What Is A Headless Bass Guitar And How It Works?

by | Mar 16, 2021 | Guitars, Musical Instruments

By looking at the name, we think you have already guessed what a bass guitar might look like. But entirely clueless what it is and how it works? 

Well, a headless bass guitar is similar to any bass guitar with a large body and long neck but without the headstock. 

Generally, on a bass guitar, the strings are attached to the bridge located on the body, and they are totally fixed to that place. 

The open ends of the string are connected to the tuning pegs located in the head, and they are configured in such a way so that you can tune it by adjusting the tension.

But on a headless bass guitar, the whole configuration is reversed where the strings are fixed closed to the nut rather than the body. 

The string then crosses the nut, flows over the neck, and winds up to the tuning pegs located at the body just below the bridge. 

Basically, the output is the same as a regular bass guitar with the headstock, but it makes the guitar much lighter. 

Thus it makes the guitar much more ergonomic and comfortable on the shoulder, especially during long gigs or jamming sessions.  

What Is A Headless Bass Guitar And How It Works?

Well, if you have already used a standard bass guitar, then you can already know how the weight of the headstock can be bothersome during long sessions. 

But having a headless bass guitar can be a welcome addition as they are easy to hold and play. We will admit there are many bass guitars with a headstock that is well balanced, but they are only a few in numbers.  

Importantly, a headless bass guitar brings all the accessible hardware in one place and allows you to operate them efficiently. 

Moreover, you won’t have to use the nut, and they can be useful for intonation and open notes. Many bass enthusiasts find it very easy to use due to the shorter body length, and they can easily tune the guitar without facing many difficulties. 

  • They can conveniently tune the guitar while they are in the stage or middle of the jamming session.
  • Restringing the guitar is quite more comfortable and quicker when compared with standard bass models.   
  • Unlike regular bass guitar units, the tuning in the headless system is done with the help of screws. 
  • This guitar type is straightforward to tune, and you will just have to turn in one direction, and it will gradually increase pitch.
  • The best thing is the tune is highly accurate and stable, and you won’t need any tuner to tune it precisely. Plus, they are highly unlikely to get off-tune even after playing it heavily for a few days.  

Now, the question arrives;

How Does It work?

How Does It work?

A headless or reverse bass guitar works in the same manner as a typical bass guitar, and there is hardly any difference in their output. Although you will find some variation in the tone between fretted notes and open notes. 

Like a standard bass unit, this reverse type also works by plucking, picking, strumming, slapping, thumping and popping. 

So when you pluck or strum a string, it starts vibrating, and then the vibration picked by the pickup that, in turn, sends it to the amplifier in the form of an electric signal. 

The absence of nuts allows the guitar to create a bright and defined tone that blends well with most of the genre. 

Even though the tension of the string is more towards the body but one can easily play on higher octave. 

Some Popular Headless Bass Guitars Brands 

Some Popular Headless Bass Guitars Brands

When it comes to headless bass guitar brands, the most popular manufacturer that you will ever come across is the Steinberger headless guitar. 

Steinberger

 

This manufacturer is considered to be the inventor of the first headless bass unit in the market. 

Although the Steinberger designs originated in the 80s but it is still a rage among bass enthusiasts. 

The Spirit and Synapse series from Steinberger is always on demand, and both of them cost under $1000 mark.

Strandberg is another famous manufacturer hailing from Sweden, and they have made a good name with their ergonomic and versatile headless unit. 

They made some special designs in the neck of their headless bass guitar that has made them rage among metal and progressive communities.

What makes Strandberg’s bass special in the market is the multiscale fretboard collaborated with fanned frets. They are straightforward to grip as they utilize a flat neck surface.

Another brand that offers incredible headless bass guitars is the Kiesel guitars. Although they don’t have an extensive lineup of headless guitars, whatever they have is widely popular in the market.

Some Popular Headless Bass Guitars Brands

Most of their headless models are priced under $1500, so users will have a wide variety of choices for exploring their bass skills. 

Well-known bassists use some of their bass models in the world that describe the potential of those guitars.  

 

Mayones

Mayones may not seem like a familiar name, but this Polish guitar manufacturer has made quite a reputation in the guitar community. 

All their bass models may sound like just another headless guitar, but what makes them stand out is the clamps at the top of the neck. 

The clamps hide the string’s ball so that it can create a fresh outlook. Plus, the neck is contoured so that you can easily play on the upper without pressing hard ,and while playing with them you might get Blisters in your fingers.

Unfortunately, they have a limited number of headless models, and most of them are priced at a higher range.  

Teuffel

Like others, Teuffel is a famous brand in the headless bass guitar community that is also well known for its usual guitars. 

They have a wide range of models falling in different price ranges so that you won’t be limited to certain choices.

However, the most popular model in their lineup is the headless Tesla that comes with three pickups, numerous controls, asymmetric body, and tremolo. 

Legends like Hans Zimmer, Billy Gibbons, Page Hamilton, and Kirk Hammett highly praises the headless unit from Teuffel , you can go for an Online store to purchase them.  

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