Three Basses You Need to Know

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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine, Issue 8

Authored by TARA BELL

Looking to add to your bass guitar collection? Start here. These three go-to basses offer broad appeal perfect for honing your skills and sounding great while doing it, on the stage and in the studio.

Sadowsky Basses

Founded by true master craftsman Roger Sadowsky, the company has its roots in modification. Sadowsky started his business by tweaking vintage Fender basses, and he then began creating his own instruments with a signature sound admired by bassists Tal Wilkenfeld, Adam Clayton of U2, and Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons. Sadowsky basses are celebrated for their artful use of technology—the design adds more noise reduction tech and replaces passive electronics with an active preamp to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. Choose a Sadowsky, and have fun making it your own—nearly every option is highly customizable.

Jaco Pastorius Fretless Jazz Bass

Have your sights set on becoming a virtuoso? Then look to Jaco Pastorius, an undeniable creative genius on the bass guitar. This inspired instrument makes it possible to recreate the legendary bassist’s out-of-the-box style and warm signature sound. Just how Pastorius’ favored fretless jazz bass came to be is a story in itself. Much of the mythos surrounding his original “Bass of Doom” lies in what he did to the neck when he converted his bass from fretted to fretless. Legend has it he ripped the frets out and patched the holes that remained with wood filler, and then coated the fingerboard with marine epoxy to withstand the use of roundwound strings. One thing’s for sure—every aspect of his bass contributed to the way he fused R&B, rock, jazz, classical, and Caribbean music in a way no guitarist ever had.

Fender Precision Bass

Fender’s Precision Bass is a true original. Its prototype was designed by Leo Fender in 1950 as the first electric bass to catch attention. And the sound is classic. You know it—that warm tone underlying most of your favorite tracks from the ‘60s, many of them played by bass legend James Jamerson. Today, the Fender P-Bass still offers those round lows and aggressive mids that achieve familiar punch and growl, while modern updates eliminate unwanted signal noise and hum—perfect for both live performances and recording. The 3-band active preamp adds wide-ranging tonal control with a switch to go passive if you so choose. And the alder and maple construction with ebony fingerboard makes for a bold tone that works with many genres. Add a P-Bass to your arsenal, and you’ll realize that it isn’t just the classic tone that makes it feel just right. It feels as good as it sounds. The unique shape sets this bass apart, with comfortable contours that compliment sitting or standing and a chunkier neck profile that makes even new Fender Precision Basses feel broken in and all yours from the moment you open the case. No wonder it was the choice of legends—now it’s made for you to start your own musical legacy.

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