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Should a guitar player own a bass guitar? Yes.

In my videos you periodically see a keyboard in view. Sometimes when I'm writing songs I use that for drum and bass tracks. However with certain songs, I need the real-deal electric bass guitar, and that's why I own one.

If you know how to play guitar, even if you're just a beginner, playing the bass isn't that difficult. The reason you want a bass guitar is the same reason I did - because it sounds better compared to a keyboard or detuning your electric guitar way down for the bass notes (which will sound awful).

My suggestion to anyone who wants to put a bass guitar in their collection is to buy the cheapest one that sounds good. It's not like you're going to play it very often, so it makes no sense to put any real money into it.

The only thing you really have to be concerned with is the pickup configuration. In my experience, the configuration to go for is either straight/straight or straight/split-coil.


straight/straight bass pickup configuration


straight/split-coil bass pickup configuration

If the bass only has split-coil or only straight, don't buy it because you'll hate it, and it will sound "loggy" to you. The combination of straight/straight or straight/split-coil makes a world of difference because it covers the most range of tones that a guitar player would want. You can do anything from blues to rock to metal to country and everything else when you have one of the two bass pickup configurations.

Also, don't talk to bass players about buying a bass. You're a guitar player, and you want something that plays easy, won't wreck your fingers and can be played with a pick.

The best bass guitar for a guitar player is a cheap 4-string with one of the two pickup configurations listed above. This will be a bass you can record with easily.

4-string bass guitars that you'll like as a guitar player

(5-string models will be listed after these for those who want one of those)

5-string bass guitars that you'll like as a guitar player

The only reason you'd want a 5-string is for the low B on top. Rock and metal players particularly like having that super-low B note, so if that's your thing, here's some 5-strings to check out:

Published 2012 Jan 19

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