blemish, and I've stumbled on a steal?
I'm also looking at a Fender Frontman 25B - of the sub-$200 amps ($179,
actually,) it sounded pretty unbeatable.
Any thoughts on either of these?
And how do I go about finding a teacher? How will I know who will be able
to provide me the kind of direction I'm looking for?
Thanks!
--
Tom
http://www.unproductivity.com
De-SPAMitize my address to email me.
Pt
2003-10-11 23:53:50 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 05:41:00 GMT, "John Shaughnessy"
Post by John Shaughnessy
Also, stay away from guitar players who say they also teach bass, unless you
have seen them play bass on a gig and are impressed with their bass playing.
I will agree that there too many guitar players who play a bass like a
guitar.
But some of us understand that they are two totally different
instruments.

Pt
35 years on guitar.
25 years on bass.
basste
2003-10-14 12:59:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pt
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 05:41:00 GMT, "John Shaughnessy"
Post by John Shaughnessy
Also, stay away from guitar players who say they also teach bass, unless you
have seen them play bass on a gig and are impressed with their bass playing.
I will agree that there too many guitar players who play a bass like a
guitar.
But some of us understand that they are two totally different
instruments.
Pt
35 years on guitar.
25 years on bass.
totally agree with you Pt
basste
13 years guitar
6 or 7 years bass
m***@yahoo.com
2003-10-10 14:41:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Johnson
read "BB404-FB" and was priced $100 lower
So does anyone know if this is indeed
simply a factory-blemish, and I've stumbled on a steal?
Do you know someone who plays bass? Bring them down and let them give it a
look-over. More experienced eyes would be handy. You don't want to find out
"factory blemish" means "we forgot the truss rod."
Post by Tom Johnson
I'm also looking at a Fender Frontman 25B - of the sub-$200 amps ($179,
actually,) it sounded pretty unbeatable.
It's a good little practice amp, but I'm fairly set against practice amps in
principle. I recommend getting a Korg Pandora and using headphones until you
can afford a gig-worthy rig. search groups.google.com for bass practice amp
for other opinions.
Kirk Cazee
2003-10-11 04:46:51 UTC
Permalink
Here is the amp you want for the money. Buy it for this price and you will
be able to sell it for near the same price. This is a really good amp, not
just a practice amp but a REAL amp. It will handle small gigs as well as
sound great. If you buy a practice amp they are worth very little when you
want to sell later for a better/larger amp. Get a good one now and not
regret it later. This one is a small amount more that what you were going
to pay but is miles ahead in sound and quality. Get one of these before
they are gone! This is a good price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2563898238&category=10171

I you are really set on a small practice amp here is the am above's little
brother. Still a nice amp for a really cheap price. But it is a practice
amp and that is about all you can do with 30 watts.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2563898187&category=10171

Above all, have fun in this adventure.

Kirk
Post by Tom Johnson
I'm new to bass - having made the decision this week, at the ripe old age of
30, to finally pick up a bass and get some lessons to make a long-time dream
come true. I've been scouring sites trying to come up with some options on
basses and finally settled on some of the low-end Yamahas (RBX270 is what I
had my eye on) - everyone says they're unbeatable, in general. So I took a
run down to the guitar store at lunch today and found instead a BB404 for
$199.99 - new. However, it was marked different from the others - the tag
read "BB404-FB" and was priced $100 lower than the rest. The guy at the
shop didn't know why it was cheaper, and I couldn't see any difference
myself. I figured maybe the "FB" means a "factory blemish"? I couldn't see
anything wrong, however.
He plugged it in and it sounded great to my newbie ears. It felt pretty
good too - very comfortable and I didn't feel like I'd think this was a
regrettable choice in a year or so. So does anyone know if this is indeed
simply a factory-blemish, and I've stumbled on a steal?
I'm also looking at a Fender Frontman 25B - of the sub-$200 amps ($179,
actually,) it sounded pretty unbeatable.
Any thoughts on either of these?
And how do I go about finding a teacher? How will I know who will be able
to provide me the kind of direction I'm looking for?
Thanks!
--
Tom
http://www.unproductivity.com
De-SPAMitize my address to email me.
George A Hamilton
2003-10-11 19:57:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kirk Cazee
Here is the amp you want for the money. Buy it for this price and you will
be able to sell it for near the same price. This is a really good amp, not
just a practice amp but a REAL amp. It will handle small gigs as well as
sound great. If you buy a practice amp they are worth very little when you
want to sell later for a better/larger amp. Get a good one now and not
regret it later. This one is a small amount more that what you were going
to pay but is miles ahead in sound and quality. Get one of these before
they are gone! This is a good price.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2563898238&category=10171

I'd just like to add a little weight to this suggestion, as to me it
seems like this guy is trying to sell you this amp!! I have one, and it
is a fine amp. I've used it for a loads for of gigs, and even at bigger
gigs, it makes a great onstage monitor if you DI it!
--
George

***@btopenworld.com
www.underwoodunsigned.co.uk
Walter Luffman
2003-10-11 20:57:52 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 9 Oct 2003 22:22:25 -0700, "Tom Johnson"
Post by Tom Johnson
I'm new to bass - having made the decision this week, at the ripe old age of
30, to finally pick up a bass and get some lessons to make a long-time dream
come true. I've been scouring sites trying to come up with some options on
basses and finally settled on some of the low-end Yamahas (RBX270 is what I
had my eye on) - everyone says they're unbeatable, in general. So I took a
run down to the guitar store at lunch today and found instead a BB404 for
$199.99 - new. However, it was marked different from the others - the tag
read "BB404-FB" and was priced $100 lower than the rest. The guy at the
shop didn't know why it was cheaper, and I couldn't see any difference
myself. I figured maybe the "FB" means a "factory blemish"? I couldn't see
anything wrong, however.
He plugged it in and it sounded great to my newbie ears. It felt pretty
good too - very comfortable and I didn't feel like I'd think this was a
regrettable choice in a year or so. So does anyone know if this is indeed
simply a factory-blemish, and I've stumbled on a steal?
I'm also looking at a Fender Frontman 25B - of the sub-$200 amps ($179,
actually,) it sounded pretty unbeatable.
Any thoughts on either of these?
And how do I go about finding a teacher? How will I know who will be able
to provide me the kind of direction I'm looking for?
Thanks!
I've just started taking bass lessons myself (I'm 54) after decades of
self-taught, off-and-on guitar playing. Only three lessons so far,
but I chose the only instructor in the area who teaches (and plays)
bass primarily, and he's good; I've learned a lot already. There are
other bass instructors in my area, but AFAIK the rest are primarily
guitarists who *also* teach bass rather than full-time bassists who
may also play (and even teach) guitar now and then.

For an absolute beginner, even a guitar-and-bass teacher can impart a
lot of knowledge. (You can always change instructors later). I
consider it much more important to find someone who is good at
TEACHING and is familiar with the particular style of music that
interests you. I'm partial to Motown, rockabilly and British Invasion
music in that order; you may prefer jazz, or metal, or country. It's
wise to learn as much as you can about all styles, but I strongly
recommend you begin with the ones that already interest you.

Regarding the bass: Of course you want one that sounds good to your
ears and plays well, but keep in mind that if you really enjoy the
bass you probably will buy another (and another, and another ... )
eventually. It's called GAS (Guitar/Gear Acquisition Syndrome), and
it seems to strike everyone after awhile. So if you like the Yamaha,
grab it right away; it may well be the last time you can satisfy your
GAS so completely for so little money.

As for the amplifier you mentioned, I have the same one -- the Fender
Frontman 25B. It is indeed a cool little amp for the beginner, and
the price is right. I plug my portable CD player into the
auxiliary-input jacks and play along with my favorite musicians.
However, a 25-watt amplifier is nowhere near enough for jamming, much
less gigging; already I'm comparing different amps of the
200-watts-or-more variety, planning for the day when I look up a few
musician friends and start jamming.

In addition to (but NOT in place of) an instructor, let me suggest two
other methods of study. The first is to try either a self-study
book-and-CD set or a software package such as the E-Media bass
software (the only such package I have found so far); I have tried
several of the book-and-CD combos and found them all helpful to one
degree or another, so I won't recommend one in particular. The second
is to go to your favorite recorded-music store and pick up a couple of
"oldies" CDs in whatever style of music turns you on. In my case,
someone suggested I get the Time-Life oldies series, start with the
earliest recordings, and work my way up a year at a time. In Top
40-era music, the basslines are fairly simple until the mid-60s; after
that, bass playing grew in complexity, fueled by several legendary
players whose names crop up in this newsgroup quite often. I would
imagine the same holds true to some degree for other musical styles,
although perhaps with different "take-off" years and at differing
rates.

Most of all: have fun! Learning the "proper" way to play bass is
important, but enjoying what you're doing is even more important. I
practice playing finger-style and using all four fingers on my
fretting hand -- but when I'm just playing for fun I occasionally use
a pick and fret with three fingers, because it feels more natural to
me. By playing both ways, I can learn the "right" way to play bass
and make the transition to it without giving up too much short-term
fun.

___
Walter Luffman Medina, TN USA
Amateur curmudgeon, equal-opportunity annoyer
Pt
2003-10-12 00:05:54 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 11 Oct 2003 15:57:52 -0500, Walter Luffman
Post by Walter Luffman
For an absolute beginner, even a guitar-and-bass teacher can impart a
lot of knowledge. (You can always change instructors later). I
consider it much more important to find someone who is good at
TEACHING and is familiar with the particular style of music that
interests you. I'm partial to Motown, rockabilly and British Invasion
music in that order; you may prefer jazz, or metal, or country. It's
wise to learn as much as you can about all styles, but I strongly
recommend you begin with the ones that already interest you.
In 1960 I wanted to take guitar lessons to learn to play rock 'n roll.
But the only teachers in my area in those days taught only jazz.
I liked jazz so I took lessons which went on to be more lessons, mail
order lessons from a reputable music college and yet more lessons.
Through the years I have played guitar and bass in rock groups,
country groups, blues groups, psychedelic groups and of course jazz
groups.
I never really wanted to learn to play jazz but I am glad I did.
It would be difficult to learn in my 50's.

Pt
Tom Johnson
2003-10-12 01:41:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walter Luffman
I've just started taking bass lessons myself (I'm 54) after decades of
self-taught, off-and-on guitar playing.
Cool!

I must confess, I am not *entirely* new to playing an instrument. I have
had time on both guitar and bass, completely unstructured - no lessons, just
bought them to play and didn't commit to them like I am willing to commit
now. So I have a very, very rudimentary knowledge of how I can make some
semblance of noise on the things, but beyond that I'm a complete newbie.
:-) I'm a "self-teacher" myself and tend to get frustrated and give up when
I can't get where I think I should by myself. I simply am not willing to
let that happen this time.
Post by Walter Luffman
So if you like the Yamaha,
grab it right away; it may well be the last time you can satisfy your
GAS so completely for so little money.
I nearly did today . . . until I messed around on an OLP MM3 (5 string).
Wow! I had one of those moments where the world just disappeared and it was
me and the bass. I played the Yamaha BB-404, an RBX-260, and then the MM3.
Neither of them could measure up to what I felt playing the MM3. This must
be my bass! What's more, I didn't even think about it being a 5-string. I
know some people are probably going to advise against going for a 5-string
right away, but I have never, ever felt what I felt today on this
instrument. To ignore this would be stupid, because there's no way I'll be
happy with that Yamaha now that I've played this thing - knowing it's only a
tiny bit more expensive.
Post by Walter Luffman
However, a 25-watt amplifier is nowhere near enough for jamming, much
less gigging; already I'm comparing different amps of the
200-watts-or-more variety, planning for the day when I look up a few
musician friends and start jamming.
While I have no plans to play with others yet, I think I am going to follow
your advice and go for the Behringer. It just seems like a tremendous waste
to pay $180 for this 25 watt Fender when I can spend $75 more and get 120
watt amp that will last me a LOT longer.
Post by Walter Luffman
Most of all: have fun! Learning the "proper" way to play bass is
important, but enjoying what you're doing is even more important.
I plan on it!

Cool newsgroup - nice people here it seems. I'll be hanging around, letting
you guys know how things go!

--
Tom
http://www.unproductivity.com

De-SPAMitize my address to email me.
Pt
2003-10-12 03:18:36 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 11 Oct 2003 18:41:54 -0700, "Tom Johnson"
Post by Tom Johnson
While I have no plans to play with others yet, I think I am going to follow
your advice and go for the Behringer. It just seems like a tremendous waste
to pay $180 for this 25 watt Fender when I can spend $75 more and get 120
watt amp that will last me a LOT longer.
The thing I found to be the fastest and most enjoyable learning
experience is to play with others as often as possible.
Find a group who jams and go for it.
Let them know you that are fairly new at your instrument and they will
probably provide you with some excellent help.
All you have to know to start with is where the Root and the 5th are.
And don't worry.
Most people don't listen to the bass anyhow. :-)
Pt
Shamhat de Leon
2003-10-12 11:55:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pt
The thing I found to be the fastest and most enjoyable learning
experience is to play with others as often as possible.
Find a group who jams and go for it.
That's really good advice. I have been playing for about a year, and I
actually pay to play at a jam on Saturday nights. They are run by a
rehearsal studio in Manhattan whose clientele is apparently all out
playing gigs at that time. They have 6 or 7 rooms open, each with a
professional musician "coordinating," and players can go from the jazz
room to the blues room to the rock room etc.

I am trying to add one jazz tune per week now. If I hadn't got sucked
into this, I wouldn't really know what to play next. The only problem
is, my teacher is in the jazz room and I'd really like to go try out the
funk rooom, but it would be rude . . .

Anyway, if you see something like that in your area, go for it.

-Donna
Kloka-motion
2003-10-12 03:07:09 UTC
Permalink
Tom Johnson wrote:
I had one of those moments where the world just disappeared and it was
Post by Tom Johnson
me and the bass.
But it, don't look back.
Don't listen to anyone who says you should start on a 4.
Just make sure you learn your scales horizontally, as well as
vertically.
--
O>
/(\)
^^
Kloka-motion
2003-10-12 04:25:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kloka-motion
But it, don't look back.
When you are done with that...
/wipes burning fumes from eyes...

"BUY" it, and don't look back.

*cough hack couch*

/lights marlboro on Neal's recommendation

*cough*
--
O>
/(\)
^^
basste
2003-10-14 13:21:49 UTC
Permalink
just an opinion for the material part of your post:
if the bass you tried seems to be good for your hands and your ears;
just have the opinion of a friends of you who will be able to detect
an even big problem. but if there's no problem, buy it. the important
is your hands comfort and your ears.
but for the amp, in my opinion, don't buy an amp under 80 watts
MINIMUM. Why ? because you will be able to play with guys, friends,
... when there's only guitarists, 25 watts can be sufficient if they
play low. but, when you will play with a DRUMMER, this horrible man
will crush your sound. No one will hear you in the room. and it's very
difficult to calm a drummer... ;)
my last drummer played very loud, and in the rehearsal studio, i
played a Peavy TNT 80watts. it was just sufficient to play with him.
mine amp is a fender BXR 100 watts and it's confortable with the
drummer.
so, i think with your cash, you could find a Peavy used, with a
correct sound, which will let you gig and play in all first
situations; and will correctly do the job; in the meantime you have a
GAS attack and you search for an 5000 watts amp !!!! :D
welcome in the dark side of the force: the bass disease
cheers

basste
Post by Tom Johnson
I'm new to bass - having made the decision this week, at the ripe old age of
30, to finally pick up a bass and get some lessons to make a long-time dream
come true. I've been scouring sites trying to come up with some options on
basses and finally settled on some of the low-end Yamahas (RBX270 is what I
had my eye on) - everyone says they're unbeatable, in general. So I took a
run down to the guitar store at lunch today and found instead a BB404 for
$199.99 - new. However, it was marked different from the others - the tag
read "BB404-FB" and was priced $100 lower than the rest. The guy at the
shop didn't know why it was cheaper, and I couldn't see any difference
myself. I figured maybe the "FB" means a "factory blemish"? I couldn't see
anything wrong, however.
He plugged it in and it sounded great to my newbie ears. It felt pretty
good too - very comfortable and I didn't feel like I'd think this was a
regrettable choice in a year or so. So does anyone know if this is indeed
simply a factory-blemish, and I've stumbled on a steal?
I'm also looking at a Fender Frontman 25B - of the sub-$200 amps ($179,
actually,) it sounded pretty unbeatable.
Any thoughts on either of these?
And how do I go about finding a teacher? How will I know who will be able
to provide me the kind of direction I'm looking for?
Thanks!
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