Basswood is one of the most popular types of wood used for both acoustic and electric guitars, but there are a few stories that have been floating around about how basswood was once a cheaper alternative for guitars made out of other kinds of wood for electric guitar bodies.
Is Basswood Good For Guitar Bodies?
Yes! The good news is basswood, which comes from a light but hard wood tree that is only found in the USA, makes for a great guitar and other string instruments body these days with an incredible tone. There are some people who use just basswood for them, or use a combination of other types of wood that give it a full, rich sound.
More Info And FAQ’s About Basswood
What Is Basswood?
The basswood tree is a part of the flowering ash species and can be found in the northern hemisphere. It is actually related to the linden tree, but is used primarily for making musical instruments because of its high quality. It has been used for making many different types of woodwind instruments like violins and clarinets. Along with guitars, basswood is now commonly used in the manufacturing of pianos, drums, as well as other string instruments like mandolins and ukuleles.
Why Use Basswood For Guitars?
The popularity of basswood over the years has been due to its light color and how easy it is to work with. It is light as a result of how it naturally grows, which makes it very easy for luthiers or woodworkers to shape and add holes into the body of the instrument. They can also use basswood to create an incredibly thin walled design like a traditional violin, which requires less energy from the guitar’s strings.
Is Basswood Hard?
Basswood isn’t particularly hard in comparison to mahogany or maple in terms of mechanical properties, but it is still a dense wood that can be reinforced to add some strength and arrive at a tough body. It is also known for being stable against different types of weathering and heat exposure, which adds to its longevity as well.
What Is Basswood Similar To?
Basswood has a similar look to walnut. It is a light colored wood that has an almost reddish tint in some lighting. It can be somewhat streaky and will have a mix of yellowish, tan and brown when finished.
Are Basswood Guitars Heavy?
Basswood is a light weight wood, but can still support a significant amount of weight inside the guitar body. It is also known for being a guitar that produces a good amount of volume and sustain.
Is Basswood Better Than Mahogany?
Yes! In fact, basswood is actually a better alternative to mahogany. It is much lighter than mahogany and tends to have a less dense grain pattern. Basswood also produces a good amount of volume because it is very light and the best violin bodies can produce up to 80db of sound. A good bass wood guitar body will also sound different than an oak or maple guitar body, which is due to its unique characteristics and how it adds low end tones into the instrument.
Is Basswood Better Than Alder?
No! Alder is actually a better wood to use instead of basswood for bodies. It is not as lightweight, but it still produces a great sound and has excellent tone. It can handle a lot of different types of temperature changes and generally sounds better than basswood when it comes to playing different types of music.
Is Basswood Better Than Spruce?
No, spruce is better than basswood for guitar bodies because of its ability to provide more sustain and volume than any other hard wood.
Basswood is a wood that is used for making the bodies of many kinds of instruments, especially guitar bodies. It has been used as a substitute for other types of wood over the years but can now be found in any music store. Basswood can make a good alternative for any musician that wants to try something new and different without spending an insane amount of money. basswood guitars are easy to work with and produce a sound that is different than most other types of wood it is often compared to.