Bass Guitar Buying Guide for Beginning and Intermediate Players

Posted by | Posted in General | Posted on 26-07-2011-05-2008


Bass Guitar Buying Guide for Beginning and Intermediate Players


There are a number of different types of basses, but the two most common groups are the stand-up basses (or string bass) and bass guitars (both acoustic and electric). Source:

A stand-up bass is widely used in classical applications and sometimes in blues or jazz bands. It is enormous instrument that the player stands on its end and plays standing up. Increasingly, the stand-up bass is being used in acoustic groups that tend to play more popular music as well.

More common, however, is the bass guitar. Bass guitars come in two primary variants – the electric bass and the acoustic bass. There are even acoustic-electric bass guitars.

Electric bass guitars function on the same principle as electric guitars where the body is normally solid, and electronic pickups are used to capture the string vibrations and transmit them to an amplifier which then increases the volume of the signal. Electric bass guitars aremost common in the 4-string variant, but are increasingly being found in 5 and 6 string models. These instruments are still tuned an octave lower, however the additional strings provide the accomplished player with more options for expanding their playing. As noted, electricbasses require bass guitar amplifiers to amplify their signal. Source:

Similar to the acoustic guitar, the acoustic bass guitar has a large sound cavity that is normally constructed of wood and a sound-hole that projects the sound made by plucking or strumming the strings. Acoustic bass guitars are sometimes thought of as impractical to a band as their projection is somewhat limited, however the quality and resonance of the tone is what keeps many bass players interested. Many groups that like to put on an acoustic show will include an acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, and bongos or congas for percussion. You can also mic an acoustic bass if you’re going for an interesting sound. Source:

Add a piezo or other pickup to an acoustic bass and guess what you’ve got? That’s right, acoustic basses also come in an acoustic-electric variant which really gives you the flexibility to run through a pa system or amplifier, as well as gain the benefits of the acoustic tone. We’ve seen several jazz bands taking this approach, and again, normally amplified bands that appeared on MTV’s series Unplugged. Ideally, this is the model that you would want if you are looking for the benefits of both. Source:

While this can certainly be a very personal choice, you’re probably going to want to start with an electric bass guitar. This variant is the most widely used, it’s the easiest to play, andmost common. Also, if you are a beginner, we’d recommend you stick with a 4 string model to learn and improve on. Sometimes it’s better to keep things simple, and the 4 string electric bass is the way to go.

If you are tempted by the idea of an acoustic bass, we’d highly recommend you at least go with an acoustic-electric, and preferably, one with as large a surface area as possible on the body. This will help project when you’re not amplified and at least the instrument will have the electronics built in if you ever decide you need to plug it in.

Unless you’re an accomplished bass player, we’d recommend you stay away from anything higher than 4 strings. It’s better to keep it simple, and with more strings, comes more complication. Additionally, 5 and 6 stringbasses can be harder to play and have a much wider fretboard, which can be a challenge for small or inexperienced hands. Unless you’re comfortable and have been playing a while, we wouldn’t recommend it. On the other hand, if you are an experienced bassist, you may want to consider a 5 or 6 string bass. The instrument will give you more range and flexibility to showcase your talents, and also provide more ranges and octaves for you to work with in your playing. Bass soloing has really caught on in the last few decades and to really impress, it’s better to have the additional strings and range.


Scale is used to indentify the length of the bass from the nut to the bridge. Obviously the longer the distance the more vibration you can expect and therefore longer length strings can allow you to play much deeper tones. While most bass guitars are about 34 inches long, there are incrementally shorter and longer varieties that are much a matter of personal choice. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that as your scale length grows, so does the amount of flexibility needed to accurately play those notes. That’s right, with scale increases, come increases in distance between the frets – so be careful, although it might seem cool and challenging to play a longer scale bass, you could end up looking sloppy in your style if take this route.

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking at bass guitars, you’ve probably noticed a preponderance of the Fender P and J models. Available in both American and internally made models, these electricbasses have almost become the standard others have been measured by. Don’t limit your choices though! Other manufacturers make great basses as well, including Gibson, Epiphone, Dean, and Warwick on the high end. Source:

For bass guitar reviews of specific brands, please visit the bass guitars page on MusicGearReview. This is a site by musicians and for musicians with over 10,000 music equipment reviews submitted by real musicians to help you research before you buy or make a purchase. We provide tips from our readers as well as for them. Source:


Chris Bereznay owns a website called “MusicGearReview.Com” which is a great source for musical instrument and gear reviews. If you are looking for bass guitars that lets you give quality products and provides you superb satisfaction, then this is the best place for you. Also Visit our bass guitar reviews to know more about bass guitar.

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