By Anastasia Mace. Electric Bass Guitar. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 10:35:55 AM.
That way I'm always working on one of them and they are both done around the same time. Its also good to add a coat right before you are on the way out to school, the store or work, that way it gets a nice long undisturbed drying session. Once everything is sealed, buffed and drilled, assemble the neck. I will go into further finer drilling and adjustment in another section as I know some of you will have a neck with no holes drilled, but this is a very easy extra step! After the tuners, and string trees are mounted the final step is the string nut. I have found that it is best to take this to a professional because it takes practice and a skilled hand to file the nut blank. If you mess up you have to buy another nut and uncool it off the finger board and that's a waste of time and money. It may cost a little bread but the tech can slap on a nice new custom nut and have the bass growling with new strings the same day, which is always a nice ending to a custom job well done! I would also encourage you to watch (if you can) the tech install everything and learn all you can. I know after a few questions and watching, I was able to nail this delicate step, but take your time!
There are some important things here to note. First, the pickups are actually out of phase. When both pickups on a Jazz bass are turn up full on, the pickups cancel out any hum that may be in the area. If you use one coil only, it will be in single coil mode, and you can pick up hum. If you like the sound of only one coil, and hate the hum, try using a split coil Jazz Bass pickup, and wire them in hum-bucking mode. Dimarzio make these, and they are a very good sounding pickup. I have used them on previous Jazz Basses, and they work well. I especially like the adjustable magnetic pole pieces, which are easily adjusted with an Allen screw driver. Secondly, the control knobs shown (above) are wired in the Jaco Pastorious prefered fashion: Volume, Volume, Tone. The standard method is to have: Volume, Pan, and Tone.
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.
The next step is bridge intonation and this is very very vital. The thing you have to always remember is that unlike playing other fretted instruments, the player makes the intonation not the frets. This being said you can get some help either from fret lines (like on this bass) or position markers like the ones on a blank fingerboard. The choice of one or the other is all personal preference and yet another option for you to consider.
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