Buying a Bass Guitar – Parts of a Bass Guitar You Should Know About

So you feel that you are ready for buying a bass guitar, but your not quite sure where to start? Well before you just walk into a guitar store and buy the first bass guitar they give you, it would be wise to gather up a little knowledge about the different variations you will likely encounter.

Here are some important terms and features that would be a good idea to get familiar with before you choose your first bass.

Scale Length

The scale length is measured in inches and refers to to vibrating length of the bass strings. The longer the neck is on the bass will mean that the scale length will be longer. A bassist with small hands will want to buy a smaller scale bass, because large scale bass guitars have more distance between each fret, and this will make it difficult for them to stretch their fret hand far enough.

Most Common Scale Lengths For Electric Bass Guitars

Xtra Long: 35+ in.

Long (Standard): 34 in.

Medium: 32 in.

Short: 30 in.

Check The Nut Width

The nut is part of the bass located at the top of the guitar neck. It is usually a plastic, white-colored component with grooves that guide the strings to the tunning pegs. The nut width is simply the width of the neck at the nut. Again, a wider nut will only give someone with small hands a disadvantage.

Four String, Five String…?

The very first bass invented was a four string bass, and for many decades, it stayed that way. floyd rose Today, a bass guitar is available in 4, 5, 6, all the way to 12 string. The four and five string bass are the two most common configurations, but it will depend on what style of music you play. The difference between a four and five string is that the five string adds a lower B string. Here are the tuning for each:

Four String Tuning:


Five String Tuning:


3 Most Common Bass Pickups

Pickups are electromagnetic coils that sense the movement of a string that is played. The pulse is then converted into an electronic signal that your amp recognizes. There are three styles that are the most common.

Single-Coil – These are more of the traditional form of pickups, but are awesome. They give a Fender Jazz and Precision Bass tone.
Humbucking – give a fat hot sound with these dual-coil pickups. The two coils combine and eliminate hum for a more quiet operation.
Noiseless – These pickups are a combination of the previous two. They have an authentic single-coil tone, but with the quietness of the humbucking pickup.
When it comes to buying a bass guitar, you must remember that basses and people come in different shapes and sizes. For this reason, it is a very good idea to test out many different styles so that you can get the feel of what is comfortable for you.



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