How To Select The Perfect Bass Guitar? 6 Things You Should Consider In 2021


When looking for a bass guitar, one has to keep certain things in mind, for example, the cost, the kind of music you desire, and the performance you’re expecting. This article will provide guidelines on choosing the right bass guitar which fits perfectly for your needs and budget. Even a very expensive bass might sound trashy and vice versa so here are a few things that every bass player should know when selecting a bass guitar.

Types Of Bass Guitars

There are three main types of bass guitars available in the market: a 4, 5and 6 string bass guitar. A 4 string bass guitar is the ideal choice for beginners due to its classical and easy design, whereas a 5 and a 6 string guitar is used by musicians at a more advanced level, looking to add more creativity and variation to their music.

Neck Lengths

Next comes the selection of the neck type and the neck length, when selecting a bass guitar. Again there are three types of neck lengths used for bass guitars: short, medium, and long. Short necks are usually present in a 4 string guitar, more applicable for beginners and people who want to practice learning. An increase in neck lengths comes with experience and gives more variation to notes. Long necks are also the preferred choice for hitting low pitch notes.

Neck Designs

A variety of neck shapes, chosen according to one’s taste, are available including round, oval, flatback, V-shaped, and asymmetrical designs.

Bolt-on/ Neck Through

The Bolt-on neck design has a separate neck and body which are attached to each other via bolts. This design is more common, being more traditional in nature, and gives the user an advantage to replace the neckpiece if it gets damaged. The Neck-through, on the contrary, is a single-piece guitar, which gives more sustain and resonant notes, along with producing powerful sound output. It is the more preferred choice between users, as it uses high-quality wood and thereby increases the quality of tone.

Pickup

When selecting a bass guitar, you need to have good knowledge about pickups. A good pickup’s job is to produce an even sound on all the strings. The two types of pickups are ‘Active’ pickup which is battery operated and provides individual control on the treble, bass, and tone, thus producing a bright and clear sound. In contrast, the ‘Passive’ pickup requires no battery, is amplifier-operated, and gives a fuller, warmer tone.

A single-coil pickup gives a sharp tone, however, picks up on the external noises and ends up giving off a background hum. A double coil pickup, also known as the humbucker, is more effective in reducing the external hum. However, the split-coil pickup is the most common choice because of its high-quality results.

Fretboard

You could choose a fretted or a fretless neck. A fretted neck has steel strings dividing it into a scale that provides a wide range of tones. A fretless neck, on the other hand, has no such strings and needs more skill to play. Nonetheless, a fretless neck, when played properly produces smoother, warmer notes. Fretboards are present in 21, 22, and 24 frets, according to user preference.

Other than these details, when selecting a bass guitar, the choice of material for the bass plays an essential role in its sound production. Wood, acrylic, and even metal make a great impact on the tone.

Wood being the mostly comes in two types. Hardwood-like maple gives good articulation and a very energetic and crisp tone, whereas softwood gives a comparatively milder tone. The turning machine is preferred in the enclosed manner along with an uncoated fingerboard, among the bass guitar players. The combination of materials affects a guitar’s weight and versatility.

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