When you want to become a master bass guitar player like Paul McCartney and Flea, having your own instrument is the best way to start carving your path to greatness.
Getting the best bass guitar is a must if you want to be skilled in playing this instrument. It is also the first challenge you have to overcome as you begin your journey to becoming a bassist.
This is because bass guitars are one of the most difficult types of musical instruments to buy. They tend to be more expensive as well.
As such, you have your work cut out for you when you start shopping for your first bass guitar.
Nailing the Bass Guitar Shopping Process on Your First Try
If you want to have a stress- and hassle-free experience as you buy your first bass guitar, make sure you avoid these five common shopping mistakes:
1. Buying the cheapest bass guitar
Choosing the least expensive instrument to purchase is the biggest mistake first-time buyers make.
When buying your first bass guitar, it is crucial that you get a quality instrument since cheap, poorly manufactured ones tend to lack the rich sound it is known for. They do not hold tune correctly, which can cause improper learning.
When you have an instrument that causes you to learn poorly, you will take longer to master it. Your confidence may even take a beating, which can lead to frustration and the loss of motivation.
Additionally, cheap, poor-quality bass guitars tend to get damaged easily.
If you want to have an excellent instrument that can last for years, choose one that is reasonably priced and that boasts of superior craftsmanship.
2. Choosing a brandless bass
Rushing to buy a bass guitar to start your lessons is not a good reason to buy an off-brand guitar. Even if it is not the cheapest one you find on the market, it is still best to get one that is made by proven manufacturers.
By doing so, you will be sure your instrument will give you excellent sound and quality for years. Additionally, you can rely on a warranty, too.
Your confidence will also soar higher if you play a recognized brand — one that is known and trusted for producing high-quality, spot-on tones.
If you need to postpone buying a bass guitar for a few more months to save more money and increase your budget, do so. The wait will be worth it since you will get a well-manufactured instrument from a trusted brand that will function properly and sound the way it should.
3. Not considering the genre you want to get into
Different brands and types of bass guitars produce varying sounds. Because of this reason, some instruments are more suited for certain genres than others.
If you want to get the right guitar, think about which genre or discipline you want to get into first. If you like rock or metal, look for a bass that has a powerful sound with a lot of resonance. In case you prefer jazz or blues, choose a bass that is known for its mellow, smoother tones. Jazz bass guitars are ideal for these musical genres.
But if you are not sure yet about which style of music you want to play, a precision bass or P-Bass is a versatile guitar that you can use as to learn to master this musical instrument and find out which genre you want to get into.
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4. Getting a bass guitar with five or more strings
Since it’s your first time to buy a bass, you may be tempted to choose one with five strings because it looks cool, or the sales staff is encouraging you to get it. Giving in to this temptation is another mistake you have to avoid at all costs.
A four-string bass is the best option for inexperienced bass players. This is because it is easier to learn and master.
Moreover, this is the most common type of bass guitar used in any kind of genre and even by professionals.
The extra strings undoubtedly add a wider range of notes. However, they can be harder to learn. The bigger neck width will make it more difficult to hold and manipulate as well.
If you want to buy a five- or six-string bass, do it later when you are a more experienced player.
5. Skipping online stores
Although there are several benefits to buying your first bass guitar from a brick-and-mortar store, avoid limiting your choices to the ones you find in these shops. Look at the different brands and products offered online as well.
Check the online shops of reputable retailers of guitar instruments. You will likely find more brands and types that you won’t see in brick-and-mortar music supply stores.
You will have a higher chance of scoring great deals and discounts, too.
Moreover, most instruments sold online come with guarantees and warranties as well. If you are not satisfied with the product, you can return it and ask for a refund or replacement, depending on the terms and conditions.
If you want to be sure you will get the best bass guitar on your first purchase, visit the musical instrument stores in your location and online shops that deliver in your area.
When you take note of and avoid the mistakes above, you can zero in on the perfect bass guitar without spending a lot or compromising on quality. You will be on the right path to being an exceptional bassist, too.