Bass Guitar Buyers GuideBass guitars work on exactly the same principle as electric guitars, but they are a fair bit bigger and have fewer strings which are fatter, making the sounds at lower, bass frequencies.
Although acoustic basses do exist, in general the fatter strings on a bass guitar make even less noise when unplugged than electric guitars, and so to hear them properly you really need to plug them into an amplifier.
Bass guitars contain the same components as electric guitars such as pickups, volume and tone controls - but they are modified to respond better to the lower sounds that the strings make.
Bass guitars have become an essential component of modern music (replacing the double bass), helping define the rhythm and low end frequencies of a song, and also adding an extra dimension during solo playing. If you are considering buying a bass guitar in the hope of eventually joining a band, then it may be a wise choice because bass players are always in short supply!
The fatter strings and longer necks of bass guitars make them especially suited to people with a wide finger reach, but we have smaller sized bass guitars for children or smaller players so don't be put off if you are worried by their size!
As is the case with electric guitars, the huge range of different bass guitars available can be broken down into a few typical designs witch have been copied and adapted over the years.
The 4 string Precision and Jazz basses developed by Fender in the 50's became widely accepted as the standard upon which today's guitars are modelled on.
Even today the basic design has remained unchanged, with a simple bolt-on neck construction, 4 strings, volume and tone controls. Precision basses have a staggered humbucker pickup whereas Jazz basses have bar shaped humbuckers - each giving a distinct sound.
From this simple 4 string design there are countless adaptations such as the addition of an extra 5th string for even lower tones, a set neck construction for increased resonance and sustain and also active electronic circuitry for greater control over tone.
If you are just starting out playing the bass guitar then a simple 4 string bass should be fine to learn on, and our starter packs include designs suitable for beginners.
The following is a description of some of the bass guitar kits that we offer,
Encore E4 Bass Guitar Package
From the best known maker of beginners guitar equipment, the Encore E4 Bass Kit is sure to keep you occupied with your music, providing all the accessories you need to get started.
The Encore E4 is a 4 string Precision style Bass Guitar available in a range of colours to suit everyone, and capable of making some funky sounds in the right hands.
The practice amp supplied with this kit is good for home practice and comes with a 3 band graphic equaliser and headphones output.
This kit also comes with a guitar tuner, stand, gig bag, strap and instructional DVD - all wrapped up in an enormous gift box this would make any birthday or Christmas dreams come true!
Encore E20 Bass Guitar Package
This kit is identical to the E4 kit except for the guitar, which is a smaller 7/8ths size model suitable for children up to age 10-11.
This reduced size makes it much easier for smaller arms to reach around to the low frets, and it is also considerably lighter than a full sized bass guitar which can be quite heavy for children.
If you are serious about taking up the bass guitar with a mind to take lessons or perform live then it would be worthwhile considering paying a bit more for a better quality and better sounding instrument.
We have a broad range of bass guitars to choose from, the ESP B50 is probably our most popular from just £189, with good looks too.
Washburn make good basses, the XB Range features 'Active Circuitry' which give extra control over the tone.
Yamaha have a reputation for world class bass guitars, the RBX375 5 string active bass at just £239 gives great value, while the BB414 is a great instrument with a terrific sound.
The Bass Kit
If there is a particular style of bass that you want other than in our starter kits, and want to invest a bit more then this bass kit comes with all the accessories you need to get started.
The Line 6 Lowdown 15 Bass Amplifier is compatible with all of our guitars, and has a good range of sounds and tone controls including a headphones output - we've also included the headphones for those late night sessions!
The stand keeps the guitar out of harms way and the Granite gig bag will avoid damage to your guitar whilst travelling - don't forget to tune your instrument up each time you play with the included QuikTune tuner and with a Planet Waves strap and cable you are free to move!