Thursday, December 9, 2010

Instrument Review: ESP LTD B-50 Electric Bass

For my first instrument review, I'm going to talk to you about the ESP LTD B-50. This will definitely be one to take a look at if you're looking to buy your first bass. I've taken a few photographs of my ESP just for this review. Here's what it looks like now.

As you can probably see, there's a scratch here and there. The covers for all three volume / tone control knobs are gone too and if you look closely at the Beatles sticker, you can see that the poor thing has also been set on fire at least once. It's clearly been the victim of some good times.

The remarkable thing is that this bass is STILL just as playable as the day I first got it. I may need to get some new strings (since the ones shown have been skinned a little with a knife) but that's it. It's unfortunate that I don't have any pictures of this bass when it was brand new, but if I did then you could fully appreciate just how beautiful it really is.

This bass really is very sleek and sexy but in a classy way. It has a beautiful curved body that makes playing very very comfortable and an unusual yet attractive headstock that will ensure people notice what a fine instrument you have. Playing this ESP is like walking into a room with a gorgeous Scandinavian model on your arm. She doesn't look like she belongs and yet there she is.

This bass is available from Thomann for around €220, and that will get you:

  • An Agathis body.

  • A bolt on Maple neck, with a Rosewood fretboard.

  • Two ESP LDJ/LDP Set Pickups.

  • 34" scale with 24 XJ Frets.

  • ATB-1 Active Tone Boost.

That sounds very nice I'm sure, but what does it mean? Let me break it down for you. You get an excellent P/J pickup configuration which basically gives you a lot of versatility and freedom to play any style of music. If you want to play Funk, Rock, Pop or Country, you can be confident that the ESP can handle it. You also get a bass so well built, that it'll withstand years of heavy metal punishment.

So if you were to ask me, are there better basses out there? The answer is yes, of course there are. Is there one better for this price? No. Is there one better for twice this price? No. If you're looking for your first bass then this really is the one to get.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Message to the Aspiring Musician

So, you think you might be interested in learning how to play a musical instrument. That's great. It's a skill that you can rely on time and time again for endless hours of enjoyment, and if you're good at what you do then you can even make some cash from it. The important thing to remember when you're choosing your first instrument is what YOU want. It's easy to be swayed by friends, the Internet or even other musicians.

* "My friends all play guitar and I think it'll be a good way to get girls"

Picking up an instrument because your friends play in a band isn't the worst reason to start playing an instrument (it's pretty much why I started) but it isn't the best either. You should start playing because you want to play it, and not because you want to play with your friends. Also, it won't really help you get girls. Learning to play incredible guitar solos won't make you any less socially awkward.

* "I want to be just like Dimebag, I'll rip the **** out of this guitar"

While it's great to be enthusiastic, just remember that it takes quite some time to learn to play an instrument. It's highly unlikely you'll be a solo-god within a year of getting a guitar.

Keeping all this in mind, it's a good idea to consider your favourite type of music and then ask yourself what you really love about that music. Maybe you're into punk and love trashy drums? Maybe you're all about metal and it just has to be a guitar, or maybe you're more about low end grooves and bass. Whatever you decide, it has to be what YOU want.