The bass is an essential element in virtually every genre of popular music. Arguably, no other instrument is so universally employed. Whether you’re interested in playing rock, pop, R & B, country, jazz, or numerous other styles, they all call for a bass.
If you’re interested in eventually becoming a working musician, this makes choosing the bass as your primary instrument a very smart idea. While every town in the country is full of aspiring guitarists and singers, for instance, bassists are somewhat less common. Every band needs one, though, so a competent bass player will always be in high demand.
Types of Wood
The body and the neck of virtually every bass is made from wood. Often, different varieties are used for these two primary components. Wood choices are based both on aesthetics and functional characteristics. Different types of wood provide subtle, but detectable variations in sound quality. Some popular varieties of wood include maple, ash, rosewood, alder, and — appropriately enough — basswood.
Number of Strings
The vast majority of bass guitars feature four strings. You can’t go wrong with this classic arrangement — four strings is enough to play any song or type of music. Five and six string basses are also commonly available, though. They have the advantage of offering a wider range of tones (higher and lower notes.) While there’s nothing wrong with a person of any skill level playing one of these instruments, most experts recommend starting with a four string bass. This is simply because it will be a little easier to manage as you are starting out.
A quality used bass is a great choice for beginners. Stores such as Bass Central offer many used basses in various styles and at a wide range of different price points.