Building a Bass Guitar – Part 3 (A Bass is Born)


I’m afraid the bass building project was not documented from start to finish like I had planned.  A combination of things that kept me from doing it that way.  I’m still coughing like a walrus, and when it came time to assemble the bass, the girls were out of the house with the camera.  So, all you get is a lovely photo of the finished product.

As for the bass guitar itself, it turned out better than I could have possibly imagined.  I had originally planned on having a shinier finish, but the conditions under which I was working and a bit of impatience made that impossible.  I had no time to sit and sand the guitar 20 times with 1000 grit sandpaper.  Also, I knew it would be next to impossible to figure out which polish to buy in the Czech hardware store to give it the proper shine.  So, I left it with a slightly duller but still attractive matte finish.  I actually really like the way the color turned out.  Attractive but in a workmanlike way – the way a bass should be.

With the chore of the painting completed, I only had to assemble the bass and string it up.  Altogether, assembly and stringing took a little over two hours and was fairly intuitive, although some important parts were missing from the instructions.  When it came to putting on the pickups, there was no mention of floating them on the included springs.  I knew just enough about guitars to go and check the Internet for some pickup installation guides.  I’m glad I did.  The pickups are now installed nicely and can be adjusted down or up easily.

To me, the finished product sounds incredible.  Granted, this is only second time I’ve held an electric bass in my hands, but it sounds just like I thought it would.  Within the first hour following the setup, I cranked up the stereo and learned the riff to U2’s “With or Without You.”  A few hours later, I tackled the iconic riff to the Police’s “Walking on the Moon.”  Boom.  Childhood dreams fulfilled.

I bought my first guitar right after September 11th.  It was in the wake of that turmoil that I decided I should definitely do everything I’ve wanted to do in life.  I’m not sure why I didn’t buy a bass then.  I’ve always been more fascinated with it than the guitar when it comes to music.  But I’m happy to say, the wait was worth it.  Making my own bass from start to finish made it all the more satisfying.  This baby is all mine.  I know all of her faults but love her just the same.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Scampwalker says:

    Congrats, man. She’s a beaut. Love your first two choices of songs, too… iconic 80’s stuff, man!

  2. LT says:

    Good job, looks great! Now you just need to name her….

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