I'll start with this disclaimer: I am NOT a bass player. I just decided I wanted an inexpensive bass guitar to use when fooling around with some amateur home recording. Seemed like a better idea than trying to get bass tones from using my guitar with an octave pedal, etc. I ended up ordering one of these, an Ibanez TMB100: It should arrive in a few days. I like the retro look of the body style and the tortoise pickguard--most of the other basses in the sub-$200 price range tend to look like they're geared toward hard rock/metal. I've always enjoyed picking up a bass from time to time to have some fun noodling around... but this will be the first bass I've ever owned. Looking forward to it!