Bass Guitar Anatomy

This post is for those who just got their bass guitar and need a quick run down of the different parts of the bass and what they do. I will cover most parts of the bass, and try to keep it general and applicable to all types of basses.

The Head   (Pictured Right) 

The head is the (usually) wooden part of the bass farthest away from you. It will contain the tuning pegs, which you use to change the pitch that the strings make.

I recommend that you start to learn bass with standard tuning, which is (from thickest to thinnest) E A D G. The bar that separates the neck from the head is called the nut, and it holds your strings in place.

 

The Neck (AKA The Fret board)

The neck contains all the frets and is the connection between your bass’ head and it’s body (Really creative names, I know). The fret bars represent different pitches, as you can hear when you hold down the string to the fret.

When you replace the strings, make sure you take a damp paper towel and gently wipe down the neck.

 

The Body

The body contains a lot of different parts and functions, but I will try to keep it simple. If you bass has a plastic covering on one side of the strings, that is a pickguard, which is there to prevent you from damaging the bass’ body with a pick (How to play bass with a pick).

The knobs on your bass control tone and volume, and it is different for most basses. Just fiddle with the knobs and find a tone you like, for now.

Under your string will be some plastic boxes, or metal dots, or something along those lines. They are called a pickup, and they take the sound from the strings and take it to the output of your bass, basically.

The hole under your bass or near the bottom of the body is the output jack. Use a 1/4″ cable to hook your bass up to an amplifier.

The bridge is the bar on the opposite end of the nut. Your strings will probably be strung through this area, and help tight by the bridge.

Lastly, the two nubs that come off the side of your bass are for you to attach a bass guitar strap, so you can stand up and play.

 

Inside The Bass

On the back of the bass (the side that is up against your body whilst playing) there should be a cover that is attached by 4-5 screws. I wouldn’t mess around with this unless you know what you are doing or are following a guide!

Over time, it’s possible that the battery in your bass will die out. You just need to unscrew the back plate and replace the battery (most likely a 9v).

Let me know if this need clarification below!

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