Fender Bass Buying Guide

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Fender Bass Buying Guide

During the 1950s, Fender released the company's first of many types of bass guitars that have become the standard for the music industry. Fender bass guitars are popular due their adaptability to create music for virtually every music genre. Musicians in the market for a Fender bass guitar should learn about the important buying factors before making a purchasing decision.


Types of Fender Bass Guitars

Fender designs and manufactures several types of bass guitars. As the most popular Fender bass, the Precision guitar features a split humbucking pickup that includes two half coils that wrap in opposite directions to cancel out hum. The Fender Jazz bass guitar comes with two single coil pickups that produce a vibrant sound, especially for treble lines. Fender also offers Custom bass guitars. Custom guitars include features wanted by specific musicians that change tonal richness and sound projection.


Fender Bass Guitar Materials

Fender constructs its line of bass instruments from a wide variety of wood materials, such as ash, maple, and mahogany. The type of wood chosen for a Fender bass determines both appearance and durability. Ash and mahogany provide the longest lasting durability. However, Fender bass guitar buyers can consider other types of wood that have received a coating of laminate over the guitar to prevent moisture rot. The laminate typically includes some type of exotic wood or plastic. The fretted or fretless fingerboard typically features ebony or maple wood to enhance their aesthetic appeal.

Condition of Fender Bass Guitar

Since most of the Fender bass guitars available for sale are second-hand, buyers must be able to determine the condition of the bass guitar. Buyers should search for indicators of use, such as looser than normal strings and imperfections in the wood construction. The neck should not be warped or demonstrate any signs of repaired splits. A warped bass guitar or one with a split or repaired neck negatively influences sound quality. Fender bass guitars in good condition possess firmly attached heads and tuning posts.

The Length of the Bass Scale

The bass scale is the distance between the nut and bridge, which is the position on the instrument where the strings attach at the end of the body. The notched nut sits between the fretboard and headstock. Although the most common Fender bass length is 85 centimetres, the company also offers a short bass length of 75 centimetres. Shorter bass lengths work best for players with small hands who have difficulty playing all of the strings on regular size instrument. Fender also produces electric bass guitars that measure 90 centimetres for the bass scale, which provides players with several more frets.

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