For playing in a quiet setting, an acoustic bass guitar can be an excellent choice. They don’t need to be plugged into an amp and so are suited to being played with other acoustic instruments.
The acoustic bass has a large hollow body that acts as a natural speaker and projects the sound out. It gives a wooden sound with a very rich bass tone, which is the closest that you can get to the tone of an upright bass.
Points to think on
Acoustic instruments can be adversely affected by changes in humidity. If the humidity is not controlled, the wood could crack or warp. Humidity control devices (in the case humidifiers) are available in most music stores, and these help keep an even level of humidity in your instrument case.
When your acoustic bass is not being played, the best protection it can have is a good solid hard case.
For an entry level acoustic bass, look at instruments made by Ibanez or Dean. While for a more pro level instrument, consider a Martin or a Breedlove.
What to know about buying a new Acoustic Bass Guitar
The wood used to make an acoustic bass is of greater importance than it is for other types of bass guitars. When making acoustic instruments, the body can consist of two types of wood.
Often the top piece of the bass is a wood such as spruce or maple, while the back and side can be different - normally rosewood or bubinga.
The sound produced by the bass will depend on how the two woods interact.
The wood used for the top of the Breedlove B350 is sitka spruce and the back and sides are bubinga. The combination gives a very warm low end that projects nicely.
Some acoustic basses have pickups installed inside the body, (not on the outside like with electric bass pickups) in case you wish to plug the instrument into an amp.
If your instrument did not come with a pickup, there are many great options on the market. One notable brand is Fishman. The company makes excellent pickups for installing in any bass.
What to know about buying a pre-owned Acoustic Bass Guitar
Older acoustic instruments are prone to have small cracks or problems with warping - particularly if they have not been protected from humidity changes. You will want to inspect any used instruments carefully before you consider purchasing it.
A well-maintained acoustic bass can develop a more mature sound as it gets older. Many people choose older acoustic basses for the sound qualities of the older wood. The tones become richer, and the bass tones in particular can become much warmer.