Whether one is an amateur who had just discovered that exhilarating feeling in making music or a musical pro who had been around for years, choosing the exact instrument for one's own personal use can be an excruciating decision to make. This is true for all musicians, and looking for the right electric bass
guitar is no exception.
Fortunately, we have three practical tips in making such a crucial decision as painless as possible. Simply stated, you just have to know what you need, what you want, and know how to best strike a balance, should there be conflicting issues.
Know What You Need
Since its invention in the 30's over that of the upright variety (double bass), the electric bass guitar has not changed much except for new, continuing improvements. These innovations are simply answers to the specific needs of musicians from different music groups.
Are you comfortable only with the four strings, the five-string kind or would you want the six-string variety?
What strings are best suited for your kind of music --- round wound, flat wound, ground wound? Some music pros swore round wounds give better timbre and sustain. Does your music require such qualities?
What music are you into --- rock, metal, jazz, blues, classical perhaps, or something really new? Are you needed to go solo once in a while like some Latin, funk, fusion and sometimes rock and metal?
Today's manufacturers have a string of specific models made especially for specific music genres. The choices can be confusing, but it is easier if you know what you need.
Know What You Want
For some, this aspect in choosing an electric bass guitar is most important because this is where personal likes and dislikes come in. Again, knowing what you want is one other key.
How do you like the tonal options like the pickups (J/Jazz, P/Precision, DC/Dual Coil, etc.)? What about the amplification and effects?
Each of these has different tonal qualities. They either fit your precise need or you can use them as guide to what you really want, sound-wise.
How do you like your electric bass player --- with or without frets? Which are you most comfortable with? Do you pluck using your fingers? Or do you use a pick?
Which sound are you most happy with? Do you also do some popping, thumping or slapping in your performances?
Know What Is Best Between Your Want and Your Needs
Sometimes, your personal likes and dislikes overpower everything in your decision. Of course, you know it is not healthy and the odds of your choice being wrong go up.
One rule of thumb is balancing between your needs and your wants. It can be tricky sometimes, but once you feel you had the right combination, your electric bass guitar suddenly becomes a treasure.
Again, the question boils down to knowing what you need, knowing what you want and being able to strike a balance between the two.
Come to think of it, our tips might even work just as well on some of our life's choices.
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