Just bought a Bass

Hey, all

As the title says, I just ordered me a bass. Decided on an Ibanez GSR206B in that beautiful (to me) Walnut finish. Its a six-string. I have zero bass experience. This may or may not have been an impulse buy. Short story, I was perusing holiday deals on sweetwater and started browsing through all of the instruments that I don’t own. Saw this bass, very specifically an 8lb 10oz with a rather standout application of the walnut finish. This beauty has been calling to me since. So, pulled the trigger and ordered it up.

Long story, the more I thought about it, the more a six-string bass made sense to me. I’m far more rhythmic than melodic. I have always gravitated towards percussion (particularly hand-percussion and tuned folkish percussion) and own quite a few instruments from those families. At the end of the day, I’m self-aware enough to realise that I likely will never have the particular type of hand/finger dexterity to play a standard guitar of any variety with any amount of virtuosity that would satisfy myself. The type of hand/finger dexterity required for bass, I believe I already more or less have. (this may be bullshit, but I believe it :sweat_smile:). Also, as I shift ever deeper into the Experimental/Ambient genres, something about the bass jsut seems more accessible to “noodling.” Like, I just know I can pick this thing up and make sounds that I want to hear and likely even compose with. Also, I ain’t getting any younger, but I’m thirsty for something a bit more traditional that allows me an opportunity to learn, while expanding/solidifying my western music theory knowledge.

So, anyone of you all play bass? How about six-string? 5/7/8/9/nth string? What should I be looking to tackle first? any good YT vids or channels I should follow? Books? DVDs? General bass theory? Specific to six-string material? I am a sponge, soak me in your knowledge sensei :joy:

Please, though, don’t come at me with the “you need to buy a 4-string first” stuff. Too late, already bought a 6-string and I’ve already read plenty on both sides of this debate and am siding with the “learn on whatever you have or want to” gigachads.

Here is the full list of all the beginner essentials that I included with my order (if i’m missing something, other than a case which I am buying as soon as its back in stock but also I have no intention of traveling with this instrument anytime soon, feel free to hit me with those suggestions):

  • Ibanez GIO 6-Str Bass, Walnut Flat

  • Vox VX50BA 50W Bass Combo

  • Vox StompLab 2B Bass Multi-FX Pedal

  • Behringer Guitar-to-USB Interface

  • D’Addario 3" Bass Strap w/Pad - Black

  • D’Addario 10’ TS-TS, Classic Cable

  • D’Addario 20’ TS-TS, Classic Cable

  • Rok-It Acous/Elec Tubular Gtr Std


As for my experience as guitarist, which also implies that i can play bass to some extend, don’t rely too much on external information.
Just grab your bass, fiddle around and get a feeling for it. Especially if you have no experience with playing stringed instruments.
Search some bass tabs from your favourite songs and try to play them.
The most important part is to be patient.Learnig a instrument is a long way.(And gear doesn’t make a player)


I think it’s generally known that Flea isn’t a great bass player, just an ok player with good timing, so this is where I started as a beginner :] Flea Bass DVD Lesson - YouTube

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I have an Ibanez 4-string bass of some model. I plug it right into my USB audio interface.

4, 6, no matter, just so long as you play it.

I had to try out assorted strings to find a set I like. Favoring flat-wound now. Wish they weren’t so expensive! Makes it tough to keep buying new strings to try. I like my current set, DR Strings Lo-Rider - Stainless Steel Hex Core Bass 40-100.

My regret with my bass is that it requires a 9-volt battery, so I ended up buying some rechargeables and a little charger thing. Also, that battery holder is held on with freakin’ screws, so I just took it off and cover it with duct tape now. I also replaced the knobs, as the originals gave zero way to note where they are set. I put on sets that had a 1-10 dial, and easier-to-read knobs with a clear indicator.

I generally don’t care about music theory. I know some, but I don’t think it ever factored into anything I did. It might be handy were I to play with others, perhaps to better understand how to fit things into chord changes (e.g. knowing what notes might be the 4th or 5th or 7th in a chord) but that’s not a thing for me.

One thing of value I do get from music theory is learning the names for some less-common guitar chords, and I think if you were to read about music, and playing bass following some chord charts, knowing chord names would help.

For example, I like playing a particular guitar chord that, when I would write down notes, always required me to invent some description of what I was doing (“A major but leave out the ring finger”). Much easier to write “A sus2”. : }

One thing I did a few years ago was to sample some bass from a few songs I liked, and then tried to recreate the tone for each, noting where I needed to set my slick new knobs. Of course, now that I think it, since I have different strings those settings are off. Oh well. I did learn that I’m usually better off rolling off some of the low end when recording; I had a tendency to go for this fat visceral deep end but it would end up overwhelming the mix

A key piece of advice would be to focus on even tone and consistency. I’ve seen some people play and they get hung up on speed and chops and wizard shit, all while they flub notes, have too much buzzing, and the volume is all over the place. Lately when I play/practice I just try to get is as clean as I can. Some compression can help but I’d rather not use that as a crutch.

I’m not a bass-head, can’t name too many players, but I am deeply impressed by Paul McCartney. Just incredibly musical and inventive without being flashy or distracting.

Have fun!


I was listening to a podcast about tango music and one guest was talking about a particular tango ensemble where the strings are out of tune but their timing and rhythm were just locked in and that was what the music called for.

Taste and feeling beats snazzy chops.


I play fretless bass and fretless guitar. I like tapewound strings on bass and flatwound on my guitar. I like that it sounds a bit like Oud and I can play microtonal, maqdams and generally whatever intervals I want.

I think you will enjoy playing the bass, it’s the bestest instrument ever invented by mankind! :wink:


Appreciate the replies so far! Thanks everybody. I have a crazy work schedule right now, but will reply individually when i get a chance. Lot of like minded folks, it would seem. Should be getting my bass sometime tomorrow. Looking forward to exploring its wonderful sounds.

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Exactly my initial thoughts regarding this endeavor. Though, now I’m already moving to printing out partial positions for all of the scales and various chords to practice. I am a bit of a contradiction; intuitive/improvisational fanatic, but I also can’t help but collect as much Western theory as I can fit my smooth little brain.

Already finding a million little riffs/loops; definitely need to find my old JamMan mono looper pedal. Also realizing that my smallerish hands are going to have me improvising fretting techniques; no purism here. Also, getting a feel for my bass and bass in general, I was at the very least partially correct in my presumption that I have a certain amount of dexterity/skill that is suited/transferrable to bass; nifty.


I thoroughly enjoyed this. I didn’t know much about Flea. I like his mannerisms. He clearly understands more than he knows about music. Will be looking into more of his instructional stuff. Passionate players always have the best little quirky tidbits to learn.

Seems this is true of all of the “lower-end” Ibanez models. For me, the battery cover is a non-issue, though I can see how it would be irritating to others. For me, the taped over hole would drive me nuts. Different quirks for different folks, eh.

I both care not at all, and care intensely. See above contradiction statement.

This is where I’m starting to lean in my own Theory knowledge. Recently started parsing Intervals as purely numeric steps (not degrees, but distance) and a lot of Theory suddenly makes more sense, or at least is easrier to hold in my mind.

Absolutely agree on this.

I already have a fretless 4-string picked out, haha. (Not anytime soon)

I am starting to agree. Absolutely flabbergasted that I never realized that I often was singling out bass in many songs when listening. Had no idea that even a standard 4-string reaches as high in pitch as it does. So much of the power and energy in heavier rock/metal comes from the bass. My frame of reference is quickly expanding in this regard.

I have no real experience with bass guitar for now but I just advice to begin with a 5 strings
Will be more easier to play electric guitar and acoustic guitar after…No?

Dunno if a 5/6string bass is an advantage to an 4 string when switching to guitar.
You still have to get used and adjust your playstyle to the smaller strings and space between them on a guitar.
I can imagine this takes some time.
And usually a 4 string bass’ fretboard has about the same width as a 6 string guitar, so when playing on a wider 5 string bass fretboard you also have to adjust for this then.
But i only played bass for 3months, then switched to guitar. So this is not really an informed opinion.

This guy’s nuts

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