Need to buy the first bass for home recordings

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by OmegaSlayer, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Ok, the main problem, beside which bass to pick up, is...
    Why should I pick up a 4 string bass and not a 6 string fretless?
    So, please tell me what do you guys think about it.
     
  2. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    a fretted bass would give you more, as in you would be able to play it more, in far more context

    fretless really brights when played using a lot of slides. So unless you are planing to do a lot of vibrato and slides I wouldnt go with it as a first bass. Maybe down the track as a "one trick pony" kinda bass for that one slow song you have. Also if we are talking about a fretless bass with no lines or markers, then you are going to run in way more trouble trying to get the right pitch on the note, and since this would be your first bass you wont be used to the bass scale in your hands in order to nail the note at first go


    all this assuming you are going to play and record some metal?

    also 6 strings is not really necessary, its a low B and a high C that chances are you are not going to play. So you are going to end up wiht a wider neck for no reason.

    put it this way, if you are debating getting a 4 string vs a 6, then the 6 string is not for you


    I would say look for a 5 string instead, so you can have the low B as a factory instal, and still remain your high G string for those little moments you need it (instead of a BEAD 4 string tunned bass). Unless you are just planing to do some root notes and mimic the guitar riffing, in which a 4 string bass tunned like the guitar would do the job perfect.
     
  3. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    It would be my first bass purchase but not the first bass I had, since a friend of mine parked his one in my house for 3-4 years.
    So, yeah, I'm not a monster player but since I have to purchase a bass, I have some reason to become a better player and learn stuff.
    Yeah maybe a 5 string is the way to go, but since I don't see myself purchasing many bass guitars in my life, I'm thinking about it.
    But yeah, whatever you said makes totally sense.
     
  4. dax21

    dax21 SS.org Regular

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    4 over 6 because cheaper strings obviously.

    Budget? New or used? Tuning? Any particular sound in mind?
    5 is generally a better investment because even if you don't use it, it's nice to have, but that opens a whole new realm because more basses have flabby B than not so then it gets more specific.
     
  5. Kidneythief

    Kidneythief SS.org Regular

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    I had a simliar dilemma a couple of weeks ago, and ended up gettting a Peavey Millennium 5 used.
    [Make sure if you buy used to check if the electronics are intact in the back (had to learn the hard way, see my post in this section :D)]

    But aside from that I love it, comfortable neck, nice pickups (active), overall a good sound :)
     
  6. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    Definitely would not get fretless unless you want all your bass to sound specifically as a fretless does, otherwise it's a specialist instrument for specific tone.

    Do you have gear to easily transpose pitch? This is my current strategy focusing on 4 string bass. If i need to go lower, I use my Pod's pitch shifter, and soon my incoming drop pedal so it sounds 99.9% natural (the pod pitch shifting is serviceable at best for bass).

    For first bass purchase, i'd grab the best playing and sounding 4 or 5 string bass within your set price range. I scored an Ibanez Roadstar MIJ bass for $100 a few months ago, that's been a great instrument during band practice and such so far. Needed some work though.

    It's much easier to make a case for 5 string vs 6 string bass IMO. The low B can be mighty useful, but rarely do I ever need a higher string than the G.
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    For a long time I swore by my 6 string bass, and to be fair I did use the extra range on occasion, but a lot of times it was mostly for the novelty of it, and the next time I bought a bass I got a 5-string and pretty much never miss the extra high string. Unless you're reaaaaally sure you're going to use it, it's not really worth it. Kinda of odd maybe, but I feel like I tried to play my 6 more like a guitar, but the 5 I treat more like a bass. Also, buying strings for a 5 is much easier than finding strings for a 6.
     
  8. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Get a 4, tune down to BEAD, you've got the majority of bass range covered if you're just recording for demo purposes.

    I leave it to my bass player to decide how he'll use the additional strings.

    I'm working on a Warmoth Pbass project like this, loading it with the EMG Geezer PJ set, but EMG is gonna make the full set in a J config, so 2 J pickups in the Geezer voicing.
    I prefer the P body over the J, but the J pickups over the split P, so there's my logic, if any.

    The low B covers my 7 string (normal tuning) as well as my baritone (normal bari-tuning) as well as my normal tuning 6er stuff.
     
  9. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I would suggest going for just a regular 4 string of your liking. Many 5 strings have longer scales which means more finger stretching and that low B is also going to need good amplification to sound nice.

    I recently tried the short scale 5-string Ibanez BTB33 which has a high C instead of a low B and actually really liked that one, most likely because it plays more like a guitar due to the slightly shorter scale and the extra high string.

    With 6-strings you either have a very wide fretboard or very tight string spacing usually. This can be a problem with some 5-strings as well.
     
  10. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    if you play with a 7 string (or low tunned 6 string like C) then get a 5 string bass. This would allow you to get the low range without much or any modifications, plus you would still have the standard 4 strings in there if one day you just want to learn X song from another band just for fun, even to play something that is not metal.

    Also remember basses are not that easy to mess around with tunnings as guitars are. The tension on a standard tunned 5 string is already "soft" on the low two strings, so any drop would make the strings really flop. But more than that is the fact that there are not many (if any) commercially available string sets to buy in a different gauge. In guitars is a normal thing to say I get a set of 9s or 10s or 11s ect ect. For bass is almost a "you have option A or option A, what do you want?" and on a 5 string sets are even less options. Pretty much comes down to having a set with a 130 string or a 135. You want more, then you need to go custom order. And pretty much the same for the other strings

    yes, some 5 strings come at 35" scale instead of 34", but the ones who do are reaaaaaaaally limited so dont worry about it. Maybe focus more on the pickup combination sound that you want (p, J, pJ, MM, Soapbar active, ect) all have their own sound. Then worry if you want about string spacing as you can find anything from 19mm to 16mm
     
  11. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Hmm...the points you all made on the string have quite driven my decision.
    If you guys in places like US where finding stuff for gear is easier have problems, I can't imagine how it could be nightmare-ish here in Italy, where I have to buy mountain of picks because stores don't stock the ones I use and they must make an order just for me.
    So yeah...strings might really well be a big problem for me.
    I will check what the store I'm a customer of usually has.
     
  12. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    I think for the E string you have bit more options. One of the standard size sets comes in 105, I can see on a quick check at my local store some 100, 110, 125. So plenty of options for different tunings (same with the rest of high strings). I keep my bass in standard so I ve never play with a different gauge.

    but for the B string, you only have 130 and 135

    and in my local store they only stock 2 brands on 5 string sets. But they could get some other if I ask them to, its just they dont stock them.


    for reference I use what Ibanez fits to their basses as factory 045 - 065 - 085 - 105 - 130 in Standard tuning BEADG. If you check the Ibanez website you can see what the factory strings the artist signature are using as some of them play with a 4 string in drop C


    so I would say you have enough to play around and get a good tension between E and low A (using anything between 100 - 135 string)
     
  13. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    To put a 5 set on a 4 sans the high G, you can file out the nut slots for the thicker gauges, then adjust the truss rod & re-intonate.

    You'll have a good amount of range to work with, and an extra string to sell to an overzealous 4 string player who tends to break the G string regularly.
     
  14. sharedEQ

    sharedEQ SS.org Regular

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    This. I bought a 4-string Ibanez ATK bass, which is a great bass, but even learning music in standard tuning, the bass player often dips below E. Its frustrating.

    I thought about down tuning to BEAD, but that involves installing a new nut for the larger strings.

    5 string will be wider. If you have small hands, 4 string might be good plan.
     
  15. newamerikangospel

    newamerikangospel Tonight.......you

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    I found a massive change in bass tone happens with more strings too (more so than a guitar) because of neck tension and overall construction. But I found a five string the best between range and setup consistency. The few times I was fully happy with my six string setups, they changed over the course of a few months (weather, temperature, and humidity from hvac usage).
     
  16. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

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    4 strings bass is the way to go. I personally don't like subsonic notes; the low E, maybe dropped to D, is more than enough.
    4 stringers are easy to play, they are pretty much the standard, strings are cheaper and easier to find. Get what you like the most in your price range and live happy :)
     

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