Bass Guitar

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 look for a smaller scale, 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

Xtra Long: 35+ in.

Long (Standard): 34 in.

Medium: 32 in.

Short: 30 in.

Check The Nut Width

The nut is mostly a whit colored plastic 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 the small hand people a disadvantage.

Four String, Five String. . . ?

The very first bass was a four string bass and for many decades, it stayed that way. And so 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 the four and five string bass is that the five string adds a lower string. Here are the tuning for each:

Four String Tuning:

E(top)-A-D-G(bottom)


Five String Tuning:

B(top)-E-A-D-G(bottom)