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Electric Bass

The Electric Bass - The foundation of the modern band since the fifties

The electric bass, along with the electric guitar, is undoubtedly one of the great musical innovations that the 1950s brought forth. The first electric bass guitar is undoubtedly the Fender Precision Bass, which the ingenious inventor Leo Fender presented in 1951. Until then, bands had to rely on a double bass which, due to its enormous size, was not only difficult to transport but also required an experienced player for clean intonation and could no longer keep up with the hip amplified instruments in terms of volume. The P-bass, with its solid body construction and pickup, made it easy to play on the bass amplifier, while its fretboard also allowed non-classically trained musicians to hit the notes precisely. Within a very short space of time, countless bands from the up-and-coming Country, Rock'n'Roll and Motown scene had relied on electric basses as the foundation of a band's rhythm and melody play.

Electric basses in a wide range of models

With the Fender Precision Bass as the nucleus, a large variety of electric bass models developed within a very short period of time and their evolution continues today. In 1960, Fender introduced the Fender Jazz Bass to the market, which became the absolute top seller with its optimized playing characteristics and versatile bass sound. Even Fender's biggest competitor Gibson did not remain idle and in 1953 first released an electrically amplified bass with a small violin-shaped body, followed in 1958 by the Gibson EB basses in the SG Shape, which are still popular today. In 1963 the Gibson Thunderbird finally saw the light of day, whose distinctive design still stands iconic for rock music today. With the Music Man StingRay, the first electric bass with active electronics for adjusting the bass sound came onto the market in 1976, while more recently Ibanez, Yamaha and Spector set new standards in terms of playing comfort and sound variety with modern bass designs and complex circuits. In the 1990s, Fender developed signature models such as the Marcus Miller Jazz Bass, a further development of the J-Bass modified by Marcus Miller himself.

Design and features of the electric bass

Basically, the electric bass is divided into models with solid body and semi-hollow constructions. While the former has a solid body that makes it completely insensitive to feedback, the latter's semi-acoustic construction provides a particularly warm and deep sound, as appreciated by Allen Woody of the Allman Brothers and the Dropkick Murphys. But also in the composition of the neck of a bass the instruments of different manufacturers differ clearly. Fender has always relied on a stable screw connection between neck and body, which promotes a crisp response, while Gibson, for example, relies on glued necks for a harmonious sound development. The "Neck Through" construction, which is mainly used by Ibanez, Spector or ESP, is also elaborate. With these electric basses, the neck extends through the entire instrument under the bass strings and thus promotes a long and evenly decaying sustain. Last but not least, some electric basses have a fretless fingerboard, which promotes a singing sound similar to the classical double bass. Fretlines and side-dots often facilitate safe intonation on the fretless bass. In addition to the classic four-string design, 5-string basses with an additional low B string have established themselves especially in rock and metal, while modern jazz virtuosos often rely on six-strings with the extended range of a low B string and a high C string.

Electric bass sound amplification from passive to active

The electric bass also offers a great variety of pickups and electronics. The split coil pickup, which is often found in the Precision Bass, convinces with a distinctive, low-midrange sound, which is particularly popular in Rock and R&B. The second classic is the Single Coil Pickup, which promises a wirey-transparent sound with high assertiveness and is an all-rounder for every genre. Third in the group is the Humbucker, its hum-free and extremely fat sound presents every note richly. In addition to the passive pickups that are usually employed, the modern bass in particular uses active pickups with increased transparency and headroom to support modern sounds. To adjust the sound, the electric bass traditionally has a passive treble diaphragm, modern designs often rely on active 2-band or 3-band tone control for precise adjustments in the character-shaping frequency bands of the electric bass.

Buy Electric Basses at MUSIC STORE

In the Bass department of MUSIC STORE, interested musicians will find a large selection of different electric basses and bass guitars for every taste. The Jack & Danny basses and sets, which combine classic designs and sounds with attractive prices, are especially aimed at beginners. Leo Fender's popular bass designs, on the other hand, offer Squier and Fender, ranging from the entry-level Affinity and Classic Vibe series to models from Mexican and US production to the exquisite individual basses in the Custom Shop. The Ibanez Soundgear and BTB basses as well as the electric basses from Spector and ESP are aimed at modern bassists. The Fame Baphomet basses, which are available in four- and five-string versions, also impress with their excellent price-performance ratio.

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