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skull_king
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:39 am
Posts: 36
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:35 pm 
 

So I am forming a band and my friend wants to play bass in the band. The only problem is that he doesn't have a bass guitar. Since I will be playing a 7 string guitar (and I am the only guitarist in the band) I think it would be fair if he got a 5 string bass. What would be a beginners 5 string bass for my friend?
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2123
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:10 pm 
 

I'd say "the one he can afford". I'm not being facetious. Go to a music store, try out a few, rank the ones he likes and see if he can find one used. Someone else might have some specific models in mind, but I've found this to be the basic principle behind buying just about any instrument.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4918
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:13 pm 
 

Squier makes some solid 5-string jazz basses that retail for $199, you may even be able to find one of those used pretty easily. Ibanez, ESP, and Dean all make decent five strings in the ~$200 range. It's also practical to find a decent used four string, clean it up a bit, put heavy strings on it, and tune it down, because it's a bit easier to learn on a four string and you'll have a better selection of four string basses.

Also, listen to Grave_Wyrm.

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Dubhar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:58 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:55 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
It's also practical to find a decent used four string, clean it up a bit, put heavy strings on it, and tune it down, because it's a bit easier to learn on a four string and you'll have a better selection of four string basses.


This is solid advice, A bass tuned B-D has all the notes the common bass player needs. If you're not wanting any solos or chords from your bassist, the G string is completely optional.
Plus if your bassist has small hands like me, or has little experience playing a stringed instrument, the thinner neck will make starting the instrument a lot easier.

I'd recommend you try out low-end Schecter basses, the quality of them seems pretty good, they tend to have nice thin necks and they usually have some EQ controls (which I find to be one of the best features a metal bass can have). I don't think a lot of pawn shops know that Schecter is an established brand, so you might be able to get a mid-range bass on the cheap if you're lucky, that's how I discovered the brand.

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JerryLeeEx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:12 pm
Posts: 82
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:29 pm 
 

Yamaha and Ibanez have some of the best sounding budget basses that I've heard. They can run from $200-350 and you can probably find one for less if you comb the pawn shops and ebay. Try em out first at your local music store just to make sure he gets familiar with using a 5-string. If it proves too challenging, do what the other poster says and just tune down a 4-string.

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Big_Grand
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:59 pm
Posts: 432
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:49 pm 
 

take him to a music store like music-go-round or music center with $200 and have him try a few out, I paid $250 less for my washburn a few months ago by looking through used guitars.

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Chainsaw Omega
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:43 pm
Posts: 105
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:56 am 
 

I will second Schecter as one of the best options. Balance is great and they feel above their price range. I have some pretty high end basses, and I can say that from playing the low-end Schecters, they do a good job of making a quality instrument for a good price. Also, while I have not tried their basses, Laguna makes a great sounding and great feeling budget guitar. Musician's Friend is selling a laguna 4 string for $200.
In my opinion, having played on this before, this is best budget bass I know.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/sch ... ass-guitar

Also, if you are a beginner, I will echo the sentiment of getting a 4 string and dropping it to B. Very rarely will you find yourself in a situation as a beginner that you will need all five strings, so just go with this.

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Wrath_Of_War
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:04 pm
Posts: 1330
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:00 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
It's also practical to find a decent used four string, clean it up a bit, put heavy strings on it, and tune it down, because it's a bit easier to learn on a four string and you'll have a better selection of four string basses.
This guy couldn't be any more right.
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diamond_famicom
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:03 pm
Posts: 34
Location: st. augustine, fl
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:09 am 
 

you probably want a bass with good string tension. cheaper ibanez basses always sound kind of floppy and shitty. maybe try a 4 string squier bass with really heavy strings tuned to b to match your 7 string
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diamond_famicom
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:03 pm
Posts: 34
Location: st. augustine, fl
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:10 am 
 

diamond_famicom wrote:
you probably want a bass with good string tension. cheaper ibanez basses always sound kind of floppy and shitty. maybe try a 4 string squier bass with really heavy strings tuned to b to match your 7 string

that's what I mean actually
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 11996
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:11 am 
 

Why not get a Dean Z or X?

http://www.zzounds.com/item--DNEZMM

Great bass, I have the X and currently use it record my band 54R. Sounds great and I picked up a new one on ebay for 70 bucks.
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infinitenexus
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:35 am
Posts: 1939
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:09 am 
 

I have a cheapo rogue 5 string that I got for something like $170, and it's been great. Nothing to write home about, but it sounds good, it's comfortable to play, holes it's tune, good fretwork, intonation is spot on. I have no complaints.

Here it is. Apparently no longer available:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/rog ... ass-guitar

But Rogue also makes a 5 string with jazz pickups for like $150, so there you go. You don't need an alembic for a learner's bass.

ShaolinLambKiller also brings up a good point - check eBay.
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