Tips For Buying Your Son Or Daughter’s First Bass Guitar

If your child is interested in playing bass guitar, then a band workshop is something that can help your child with the basics. If your child is interested in a workshop, then they will need an instrument and some other basic accessories. Keep reading to learn about a new things your child will need.

Bass Guitar

It goes without saying that your son or daughter will need a bass guitar, and a beginner instrument may be a good choice. There are some fairly inexpensive beginner options, but there are a few essentials that you want to look for when choosing a bass. A bolt on neck is one of these things. A bolt on neck, like the name implies, means that the neck is bolted directly to the guitar body. This allows for a secure connection that cannot be shifted with pressure or stress. Necks that shift are more likely to bend and this can cause issues with string tension and the way the strings sit over the fretboard. A bolt on neck also allows for a small bit of overlap between the body and the neck too, and this helps with sustained vibration of the strings and a more consistent sound. 

When looking at basses, you may notice that the instrument is extremely long. A typical bass guitar neck from the top of the nut to the bottom edge of the bridge is usually 34 inches. This is called a standard scale bass guitar and it is often too long for children with shorter arms and smaller hands. To help your child learn, opt for a short scale bass. These guitars also feature looser strings that are easier for children to manipulate until the hands build strength. Many popular guitar brands, like Fender, offer these short scale bass guitars. 

You may notice a variety of electronics on the basses you look at too, like pickups. The most common pickups are called humbucker and single-coil. The different pickups do create a slightly different tone. However, this is not a factor that needs to be considered by a beginner. Most beginner bass guitars and inexpensive models will have one or two single-coil pickups, and this is more than acceptable for your child's first bass. 

Strings And Cleaning Supplies

The good news is that strings do not break nearly as often on bass guitars as they do on traditional guitars. All of the strings on a bass guitar are wound strings that consist of a single core wire with a another wire wrapped around it. These wires are thick, strong, and are able to withstand a great deal of stress and tension. 

While the strings do not often break, they will sometimes corrode or rust. Also, the strings will collect the oil and the skin cells from your child's hands. Over time, the debris can make the strings sound dull with far less reverberation. Some professionals will inform students to change their strings when they start to sound dull. Ideally a complete change will happen once every three to four months to once a year. To prepare for the change, make sure to purchase bass strings at the same time as the bass. This will allow you to purchase the same gauge and type that are already secured on the instrument. It will also help your child in case one of the strings actually does break.

If the workshop teacher or other instructor advises students to clean their strings, then this should usually occur about once every three to four months. Purchase cleaning supplied to help with this. Denatured alcohol and a cotton cleaning cloth can be used for cleaning. Since the alcohol is flammable and toxic if consumed, consider speaking with your child's music teacher to learn how you can clean the strings yourself, so your child does not have to. 

A small bit of mineral oil on the strings can help to return the luster to the strings after the cleaning, so buy a small container of the oil at your local music store.

If you want to know more about bass guitars and the best instrument and supplies to purchase for a beginner, make sure to speak with a band workshop director or another music professional at places like Yamah Music Canada


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