By Annalise Thayer. Electric Bass Guitar. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 21:03:19 PM.
Pushing down too hard, especially with lower grit paper, will destroy the sultry curves of your bass. The idea is to make everything uniform especially for the feel and texture of the wood. Sanding allows the stain or finish to penetrate the wood in the most even way possible! Once your body is sanded a good wipe down with either a tack cloth or a damp rag will remove all excess debris and prepare the body for the next step. I really enjoy this step of the process simply because you can make your instrument look anyway you like. There are many options available to you in the are of stains and paints. For this bass I used a simple MinWax Water Based Stain in Fruit Punch. Out of all the stains I've used water based allows for the easiest application and clean up, not to mention its environmentally friendly.
Intonation of a lined fingerboard is done in the same way as a fretted. Hook up your tuner to your bass and play the open G string in tune. Fret directly on the 12th and check to see if your fretted note is in tune. Carefully make sure that you are using the tip of your finger avoiding any kind of fingertip pivot that will change your pitch. While this is a great technique while playing, in tuning and setup its not going to do you any favors. Now if the fretted note is sharp, turn the adjustment screw on the bridge so the saddle is moving towards you. If it is flat move the saddle away from you. Do small quarter turns and bring the string back up to tune before you check it. Once the fretted note is intonated repeat the process with the other three. One thing to keep in mind is that while the fret lines are right where the frets should be, it doesn't mean that all of the lines are in tune 100% all over the neck.
Pickup wiring is one of those items that is worth knowing, especially if your bass has two pickups or split type pickups. Most pickups are wired in parallel configuration to the output jack. See the diagram below for two Jazz Bass pickups wired in parallel. This is normal configuration for Jazz bass and two pickup basses, like the G&L 2500.
Depending on the type of strings you use, the wear and tear on the board can vary quite a bit. Roundwound strings will eat your fingerboard, causing dead spots and loss of proper intonation. Flatwounds are far gentler and have a smooth texture. This being said, the more you play on the board the more it will need to be dressed and sanded. Like a formula race car that get's it's tires changed every few laps, your board will need to be smoothed out and it's crown or arc restored to get a consistent sound.
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