Drawing Parts of an Electric Bass
The electric bass is made up of several parts and components, and one of the first questions that all beginner bass players usually ask is: what are the parts of the electric bass?
If you are starting in the world of the 4 strings, and you want to know how many parts a bass has, what is its name and, above all, what is each one for (what is its function), you have come to the right place.
So pay attention, because we are going to review with you clearly and quickly what parts and components make up an electric bass. An essential article to examine and understand where this instrument is, how it works and sounds, and how to identify the most important parts to take care of, replace, etc.
All the Parts of an Electric Bass
The first thing you should know is that there are different models of basses.
Does this mean that my bass has parts that others don’t? Basically, NO. All electric basses have the same parts.
What varies from one to another are the components or parts that are attached to each of these parts. And this must be clear.
Thus, we can say that a bass guitar is formed by 2 types of elements as differentiated as united between them
The Parts of a bass guitar
We call Parts of an electric bass the basic pieces with which the instrument is made. Those that constitute the instrument itself.
That is to say, the electric bass, like the guitar has 2 parts or essential pieces:
Of course, there are some types of basses that are built with only one piece. But this is another matter that we will discuss in detail in the corresponding article.
The Components of a bass guitar
We call Components of a bass guitar all the parts that are found in the different parts of the electric bass guitar, and that can vary from one model to another.
That is to say, although all bass guitars usually have the same components, this is not always the case, or they do not necessarily have to be the same (neither in appearance nor in performance).
So the components of the bass, like those of the guitar, or many other instruments, can vary in number or types.
A clear example, which we will see below, are the types of pickups, the number of frets, the tuning pegs, the tone controls, etc.
Of course, while the parts are fundamental, and most of the components as well, there are parts such as the pickguard that may be optional, or depend on the manufacturer.
So, if we make this clear distinction between “parts” and “components”, we can summarize everything in the following list or Classification of bass guitar parts.
Complete List of Electric Bass Parts
In the following list you will find the most complete classification of bass guitar parts on the Internet – up to 17 parts make up your favorite stringed instrument!
(You can click on each of the parts and components in this list to go to the detailed description of each one).
However, if you are just starting with the electric bass, here are all the components and parts of a bass, fixed and variable, that you can find in this instrument.
Detailed description of the parts that make up an electric bass:
The neck, also called neck, is together with the body one of the most important parts of the electric bass.
In fact, it is a fundamental part that serves as a support for the fingerboard, the frets, the pegs and the core. And thanks to the neck we can:
Hold the instrument.
Tune the strings.
Articulate the notes.
But it is not only that, it also fulfills the vital function of transmitting the vibration of the strings to the body. If you want to know more, do not hesitate to consult our detailed guide about the necks and their types.
The headstock, also called the headstock, is the upper end of the neck. The part where the strings are attached.
It is a fixed part within the solid structure of the neck, and in it, the most important component that we can find are the tuning pegs.
Tuning pegs (Tuning Machines, Tuners or Tuning Pegs)
The tuning pegs, Tuning Machines, Tuning Pegs, Tuning Machines, Tuning Pegs, or simply Tuners, are nothing more than individual screws that allow us to adjust the tension of the strings.
Or what is the same, the essential components to be able to tune the electric bass by manipulating the tone they produce when vibrating.
Of course, you may have already seen one of those basses or guitars that do not have a headstock, and therefore do not have pins.
Don’t panic, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have pins. Remember that these are nothing more than endless screws, with which we control the tension of the strings.
In the instruments without headstock, although they are said to have fixed tuning, it is obviously not so. They have screws at the end of the neck or handle with which it is configured.
The String Guide is a component that is located on the side of the headstock, usually between the first string and the second string.
Well, and you may ask, what the hell is that lead screw for?
Well, as its name indicates, it helps to guide the direction of the strings so that they fit perfectly in the nut slots.
That’s the easy explanation, of course. Do you want to know what else this component does? Well friend/bassist, many will not believe it, but this screw helps the thinner strings of the electric bass to be tighter, and therefore, have a greater sound (remember that the thicker the strings, the more tension, and more power).
The capo, also called capo nut, is the piece located at the top of the neck, before the headstock.
Its function is to hold the strings in the air, or to function as rails to keep them always in the same position and distance between them.
It is usually a bone piece in mid and high range basses, or plastic in low range basses. And depending on the material, it influences the vibration of the neck.
The fretboard is the sheet of wood where the frets and the position markers are placed (in most basses they are the circles that mark the number of frets).
It is one of the most unknown parts for beginner bassists, as it is usually the same color and/or wood as the neck, and it is not easily distinguishable to the naked eye.
Nevertheless, this plate or fingerboard is the piece that configures the front curvature of the neck.
The frets, also called Frets, are those metal bars found on the fingerboard.
They serve to separate the notes, and to know where you have to press to play each one of them.
They also influence the vibration of the strings, modifying the tonality of the instrument. That’s why a fretless bass sounds different.
Core (Truss rod)
The core of the electric bass, also called Truss Rod, is a metal bar (steel) located inside the neck, and it is very important.
This rod runs along the entire neck of the bass, from the nut to the body, and controls the tension of the neck.
That is to say, its function is to ensure that the wood remains straight with the passage of time, climatic changes, or use. Although depending on the bass, or preferences of the bassist, it can be used to control the curvature of the neck.
The body, along with the neck, is the other most important part of the electric bass.
It is the central part of the bass, and is where most of the parts of the instrument are located.
But the body is not only important because it houses so many components, it also plays a fundamental role in the acoustics or sound of the bass, resonance and sustain.
Therefore, depending on its shape, size and, above all, the wood used, this piece will provide some sound qualities or others to the instrument in general.
The pickguard, also known as pickguard, is a completely optional part or piece in the constitution of the bass.
For example, it is a very characteristic element in Fender or Squier basses, but not so much in other big brands such as Ibanez or Warwik.
Simply put, the pickguard’s function is to protect the body.
So it is a part that protects it from wear and tear when playing, especially among bassists who play with a pick or pickguard, beginners, and those who are not too careful.
The pickups, also called pickups in English, are what we could define as the microphones of the electric bass.
They are used to detect the vibration of the strings, as long as they are made of metal. The pickups are, in a very basic way, magnets that pick up the vibration of each string and convert it into an electrical signal.
There are different pickups, although the most common is to include two: one closer to the neck, and the other closer to the bridge. The pickup closer to the neck is the bass pickup, and the one closer to the bridge is the treble pickup.
The bridge, known in English as Tailpiece or simply Bridge, is the fixed part where the strings are anchored. That is, the piece opposite to the headstock, with which we can attach the strings to the other end of the body.
It also serves to adjust its height (what we call adjusting the action of the bass), as well as to set the overall tuning of the electric bass.
The latter is what we call octaving the bass, and consists of controlling the length and tension of each string so that the notes are where they belong.
But these characteristics are configured through another essential piece that is included in the bridge itself: the saddles.
Knobs or Controls
The potentiometers, knobs or tone controls, Knobs in English, are the buttons used to adjust different parameters of the sound of the electric bass.
Although these parameters vary from one bass to another, some models have more controls and offer greater versatility.
But basically, as standard, all basses include different potentiometers to control:
Tone (bass and treble).
The pickup selectors can be in the form of a lever or potentiometer, and as the name suggests, they are used to select the active pickup.
That is to say, they allow to control which pickup picks up the sound, which one does not, or if we want to combine them, in case the bass has more than one, and the circuit allows us to process it.
Strap or screw attachments
The bass strap attachments are the buttons or screws located on the body, through which we can attach the strap.
It is common to refer to them as Strap buttons, although it is more common to see this denomination for those safety fasteners that help to anchor more securely the bass strap.
The plug is the connector from the electric bass to the amplifier.
In English you will see it expressed as Jack input or Jack output indistinctly. But the truth is that nobody agrees on this. For us it is rather the Input, but well, just call it Jack and that’s it.
The fact is that it is an input jack, which is always configured for cables that we call “Jack”.
Its function, of course, is to send the signal picked up by the pickups and processed by the electric circuit, to the amplification or mixer.
The Thumb Rest is an almost extinct piece in the design of any modern electric bass.
It is a small bar or elongated piece of plastic very characteristic of the Fender brand, which is located in the body of the bass, and near the neck.
Nowadays, if the bass includes it, it is usually located above the fourth string. And its function is to facilitate the pulsation near the neck to get a fatter and deeper sound, without having to put your hand in the air (very common in genres such as Reggae).
However, it is a piece that appeared in the first important electric bass in the history of the modern bass, the Jazz Bass, and that lasted in the following model: the Precision Bass.
In both cases it was located under the first string, and its function was to facilitate the bassist’s support and playing comfort, since it was thought that the bass was always to be played with the thumb.
As you can see, the electric bass is made up of many different parts and components.
But, in spite of that, it is very easy to identify and learn them all. Especially if you differentiate them by sections.
Moreover, remembering the name of all of them and their function is just a matter of picking up the bass and playing, playing, playing. Without making hardly any effort to memorize each part, practicing the instrument will allow you to get to know it thoroughly.
We hope this post about the parts of the bass guitar has helped you if you are just starting out on this wonderful instrument.