As a musician, there are times where you'll be required to play a ton of acoustic gigs. I'm pretty sure that it will be hard to figure out your new role in your band. How will you make it sound good and keep it grooving? You can achieve all this if you have the best acoustic bass guitar.
You have to be prepared with an amplifier because ABG's, as they are commonly known, can't usually be heard in a live situation unless they are plugged in. It's good to know that there is no such thing as a loud ABG. It's a lie. When unplugged, they'll sound good when playing at home. But when plugged in, this is when the question of which is better comes in.
I prepared this comprehensive review and guide to help a beginner or experienced guitarist select a top quality ABG. Keep reading to find more details and the best recommendations.
How We Choose Top Products
We spent several hour testing and researching on different acoustic bass guitars. Here are some guidelines that helped us land on the best acoustic bass guitars.
The number of strings. Bass guitars come with four, five and six strings. New players should probably start with 4-string guitars as it is adequate for most musical styles. They have smaller necks than five and six-string basses which makes them easier to handle and learn with.
Consider scale length. The most common scale length is 34". For players with small hands, a short-scale bass, such as the 30" Fender Mustang, is best.
Fretted or fretless bass? The necks of standard bass guitars are fretted. These frets, where the fingerboard is divided by metal frets into half-step increments, make it easy for new players to see where each note is played on the neck.
A fretless bass, on the other hand, has a smooth neck as that of a violin. Players who play a fretless bass rely on a well-trained ear and muscle memory. A fretless bass has a smooth and warm sound.
Bass tone woods. The resonance of your bass guitar will be highly impacted by the type of wood used in the body of the bass guitar. Some of the wood used in bass guitars include:
Ash- this wood produces a bright and full sound. There are several species of ash wood but swamp ash is more desirable because of its beautiful grain.
Mahogany- this is quite popular for bass guitars. The sound produced is soft and warm. It is heavier on your shoulder due to its density.
Alder- creates a balanced tone. The sound is clear and very full.
Maple- a dense wood. The sound produced is well-sustained. The clear and bright tone produced is valuable in a studio setting.
Basswood. This is usually used on less expensive bass guitars. The wood does not resonate as much as the others because it is softer. It may produce a flat sound.
3. Dean EAB Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar- Satin Natural
If you are a beginner bass player, consider this guitar as the best. It is loud enough such that you might not need an amp. This bass guitar suits jam sessions especially when you are playing with other acoustic guitars without fear of being drowned out.
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Weight: 7.75 pounds
Body material: spruce
Product dimensions: 6 ×18 ×51 inches
Color name: satin natural
Guitar pickup configuration: piezoelectric
Features and benefits
Diecast dean tuners: The tuners ensure that your guitar stays in tune all the time for the best sound quality.
Celluloid rosette and rosy binding: This will enhance the overall appearance of your bass and provide a visual contrast to the rest of the body. This rosy binding will protect your guitar edges from impact and moisture damage.
Dean passive preamp with volume and treble controls: For a clear sound, this is the perfect preamp for you. It will clean up the signal coming through the amp for a better sounding sound.
With its preamp which has volume and treble controls, you can be sure that your sound will sound better coming through the amp because the signal will be cleaned up.
With its piezoelectric pickups, your bass will not pick up any other magnetic fields such as feedback from monitoring loops.
It is loud enough to be played without an amp.
Rich, soft and warm sound due to it mahogany body.
34" scale length means that it can be played by beginners and pros as well.
People with small hands will not be able to play this instrument comfortably because of its 34-inch scale length.
You can get unnatural tones because piezos mostly detect movement of the string and not the soundboard.
This is a versatile acoustic-electric guitar which is perfect for beginners who are ready for a jam session in their living rooms. It is loud, with clear and rich sounds and best of all, you can play with or without an amp.
This 4-string bass is a pretty hot number with its nice balance and feel. And it has a pretty friendly price.
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Item weight: 9 pounds
Product dimensions: 40 × 3 ×12 inches
Body material: basswood
Guitar pickup configuration: combination
Features and benefits
One piece maple neck: Maple is known for its durability and strength. So, in this, you have a strong guitar. It is more vibrant than let's say, mahogany.
Rosewood fretboard: The go-to material for the fretboard. Gives your sound a smoothness and warmth.
Single-coil and split-coil pickup combination: For a bright and focused sound, this combination is the best. With the split-coil, you'll have a high-frequency response with a little less hum canceling though.
Perfect for beginners with its 4 strings
Well-sustained, clear and bright tone from the maple it is made from
Little resonance from the basswood body because it is a soft wood.
34-inch scale length. Perfect for everyone.
Bright and focused sound from the combination pickup configuration.
May produce a flat sound due to the soft basswood tonewood.
This is one of the most straightforward bass guitars with its finish and body shape. It is inexpensive with its Agathistonewood. So, if you are looking for a bass on a budget, this is the perfect for you.
For you to find the best acoustic bass guitar, here are a few things you should check before you buy that new ABG you've had your eye on:
Maintenance: Invest in humidifiers to ensure your guitar is the right condition. That hollow body of the guitar requires humidity. The recommended room temperature should be between 45-50 degrees.
A nice amp: Those tiny 25-watt speaker combos will make your enthusiasm for playing your bass wane. Invest in an amp with at least 60 watts of power will make your bass sound good and it will motivate you to play it.
Fret wrap and fump: These are recommended though not necessarily a requirement. You'll need them, especially when you are in a loud environment and there will be feedback from the bass.
Gig bag: Not all the bags you find will fit your acoustic bass guitar. You may need a custom-made one for your bass' specs.
In playing your bass, you should always put the music first. When there is no drummer and you are playing an acoustic gig, you should take slightly more rhythmic roles in such a situation. The best acoustic bass guitar should provide a nice melodic bed for everything else. You can try any of the above guitars for the best sound quality.