acoustic for a bassist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. I'm looking to get a 6-string flattop acoustic guitar in the $300-400 range, for noodling, jazz harmony exploration (and no, I don't know how to play piano), and songwriting. I'm looking for one with a big, fat neck and a bright, jangly tone. Any ideas?
  2. i'm assuming you don't already play guitar: if this is the case, then i should tell you that you don't need a big fat neck because you play bass. a six string guitar neck will generally be as big, if not bigger than a 4 string bass neck.

    as far as tone goes, your best bet is to learn a few chords, go to your nearest GC and spend some time in the acoustic room. i don't have any hard and fast rules as to who makes good guitars, at least in your price range... i almost always like takamines though.

    also, check out the acoustic instruments forum at

    edit: if you do have your heart set on a wide neck, however, classical (nylon stringed) guitars usually have much wider necks.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Carvin makes a decent dreadnaught in that price range.

    Sam Ash is blowing out DX1s at $399. It's a laminate top, which might compromise tone, but they're relatively indestructible.

    Tacoma and Seagull are two other brands that you should give serious consideration. You can't go wrong with any of their guitars. The spruce-topped Tacoma Chiefs are plenty jangly-n-bright (too much so for my taste).
  4. I do play guitar, actually--very poorly, but I do nonetheless. I know that, neckwise, my favroite guitar ever is my friend's PRS McCarty Hollowbody, and that's a fatassed neck.

    I have a classical at home but I'm looking for something for chording, really.
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    P.S. Big fat necks and bright, jangly guitars are a rare combination. Fingerstyle width necks (1 3/4") are typically found on parlor 000-sized guitars. These are basically classically-shaped instruments with steel strings. While these guitars can be surprisingly loud for their size, they usually have a mellow, controlled tone.
  6. I'm thinking Seagull, yeah. My neighbor has an S6 and it's probably the nicest $400 instrument I've ever played (and that includes MTD Kingstons). I'll give it a try.

    A friend had a Tacoma Chief but its neck was irrevocably warped when a buddy with corrosive hands (this guy can break day-old Elixirs) borrowed it for a day. They're a bit expensive for my blood, anyway.
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I think the Gibson neck is the most comfortable neck around in acoustic guitars. Perhaps it is the wider string spacing. I have a J100 and I wouldn't trade it for any other acoustic guitar on the planet.

    I am sure you could find an epiphone copy of the J series Gibsons for that money. They sound really good and play well.

    Seagulls are nice though. I have played a few.

  8. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Check out a Taylor Big Baby. If you can up your budget just a little I'd say check out the Martin 15 series, about $600 w/case.
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Jangly? You need a reso, my man!

    If you want wood, I also suggest Seagull. I have a S6 Folk that's just amazing for the price - and yes, it is mellow. A perfect low-buck fingerstyle guitar.

    I must admit an infatuation with my new Johnson resonator, though. A $450 copy of a '30s National Type’s got 'dat Delta thang goin'.

    Another alternative is the jangle of a 12. There's a quality to a well played 12 that brings tears to my eyes...but I just can't learn to strum, which is why mine's for sale.
  10. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    I was just going to say get a 12.
    A friend of mine gave me a beat-to-death Takamine 12 in exchange for some work I did for him.It was in a building that was hit by a car and had its back pryed off,was glued back together and plays fine.the insurance co.never wanted it after buying my friend a new one.The frets are worn pretty badly though.

    Forgive my ignorance,Heavy if you've already tried this,but how about using a thinner pick for strumming ?
  11. 12's are a royal pain to keep in tune, though...
  12. At Christmas I picked up a Yamaha APX-5A electro acoustic. I had seena friend wiht one and was wanting rig of one of my electric guitars. FOr the money it's got a really nice feel, really nice acoustic tone and the pre-amp works really well. The guitar sounds really nice thru a PA. In fact it sounds good through my Trace and 4 x 10"!!!!

    Cost wise it was £300 - which is about $420. But I would imagine on your side of the pond it might be a whole lot cheaper.

    At the same time my dad bought a Tanglewood Odyssey 12 string electro acoustic - talk about spangly, it's really sweet - it cost him £200 (about $280). But, as others have said I couldn't be bothered keeping a 12 string in tune - or changing the strings!!!
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    It's the hand motion of strumming that I just can't get - I look like Steve Martin in "The Jerk" when I try. I've tried thick picks, thin picks, thumb picks, no soap. I can play fingerstyle 6 without too many problems (damn those little skinny strings!), but am not satisfied with the sound of a fingerpicked 12.

    And, actually, I've found it's no worse to keep in tune than a 6 after the strings break in. Then again, my 12 has great tuners - better than the ones on my friend's 12 that cost three times as much! Not what I expected from a cheap guitar. I'll be kind of sorry to see it go, and probably won't feel too bad if it doesn't sell.

    Unless I can get cb56 to take it as partial trade on one of his Bag Engs! :D
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Peter, want to see a nice 12 in your price range? Go find a Seagull dealer - their 12 is amazing!