Which bass to buy? Sheet Music?

Hello All! What a fabulous group! I’m really new here and taking bass guitar lessons and love Josh’s lessons. I’m just renting an acoustic guitar for now as I couldn’t find a bass guitar for rent that would not cost me an arm and a leg just to rent.

I want to play bass lines, but also want to play melodies a good part of the time too. I don’t have a clue what to buy. I don’t want the lowest end bass as I want this to be a “forever” bass that I can love from now on. Someone recommended a Fender Precision or Fender Jazz…probably used and made in Mexico. I’m not sure yet…but will probably play all kinds of music. Any recommendations where to buy one and also a good source for bass guitar melody sheet music or music book? Thanks!!! Linda


Welcome to the Forums and to Josh’s lessons, @douglindag . . . :slight_smile:

You could check out what he suggests here:

There are a number of good quality basses you could pick from, and there’s no end of opinions on that subject. :wink: Personally, I prefer Fender J or P bass, and you could find a new equivalent in the “Squier” bass guitar series (~$300-350).

Or you could buy a used higher quality MIM Fender bass for a lot less than the MSRP.

Good luck in your search!

Cheers, Joe


Thanks Joe! Any suggestions for melody music for the bass? It’s pretty confusing out there! Appreciate the feedback.


@douglindag: so, you say you want to play melodies on the bass? I.e., in the upper register? What kind of genre? What types of melodies?

And, if I may, why? An occasional melody is fine, but I hope you’ll find out that bass lines that provide the groove and foundation of many a song are way cooler :smile:

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Totally agree those bass lines are WAY cool! Sometimes just want to play solos that folks will recognize - playing the melody. No clue what genre…probably all kinds. Yes in the upper registers, but don’t want a regular electric guitar since the bass guitar is way too much fun. Thanks!


I am not dissuading you from playing melodies, BUT… first things first, I would say:

  • get a real bass (not a rented acoustic guitar) - it is a different feel altogether, different spacings between the strings, between the frets, thicker strings, different body, different neck, …
  • don’t expect your “first love” to be your one and only bass; you can get a very decent beginner bass for about 250 dollars (and you should be able to sell it again later, either if you find out this is not for you, or if you want to upgrade)
  • dig into the “bass stuff” first before spending too much time on playing melodies and solos. Josh’s course will teach you a lot of the main important things about “bass stuff”
  • if you want to play melodies on the side, don’t spend money on sheet music. Start with, e.g., Christmas carols, or children’s songs and try to find out the melody by yourself - good ear training and a good way to learn your fretboard (at least at the upper register :joy:)

Welcome Linda. I’m sure you’ll get loads of good advice about what to buy from some of the more knowledgeable members of the forum.


I second what everyone else has posted here.

Josh’s course and supplemental videos from BassBuzz pretty much cover everything you just asked… except the part about sheet music.
That is easily findable and buyable at your local music shop!
As for bass - Josh has a video.
Melodies? - Josh has a video (the one about major scales and how not to be a robot)

Best of luck.


@douglindag Welcome to the BassBuzz forum! When you have time, join us on the Introduce Yourself! thread.

You can look here for an idea of what is out there.
Guitar Center - Used Fender Bass

There are multiple web sites that sell basses. For a bigger selection you can search Google for “used fender bass”.

Keep in mind, there are additional costs when buying a bass.

$50+ for a setup
This is pretty important and can make a big difference to how your bass plays and sounds. Spending more money after buying a bass might be frustrating but this puts your instrument in prime shape. Do you have to get a setup? No, but in the long run you want one. Part of this is knowing what your bass is supposed to sound and feel like so that you know the difference if something is wrong.

$20+ new strings (if needed)
Probably included with your setup. Do you have to get new strings? No, but if you’re buying used, it gives you a chance get rid of somebody else’s funk so you can start off with your own funk. Just to be clear, I’m talking about the literal funk and nastiness that accumulates in strings.

$30+ a “good” bass guitar strap
My cheap bass strap cuts off the circulation to my arm. Do you have to get a good strap? No, a lot depends on your general health. A bad strap can be painful and a good strap can be… relaxing. YMMV.

$30+ a tuner that handles bass well
Not all tuners handle the low tones very well and that can make tuning frustrating. Do you need an expensive tuner? No, I use a very cheap tuner. It works but it can be annoying and I have considered throwing it off the back porch or stomping the guts out of it, just to watch it die.

Also, you’ll need an amplifier but that’s a whole separate conversation.

As to playing melodies, this video gets into that and there are links at the end of the post to melodic sheet music for bass… and you’ll get to see Bass Bot.
:robot: How to Learn Bass Scales (Become a Better Bassist, Not a Robot)

Good luck and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. :+1:

Edit: @Gio beat me to it on the video.


Oh, yeah, how could I forget about BassBot :rofl:

Will there be repercussions? @Bassbot fortune


:crystal_ball: Very doubtful


You don’t mention a budget, which makes it hard to recommend anything that will be a forever bass.

There’s lots of things that makes basses different. What makes a bass fantastic for me might be awful for you. The best thing you can do is watch Josh’s video, then head down to a well stocked store and try several out. Then buy an inexpensive bass that looks nice and feels comfortable for you. Once you get a handle on the things you like and dislike, you’ll be better placed to find a forever bass.

Good luck and welcome. :slight_smile:


I would recommend on not attempting for your first bass to be a “forever” bass. You don’t really know what you like yet, and no one can help you with that.

What I would recommend is trying as many as you can in a guitar store and getting a feel for one that feels good to you. For your first bass I would recommend a high quality inexpensive entry level model. Josh and Gio compare several in the videos linked above.

Later you can sell it and trade up to a new model if you want. The used market for instruments is the only way to go in my opinion but YMMV. But if you buy used you will find the resale value will probably be close to what you paid. I even turned a small profit recently.

Trying to pick a “forever” bass now would be kind of like trying to pick a forever cookie without ever having tried any cookies :slight_smile:


Great analogy.


Guess that’s why I’m gaining weight… Still haven’t found that “Forever Cookie”… Trying sure is enjoyable though!!


Haha, my childish brain imagines a cookie that “grows back” every time you take a bite out of it :grin: :joy:


That’s a good point, @matthew . . . :+1:

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Hi and welcome to the forum
One fun thing I am just discovering is laying down a bassline on a looper pedal and then playing simple melodies over the top further up the neck
My looper only has a 20 second record time at the moment but I am getting another one for crimbo that has a whopping 8 hours record time.
Good luck


Hi everyone! I am out flying but I thought I would check in. I was really curious about the bass Josh is playing and the reasons for it? Is he a rep for that particular bass?
I am really loving the lessons, I just wish I could carry on with them out here on the road.
I am also enjoying reading this forum. There are so many new terms and concepts being expressed. It truly is another world here at bass buzz. I am so glad I found my way here. I hope all of you are well, and I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!


Ah, you have struck a chord here! Buying basses is a favorite topic and pastime! I own an SX Vintage Custom Made, which I absolutely love! Inexpensive as all get out at $100 bucks, and I can’t believe I’m not shopping for an upgrade because I actually really, really love it!