When some people hear the word bass, they immediately think about the bass guitar, a popular instrument in many types of music today. However, there is actually a large number of different instruments that fall under the base category, and the bass guitar is only one of them. Bass instruments are instruments that produce a specific type of sound. Bass is used to describe tones of low range or low frequency. When played in orchestras or ensembles, these notes are most frequently used as a way to provide a counter melody or counterpoint in a harmonic context. This is ideal for outlining or juxtaposing the progression of chords, or underlining the rhythm using percussion instruments. In popular music of today, the bass part of the music is most commonly intended to provide support both rhythmically and harmonically as well.
There are numerous different bass instruments, including bass drums, bass clarinets, bass guitars and many others. Let us look at some of these instruments and what sets them apart from the other instruments in the bass family.
Bass Clarinet -
The bass clarinet is a musical instrument that belongs to the clarinet family. Like the soprano B sharp clarinet which is a much more common clarinet, the bass clarinet is most commonly pitched in B sharp, meaning that it is a transposing instrument and that when C is written, it sound as B sharp would. The bass clarinet, however, also plays its notes an octave below the standard B sharp clarinet. Bass clarinets available in other keys, like C or A for example are also in existence but they are very rare and not commonly played at all.
Bass Drum -
Bass drums are large drums that produce a note of either low definite pitch or indefinite pitch. There are basically three different general classifications for bass drums. The first bass drum classification is the concert bass drum, the second classification is the kick drum and the third classification is the pitched bass drum. The type that is most commonly seen and heard in concert band music and orchestral music is the concert bass drum, which comes in a variety of different sizes but is most commonly the largest drum in the ensemble. The kick drum on the other hand is a drum that has a beater attached to a pedal, and it is most commonly seen in drum kits because the drummer is managing numerous different types of drums and cannot beat on the bass drum without a free hand to do so. The third and final type of bass drum is the pitched bass drum. This drum is the most common in marching bands as well as drum corps and is usually grouped in a set of three to five drums. This drum is generally tuned to a specific pitch and is the largest drum played in the ensemble.
Bass Guitar -
The bass guitar is available both in an acoustic bass guitar setup and an electric bass guitar as well. The electric bass guitar is a stringed instrument that is played primarily with either the fingers and thumb or by using a pick. When playing the bass guitar, some of the most popular motions are plucking, popping, slapping, tapping and thumping the strings. The bass guitar is quite similar in appearance and construction to a regular electric guitar, but the bass guitar generally has a larger body and a longer neck. The longer neck creates a longer scale length, and there are usually four strings that are tuned similarly to the double bass.
The bass guitar notation is generally found in bass clef about one octave higher than the sound that it actually presents. Just like the standard electric guitar, the electric bass guitar is most commonly plugged directly into an amplifier and speaker so that it can produce a greater sound in the event of live performances.
The electric bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass or stand up bass in popular music. This is because the bass guitar is capable of providing the same low pitched bass runs and bass lines in many different styles of music. In other words, the bass guitar is not nearly as limited when it comes to the different types of sounds that can be created. Accordingly, the bass guitar can be implemented into a musical ensemble as a solo instrument in many styles of music including rock, funk, Latin, fusion and jazz.
Double Bass -
The double bass, also known as the stand up bass or the contrabass is the largest and the lowest pitched of all bowed string instruments that you will find in the modern symphony orchestra. The double bass is a standard member within the string section of the orchestra, and can also be found in smaller string ensembles as well. The Double Bass is constructed from several different types of wood, including maple, spruce and ebony. Maple is most commonly used for the back of the double bass, with spruce making up the top, and ebony being utilized for the fingerboard.
The origin of the double bass is largely unknown. Many are not sure of whether the double bass is a descendant of the standard violin or of the viola de gamba, but it is traditionally assumed that the double bass comes from the violin family. The double bass does have features that liken it to other instruments within the violin family, but it also has features which are unique to the viola family.
Music is a truly intense part of every culture around the world. Music can bring people together, and can differentiate them from one another just the same. Bass music is an interesting style of music because it involves a much lower range of notes and sounds than other instruments that can play a much wider range of sounds. Still, bass instruments are vital in many types of music, including jazz, blues, fusion, rock and even R&B.
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Originally posted 2008-10-27 16:24:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter