Best target for 1st bass??

Maroonandwhite

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My wife is potentially going to give learning the bass a shot. If she doesn’t I’ll still use it to record with. I’m assuming since the Squier Classic Vibe guitars seem to be a great bang for your buck model, that it would carry over to basses.
Would anyone say that’s true and/or offer advice for a first time but quality model? My wife really likes the classic Fender styling.
Budget COULD go up to $500 but would prefer to end up around $350-$400.
We already have an amp to use for now.
 

ahiddentableau

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Sound wise I like the P Bass more than the J, so that would probably be my choice. But the neck size thing is important. A P Bass has a 1-11/16" nut width while a J has a 1-1/2" nut. Doesn't sound like much but you can really feel it when you play: the P neck feels substantially bigger than the J neck. If your wife has smaller hands it could be even more important. Then again some people don't care at all about it. It's kind of subjective. But if she can get her hands on a P and J before you buy you could at least take that out of the equation.
 

srblue5

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I recently bought an Ibanez TMB30. Not quite classic Fender styling but definitely has its roots there. It’s P/J setup is quite versatile and the short scale is nice for my guitar-accustomed hands. I imagine it would be a great starter bass and it’s good value for money, in my opinion.
 

Digital Larry

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I imagine it would be a great starter bass and it’s good value for money, in my opinion.
I played mostly my TMB30 for awhile after I bought it. Then I went back to a 34" scale. Picked up the TMB30 again last weekend and it seems smaller than a regular guitar, which it isn't. It's pretty nice and definitely a good deal, right around $200.
 

Jakedog

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In that range see if you can find a used G&L tribute. Some models can be found in your price range, and you’re looking at a better quality instrument than the Squier stuff.

I had a couple CV P basses, and my nephew had a CV Jazz. All very cool basses, if you ignore the fact that all three of them had horrible rubber necks. So did the CV 60’s Strat I had, but we’re talking basses right now. They needed truss rod adjustments every time the wind blew a little bit or the temperature or humidity shifted. It was constant. I also wasn’t real fond of P pickups. The Jazz pickups were pretty decent. The P’s were really lackluster and dull sounding.

I’ve been pretty shocked by the Tribute series G&L basses. Really good stuff for cheap. I haven’t tried the Player series yet, but I definitely like them (Tribute series) better than the old MIM Standard line.

The music man sterling series also has some real gems in it that will fit your price point.
 
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Killing Floor

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Squier CV J or P. G&L Tribute. Yamaha has some great basses in your price range too. That’s cool die her. Do what you would do if it were a nice guitar. Have her grab a few and pick the one with the neck she likes best. Anything else can be changed. Have fun.
 

Maroonandwhite

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Grab a nice used, better bass. Leap over those shiny beginner basses, and land on a pre-owned jewel. It will inspire her to play, and will resell for more dollars in a year or two. Win- Win!
I could certainly be talked into a better used model. I just don’t know how much translates over from guitar to bass as far as what to look for. It will be a keeper either way so I guess I’d prefer to spend as little as possible but get something quality.
Wouldn’t we all haha.
 

IMMusicRulz

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If your wife is learning to play bass, make sure she learns about Aimee Mann of Til Tuesday. A gifted singer, songwriter and bassist in her own right.

If I had to choose a bass for her to play, definitely a Gibson Thunderbird bass. John Entwistle played one, as did Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith.

But the guy most well known for playing a Thunderbird bass is Lemmy Kilmister. He played a Thunderbird while in Hawkwind, but by the time he formed Motorhead, he was playing the Rickenbacker basses that are forever tied to his legacy.

I hope there are some heavy metal fans on here who will like this.

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Lemmy I believe acquired this Thunderbird around the late 1960s. Used it on every Hawkwind record he played on, including the classic 1975 album Warrior On The Edge Of Time, which contains his composition and band namesake Motörhead, before he got sacked to start Motörhead following a drug bust. By the time he formed Motörhead he played Rickenbacker basses and he put the Thunderbird pickups in his Rickenbacker. He sold this Thunderbird when he moved to Los Angeles in the early nineties. I don’t think Lemmy ever played Fender basses, he did play a Gibson J200, a Gibson Les Paul and a Hagstrom 8 string bass.
 

WingedWords

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A P Bass of course.

But if your wife has small hands she may find a short scale bass better suited. +1 to the Squier CV Mustang or the G&L Fallout Tribute. Bass guru Ed Friedland speaks very highly of the G&L and I listen to him.



Ed's bass course is a great place to start as well.

https://www.halleonard.com/product/695074/hal-leonard-bass-method-complete-edition

Hope she enjoys it - bass is a whole world of fun.
 

Dismalhead

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I had a Squier VM bass and it was a piece of crap. Stick with the Classic Vibe or maybe a used MIM Standard. Another option would be a G&L Tribute.
 

bumnote

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I've been looking at the 60's Classic Vibe Jazz, just haven't done anything about it yet.

Because I've also been looking at used PRS Kestrels. They can be bought for under $500 usually in red or black, I've seen a couple go for around $400. There is one on Reverb with a finish flaw on the back that's under $400.
MIK, bound rosewood neck, thru-neck usually w/ a gig bag, and Jazz bass configuration.
Might be worth a look.
F9E6B277-22BC-4407-A5E8-CE44FF48886A.jpeg
 

JohnFender

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I have a squier p bass and it sounds and plays great, its way better than the ibanez i had before and it also has less button so you're not wasting your time trying to find your tone, it already sounds good just the way it is, you can sometimes find a mexican fender p-bass on the used market at a good price if you're lucky
 

TomBrokaw

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When I was looking for a bass, I researched a lot of the bassists whose tone I liked (or I just liked the music their band made) and it was about 80-85% P-basses.

I ended up with a couple of 90s Ibanez EX404s that I like quite a bit. Ibanez reverses the P pickup on these; apparently there can be some phase weirdness between the J and P pickups and this is supposed to mitigate that. The SGDRs are their successors and I've heard good things about them but haven't played one.

I'd suggest a PJ, as they tend to have a J-sized neck, and will give her more tonal options than one or the other. You could also look into the Mikro series if you want a 30" scale, and they're really inexpensive. She might not like the look, though.
 




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