As a bassist, your bass guitar is your most valuable tool. That being said, you should learn to treat it as such. Learning to take proper care of your bass will not only extend its life, but it will also allow you to have the best playing bass possible.
In this article, I will go over the most important bass guitar maintenance routines that will help you to make sure your bass lives as long as your playing does.
First off, the neck; the bass guitar neck is one of the most overlooked parts when it comes to maintenance. It is also the part we tend to use the most. This means that you should be taking the time to clean your neck at least once a month.
If you have a solid maple neck with a maple finger boards, the best thing to do is remove the strings and scrub away at those frets using guitar cleaner on a tooth brush. Be sure to get both sides of the fret wire, as gunk tends to build up around it. This can cause calcium deposits to build up, and will introduce rust and erosion.
If you have a rosewood or ebony wood fret board, your job will be a bit more. After you clean off your frets using the tooth brush (make sure you get in between each and every grain, too) you will need to bathe your fret board in some lemon oil.
This needs to be done every three months at most. It helps your fret board stay healthy. Too much will cause your fret board to ooze. You still need to scrub your fret board down every month, but the lemon oil only needs to be applied four times a year.
When the lemon oil soaks in (really soak those frets and allow it to sit for about ten minutes) wipe away the access oil.
Another great way to keep your neck in shape is to change your strings often. A pack a month will cost you, on average, twelve dollars a month. That isn’t too bad in the long scheme of things when it comes down to keeping your bass healthy.
Make sure to clean the body (in between the horns, around the jacks) each time that you clean the neck.
When you are finished with your neck and body, clean out your tremolo system. You can use WD40 or a similar product. The key is to remove all of the saddles and pull apart the tremolo system entirely. This only needs to be done quarterly, so you can time it with your lemon oiling to keep track of your cleaning.
Use cotton swabs to get into the cavities, and a tooth brush (coated in the cleaner) to scrub down each part of your tremolo system. This will keep it in great working order for years to come.
It all comes down to taking the time. If you can sacrifice a couple hours every three months, and for the neck, a half hour every month, you can keep your bass guitar in perfect shape. It’s all up to you.
If you want to a shortcut to bass playing success, Teach Me Bass Guitar is everything you will ever need. It is the ultimate DVD program that takes you step by step from a beginner to becoming an advanced player. For a limited time, get a WHOPPING 25% off the massive course…