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I chose Simple traditional Woods for my first bass. Melvyn Hiscock suggested using Mahogany for the body. He said that it's good for a beginer. It's a very hard wood but easy to machine and quite forgiving.

It's also quite fibrous and covered the house with a red dust whenever I sanded or filed it (so don't do it at home folks).

I chose maple for the neck as it is the most common neck material (can't be bad) and it contrasts the mahogany well. I used 2x1"maple laminates for the neck, with a " mahogany laminate sandwiched between them, this looks really nice. Mahogany is a lot softer than maple which can cause problems when sanding or planing, the softer wood erodes quicker which is really irritating if you are trying to sand a flat surface.

For the fingerboard I spoke to Duncan at Craft Supplies who had some nice striped Asian Ebony which I liked. It is just as hard as other ebony variants but has milky brown and white figuring and looks a little different from the stark black ebony usually found.

Maple has a nice figuring but has no grain texture. Which is fine if you are going to have a gloss lacquer finish, but I not so nice if you like the tactile feel of an oil finish. Mahogany on the other hand is the complete opposite. It really is a boring wood to look at, but has a lovely deep grain which feels so nice to touch.