Need to know how to make a homemade bass guitar? Maybe you've moved from buying pre-made guitars to experimenting with building guitars yourself; if so, you may want to learn the best techniques for making a homemade bass guitar. This article will show you some of the basic requirements necessary to accomplish this goal.
To make a homemade bass guitar, you will need:
- A guitar neck
- A guitar body
- A wiring harness
- Tuning keys
- Strap pins
- A bridge
- A tailpiece
- Knobs for volume and tone
- A backing plate
- Screws, large to small (some will be included with other parts)
- The first thing to do is purchase the parts. Several companies manufacture necks and bodies for a homemade bass, some of which can be found online. You need a neck and body that match. Don't try to put a Fender-style neck on a Gibson-style body. It may work, or you may be in for a nightmare of extra sanding and routing. In the case of pickups and the wiring harness, they have to match the body. If you have a two-pickup body with holes for four knobs, make sure you buy corresponding parts. If you buy a Fender-style body, buy Fender or Fender-style pickups. These things are very important when building a homemade guitar.
- Work on the body first. It will be the hardest part of making your homemade guitar and is best done without the neck attached for convenience and ease of use. The first thing is to paint the body on both sides and then clear coat it. Take your time with this and make sure each layer is even and completely dry before moving on. If one is available, this is best done with an airbrush. Attach the pickup or pickups with bolts and springs, usually included. Wire the pickups to the wiring harness, which will come with instructions. Push the potentiometer shafts and output jack through the body holes, and secure with the nuts and washers included. Push the knobs onto the potentiometer shafts, making sure that volume and tone are not mixed up if the knobs are labeled. Screw in the strap pins. One will be at the top of the upper horn of the bass guitar, the other will be at the bottom center of the body. Install the bridge and tailpiece, making sure that the screws are very tight,. This is the part of the bass that will take the tension of the strings.
- Clear coat the neck, unless this is already done. Attach the tuning keys. Most tuning keys have screws that attach to the back of the headstock, but some are attached through threaded nuts. Make sure the keys are even and in the same position. If there is a need for a string tree, screw in the string tree and make sure the screw is very tight.
- Finally, the moment has arrived when your homemade bass starts to look like a finished instrument. Choose two holes that are diagonal from each other (top left and bottom right, for instance) and carefully install the large screws with the backing plate beneath them. Take care not to strip the wood or screw heads, and make certain that they are as tightly-installed as possible. Your bass guitar will have a weak spot otherwise. Now for the big moment! Put the strings on and, using a string winder, get the strings tuned up. As you wind a new string onto the tuning key, make sure that you hold the string directly beneath the winds so that you have neat coils of winding, and not a tangle. Make sure to hold onto the slack with your non-winding hand until it is wound.
You now have your own homemade bass guitar. Have a blast and turn it up!