Electric Bass Guitar Setup Guide Intro

What Does It Mean to Setup a Bass Guitar?

The point of setting up your bass guitar is to make it play well. That means it plays in tune, it sounds good, it feels comfortable to fret and pluck the strings, and it just suits your playing style in general.

Before you begin setting up your bass, I want you to understand what makes your bass play the way it does.

Follow each link to get a basic understanding of each concept before you follow the bass setup tutorials below. The same things apply to doing a standard 6-string guitar setup, too.

There are 4 basic things you can adjust on your bass:

  1. The straightness of the neck
  2. The height of the bass strings
  3. Intonation
  4. Pickup height

Once you understand what we are adjusting, we will discuss how to adjust it.

How to Setup a Bass Tutorials

Printable Tools

If you want to be really precise, you can buy a radius gauge. You'd be best off buying real, precise gauges from a guitar repair supply place. If you're impatient or broke, I made some printable ones which do ok.

bass guitar radius gauge (PDF)