Bass guitar upgrades are an excellent way to give your instrument a fresh new look. From cosmetic improvements to those that alter how the instrument sounds or feels, there’s something for everyone when it comes to bass guitar upgrades.
No matter which upgrade option you opt for, it is essential that the instrument receives regular maintenance and set up correctly.
Bass guitar strings are one of the most essential components, vibrating to produce music you play. Selecting the correct set is essential for both sound and playability – so it pays off to invest in quality.
When selecting strings for your instrument, there are plenty of brands and gauges to choose from. Consider what tone you want to achieve as well as your playing style when making this decision; taking time to experiment with various sets will help determine which works best for you.
For bassists who like to slap and pop, lighter gauge strings may be better suited. Conversely, those seeking a more slinky sound might opt for heavier gauge sets. Flatwound strings offer another excellent choice as they have a warmer tone similar to an acoustic upright bass.
Elixir Strings are a well-known brand with an extensive selection of coated strings for standard six-string acoustic guitar. Their round-wound bass strings feature the enhanced NANOWEB coating, designed to provide improved durability and grip when hitting hard.
These strings have been specifically designed for bass guitars and offer a bright, clear tone. Their 80/20 (copper/zinc) bronze construction adds warmth to the strings while still offering an unmistakably crisp and bright option that should suit most bassists’ preferences.
These high-quality stainless steel guitar picks come in an assortment of gauges to accommodate different playing styles. If you’re looking to enhance your bass tone, these are sure to give your bass an edge over its competition.
The bridge is an essential element of bass tuning, as it contributes to stability and sustain. A quality bridge will make a big difference when playing, often recommended as part of a full setup but difficult enough for those new to bass playing to tackle on their own.
When considering bass guitar upgrades, pickups and bridges are usually the first items that come to mind. But a new set of tuners can also make an instrument better; they offer precise tuning as well as making it simpler to get in tune quickly. A quality set of tuners will offer your instrument more stability in tune-ups.
Tuners come in many forms, but all work by detecting vibrations of the strings and producing a signal to enable tuning to a reference pitch. Tuners can be handheld, attached to a guitar pedal or clip-on.
The ideal tuners have a high gear ratio to ensure precise tuning every time. If you play in an ensemble, having the correct tuners means not having to worry about your bass getting out of tune and ruining its sound quality.
An investment in a set of tuners for your bass can be a small but significant one, as they will improve its reliability and accuracy. Not only will this make you more comfortable playing your bass, but it may even enable you to play better.
If you’re in search of a great deal on bass tuners, there are many brands and models to choose from. Hipshot has several high-quality aftermarket tuners for various bass models.
These tuners are constructed with high-quality materials and feature a solid gear design, providing smooth operation and long lasting reliability. You can choose between open-gear and sealed tuners, so you can pick which style best fits your bass.
Gotoh bass tuners are another high-quality brand founded in 1960 in Japan and offer several models for various instruments. Their precision and reliability have earned them a place of honor among high-end instrument builders who prefer them for their bass tuners.
If you’re searching for an inexpensive yet effective way to upgrade your bass, clip-on tuners are an ideal option. Not only are they lightweight and portable, but their long battery life means no more worrying about charging time.
When upgrading your bass, one of the most crucial changes you can make is replacing its machine heads. These essential parts play a major role in creating the tone of your guitar and are relatively inexpensive to replace. Plus, there’s an array of styles available.
Tuners are an indispensable piece of hardware for musicians who depend on accurate tuning to maintain the correct tone. There are plenty of options to choose from, so make sure you find the set best suited to your bass.
These are usually screwed onto the headstock and come in a range of designs to accommodate different headstock designs. Some have just one flange, while others feature an angle that fits off to one side; you may even come across some that have pins underneath to prevent them from moving around.
Bass machine heads are typically constructed out of metal and come in a range of finishes to choose from. Chrome, nickel, gold and black are the most common options; however you can also go for something more unique.
Some of the best bass tuners feature sealed gears, which resist corrosion and require less upkeep than open-gear counterparts. While these models may be more durable than their open-gear counterparts, they will need more regular upkeep in the long run.
For instance, GraphTech’s Ratio tuners are an innovation that ensures all strings respond identically to tuning adjustments – even on thicker core strings. While these may be pricier than regular machine heads, serious players will find these investments worth making.
Upgrade your nut for improved bass tone. These can be made of various materials, such as bone or aluminium. Not only do these produce a warmer sounding bass, but they’re an inexpensive upgrade that makes a noticeable difference on stage.
Your bass guitar model can come with either six machine heads in a 6-in-line configuration or three on each side (known as a 3-a-side setup). The most popular option is the 6-in-line arrangement, but other layouts exist too.
Nuts are the main way in which your strings transmit vibration from the strings to the neck and fretboard of a bass guitar, so having an appropriately constructed nut will improve performance, tone, tuning stability, and resonance.
When crafting a nut, musicians typically opt for either bone or synthetic bone (Tusq). Bone nuts have long been the standard choice due to their exceptional durability and compatibility with any type of string.
Some people opt for bone over other materials because it can enhance your guitar’s tone quality. Unfortunately, it’s usually quite expensive and may not last as long as desired.
Tusq nuts make an excellent substitute for bone, as they are synthetic and won’t fade over time like bone does. Furthermore, their sound is brighter than bone’s.
Many people prefer Tusq over bone when selecting their guitar nut, which can be a positive or negative thing depending on your personal tastes and preferences. When picking out the ideal nut for you, there are several factors to consider such as its fit on your guitar; ensure it fits securely and comfortably for optimal performance.
TUSQ is an ideal option for bass players seeking to improve tuning stability and tone without breaking the bank. This synthetic material is self-lubricating, eliminating maintenance requirements while improving tuning precision.
Another benefit of TUSQ is its consistency from one nut to the next. This ensures you know exactly how your nut will sound once it has been cut down and set up.
Finally, TUSQ is an exceptionally durable material that can withstand high volumes of use. This property makes it perfect for bass players who frequently play loud or for extended periods of time.
In many cases, adding graphite lubricant can have a dramatic effect on the tone and sound of your bass. This is because it reduces friction between strings and nuts, encouraging them to return to pitch when vibrating. Furthermore, this reduces the risk of whammy bars becoming stuck in certain positions and potentially harming your instrument.