I’m considering getting a new bass but here’s my problem. I’m a petite woman with very very small hands so I do better with a thinner neck. Are there any models you would recommend? I’m currently playing a Schecter but have not been that thrilled with it and would like to upgrade.
What amp and other equipment do you use? There are quite a few steps that go between the input (your fingers) and the final output (people's ears) and there can be unexpected interactions between them. In an ideal world, you would test the bass with your normal amp. That isn't always so easy in real life but see if you can test the instrument on a similar amp in the shop.
Very good point. I'm playing through an Ampeg at home and a Peavy at church. I occasionally play through a 30yr old Randall (don't ask). I also play for another church but don't remember what I'm using there because I play through the system and just use the amp as a monitor. I have so much to learn about gear.
Personally I'm very happy to buy used - I have 3 basses that all came used, but I was completely happy to spend time setting them up for myself, and in 2 cases swapping pickups and bodies etc. If you're not confident about working on an instrument (there are many good guides online) then buying used from a shop should ensure you get an instrument that plays as well as it can for less than new price. Always make sure you play the actual instrument you intend to own, regardless of cost, since wood is a variable material and no 2 bits are ever the same. Manufacturers name or reputation really means very little, though with some (say Fender Japan) there's less chance of getting a dog than others.
A bass should never be 'trouble' unless it's faulty or not set up properly. Occasionally a twisted neck will make it through QC, and the only answer is to fit a new neck. Otherwise electronics can be fixed easily, frets can be levelled and nuts re-cut, relief altered to suit lighter/heavier strings and changes in the weather etc. Never put up with a sub-standard instrument, but also be cautious about 'pro' technicians who know little but talk - try to find a tech by recommendation from others.
Regarding short scale, it will make for an easier reach because it will be like having the frets closer together at the top of the neck where it's thin. Also the neck *can* be made thinner because it will be under less tension (shorter scale length = slacker strings for a given gauge & pitch) though that doesn't guarantee that it will be.
Enjoy the opportunity to try a bunch of nice kit!
I did not give you much help with what you were asking but I hope that you find and purchase one that really feels good. It is so nice to have a guitar that you really enjoy playing and listening to.
I agree that you need to play the instrument before buying it.
Hey, so I went on field trip to Sam Ash. Man, I forgot how much fun that place is. I got to try several different basses.
So far I have to say, the Ibanez was the most comfortable to play. I really liked the Hofner but I’m afraid the learning curve would be a bit much. The feel is so totally different than what I’m used to that I found myself getting lost on the fret board when I noodled around. I couldn’t play it without looking and felt like a spaz. The sound out of the Hofner was great!
The Fender Jazz was really nice but costly. The other Fender Jazz was Ok but didn’t compare to the $1200 one (of course).
The Geddy Lee bass felt unbalanced. Felt like I was going to tip over playing it. The Spector was kinda’ cool but the nobs were a bit scratchy and crackled slightly when you turned them although that would go right along with my dinosaur Randall amp.
Still on the hunt but I really appreciate all of your input. Oh and I forgot to mention to Timothy that for several years I pined over the Breedlove accoustic bass. They make beautiful instruments. I’m going to go back and try one again. I’ve gotten away from playing acoustics. My Ovation doesn’t get any attention any more but who knows….
I really like some of the more expensive Ibanez bases and have wanted to get one someday. I have a cheap one and its not as fun to play as my C4 Schecter. I've kind of wanted a fender too.
I like the Breedlove because it plays nice, sounds and looks pretty :-)
It sure is fun to go look and play and ponder! I'm looking forward to hearing what you decided.
The Ibanez should be a very nice bass but, if you really loved the sound of the Hofner, it might be worth a second visit. I'm guessing the problem might have been that the neck sits in a different position relative to your body but it shouldn't take too long to get used to as long as it is comfortable to play.
Something else to consider is active / passive electronics. If you get an active bass, it is definitely worth having either or both of an easy access battery compartment or a bypass passive mode so you have a safety net for that day when your battery dies mid-set. My main bass was active only but I had a passive option put in and end up using that all the time. It doesn't make a huge difference to the sound as I am always running into my BassPodXT; in effect, that serves as an outboard active unit (powered from the mains).
It sounds to me like you've also found that very similar instruments vary a lot - for example 3 different Jazz basses, yet all basically the same, each feeling different. I'd advise to keep trying different kit, including used, until you find 'the' one.
Thanks Toni, that's finally what I did. There was just one bass that felt better than all the others.
So did you decide on a bass?
I did! I went to several stores but kept going back to the Ibanez SR700. I went back and played it 3 times. I really liked the way it felt. The 3rd time I dragged my husband along. He’s been pining over the Taylor 914 so I thought it would be good for him to actually Play it. Unfortunately, noone had one. He ended up playing an 814ce that he liked. Compared to the Taylor, the Ibanez is a bargain. Anyway, I played several other basses including other Ibanez basses and other SR700's. Nothing felt as good as the first one I tried so I went back and bought it.
Hurray for the SR700! Good choice! I love that bass. Glad I could help by suggesting it. I hope you enjoy it!