Guitars and Basses
When you want to create your own music or play your favorite tunes, picking up a guitar or a bass can get you started. Guitars and basses come in a variety of colors, wood types, and string types, all of which have an effect on the sound the instrument produces. However, finding the right instrument can be difficult especially if you are beginner or you are looking for your first guitar or bass.
What types of guitars are there?
There are three main types of guitars to choose from:
- Nylon string acoustic guitar: Also known as classical guitars, these instruments are designed for beginners who are learning how to produce pleasant sounds. They can have a flat sound, though this may be desired depending on the type of music you enjoy playing.
- Steel string acoustic guitar: Guitars that have steel springs often have a louder and brighter sound. They are also extremely versatile and can be used to play a variety of different types of music.
- Electric guitar: These types of guitars need an amp to produce the sound. They tend to have narrow frets that require more precise fingering in order to produce the exact notes that you want. However, they also usually have low string action, making it easier on your fingers to play.
What types of basses are there?
If you are looking to purchase a bass, there are two main types of basses to choose from:
- String bass: These basses are used in orchestras and jazz groups. They are often called "double basses" or "upright basses". They create deep sounds that help keep rhythm.
- Bass guitar: Bass guitars come in acoustic and electric options. Acoustic bass guitars have a hollow body and can be played without an amp. Acoustic-electrics are instruments that can be played with or without an amp depending on the sound you want. Finally, semi-acoustic bass guitars are partially hollow and have a violin shape.
What should you consider when looking for guitars or basses?
When looking for a bass or guitar you should consider the following:
- Tone woods: The body of the bass or guitar may be created from a variety of different woods, including maple, poplar, mahogany, ash, or basswood, among others. The different woods create different tones and weights.
- Neck woods: Most necks are made from maple or mahogany. Maple creates a strong, bright sound while mahogany creates fat, warm sounds.
- Fretboard woods: The different types of woods used on the fretboard of a bass or guitar have an impact on the sounds, the warmth of those sounds, and the sustain level.
- Pickups: The pickup on a bass or guitar captures the mechanical vibrations that are produced by the instrument. Single-coil and double-coil pickups create different sounds for different types of music.
- Series: Some brands create different series that feature unique sounds. If you have a brand and series that you like, you may want to get a guitar or bass from that line.