Guitars 101: Electric Bass
Unlike acoustic guitars that easily amplify sound, acoustic bass guitars struggle more to produce a high volume due to the lower frequencies. Luckily, electric bass guitars provide easy volume control while still keeping deep basslines. Let’s talk about what makes electric basses special and what bass is best for you.
The first electric bass guitar was invented in the 1930s by Paul Tutmarc. However, they didn’t start getting mass produced until the 1950s when Fender began producing precision basses (P-Bass for short). The Fender Bass revolutionized playing styles for touring bass players. Unlike the upright basses popular in the 40s, the electric bass was lightweight and easy to travel with. They also allowed for less unwanted feedback and easy tuning compared to upright basses and acoustic basses. The horizontal playing allowed for guitarists to more easily transition into bass players, furthering the popularity of the Fender electric bass. With electric basses becoming popular in many genres, Fender noticed the need for other options and released the Jazz bass, J-Bass for short, in 1960.
There are many differences between a J-Bass and a P-Bass. One of the main differences are the coil pickups and configuration: J-Basses feature two single-coil pickups, one close to the bridge and one in the P-Bass’s split coil pickup position. Another difference is the size of the neck: the J-Bass’s neck is narrower at the nut than the P-Bass, allowing for easy access to the lower strings and spacing that feels more like an electric guitar. The J-Bass also has a volume control for each pickup, giving you more control of its robust sound.
When choosing an electric bass, keep in mind the feel and control you’re looking to get. If you’re new to string instruments, a P-Bass may be easier to configure and learn. Precision basses also bring a more classic rock n’ roll sound, whereas Jazz basses allow for more volume and tone control with the double coils. Finally, look and feel are big factors to determine. A J-Bass is designed off of the Fender Jazzmaster, whereas P-Basses are based off of the Stratocaster. Keep all of these factors in mind when you’re shopping for your new electric bass.As you can see, there are many perks of picking up an electric bass, from learning ease to robust sounds and easy travel. Take a look at our line of affordable, quality bass guitars here.