I have recently begun to take an interest to build instruments from scratch and/ or customizing them to have a different sound or a more personal look. But my problem is that I don't have a lot of experience with instruments yet, I can only change strings to my bass and adjust the height of the strings. Also, I am not very good at building anything in general, and I have only some basic tools available for use. I'm also a little afraid of damaging my current Squier Affinity P-bass while experimenting.

So, is there any simple modification I could possibly do to my Squier? It would be great if I could start by replacing something small and simple in it to change its looks. I was thinking about ordering a pickguard online and replacing it, but is it easy enough for a beginner like me to handle? Or am I a total no-hoper?

And sorry if this is in a wrong section or something, I was looking around already but I couldn't find anything similar to my situation anywhere.
You're not a "total no-hoper" in the slightest. All you have to do when you're starting out is take your time and step back to think about what you're doing occasionally. A pickguard swap would be very simple and a great place to build yourself some confidence.

You just new a screwdriver, some pliers (or proper sized wrenches), and a bowl to keep parts in while you work. No soldering required.
Changing the pickguard is probably the easiest modification to do. If you have a screwdriver you can do it. You could also change the pickups, maybe add a killswitch. I'm not a bassist so I don't really know what popular bass mods are out there.
Allright, I'll start considering that and maybe I'll do the operation during some weekend... can you tell if, for exmaple this http://www.guitarfetish.com/P-Bass-3-Ply-Pickguard-BlackWhiteBlack_p_603.html would fit into my squier affinity? At least it seems to have all the holes in approximately same positions. So, I should first take off all the strings, and then open all the screws. But how do the volume and tone knobs come off? And the hole for the jack cable seems to have its edges on top of the pickguard too.
Yes it will fit. The holes are probably rigt, but if not, all you do is make one in the guitar.

I order parts from Guitafetish quite often, and they are very good for pretty cheep.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
on top of the pickguard thing you could buy different colored electrical tape and tape designs. i taped a red outline on one of my black guitars and it looks sweet! if you want to get real fancy you can get a clear pickguard and put some LEDs in the cavity. you can probably paint the backside of the clear pickguard and the LEDs might be able to shine through and that could look really cool! You can buy a different bass neck from Warmoth if you have the money. It should fit squire bodies. The possibilities are endless!
Check to see if there is a little screw anywhere along the side of the knobs. I doubt there is on a your squier, but better safe than sorry. If there is a screw, loosen it up. If not, just pull up on the knob (You may need to gently pry it off with a screwdriver). Then the pots (the thing under the knob) has a nut on it that you need to undo.

Yes take your strings off before you start this.

It says it fits Squier P-Basses. So, I would say yes.
EDIT: An addendum to my last statement: It says you'll need to "massage" a few holes. This means it will be close, but you may need to enlarge a hole or two.
Last edited by end_citizen at Mar 15, 2012,