This summer is a great time to train your fingers with string instruments if you are a music lover. Try learning how to strum an electric bass guitar and you’ll surely love it. If you wish to buy a short scale bass, check it out at MusiciansFriend.com and give yourself a treat. You will discover your talent in music while loving it passionately.
Bass is more than just a guitar with two fewer strings. It has a different tone, scale length, feel and musical role, and in many cases it requires a different conceptual and technical approach.
However, there is so much more that can be done with the bass guitar.
The origin of bass guitar can be traced back in 1920’s. Lloyd Loar, designed the first electric double bass. The bass used an electro-static pickup, but amplification of bass frequencies was as yet undeveloped, so there was no practical way of hearing the instrument.
In the early 1930’s, Paul Tutmarc became the first known individual to refine the double bass to a more practical size. The first prototype was about the size of a cello, and featured a rudimentary pickup, but this was found to be too heavy, and the design was refined to be more like a guitar. This new bass was 42 inches long, solid body, made of black walnut and piano strings and, like the previous, featuring a pickup.
In the mid ’30s, several established musical instrument firms began marketing experimental electric basses that were prototype bass, much less bulky than a standard double bass. However, these were all still tall, unfretted, upright instruments held in the standard vertical position.
There was very little progression of the bass guitar until Leo Fender famously created the Precision bass in 1951. This was named the Precision bass as the frets on the instrument allowed the notes to be played with precision. This was, to many people, the first real electric bass, as it was the most mass-produced and recognisable bass guitar at that time, and still is. Its design is the most copied in bass guitar history. In 1957, the pickup was changed to be a split pickup, and the pickguard and headstock were redesigned.
In 1965 came the first fretless Bass Aubi from Ampeg and in 1968, there appeared an 8 string bass from Hagstroem. The first fretless 6 string, (later owned by Les Claypool) was built by Carl Thompson in 1978. Because of playing styles like Slap and Pop, the variable number of strings and the different combinations of woods, necks, etc. pickups had to become much more varied. EMG pickups became widely used on bass guitars.
Nowadays, bass has further increased in popularity due to bassists like Les Claypool (Primus) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), who have shown the importance of bass in modern music. Unfortunately, the double bass declined in popularity, as it is unable to compete with the compact size and versatility of the electric bass guitar. Now, when somebody talks about a bass, the mind instantly jumps to an image of an electric bass guitar, rather than its predecessor, the acoustic upright.
In playing bass guitar, more often than not, it requires that you exercise restraint and subtlety rather than showcase your technique and slick moves. In many situations, it’s best to work mostly with the root notes of the chords and lock in with the drummer’s kick and snare drums.
In a rhythm section, part of the bass guitar’s role is to function as a liaison between the drums and the rest of the band. In most cases you want to make the bass and drums sound like one entity, and a great way to do this is to craft bass lines that fit like a glove with the drummer’s kick and snare drums. Using octave root notes is often an excellent way to do this, the low octave corresponding to the kick drum and the high octave hitting with the snare, typically on beats two and four, which are also known as the backbeats.