Thursday, 4 December 2008

History Of The Electric Bass Guitar

Today I came across this really interesting article which explains the history of the electric bass guitar. It's not something I knew much about before now and if discovering how bass guitars were in the past then this bass article is well worth a read.

The Birth of the Electric Bass Guitar

The electric bass guitar is fairly easily identifiable because the overall shape is quite different to the standard electric guitar. An electric bass guitar usually has a body which is much larger in size than a standard electric guitar, and the neck is often much longer, with the scale length used for the frets much larger too. The overall size of an electric bass guitar is the most obvious distinguishing feature that makes it easy to spot, but of course its extra size can cause trouble for beginners. If you are looking at buying an electric guitar, and are considering the bass version, then it will be important to try out one such example first. The physical size may, in some cases, prohibit effective use, and a standard sized guitar may prove to be a more suitable alternative.

An electric bass guitar usually has four strings which are tuned to the same pitch as the double bass, or in some cases the strings are simply tuned to be one octave lower than the lowest four strings of a standard guitar.

For the last fifty years, the electric bass guitar has been the instrument of choice for producing the bass notes in most popular music, causing a dramatic decline in the popularity of the double bass for such music. The electric bass guitar has proven to be a very popular instrument, not only for use within popular music, but as an instrument in itself, often used for solo performances. In particular, jazz, funk and rock styles often feature an electric bass guitar solo, or prominent performance within a piece.

It was actually back in the 1930s that the electric bass guitar was born, with Paul Tutmarc's invention - originally referred to as a fiddle. It comprised of four bass strings, had a body and a fret board - and was played horizontally. Named an electronic bass fiddle it proved to be very popular, and because its manner of playing was more similar to that of a guitar, it meant that it was easier to pick up by guitarists than a fiddle would have been for them.

Although Tutmarc's fiddle marked the dawn of the electric bass guitar, it took about twenty years for the idea to take hold, and be developed by Leo Fender before it became a popular instrument. Fender created the Precision Bass, and took the rough form of a Telecaster with a single coil pickup. With four steel strings the instrument became popular with many well known bands and groups of the fifties, and it was at this point that the bass guitar became popular worldwide.

Following closely behind Fender was Gibson, whose bass guitars were generally smaller then fender's, and incorporated a humbucker pickup rather than the single coils. Gibson's most famous creation was the Thunderbird with a 34 inch scale, and duel humbucking pickups located halfway between the neck of the guitar and the bridge - a more usual position.

Today, electric bass guitars can be bought in a range of styles and shapes, although still generally larger than the standard electric guitars. For complete flexibility, however, you could always consider a duel neck guitar - with one being a bass, and the other a standard six string guitar!

Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, keyboards, sheet music, guitar tab, and home theater audio. You can find the best marketplace at these sites for electric bass guitar, bass guitar, sheet music, guitar.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

1 comment:

howtoplaybass said...

Hey man just letting you know you are doing a great job. I see you have covered a lot about the history of the bass guitar :). Keep up the work.