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Re: Jazz Bass for Student

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Posted by marcus johnson ( on April 24, 2002 at 11:38:40:

In Reply to: Re: Jazz Bass for Student posted by chris on April 23, 2002 at 12:24:05:

: : Sounds like a nice instrument, however it's out of my pricerange.... does plywood vs. carved make much of a differance on a bass?

: It does make a difference. On your pocketbook! Seriously, a carved bass is exceptional, but a plywood is definitely great. Don't listen to some guy who casually tells you to "arrange for a bit more money" as if you're gonna go pick it off the oak tree outside. For someone starting out, you could find a good used plywood (particularly an old Kay) for a $1000, and you'll be happy with it for years. I think you'd be happier with a Kay from the '40s or '50s rather than a brand new green carved bass that's costs a grand more. My teacher has a 150 year old carved bass, but he loves the sound of my beat up '40s Kay. Since you don't live in the city where you can post a wanted ad, I would start looking on eBay. Shipping by train to a city near you will cost probably $100-125, but all that can fall into your price range. I was lucky enough to find one with a poorly repaired neck for only $500 on eBay. After $250 worth of repairs it sounds great! You can get a great wooden bow online as well for a hundred bucks. The basses that are at your school are probably cheap Englehardts from the seventies. Comparing that to an old Kay is like comparing a '57 Chevy to a '78 Nova. Quality used to be more important than quantity. Consider what is good for your needs in particular, and take your time searching. And don't think that your bass won't sound good if you found it for less than 2k.
: Good Luck.

: Read my post, and the operative phrase "if it were me". I didn't "casually" tell anyone to do anything, and as a freelance musician, I know as well as anyone how hard it can be to scrape up $$$ for instruments. In my case, I live in a remote area too, so if I'm going shopping, I'm going to get to a place where the instruments are, with enough money to widen the playing field as much as possible. If that means taking out a loan or borrowing from a friend, so be it. I'll take a round trip ticket to wherever all these cheap, ready-to-play plys are, 'cuz they sure as hell aren't here.

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