bass-guitarThere are many people who are interested to learn bass guitars, but being new to it do not know how to select the right type. But considering few tips, the selection process becomes all the more easy and quick.

Some useful tips to choose the right type of bass guitar

  • Number of strings: Electric bass guitars can be found in 4 / 5 / 6 strings. It is only the experts who will be eligible to play the high string guitars perfectly. Hence, beginners should start with 4 string guitars, which are considered to be a standard instrument. Throughout the career, about 95% of all bass players are known to use this type only. Why some should transition to 5 / 6 string bass over time. When compared to 4 stringed type ones:
    • 6 strings: The also have B String like that of the 5 string type, besides the additional high C string. It allows more range with progressive and solo plays.
    • 5 strings: They come with additional B string present on low end to allow in-depth bass range providing heavy styled music. .

The extra stringed ones are not preferred by most players since they are unnecessary for all playing styles. They just serve as extra width for the neck portion. This only makes the instrument to become quite difficult to be handled.

  • Scale Lengths: There three general scale length categories in bass guitars, namely,
    • 35” or more: It is the extra long scale.
    • 30” or less: Known as the short scale.
    • 34”: Called the long scale.

Long scale types are considered to be the standard ones and by default is the best option for beginners. The short scaled types are quite ideal for small or young players, since their weight and size can be managed easily.

The side effect noticed with basses is that as it has short strings, they are found to have somewhat darker sound and floppier.

The extra long scale types are used mainly on the 5 / 6 string basses, since added length will be necessary for lower B string.

  • Fretless vs. Fretted: Similar to that of the 5 / 6 string basses. Fretless types are regarded to be another advanced option which may be transitioned by few bass players, only after several years of experience. Metal frets in standard basses are used for marking the spots where fretting is necessary the strings. This is to play a specific note to stay in rhythm with the song. However, it is the player who has to identify and hear the exact notes without any external support. It is quite similar to that of the traditional upright bass, violin or cello. Experts do not advise beginning with fretless bass. This is because:
    • It is on fretted bass that most popular music is played.
    • It is tough to get acquainted with it.

Hence, beginners should choose frets. You may also follow the best bass guitar buying guide on GuitarListy.com for choosing your first guitar.

Jazz Bass vs. Fender Precision Bass: The final aspect to be considered is the model. There does exist hundreds of models in the market. But, only two can be considered, namely,

  • Fender Jazz Bass
  • P-Bass (Fender Precision Bass)

This is because, these are of industry standards since the introduction of electric bass guitar. Moreover, the last few decades have witnessed tremendous change.

Difference between Jazz Bass and P-Bass:

  • Pickup design
  • Neck contour
  • Body shape

It was after 1954 Fender Stratocaster’s shape the body design of the original P-bass had been designed. On the other hand, it was after 1960 Fender Jazzmaster that Jazz Bass had been modeled. Although the difference among the two could be subtle, center of gravity in the Jazz Bass is close to its neck. Thus, it is said to offer better balance.

Precision Bass comes with more consistent width, while having less tapering towards headstock for neck contour. However, steeper taper is present in the Jazz Bass, thus bringing closer the strings towards the nut, thus offering better grip.

The pickup design is considered to be a major significant difference among the two with regards to sound.  There are split four pole single coil pickups in P Bass type, while dual eight pole hambuckers is present in Jazz Bass.

  • Fender vs. Squier: The next aspect to consider is the amount to be spent. This is because, Jazz and P-Bass can be found in numerous sub-models at varying prices. Fortunately, quality instrument can be availed at all price range.

Any of the given below Squier models will be suitable for beginners:

  • Vintage Modified -70’s Jazz Bass
  • Affinity Jazz Bass
  • Classic Vibe ’70s P Bass
  • Classic Vibe 50’s P Bass
  • Affinity PJ Bass

Taking help of the industry professionals can help the beginner to make a well informed and researched approach, helping him to choose the right type of bass guitar.

Photo: Pixabay.com

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