Bass Guitar Questions

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Forum topic by ric53 posted 02-28-2015 10:58 PM 650 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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194 posts in 1761 days

02-28-2015 10:58 PM

Hi Guys, I know that there are a number of you that build guitars. My son, who is a very successful bass player has asked me if I would attempt to build him a bass. I have never even attempted to build any musical instrument before and have a few questions about this. Keep in mind that I too play guitar and are familiar with the various parts and their functions.

1) He is a heavy metal bass player so what would be the desired wood for the body and what should the moisture content be?
2) Are there any “plans” available?
3) Is this something that I really want to attempt?
4) What about the electrics?

Thanks for any information you may give me. More questions will probably be coming.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

1 reply so far

View Kazooman's profile


1271 posts in 2193 days

#1 posted 02-28-2015 11:27 PM

Hi Ric53:

My “other” hobby (of a few) revolves around building and restoring vintage guitar amps and effects pedals. I was a garage band rock star as a kid and I have retained an interest in the vintage gear. I have been tempted to try a guitar build, but haven’t done so thus far.

My thoughts:

Sure, you should attempt this. Just understand that purchasing all of the necessary components (pickups, tuners, bridge, electronics, etc.) won’t be cheap. You should probably purchase a pre-made neck. The body is the easy part. For Heavy Metal I would definitely recommend IRONWOOD. It is the obvious choice.

There are many sources for components. One of the best known is Stewart-MacDonald (

You really should search the Internet to find several plans as a starting point. Some aspects such as the length of scale relative to the neck you buy and the best location of the pickup(s) are critical.

Perhaps the best way to get into this would be to take an existing bass that your son likes (and is willing to let you experiment with) and make a new body for it. You can easily disassemble the bass without doing any harm and it will give you a template for routing the recesses for the neck, pickups, and electronics. Then the fun begins with designing and crafting the unique body style that your son wants. It will all be familiar territory for you to make templates for shaping the body and recesses. Just keep in mind that the body needs to be strong enough to handle the string tension and must remain flat.

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