Used in nearly all styles of music, the Bass is perhaps the most important instrument in the string family. It provides low end notes to round out an ensemble’s sound. It also provides a pulsing rhythm to drive the song forward. There are three types of basses used in modern music.
The Double or “Upright” Bass is the granddaddy of all the basses. It’s descendants share the same tuning and even the same fingering in most cases. If you can play one of these things, you can play any bass. Click here to sign up for Double Bass lessons.
By far the most popular of the three basses, the electric bass is also the most versatile. It is used in nearly all styles of music. Good bassists are hard to find. If you learn to read music, stay in the groove and master proper technique, you can make a living playing this thing. (I speak from experience). Click here to sign up for Electric Bass lessons.
The least common, but still useful, bass is the Acoustic/Electric bass. It is used primarily for “unplugged” sessions where an amplifier is not practical. All of the electric bass principles still apply. Click here to sign up for Acoustic/Electric Bass lessons.
A brief history of the bass:
The bass has been used in modern music since the 1600’s. It started as a way to fill out the sound of an orchestra by adding low end. As music progressed to large bands of brass and wind instruments, the bass became useless as it was not loud enough. The tuba was called upon in these situations to provide the low end and driving counter-rhythms. When jazz took over the popular music scene in the 1920’s, the Tuba cornered the market in big bands and jazz bands. It wasn’t until the popularity of electricity exploded that amplification of double basses became possible. As it has a more mellow tone than a tuba, jazz bands were drawn to the sound. Tubas were replaced by double basses, and it remained that way until the 1950’s. When rock and roll was in it’s founding era, the upright bass was the go-to instrument. It was, however, too big and too quiet to keep up with guitar amplifiers, and drums. As guitars grew in volume output, they needed a way to make basses louder. the solution was to make a hybrid of the electric guitar and bass. And thus the electric bass was born. The rest, as they say, is history.