So you’ve saved up your cash, and you’re itching to run into the local music shop and buy a bass guitar. Why wouldn’t you be? Saving cash is hard, even for the best of us, and resisting temptation is even harder.
But hold off just a few more minutes, because we want to give you a few tips that will help you to buy the proper bass guitar.
Because, quite frankly, no one likes to waste money on something they’ll be unhappy with, and when you’ve got cash to blow, your mind tends to shuck and jive miles ahead of your common sense.
When you are considering how to buy a bass guitar, the most important thing to do is sit down and play it. But don’t get too excited yet; this is only a quarter of your purchase battle. After you’ve played it, go grab two or three basses within the same price range and play them.
Keep your mind open. This is the hardest part, as many of us make our minds up the instant our fingers touch gold, even if there is platinum just around the corner.
Give all three basses a fair play, and compare their feel. What did you like about each? What did you dislike? What are the differences in build quality?
These are important questions to ask yourself, as they will help you to make a purchase without regret. If you fell in love with your first choice based on looks but one of the other two comparison basses plays better, take into consideration that five months down the road, you aren’t going to think your bass looks as cool anymore. However, the better playing bass will still be playing the same down the road so long as you take proper care of it.
The next thing to consider is a bass guitar amp. If you are trying out a bass and love the tone it produces, be sure you play it through your own personal amp before purchase.
Why? It may sound completely different. Even if this means leaving and coming back the next day, force yourself to deal with it, as disappointment weighs heavier than longing, trust us; if you get home and plug in and the bass sounds bad, you’ll feel like the world has ended.
Next up, check out the details; they will become major concerns if you overlook a slight problem so that you can rush home with a new instrument. Look over the fretwork and make sure that the fret wire is even and level. Also, check out the neck; make sure there are no dimples are divots. Look at the electronics; make sure that the amp jack is sturdy, that the pickups are aligned well.
Finally, you are in the home stretch. If everything is A-Okay and the bass is almost shimmering with great quality workmanship, the last thing you need to do is walk up to the salesperson. Tell them you want a backroom model. The great bass you want has been played by dozens, perhaps hundreds of musicians; a new bass means an in box product.
If the salesperson informs you that they aren’t in stock, it is best for you to order online. It may hurt but take into consideration that most bass players aren’t you; they came to the music store to tool around with the instrument you are about to purchase. This means there could be intonation issues, truss rod issues from drastic tuning changes, and more.
Best to be safe than sorry. Good luck! For a great instructional course to go along with your new bass guitar, you should check out Teach Me Bass Guitar…
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With lessons taught by renowned players like Billy Sheehan, you can now see the exact finger placements and mimic techniques used by the legends themselves.