Re: what basses should I consider


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Posted by Dave Rawlings on December 14, 2001 at 09:44:48:

In Reply to: what basses should I consider posted by beginningJazzPianist on December 14, 2001 at 08:37:02:

: Most of my time is now devoted to jazz piano. But I love bass (maybe more).
: I'm thinking of getting a 5 string just to amuse myself with for now, but eventually I would want to gig out with it. What should I be thinking about?
: Thanks

As a bassist since '69, I may have a bit of experience to help you out.
I too, play jazz (although not exclusively) and have played an upright. Most, if not all jazz bass music can be played on a 4-string. If you are looking for a 5-string to be able to play other genres of music, cool. If you're looking to play jazz only, you can save some money sticking with a 4-string. If you are a beginning bass player, there are only a few things to look for in a bass (whether its for jazz or punk).
TONE: Does it have the tone(s) you are looking for. Don't be afraid to check out LOTS of basses. I have found that you can find differences in two basses from the same manufacturer that are the same model. Its not often but it does happen. Don't forget to check out various amps at the same time. These can have an effect on the bass's tone as well.
FEEL: Does it feel good in your hands? Is the neck too wide or too narrow? Can the action be easily changed to fit your style or touch? Does it have a good balance physically. Even the most beautiful sounding basses can be a real pain to strap on. If you're going to be gigging for a couple of hours, how will your back feel after?
BRAND: Actually the last thing I look at. Some of the best sounding (for me) have been brands that are not in the top ten.
COST: Can you afford it? Many times a purchaser will sacrifice what they really want or need by checking the bottom line. If the bass you feel is just right for you, any extra expense will be worth waiting a bit longer for. Better than buying a bass just to save some bucks to find out later, its a slug to play and a pain in the ear to listen to.
Hope this helps rather than hinders. Good luck,
Dave





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