Tips for Choosing a bass Guitar
The bass guitar is an essential instrument to any music genre. This is because it does not only add flavor to the rhythm but it also anchors the sound. Getting a good bass is therefore important for a bassist. Choosing a good bass guitar, however, is a daunting task for most people. Here are tips to help you choose the best bass guitar;
1.Do prior research.
Before purchasing a bass guitar it is essential to understand what you want. First, do advance research about the available bass guitars in order to narrow down your options. You can check what your favorite bassists play, read online reviews, view ads as well as visiting manufacturers websites. Doing thorough research will also enable you to understand important features of the bass guitars. You should be able to learn about pickups, length of scale and many other features. This way you will be able to make an informed choice.
2.Test the guitar.
Test the guitar by plugging it into a bass amp and listen to how it sounds. You can then turn the bass up to a good volume and play some few notes. Listen if the sound feels good. If the strings buzz while playing then choose another guitar. Also, you should adjust the knobs and listen to any scratchy noises as well as clicks. A good bass guitar should not have click sounds when you flick the switches. You should try different bass guitars to get the one that sounds best to you.
This is the length of the bass from the nut to the bridge. The bass scales range from between 30 to 35 inches. The length of strings determines how low the base will be, with the longest string giving the lowest bass sound. Children and those with small hands should select a short scale for easy playing. For most players, however, 34-inch bass is preferred. The 35 inch, on the other hand, gives more frets and is mostly used for a 5 or 6 string bass. Choose the scale length that fits the size of your hands.
4.Neck and playability.
The neck and string setup play an important role in the guitars overall playability. It is therefore essential to ensure that the neck is well attached to the body of the guitar. The neck is always is attached in 3 ways namely; Bolt-on neck, Thru-body neck, and set neck. The neck should be stable and comfortable while playing. You can try playing the bass while standing and while sitting down. Ensure you are comfortable in both positions and that the neck is not shifting up and down while playing
5.Anatomy of a bass guitar.
Before choosing a bass guitar make sure you inspect its body construction. The vital features to check include;
For a bass guitar with a bolt-on-neck, this is where the neck is attached to the body. The neck pocket gap should not be there or if it has to be there then it should not be anything larger than the size of a business card. This gap usually reduces the harmonic overtones leading to dull tones.
Always make sure that the paint job is perfect and there are no defects. A poor paint job may not affect the sound of the instrument but it could be a sign a poor quality guitar.
Check that your ideal bass guitar is not made from a material that makes it heavy. This might be problematic when playing the instrument while standing. Also, some guitars made from plywood might have a lot of glue that might make it not to resonate well.
6.Examine the hardware.
Always analyze the instrument’s hardware and electronics before settling for your guitar. Some include; pickups, tuners, controls, bridge, string trees, and control plate. Turn the knobs to ensure they are smooth. Try to flip the switches as well. They should firmly click into each setting. The tuning pegs, on the other hand, should be smooth but not too lose when turned. Stiff or loose pegs make the instrument hard to tune. Also, tug the strings close to the bridge and turn them lightly to ensure they do not pop out of place. Strings that pull out of the bridge may cause the saddle to cut too shallow.
With the above tips, choosing a bass guitar will be a walk in the park.
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