New bass recommendations?

Hi everyone! I sent this to Josh but figured I would throw it up on the forum too and see what everyone thinks:

So, I just got the great news that I’m getting a SIGNIFICANT Christmas bonus at work… Enough to buy almost any bass I want with plenty left over.

I spent a couple hours at Long & McQuade today trying out basses, and two really stood out to me. I thought I’d check in to hear your opinion!

Ibanez SR505E 5 string - now, I’ve seen Josh’s video about how 5 strings aren’t really good for beginners… But EVERYTHING else about this bass just felt incredible! The tone of it was dark and heavy, it sounded super cool. Plus, the neck felt really smooth and great in my left hand…

Only problem is, I’m not sure if adding a B string will mess up what Josh has taught me? It seemed like all the patterns you taught (two frets, two strings down for the octave, one string, two frets down for the fifth, etc) all worked with the new string… Is this correct?
All in all, I loved this bass… Would probably be perfect if they had a four string version.

And the other…
Fender Mustang Bass PJ
This one just felt like butter in my hands. Slapping was easy as pie, it took little to no effort to get great tone and there was NO fret buzz at all, even though it hadn’t been set up yet.
It’s kind of weird to only have 20 frets, but probably workable, hey?
The issue I had with this is, since I learned on an acoustic, I have no clue what switching between the pickups and adjusting them does haha. Although I could easily learn that, just threw me off a bit.

Do you think either of these would be a good choice, since I have the money? Bonus doesn’t come in until the middle of December, so I have plenty of time to make a decision… Let me know what you think of the two, and if you have any recommendations :slight_smile:


P Bass (doesn’t matter who makes it) you’ll eventually end up with one. I’m just trying to save you the long road round :sunglasses:


Watch out for incontinent nihilists, @Barney .


I second @Barney 's remark, @Dom .

Try more basses, before you settle on a P-bass.


Wise words here.


I would do this, great bass for half off

-Edit The most important is buy one that inspires you to pick it and play it when you see it.

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Buy the one that feels best to you. Period. You’re the only one who knows which one that is.

A fiver is perfectly fine for learning on and playing, if it feels the best.

To answer your question, everything Josh teaches can easily be played on a fiver. The only caveat is: You have to learn to mute the B and E strings when playing higher strings. The floating thumb technique is the way to do this. So, this is an additional technique you would have to learn.

If you don’t want to hassle with that and the cost of fiver strings, aim for a 4-string.

Bottom line, try your selected basses some more AND try other basses. There are tons out there.

Maybe you’ll find a Fender P will fit you just fine. Maybe not. But it’s worth your time to shop ‘til you drop.

Oh, and keep in mind that this won’t be the only bass you ever buy. :wink:


P bass ftw

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You lost me at “significant bonus” I already put basses in the cart for you, lol.

My personal recommendation would be

1st bass. Contemporary design Ibanez and Yamaha are great picks. Humbucker pickups active /passive very safe and versatile.

2nd bass, oh yeah you will, Leo’s basses. Fender, MusicMan, G&lL. Not to mention squier, sterling and tribute series.
P bass
Jazz bass
Short scale
4 string 5 string. Btw, it’s not a stepping stone. You can start with whatever you want, it’ll be pretty terrible for you which route you take till you get better, lol.

It takes a few years of GASing basses to know what you like and what you think is cool. There’s. I rush. Everyone go through the same cycles.

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It might not even be a keeper.


Kinda surprised nobody answered this question, so I’m going to do it: yes, this is correct. Standard bass tuning is in fourths, and the “distance” from B to E is the same as from E to A, A to D and D to G (a fourth).


That’s right. Any bass might not be a keeper. It takes learning what feels and works best, which often means buying/selling some over time. It is the way.

I tried.

Ah okay, my apologies.

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You know, interestingly enough, my dad has a Fender P from back in the 90’s or something, plays really great.
But I was at the store and tried a newer one, and it just felt awful to play. The strings were clunky and needed to be plucked REALLY hard, and the neck didn’t fit particularly comfortably in my left hand.


Thank you Mike and other Mike!


Was just thinking: they do, don’t they? That’s the SR500E. Same bass, but four strings instead of five.

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Bass shopping is like looking for a mate, with shopping being like dating.

Best of luck on the hunt. It’s almost more fun than playing. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


No way, epic!

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