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acoustic or electric

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jenha, Mar 27, 2001.

  1. jenha


    Mar 27, 2001
    How does the playability of an acoustic (not the stand-up kind) bass differ from an electric bass? Do electrics have lower action? I don't know anything about basses, but I'm interested in learning. I play acoustic guitar and generally prefer an unplugged sound. However, I want the learning process to be as painless as possible. I have rather small hands that sometimes cause me problems with the guitar.

    Thanks for any info you all can provide.
  2. But one thing, is that acoustics may not be the best for small hands; the boddies jut out and most have those sharp 45 degree angles that can hurt if you try to reach small arms/hands/fingers around, when the electrics are (mostly) round, smooth, and are more comfortable (to me at least)

    As for the action... Well it's whatever you want it to be on electrics.

    Go with what you like though!
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Welcome to TalkBass, jenha. The acoustics I've tried have had higher action, but if you're used to acoustic guitar, especially classical, that may not be a problem for you, only the string diameter may be a hurdle. Their actions don't seem as hard to me as electrics, nor did they have heavier gauge strings.

    What you might consider are electrics with piezos. Those are hot right now. Those basses pride themselves on their ability to sound acoustic.

    And then there are acoustic electrics like the Carvin AC 40 and AC 50 which can be used either as a pure acoustic, (hollow w/sound hole), and have pickups if you need to use them through amplification.
  4. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    You might also wish to consider an acoustic non standup bass.
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Volume wise, acoustic bass guitars are generally quieter than acoustic guitars. They're fine for practicing alone, but few can hold up in ensemble settings. (Guild and Tacoma make the loudest--and largest.) Also, the volume of the G and D strings tends to be greater than that of the A and E, which is often the reverse of the situation on the electric bass.

    As is true of electric and acoustic guitars, acoustic bass guitars have a stiffer feel than their electric counterparts. Some of this can be cured by lowering the action, but lower action means less acoustic volume.

    Tradeoffs, tradeoffs. I do share with you an appreciation of not being slave to an amp, though.
  6. Hey Jeha, welcome to talkbass! If you have smallish hands, one thing you can consider is a short/medium scale acoustic/electric. I know Ibanez makes a couple of 32" scale instruments, as do other manufacturers. The drawback is that they don't seem to have the "umph" of long scale basses.
    Again, hearing a bass live is the best way to judge it.

    Mike J.

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