Bass Series #2 - Choosing your first Bass Guitar
How to choose your First Bass Guitar: Part 2
In part one we looked at standard 4 string electric basses that would suit a beginner or first time buyer. In part two of this series, we will investigate other key considerations to ensure you get a great deal.
The obvious question for most people is: “How much should I expect to Pay”?
The old adage “you only get what you pay for” still holds true, but over recent years the quality of entry level instruments has risen greatly while prices have actually come down. You can expect a good quality bass guitar to fall between the $200 and $400 mark.
There are many different brands of guitars in the marketplace, however, you will pay much more for one of the more well know iconic brands whilst many of the lesser known brand names are of equal quality at around half the price. But aside from price, other things to consider are as follows:
Are you buying from an experienced musical instrument retailer?
This is very important because the store owner/salesman would have been in exactly the same position as you when they were buying their first guitar, and will be able to offer both advice and personal experience. More often than not they will have a much better understanding of the needs of a beginner and much better able to steer you in the right direction.
Does the instrument come with warranty and back up service?
Guitars really can be quite a complex piece of kit. Strings can break, tuning issues can arise, and sometimes the unfortunate can happen where your instrument becomes damaged and in need of repair. Purchasing from an experienced retailer can often be reassuring to know that if you do have a problem you have somewhere to go for help. Warranties for most instruments are usually for 1 year from the date of purchase, but some can be 3 years and even up to 5 years on professional models.
Does the instrument come with a quality bag or case?
A good quality bag or case is definitely a ‘must have’. Even if you don’t plan on doing any travelling with your guitar, if you are just transporting your guitar in the back of the car to a jam session with your mates, you will still need to make sure it is well protected. Plus, a good sturdy case helps to provide a safe haven for your guitar even when packed away at home.
Staying in Tune.
One final piece of kit which is often overlooked is a guitar tuner. These are available in 2 basic designs. The first is a portable battery operated tuner which features a built in microphone. This unit picks up the sound of the bass guitar and indicates on a digital display whether the guitar is in tune or what adjustments are needed. The second type is the more popular option and is known as a clip-on tuner. This type clips onto the headstock of the bass and picks up vibrations rather than sound, and is much more efficient when tuning your bass where there’s a lot of background noise.
Do they offer a pack price?
Rather than purchase these items separately, some dealers may have a pack price where they include a bag, strap, tuner, and even an amplifier to ensure you have everything you need right from the very start. Buying everything together in a bundle may save you around 10-20% of the total price so it is definitely something to investigate.
Don’t forget to give Choo a call on 03 95782426 if you have any bass guitar queries. Choo is our resident bass expert with many years experience in the music industry, and more than happy to help any young budding bass player get off to a flying start.