Buying your first bass guitar will be an exciting event. It is a great instrument to learn how to play and a well-made bass can last a lifetime. Playing the bass has the added benefit of making it easier to learn how to play a 6 string guitar later on. If fact, many of the best rock and roll bass players are excellent guitarists as well. Besides choosing the right bass guitar for you, we are going to look at some of the accessories that you will want to consider to compliment your new axe.
Bass Guitar Cases
Bass guitar cases are critical because you will want to protect your new investment. You will need, and appreciate, a sturdy bass guitar case. There are various styles and materials to choose from and your decision should be based on how you plan on using your guitar. The lower-end cases are very thin and don’t offer much protection, not very helpful if you plan on toting your bass around town but fine for protecting your guitar around the house. The sturdier cases are molded and padded on the inside. They usually have a hard shell and the padding keeps the bass secure, although some manufactures have released soft shell cases with a hard shell beneath the outer covering. I’d highly recommend a molded case if you will be doing a lot of traveling.
Bass Guitar Tuner
You need to keep your guitar in tune and there are various types of electronic guitar tuners available on the market. They will range in price from lower end tuners at $10 up to high-end versions that go for $100 or more. The less expensive tuners will get the job done but you do need a good ear to tune perfectly with them. The more expensive units are calibrated much more and will give you exact tunings, but at a higher price. If you’re a beginner, it’s probably safe to stick to a low-end model until you become better at playing the bass.
Extra Bass Strings
For the most part bass guitar strings are relatively sturdy but it doesn’t hurt to keep some spare strings in your case. You never know when a string will break and missing a string can make it really difficult to play. There are several types of bass strings available to include flatwound, roundwound, and groundwound as well as some nylon strings for acoustic bass. You need to play with the different types to find out which is best for you.
Bass Guitar Straps
Some bass guitars already come with a strap included but you are probably going to want to buy a different one, maybe with a design that catches your eye. There are various types of straps to choose from with the most popular guitar straps are made of leather or suede. Many are often woven and come in a variety of colors to suit your whim or fancy, you just need to make sure that they are sturdy, especially if you move around a lot while playing. If you are watching you expenses you can always choose a good basic polyester or vinyl strap.
Bass Guitar Picks
Out of all of the accessories you can have for your bass, the pick is probably the one you will use the most, at least at the beginning. Picks come in thousands of designs and colors, as well as in different thicknesses. Like guitar strings, the choice is usually a personal preference. Some bass players insist on thick picks, some like thin, some don’t use a pick at all. As you become more familiar with your instrument you will decide which pick is best for you. Having multiple guitar picks always comes in handy.
The last accessory that you will need to add is a lesson plan of some sort. There are a lot of great DVD sets and books to help you learn how to play the bass. Read some reviews and look at your local music store for beginning bass lesson programs. Whichever one you buy, study it and play your bass! The old saying that “practice makes perfect” applies here.