Different Types of Material that Make up a Bass Guitar Body

One of the many factors you need to consider when looking for a bass guitar is the instrument’s material. The materials that construct the bass have a huge impact on the sound it produces. Certain types of wood might not match with your music genre. Thus, before deciding to buy a bass guitar, below are the common materials used to construct its body and how it can affect the guitar’s sound.


Hardwood VS Softwood

There are two basic categories of woods; these are hardwood and softwood.

A hardwood can create brighter and snapper sounds. It is the reason why some bass guitars produce better percussive tones. Moreover, this type of wood produces sounds that can cut through any room. With this type of wood, a bassist needs no amplification to create powerful and loud sounds.

Bass guitars that came from hardwood are the best option for bassists with music styles such as jazz, funk, and pop.

Meanwhile, softwood is the opposite of the former. This type of wood excels in creating warm and mellow sounds. If you need a bass guitar with great resonance, this is the right option. Softwoods are recognized for their impressive resonance that immediately grabs the attention of many listeners.

If you a bassist who enjoys playing rock and heavy metal genres, a bass guitar that came from softwood is the right choice.

Now that you have an idea about the differences between hardwood and softwood on bass guitar, the next step is to find out which wood among each category works best. Come and see for yourself below.

Commonly Used Wood for Bass Guitar


Alder is a type of hardwood. Many professional bassists love this wood, for it produces the most balanced sounds. It can create a mix of low, mid, and high frequencies without one sound overpowering the other. Additionally, it allows the guitar to produce fuller and richer tones with great clarity.


The ashwood is another type of hardwood. It is divided into two different tones, which are hard ash and swamp ash. The former is the best option since it helps the bass to form bright, hard, and harsh tones. Meanwhile, swamp ashwood is the best choice if you want your bass to sound sweeter and brighter.


This type of wood is well-known for its weight. Because of this, Bubinga is rarely used as a body of a bass guitar. But despite being heavy, Bubinga is a great wood for creating midrange tones and sustain.


Bass guitar constructed using wood is more affordable compared to other materials. The wood produces well-balanced tones. However, it is inferior sonically.


Another popular type of wood is maple. It has two categories, which are hard and soft maple. Professional bassist recommends soft maple compared to the harder kind since it is easier to carry and control. Moreover, soft maple produces bright tones with great sustain.


Most bass guitars in the market are either made of maple or walnut. A walnut is similar to a maple wood; however, it is lighter in weight. Likewise, it creates great sound and has awesome grain patterns and textures.

Determining which type of wood to use is only a fraction of what you need to learn about bass guitars. For additional information about this instrument, consult reliable sources like Guitar Listy.