Parts of a Bass Guitar

Learn the parts of a bass guitar from musician John Sutton in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.


These are the parts of a bass guitar: we're going to start at the head stock. The head is where all the strings end. They connect to the parts here, which are connected to the tuning pegs, and you can tune the strings independently here. That's all connected to the neck. The front of the neck is called the fingerboard and that's where your left hand is going to do all the work. It's also called a fretboard because that's where the frets are. Those are these vertical bars along the end of the fingerboard. The dots that you see are just so that we don't get confused along the way. They're like road signs that just tells us where we are along the neck. The body itself is guitar shaped. We have the pick guard, just to protect the instrument. These are the pickups. Those are actually picking up the sound of the strings and sending them to the electronics. Then we have the bridge. The bridge is where the strings meet at the body of the instrument, secures the strings to the body. We have two knobs on this bass guitar. The one closer to me controls volume and the one further away is a tone knob. Volume knob, when you turn it clockwise, will turn up the volume on the instrument. And then counterclockwise turns it down. The tone knob, when turned completely clockwise, is the natural sound of the electric bass. When you turn it down, you're turning down the high frequencies, so you're going to get a warmer, more bassy sound. And lastly, this is the electronics jack, where you can plug in a cable to go to an amplifier or anything else that amplifies the instrument. I also want to mention the two buttons. These are where the neck strap connect to the instrument. And those are the parts of a bass guitar.

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