As an Ibanez-playing bassist, I'll try and give my opinion to the numerous questions you've posed;
"Not sounding like a guitarist playing bass"
- IMHO, that's much more of a mental challenge than a physical one. *You're on the right track when you've identified the first major problem of sounding
like a bassist (i.e. overplaying.)
*A few can get away with it (Myung, Sheehan,)
most can't. *Here's a few tips off the top of my head...
- Try playing a simple eighth note line with a metronome or simple programmed groove and lock into the beat. *Vary that by playing the same line ahead of or behind the beat while leaving the metronome on. *Get *a feel for how your ryhthmic playing will affect the groove. *
- Listen to the drummer... and not the fills, double kick, or odd-time signatures he/she plays. * *Try to focus on the kick/snare/high-hat triad. *Watch how your changes affect the groove (i.e. playing with the kick vs. the snare, etc.
All these aren't so much physical demands (although they do involve the aspect of physically playing your instrument,)
but mental routines that will help you get into the mindset
of a bassist.
As for instructional material, try this link
for a list of some "beginner" material. *I'd personally go with a book/cd combp - the audio examples are extremely helpful as opposed to just the printed word. *
On the subject of gear, I'm going to disagree with mmr7, and recommend brands other than Ibanez. *IMHO, the quality and selection of their basses have fallen in the last few years, and your money would be better spend elsewhere (This coming from someone who ownes 2 Soundgear series basses - it pains me to see what's happened to a company that once made me very happy )
. *You didn't give any indication about price range, but I'd take a look at the mid-level ($400-$600)
MIM Fender and Yamaha five-strings. *Very nice "bang for the buck." *Shawn also brings up Carvin as a good quality company, but unless you live in Southern California, you can't try one before ordering. *
As for amplication, Hartke is nice if you like the "hi-fi/metallic" tone their aluminium drivers tend to produce. (Good equipement, just not my bag. :biggrin
*There's a lot of gear out there, but as a starting point I've suggest SWR's "Workingman's Series"
tone at a fairly resonable price.
Good luck with your new transition, and feel free to email me if you have any questions. :thumbsup: