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Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
3/2/20 1:18 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

You should be able to snag a Squier Strat for around $50 (or less) locally. Great beginner guitar! You might need to do a little work to make it play better, but we can help you with that. For an amp, a little practice jobber can be had for well under $100, or you can even get a headphone amp for much cheaper.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott Dork
3/18/20 8:26 p.m.

Picked this pair up a couple weeks ago:

I'm pretty new to music overall.  I started playing mandolin in 2015 and did ok with that.  Found I had a hard time keeping up when the fiddle tunes started getting crazy.  And I'm rather unprepared to pull a solo out of my butt at a jam.  Lifelong musicians have a huge advantage over me.

So I'm trying some bass.  So far it's been fun - mostly following along on youtube songs.  I was signed up for a beginning group lesson at the local music center, but it got canceled.  So I'm on my own for now.  Ultimately I'd like to be able to hold down the bass line at the local bluegrass jam.  Maybe some classic / indie rock for good measure.  We'll see where this goes!

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
3/18/20 9:24 p.m.

You can't get more classic than a white on white with rosewood Fender P-Bass. Nice!

Aside from YouTube, there are a bunch of different ways to self-learn. One of the more fun ways is a video game called Rocksmith. I was playing it to break some bad habits. It comes with a cable that is a instrument plug on one side and USB on the other, and it's out for the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and more. I believe Fender also has a phone app that you can buy lessons with as well.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/18/20 10:28 p.m.
Tony Sestito said:

In reply to slowbird :

You should be able to snag a Squier Strat for around $50 (or less) locally. Great beginner guitar! You might need to do a little work to make it play better, but we can help you with that. For an amp, a little practice jobber can be had for well under $100, or you can even get a headphone amp for much cheaper.

There are $50 guitars all over Craigslist and FB marketplace. Often with a little amp, as Squier sells a beginner bundle. Alternately, I've had good luck with these little headphone amps. You can plug a sound source into it and play along and nobody else will ever know.

Me, I haven't been playing for a year. Life reasons. Anyhow, I've started noodling around in the last week - unrelated to the current world status. I also picked up a FreqOut pedal that has been giving me no end of entertainment. It's a feedback generator. You can adjust the harmonics, the delay, the gain - but set up right, and it gives your guitar that feel of playing on the ragged edge and adds all sorts of squealy fun to whatever you're playing but without having to blow the windows out of your practice room. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/19/20 9:53 a.m.

Picture of FreqOut simply because it's cool looking.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott Dork
3/19/20 11:39 a.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

Thanks!

I'll check out the Rocksmith game.  Sounds like it could be fun.

My bass teacher has actually been sending his lessons by e-mail, so we're at least sort of keeping up the course-work there.  He gave us the Grateful Dead's "Turn On Your Love Light", which is both fast and has a very tricky rhythm.  He elaborated to me on the count of it, and I think I'm starting to grasp what they're doing there.  I'll need to ask him some more about it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/19/20 11:57 a.m.

Can't remember if I shared this yet--my latest piece of gear.

Sure, it looks like an ordinary Boss TU-2 tuner, but this one is special: It's a Boss TU-2 tuner previously owned by Steely Dan’s Jon Herington. Price directly from him was $30, and it even came in the original box. 

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
3/19/20 12:07 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott :

I'll back Rocksmith as well. The lessons and techniques used were pretty good and easy to follow, but I fell into a bit of a trap with it. It does give the option for lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and bass for hope it teaches, which I thought was a nice touch. 

I relied on it for tuning, which was fine, but when it came to playing I relied on it to too much. It runs songs like rock band does, and you match the notes and what not, well I could do a good enough job following along, but shut the screen off and I lost all hope. 

It's also possible to get stuck on a lesson. I had a hell of a time with "bell tone" I think it was. Used a Tom petty song for the lesson, but I couldn't get the strings to do what they were showing and so couldn't progress. I don't want to say pick or twang, but it was pulling the string out and snapping it back to make a bell like noise, and I could never do it enough times properly to keep going. 

I've been meaning to buy another copy for a while, and will again after the move I think. Amazon and eBay have it fairly cheap, the cable which is the big part, can still be found, but the $150 guitar and game combo seems to be a thing of the past these days. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
3/19/20 12:09 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Well now I'm completely jealous. Awesome score!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/19/20 1:12 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Thanks. He offered up a bunch of gear via Twitter. He had three of these tuners for sale. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
3/20/20 12:39 p.m.

One advantage of working from home forever is lunchtime drum sessions!


Got a good session in today for exercise purposes. I've had this Yamaha Stage Custom 7pc kit for 25 years this year and it's still getting the job done. Desperately need some new cymbals though; two of the crashes and the China are cracked.

barefootskater
barefootskater SuperDork
3/20/20 4:55 p.m.

So I get this:


 

From a local music shop I like. So I guess I'll have to stop by and see what I see. 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
3/20/20 4:58 p.m.

 

You can't get more classic than a white on white with rosewood Fender P-Bass. Nice!

AGREED!!!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/20/20 5:30 p.m.

My local shop is offering curbside pickup of necessities like strings. I don't know what'll happen if I ask them for a Strat :) Knowing them, they'd deliver it.

barefootskater
barefootskater SuperDork
3/20/20 6:46 p.m.

Oops. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
3/20/20 6:51 p.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

That's a beautiful blue, and it goes great with the woodgrain dash!

barefootskater
barefootskater SuperDork
3/20/20 7:07 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Everything goes great with a fake wood dash. 
it's a Cort something. Active p/j setup w/ pickup blend knob and 2 band eq. Should suit my current needs very well for $190

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
3/20/20 7:11 p.m.

I somehow totally forgot to post pics of this beast. A couple years ago, I sent my best bud's Dad a slab of 100+ year old heart pine salvaged from a local building. He built me a (very similar) jazzmaster body with it, and had enough to build 2 more.

A couple months ago, I get a suspiciously guitar-sized package in the mail from him. "NUH-UH" I say.

Inside that box is a definitely guitar-sized Fender box. "No berkeleyin way," I say.

Inside that box is a gig-bag, and inside that, this guitar, with a note tucked in the strings.

Mister Allan is not in great health, and downsizing. He sent this one and its twin sister to me and my bud.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
3/20/20 9:34 p.m.

Projects...

Wilkinson locking saddles for my Strat. Plus I decided my ESP really needs to stay with EMG pickups, so this neck pickup needs a new home (and fix the the bridge p/u I installed upside down 25+ years ago). Now I need to find strings... I'm considering going back to 9's.

wawazat
wawazat HalfDork
3/21/20 10:03 a.m.

Need some input here.   I want to start playing bass.  Thru high school I played saxophone though haven't touched them in years other than to pack and move them.  Always preferred my baritone and bass/lower registers of music has always drawn me in.   Can you give me some recommendations for a solid mid level bass I can buy to get started.  Budget about $300 to $500.  Want something that is solid enough to not limit me.  Country of origin isn't an issue for me.  I like music from jazz to rock to funk.  

dxman92
dxman92 HalfDork
3/21/20 10:14 a.m.

Some used Fender/Squire offering? Its been awhile since I've played bass..

barefootskater
barefootskater SuperDork
3/21/20 10:30 a.m.

In reply to wawazat :

The Squier "vintage modified" line is really really good in the $300 range. 
Im really partial to a nice Cort B4. I see them on reverb for $4-500. My old one was made around 2004 iirc and it had really nice hardware from the factory. Hipshot tuners, badass 2 bridge, bartolini electrics with active 3 band eq. Not sure the newer ones are as well equipped but should be very versatile anyway. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/21/20 10:47 a.m.

In reply to wawazat :

I'd recommend a used Mexican-made Fender P-bass or Jazz Bass. My local shop usually offers them in the $300-$400 range. That's going to be a solid example that's properly setup and doesn't have any issues. Get it and play it. 

I bought my favorite Mexican-made Fender bass for $200--discount because not all original. It sounds great, stays in tune, and never gives me any trouble. 

And if you decide that you don't like it, you can easily recoup most of your money. 

wawazat
wawazat HalfDork
3/21/20 5:15 p.m.

Thanks for the input everybody.  I'm still learning here.  Today I discovered what the differences are between a P bass and a J bass.  

I found a 1980's Yamaha (made in Japan) bass in my price range.  Looks solid and local.  May check it out post social distance disease.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
3/21/20 5:34 p.m.

In reply to wawazat :

I think barefoot stole the bass you were looking for.

If it's just something you wanna noodle on, I'd just get on craigslist or facebook or whatever and grab something you think looks cool.

If you've already "noodled" a little, I'd hit up a music store or pawn shop & see what feels good in your hand.

Otherwise, yeah, mexican P-bass is pretty tough to beat. Or something 80s/90's MIJ.

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