Intermediary bass

Hello everybody!!

Since this is the best place for it, I would really like suggestions for a new bass at intermediary level. Something around $600 to take the next step.



When looking for your next step up there are a lot of outstanding basses to choose from in that price range. You should start by asking which styles of music you are most interested in and what tone you are looking for.

For example, I’m a big fan of Yamaha myself, and really like bright, modern tone; I went with a TRBX604 and am extremely happy with it. But it is not the bass I would have bought for Motown.


Thanks, @howard! I’m really into rock, with some heavy metal and the punk part not going too far from Red Hot Chilly Peppers and Rage Against the Machine. I have never tried a Yamaha but have heard a lot about the quality and how it goes along with pretty much everything.

The problem is the more I hear about, the more I keep switching from one to the other… lol


So many really good choices for those styles. TRBX504/604, Ibanez SR 500/650/etc, Yamaha BB734 at slightly more, ESP makes a bunch, MIM Fenders, Warwick RockBasses, etc.

If it’s any consolation, the list gets even bigger around $1000 :slight_smile:

My biggest advice would be to become knowledgable about the used market as that really opens things up, budget-wise.


And here in Canada, the prices are slightly worse.

I have started 3 months ago with a Squier Affinity PJ but I’m afraid of being missing something. I have no complaints about it, but there are just so many options… The idea of looking at the used market is a great one!!

Maybe I should improve my technique before buying something new??


Actually those Squier Affinitys look pretty nice to me, especially for the price :slight_smile:

But yeah, playing more (and trying a lot of basses!) will help you know what you really want.


Since you already have a bass you like, you’re not missing anything right now.

What I mean by that is, there is no rush to find the next one because you already have something that works for you. So, you can take advantage of this time and make a point to find places you can go and try out as many different basses as possible. Even if it’s something you don’t think you want, try it anyway.

Every bass you hold in your hands, whether you decide you like it or not, will give you a better perspective on what you’re looking for.

No amount of research and no one else’s opinion compares to holding it in your hands, feeling how the body fits your body, feeling how your hands move on the neck, feeling the difference in fretting one instrument versus another, and this is just the beginning.

Ultimately, what you want is an instrument that feels the way you want, sounds the way you want, and looks the way you want. The only way to get there is by getting your hands on as many basses as you can. At that price point, you should be able to get all three, but it will take some time and effort to get there.

For me that bass turned out to be the Fender Jazz Bass. It took a while for me to get there though. In the beginning I thought the giant tuning keys, pick guard, and the sunburst paint job looked dated and the whole thing just seemed chunky. I had no appreciation, thinking it was all Fender hype. When I finally tried one, I was taken back by how much it fit me and since then the rest of the instrument has grown on me as I’ve come to appreciate it for what it is.

I wrote all that to make the point that you should try to leave any biases behind you when you start this project. There really is no telling where it will take you or what will end up being right for you.


Lots of great advice here already, @GKaufmann! Waiting until you have improved your playing some more seems like the most reasonable approach… however, you will feel (if you don’t already) an itch to, at least, try different basses, if not own them right away. That is completely natural :grin:

Many of us in here have, perhaps on a whim (or an itch), bought a bass (and often/preferably from the used market) and then found after 3-12 months or so that this wasn’t going to be the ONE, the bass best suited for your playing style, your musical interest/style or something like that. Mind you, most of the times, not because it was a bad instrument, but because it didn’t quite fit to what we needed/wanted. At that point, you can re-sell that bass and find something different.

Still, given what you wrote, a Jazz bass seems a good choice (it is very flexible tone-wise and is used in lots of styles), and, if you can increase your budget a little more, you might be able to find a Flea signature model or a Geddy Lee signature model of the J bass on the used market…

Happy hunting :smile:


Great responses, @eric.kiser and @joergkutter . . . I agree with you!

I especially concur about the Fender J-bass :wink:

Cheers, Joe


if you’re looking for a J, the Sire / Marcus Miller basses have a pretty solid reputation and an impressive quality/price ratio. (I’m talking about the brand “Marcus Miller” which is made by Sire, not the Fender Marcus Miller signature Jazz Bass)


Very well stated @eric.kiser!!


Yep, can’t emphasize this enough. There is no substitute for trying them out and seeing how they feel.


That was great, thank you so much guys!!

I really appreciate what you wrote above!!


So… I went to the store today and started trying lots of different basses, Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez… And when I got the MusicMan I kind of felt in love with the feeling and the sound of it… I really liked the looks, position, weight, size, playability…
Since I can’t spend 2k in a new bass right now I asked them for a Sterling Ray24, (which is out of stock but they ordered a new one) and I’ll try it out when it gets there.
Pretty positive that I will switch my Squier for a Sterling :grin:


Haha… see, it goes fast some times???

Have you checked the local listings for any used Sterlings?? Might be worth it!


I’m keeping an eye on the used ones but is impressive how few of them are out there… I was really expecting to have lots of options, but it’s not the case…

There were so many majestic basses at the store, I wanted all of them ! LoL

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Get used to that. :slight_smile:

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I very recently went through exactly what you are doing now. Shopping for my second bass, having known nothing about the instrument when I got my first one. I too initially leaned towards the music man. I was looking at the new Sterling Ray4. Those stingrays really growl and just sound mean. I was all set to buy one, basically just figuring out which color I wanted it in and where I could get that color.

During my hunt for the perfect stingray, I ended up in a local music shop. The guy didn’t discourage me from buying a new Ray4, but suggested that before I do I try out some used basses that were a better quality build but in the same price range because they are used. I ended up playing a MIM Fender Jazz that felt 1000% better in my hands than anything else I had played in all my search. I played many other Fender’ s in the shop for comparison, liked them all, but this one just felt right. It is a very different sound than the stingray, but I realized I only loved the sound of the Ray, not the feel. The J I love both. I couldn’t sleep the night I had played it, just stayed up thinking about playing it again. I bought it the next morning. So that is my takeaway, that the tone you want and the feel in your hands are equally important. Don’t sacrifice one for the other, find the bass that gives you both just how you want it.

You will know when you find yours. It will feel like when you were 16 and found out your crush likes you back. If you don’t get that feeling then keep searching. Even if you go with a music man, take the time to find YOUR music man!


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


It’s seriously the best approach, try a bunch and go back and try again :slight_smile:

Don’t stress too much about it either, if you can get a good used instrument, someone else will have taken the depreciation hit for you and you will be able to sell it close to what you bought it for. Your next bass will likely not be your last instrument.