Styles of the Best Bass Guitars: Bass Evolution & Types for Playing:
The bass guitar has undertaken a long journey in the world of music to come to its present day form.
Initially the bass was held vertically and later on players and musicians started holding it horizontally which gave a huge fillip to its popularity.
The history & evolution of this music instrument which is often confused with an electric guitar has been fascinating. Ever since the 1930s when the bass guitar was first played, it has undergone a number of transformations.
Here is a sneak peek into the evolution of this wonderful instrument along with its types available in the present markets:
Bass guitars, also known as electric bass guitars rose in popularity in the 1950s although they have been in existence since the 1930s. When the guitar styled electric bass instruments began in 1930s, they were fretted and played horizontally. They were generally made of expensive wood and used to be as solid as the ones we find today.
The 1950s saw guitars taking over many other musical instruments. The bass design evolved into a much better one with beveled edges, contoured bodies and single split coil pickup. They were extensively manufactured on a large scale to meet the growing demand. Bass guitars were widely utilized in jazz as well.
The decades of 1960s and 1970s witnessed the bass guitars getting more stylish. Many manufacturers jumped into the fray to make better designed guitars. Guitars with pickups mounted between the top of the bridge and base of the neck began ruling the markets. They shrunk in size and became sleeker too.
The rise in popularity of such guitars is largely due to the ease of holding and learning. A bass guitar differs from an electric guitar in terms of a longer neck, larger body and scale length. Bass guitars are extensively used to play all sorts of music to include reggae, rock and roll, metal, fusion, rock, jazz and many more.
Having seen the evolution of bass guitars let us know the types of bass guitars available:
1. Upright bass
Also known as double bass guitar, this traditional bass style does well for any music genre ranging from country bluegrass to orchestra. You can play this guitar with either a bow or simply by plucking the strings with fingers. It may be 5’ or more in height and has a hollow body.
2. Acoustic bass
This has a traditional dreadnought design and is ideal for studio or stage playing due to its small size. The small size makes it convenient to play while standing or sitting as well. Most such guitars can be plugged into a public address system.
3. Electric fretted bass
This is the most popular of all bass guitars that have appeared in the markets in this decade. With a solid body, this guitar is capable of being equipped with traditional passive pickups that do not need batteries or active pickups that need them. They offer unmatched accuracy due to the single frets on their neck.
4. Precision bass
This type of bass guitar has a split coil electric pickup. Being one of the most popular bass guitars, it produces a timbre that is very different from a double bass guitar. It also has a much clearer fundamental note and less percussive thump.
5. Jazz bass
This bass type has a better defined sound compared to other guitars. It has a richer mid range and a brighter tone.
Nowadays bass guitars and guitars are available from a number of manufacturers and can be custom made with unique designs, wood type and finish.