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Factors to Consider when buying a Bass guitar
This article should both shed some light on the wonderfully powerful
instrument that is a bass guitar, as well as pointing you in the right
direction to getting your own bass guitar.
Before you think about buying your first bass guitar, you will need to understand the genre of music you want to play. Some people want to play Country, rock, metal, blues and all mixture of
genres. Ones you have identified what music you want to play then next is the budget. In my case I do not see it important to buy an expensive guitar if you even do not know why the guitar is
good. Guitars come in different shapes, colors, picks up and more and if you are not careful you may find yourself in a confused state. The best place start on is just simple entry level guitar on a
lower budget to make you realize if really you have a passion for it.
Do your Research
Before click the buy now button, you should have a clear idea of what you want. Doing research in advance will narrow down your options. Check out product reviews, ads, catalogs and manufacturer websites to become familiar with the features and specs of various models. Find out what your favorite bassists are playing.
Youtube is another place to get information about the kind of bass that you will need to buy. Youtubers will always either give you a demo of a particular guitar and how they like it.
Once you’ve pinpointed a few basses that appeal to you, learn all you can about them. What woods are they made of? What kind of pickups and electronics do they have? How long is the scale? The more familiar you are with specs, the easier it is to identify what features you like.
Never let your decisions be influenced exclusively by what your favorite players use, peer pressure or recommendations from a salesperson. “Choose a bass that you like to look at and always want to play. It’s a very personal decision, almost like choosing a mate.”
Once you have a good idea what you want, it’s time to visit a few stores and try out some basses. Once you’re in the store, focus on the basses within your price range, but don’t be afraid to try instruments beyond your budget. Trying a more expensive bass can give you a great perspective on how a well-crafted bass is supposed to look and feel.
Check out details like the fretwork, how the neck feels, what the finish looks like and how carefully the hardware is installed, and compare these features to the basses you can afford. If an instrument you’ve selected seems similar to a much more expensive axe, chances are it’s a great value.
Neck and Neck
Examine the neck first. Run your fretting hand along the neck and note how well it fits in your hand. Does the fingerboard feel too wide or narrow? Is it easy to play or do you struggle to fret notes? Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play or are just a beginner. If the instrument doesn’t feel comfortable in your hands it’s probably not right for you.
Check how the Bass guitar feels. If the guitar doesn’t feel well from the start, chances are it never will.
Try holding the bass both sitting down and standing up. Strap on the bass and release your hands. If the neck slides down and points to the ground, the neck is too heavy. While a bass with a heavy neck may be perfectly playable, it will cause muscle fatigue more quickly because your fretting hand is supporting the neck.
Next, play notes on every fret on every string as well as the open strings to check for buzzing and dead spots. If you can’t play well, bring along a friend who plays or your bass instructor.
Body materials: The cheapest basses on the market are often constructed of a plywood “butcher block” amalgamation of wood pieces that are glued together, heavily sanded, and covered with a single-piece veneer and a heavy finish. Some of those instruments can sound good but usually the wood is too heavy and doesn’t resonate well because it is full of glue, which has no resonant frequency.
Check manufacturer specs for details like a one-, two- or three-piece body. Don’t be fooled by terms like “solid” body or “wood” body, as this may not tell the whole story. While it’s getting more and more difficult to spot plywood construction, it’s often revealed when you look at the finish from a variety of angles. Look for uneven surfaces separated by straight lines, which are tell-tale signs that various pieces were glued together.
Bass Guitar Types
Bass guitars come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. However, the right bass for you will come down to three main factors: the number of strings it has, whether or not the neck has frets, and the pickups it uses.
Bass guitars typically come in 4-, 5- and 6-string models. For those who are just starting, you’re better off sticking with a 4-string model that’s tuned to the standard E-A-D-G format. Most well-known rock groups go with this, and a 4-string bass will definitely be easier to play in the beginning stages. The neck of a 4-string bass guitar is also slimmer than a 5- or 6- string model, which makes it ideal for younger players with smaller hands. Of course, you can always move on to a 5- or 6-string bass guitar over time.
The two fretboard layouts you’ll encounter are known as fretted and fretless. The standard bass guitar neck is fretted, containing steel frets along the entire length of the fretboard. Basses with frets are naturally better to learn with, since they make finding the correct notes easier. On the other hand, fretless basses (as the name suggests) have no frets. Although fretless basses have a warm sound and play smoothly, beginners should stick with a fretted instrument so they can learn the proper fingering positions.
The pickups on your bass have the job of turning string vibrations into electrical signals, which makes them a crucial part of the instrument. Usually, bass guitars have two sets of pickups: one near the fretboard, and another closer to the bridge. The pickup near the fretboard tends to create a smoother, low-end tone, while the one by the bridge produces a brighter, high-end sound.
Like guitars, bass pickups come in both single-coil and humbucker styles. Single-coils were the first pickup type, and are known for their sharp and focused sound. To help fight feedback, humbuckers were created soon after single-coils. Aside from cancelling out the hum commonly found with single-coils, humbuckers also produce a thicker tone.
While these are the two most common pickup types, you can also find a single-coil pickup that functions like a humbucker. These are called split-coil pickups, and combine the hum-free convenience of a humbucker with the bright sound of a single-coil. A good example of a split-coil can be found on the classic Fender Precision Bass.