If you're just starting out with bass, where do you begin?
Narita is said to have a mild winter, but it’s still extremely cold.
Some players use excuses like, "My fingers get stiff when it’s cold, and I’m not able to play well."
Or "When you’re playing the bass in your undershorts and the bass touches your thighs, it’s cold!
If you've never played a guitar or bass, you might be thinking, "Hey, I don't know what to say."
Well, you’re looking at this page because you’re interested in buying a bass, are you not! Or, are you lost? But hey, I understand your feeling! I bought my first bass about 10 years ago, but before my final purchase, I was at a loss, too. Even now, that bass is my number one piece of gear. I want to praise my younger self for making the right choice at that time. (Honestly, though, I really didn’t do anything because I let the clerk choose for me ... Thank you!) At first you don't really know anything.
You go to a music shop might feel absolutely lost, like "There are so many guitars and basses on display. What’s going on?" But it’s all good. Rest assured that as time goes on, and you continue playing the instrument for a long time, you will come to realize that there’s no need to worry about it.
When choosing a bass for the first time, the most important criterion is the "look"!
There is no doubt about this. 99% of bassists around the world will tell you the same thing. Even if it is not your first time choosing an instrument, I feel that is still the biggest point when making your decision. If you compare an instrument that looks good with an instrument that doesn't look good, you’ll play better with the musical instrument that you like and looks better. (This is true!)
So, if you really get lost, decide based on how it looks!
At first, you may not know about the quality of the sound, and the ways to create a good sound (tone), but you can fiddle around with an amplifier or effector to some extent and get a decent sound. The important thing is, if you like the look of your instrument, you’ll be motivated to practice more. This is a very important factor for those who are just starting out on bass, ‘cause you won’t get better unless you practice.
Jazz Bass, Precision Bass, other 4-string basses, multi-string basses, passive basses, active basses, fretted basses, fretless basses, electric basses, acoustic basses, contrabasses, ... There are many types of basses! Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the perfect bass has not yet been born into this world. So if you go to the store and talk to the guys there, just tell them the genre of music you want to play, the artist you like, the budget you’re on, and the look you’re looking for (Hey, this is a good color!) and they should be able to provide you with some choices.
Regarding high prices and low prices, I think the biggest difference is the frequency of maintenance after purchasing. Most of the expensive basses are carefully made and solid. (It doesn't, however, mean you don't need to do anything.)
You can also brag to your musical friends. If you say, "Hey, my bass is an XXX brand YYZ model," they may gaze at you with envy. On the other hand, I don't think it's bad to choose a cheap bass either.
Certainly, the cheaper model may require a lot of neck adjustment and tuning care, but if you maintain it properly it will not break so easily, and when you’re starting the bass in the beginning, you won’t know what a good sound is anyway. And if you choose an electric bass, the sound will change depending on the amplifier, too. There is no problem if you use a good amplifier, and there is usually a good amplifier even if you go to a studio.
It's a pretty expensive hobby, playing musical instruments. Even more-so at first, because you need more money to get all you need to get started. Therefore, I think it is good to keep the bass itself cheap and put the floating budget into cases and consumables (strings and maintenance cloths). The important thing is that you value your instrument from the heart.
Well, that was long, and there may be some people who do not understand technical terms to begin with. If you don't understand, you may want to try Google or refer to Sound House's "Tora no Maki". Let's get started before we regret worring too much about it! Here’s hoping that all who read this will have a good bass life!
➡︎ Base Beginner Course
【 Conclusion 】The most important thing when choosing a bass for the first time is the appearance.