To have or not to have...acoustic bass guitar

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by CyborgLemon, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. CyborgLemon


    Dec 14, 2012

    I am thinking of buying an acoustic bass because I feel that I can practice it anytime without having to plug the cable.

    I want to know your thoughts on it. Should I get it? Will it be of any help?
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    I practiced my electric bass unplugged for years. But I would suggest going for it, if you think that it will make your practice time more enjoyable and productive.
  3. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    You can get a little headphone amplifier for your electric. I have one that has a metronome, tuner and line-in on it.

    I don't tend to think of acoustic bass guitars as being a must-have for acoustic ensembles the way an ordinary acoustic guitar would be.

    The ones I played were not very loud, either.

    But if you want to do quiet jams w/ friends w/o lugging a little amp (I also have a battery powered Roland amp), I guess an acoustic bass guitar would be okay.

    Whereas most serious electric guitarists have an acoustic guitar around the house at least, I think I've listed the obvious reasons why acoustic bass guitars are not as widely owned.
  4. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    I learned on an acoustic bass. Hugh monster. About a third again the size of an acoustic 6 string guitar. Would not recommend you go that way. If you could swing it, yes to a 3/4 size double bass.

    As mentioned there are all kinds of small amps and plug in head phones you can use.
    Yep, I made one of these for the acoustic jamming on the street we have each 3rd Saturday of the month. Turned out there was no music in that tub. Messed up a good washtub. Anyone need a washtub with a hole in it? I know where you can get one.

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  6. I have one (Ibanez AEB 5) for the reasons the OP suggested. I don't recommend one. They are huge, and mine isn't the biggest available. It is not comfortable as a "couch guitar. Your electric with the amp/headphones is a better idea, IMHO. If you choose to buy one, look into new strings. I replaced the stockers with a cheap set from www.bassstringsonline . This bass sounds much better now, but I still would not recmmmend one.
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Go for it.
    It is nice not having to plug in every time.
  8. AuBassMan

    AuBassMan Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2011
    Central Virginia
    I say get it. I'm keeping an eye out for one at the right can be an old beater, I don't mind. I think it would be convenient to have one hanging on the wall and just be able to grab it quick to work up a line or whatever. Don't really plan on playing it with other people.
  9. zenman


    Jan 30, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Save your money. Electric basses work just fine unplugged. I rarely use an amp at home, just not necessary.
  10. ACNick

    ACNick Guest

    Oct 23, 2012
    South Florida
    +1 for practicing with an unplugged electric. I have an acoustic bass that is fun to play, but the neck, action, and overall feel of the instrument is way different than my gigging electric bass. Getting comfortable on one means being uncomfortable on the other, if that makes any sense.
  11. klyph


    Mar 28, 2009
    You can also tape a stethoscope to an unplugged electric, to play softly and hear it better. Some body used to sell an altered design in the BP classifieds years ago specifically for this. I find that practicing unplugged some of the time has helped my natural tone on the instrument. I also have found that most commercially available ABGs don't have the volume to compete with my stereo at the level I can hear full bass out of it (for learning/transcription). Seriously, besides Martins and Taylors, I've never heard an ABG that has good enough acoustic volume to play along with recordings at a reasonable volume. If you can put that kind of price tag on this desire, go for it. If not, go spend $20 on a stethoscope.
  12. CyborgLemon


    Dec 14, 2012
    Thanks everyone

    I will see after trying it in a music store :bassist: if I want to buy one...
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    It's handy to have an acoustic or a hollowbody that makes good acoustic sound.
  14. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    The stethoscope is a funny idea. Just call me Dr. Bass.
  15. My friend has a Fender Kingpin that she let me play once and it was a fabulous bass. I would rather drag one of my electrics out for any type of gigging but, for just sitting around my house bed-jamming or something, I'd love to have that bass available. Go for it. I've played a couple of other acoustics I find in guitar shops but the Kingpin was by far the most playable of all of them.
  16. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Many people buy acoustics on a Whim then resell them in a week or 2. I would get one from a store with a good return policy and try it out. Unlike me you may actually like it.
  17. CerealKiller


    Jul 29, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    I would advise against playing your electric unplugged. Been guilty of this myself in the past and have noticed that I overplay to make it audible.....really messes with your dynamics when you play amplified.

    +1 to getting a device that you can play through into a set of headphones. I've owned a Pocket Rockit, play through a Toneport UX2 (obsolete now) on the desktop, and play through my Tascam Bass Trainer when I travel.
  18. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Arcadia, CA
    I belong to the no camp. Practice on the bass you are planning on playing. now if for a visual image of an "acoustic" set with your acoustic guitars and bass all mic'ed or plugged in directly well look at it as stage costume since an upright is probably out of the budget or not as handy as a bass guitar, acoustic of solid body and its cable.
  19. Robert Trujillo didn't have an amp growing up, so he used his pick and played very loud unplugged to hear himself. That's why he's so aggressive on the strings now. At least, that's the story I heard.
  20. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I don't get the dislike for them. Have you not ever been in a situation where you wanna have an acoustic jam in a park with some mates? 99% of my playing is in situations like that. I think they're really handy. They don't make A LOT of noise, well most, anyway. But, then again, I'm not trying to be John Entwhistle.
  21. [SMARTA$$] That's fine. Most of us on this board would prefer to be Entwistle, pre-2002.[/SMARTA$$]

    I'm glad it works for you. I tried mine with no amp in a small room with no amp with two guitarists. The guitars sounded fine. Me, ont so much.