The bass guitar smoothly beats through music, his tone unmistakably deep and his rhythm constant yet complex. The bass guitar, played by the famous John Entwhistle (The Who) and Paul McCartney, anchors the harmonies and lays down the beat. In the Jazz world, the bass is imperative and alive--take a look at Jaco Pastorious.
In choosing the right bass guitar, pay attention to its parts: Body (Part 1) and Neck (Part 2).
There's two types of bass guitar bodies: hollow and solid. Hollow bodies are great for acoustic play; the empty space amplifies the sound of the bass. On the other hand, a solid body makes a very faint sound without an amplifier. Perfect for band play or jam sessions, the solid body bass lends an edgier sound. If a solid body fits your style of play best, do note that amplifiers are available for use at Matt Burk Music Studio. No need to lug yours around!
Upon choosing which body type is best (hollow or solid), it's time to decide on wood type: hard wood or soft wood. The type of wood gives the guitar its tone. Hard wood, such as maple and rosewood will lend a brighter tone with longer sustain. Soft wood such as alder and poplar give a deeper tone with less sustain.
Soft wood is less heavy and will likely be the best fit for young beginners and performers alike. Steer clear of plywood bodies. Opt, instead, for an alder body, an affordable, lighter, wood guitar great for beginners. When holding the bass for play, the body should rest comfortably against the player's body--the fit can be different for each musician. Also, invest in strap locks instead of the standard strap buttons that are found on the body of the guitar. Strap buttons or locks are made to hold the guitar strap firmly in place, however strap buttons commonly fail, allowing the guitar to fall to the ground.
Meet Art Struck, Matt Burk Music Studio's bass guitar instructor. In considering lessons with Matt Burk Music Studio, schedule an interview (there is no charge for this)! Our instructors will be happy to give you some guidance and suggestions for purchasing an instrument to get started. Click here to connect with Matt Burk Music Studio and request an interview.
Special thanks to Roadside Guitars for the photo.