How to Select a Bass Acoustic Guitar
One of the most popular types of guitars is the , which has a hollow body made of wood that is similar to a bass guitar. The only difference is that it’s larger than an acoustic guitar with steel strings and produces a louder and brighter sound than a classical guitar. Normally, an acoustic bass guitar has a solid top, solid back, and solid sides.
Usually, guitar makers use cedar and spruce to construct the solid wood top while the back and sides are made from mahogany, maple, or rosewood. This is the same instrument used by most folk and country music artists. Nevertheless, even rock and pop stars are now using this type of guitar.
Like typical acoustic guitars, an is fretted. Frets are the raised metal strips you see on the fingerboard underneath the strings. What is the purpose of frets in a bass acoustic? Well, the frets divide the fingerboard into semitone divisions.
Unlike traditional acoustic guitars that have six strings, the bass acoustic only has four strings tuned to notes E, A, D, and G (these are an octave lower than the lowest four strings of the traditional acoustic guitar). Similar to the electric acoustic guitar, a bass acoustic has a pickup, which could be either magnetic or piezoelectric. This means an acoustic bass may be amplified if the guitarist so desires, although it’s much preferable that acoustic bass guitar players never go without amplifiers.
Before you finalize your decision to buy an acoustic bass guitar, it would be a good idea if you pored over several aspects that may have a bearing on your decision. For instance, you need to know that the sound that the bass acoustic guitar would produce would highly depend on the shape of its sound box and the wood used to create it. The guitar produces crispier tones when lightweight wood is used to make it compared to the moody, deep sounds produced when heavier woods are made to construct the guitar. Hence, if you’re buying a guitar with the intention of playing it along with other instruments, you need to choose carefully to ensure that it blends well with the sound of those instruments.
It’s important to be an intelligent buyer who chooses what he wants based on what he knows. One thing you need to keep in mind is that guitar makers choose woods according to the sound velocity properties of a particular wood. As an example, mahogany wood is known to bring out strong solid tones when used as the guitar top. It can also accommodate higher ends of the sound range. Conversely, tops made of rose wood are light; thus, clear and light sounds are produced. Furthermore, since rose wood has very high velocity sound index, it’s perfect for a wide variety of uses in creating a guitar. Guitar players have attested to the fact that a bass acoustic guitar with rose wood top is very playable.
Once you have chosen the perfect wood for your guitar, the next thing you need to consider is the number of frets. Bass guitars usually have 21, 22, or 24 frets. If you’ve been playing the guitar for a long time already, then you probably know the right number of frets that suit your playing style.
It would also be a good idea to hold the guitar just to see how it sits in your hand. This is important since the neck of an doesn’t have a standard shape. It could go from oval to round, with flat variations somewhere in between. The sound that guitars emit relies heavily on the tuning heads at the top of the neck. Therefore, you ought to check if the tuners are easy to turn, keeping in mind that good tuners always account for perfect pitch. It would also do you good to pay attention to the fingerboard, checking to see if it’s coated. A bass acoustic guitar with a coated fingerboard would allow you to get the maximum vibrating sounds as you work your hands up and down the neck.
These are some of the things you need to keep in mind when selecting the ideal acoustic bass guitar to suit your needs.
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