Electric Guitars/electric bass
I have a daughter who wants to begin bass lessons. She already plays violin and French horn, and wants to play in the jazz band when she goes to high school. I got a lot of help from this site when I purchased a beautiful horn for her. I now want to purchase a bass, and don't even know where to start! What brands, what do they cost, do I buy new or used? I dont want to break the bank. I want a good bass that will last a few years. She is pretty talented, and I don't want some cheap no name brand that will have to be replaced. I actually had some very good luck on ebay buying the horn, after lots of advice from a musician on this site. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.
Thanks for your question. Please accept my apologies for the late reply. I've been on Jury Duty all week.
There are a few moving parts here, and you might want to email me directly in order to work through some of the decisions you'll need to make. Please feel free to do so if you feel it might be helpful: firstname.lastname@example.org
When in doubt, the brand names that will likely serve you best are:
Fender (which also makes Squier)
G & L
There are many other brand names, but these are probably the most known and respected ones in general.
I have no idea what "budget" and "break the bank" mean to you, and they might have different meanings to others. So, I can only go with amounts that I often think make sense. This is subjective.
I usually think of "Budget" as under $500, "mid-range" as $500 - $1,000, and anything over $1,000 as "something I can't afford" : - )
Seriously, this is a broad range and pertains to my personal budget. Feel free to follow-up with me on a more specific price range.
3) New vs Used
The same variables apply here as with any other used / eBay purchase. You are at the mercy of the quality of the seller. The price might be great, but the bass might arrive i two pieces or may in-general by damaged in transit. I tend to not purchase guitars on eBay for this reason. If a seller has more than a few hundred transactions and a 100% perfect feedback rating, then it might be a reasonably safe risk, but again, be careful buying a bass guitar on eBay.
I highly recommend that if you purchase a used Bass guitar, try to do so from a store. This way your daughter can go there, see the instrument, play it, and really see if it feels right. Also, most stores offer at least some kind of warrantee for a used instrument and will at least set it up for you.
These days, prices are so reasonable that it might be best to purchase a new instrument. This way you can eliminate as many variables as possible that often come into play with used instruments (i.e. the condition of the instrument, what to do when it breaks after a week, etc...). It might be worth the extra few dollars to purchase a new Bass as most stores / online retailers offer a decent warrantee to cover you in the unlikely event that there is a problem after purchase.
Online retailers somethings offer decent prices (vs stores). Here are a few of the biggest online sites for musical instruments:
All of that said, here are two quick examples of basses that while brand new, are strong choices for a beginner and offered at reasonable prices:
Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass Guitar 3TS
Sterling by Music Man 4-String Electric Bass Guitar 2 Tone Sunburst
These are only two suggestions. From your question, I can only assume that your daughter is interested in Jazz. If she is actually interested in other styles such as Rock, or Blues, or Metal, etc... then the suggestions I might make could differ.
The better choice of Bass guitar is highly affected by: Style of music + Ability Level + Price Range.
In summary, I may have provided more questions for you than answers. But I think that if you can be specific with regards to your price range, then the answer that I or any one else can provide will be much more refined and probably more helpful to you.
I hope this was helpful. Please feel free to follow-up if there are any other questions you may have