The electric bass guitar is a staple of the music scene today. It provides the bass spectrum of sound to the likes of rock, jazz, metal, blues and numerous other musical acts. The bass may provide one part of the larger melody, or be featured as the primary instrument. Over the course of 70 plus years, the bass guitar has enjoyed its place in the musical world.
The electric bass guitar was invented in the 30s by Paul Tutmarc, as an alternative to the double bass, which is easier to carry, transport and use. In the 50s, Leo Fender was responsible for developing the first mass produced electric bass guitar, which became the standard of touring musicians. The first artist to tour with the Fender guitar was Monk Montgomery, who toured with the big band led by Lionel Hampton. Many others began to adopt the guitar during this time, and interest picked up. Beginning in the 60s, Gibson released their version of the bass guitar, know as the EB series. During the 50s and 60s, the instrument was known as the Fender Bass, because of the quick speed at which the company began to produce the instruments. By the end of the 60s however, the instrument became simply the electric bass.
In the 70s, new advances to the electronics were introduced. Electric stringed instruments produce the signal by using magnetic coils which would pick up the vibrations and then the electronics would amplify the signal. In 1957, the split pickup was introduced which used two coils with their poles and wiring reversed. The combined effect was equivalent to the two being wired in parallel, producing a hum bucking effect. Other designs featured two coils with one close to the bridge, one close to the fret board. Each of these produces completely different sounds.
The new electronics of the 70s featured actively powered pickups and amplification built into the guitar. These electronics not only included the pickup and amplification parts of the circuitry, but also frequency filtering and processing, which helped improve the sounds intended and eliminated those that were not wanted. Different manufacturers would produce slightly different electronics, which would cause guitars from different manufacturers be used for different styles of music.
In the 1980s, bass designers will still developing and exploring new approaches. A headless band, for example, was introduced in 1979. In 1987, the fretless Ashbory bass was invented, using silicone rubber for strings and a piezoelectric pickup, creating a sound similar to the double bass with a short scale length of 18". The hollow bodied acoustic bass guitars using pickups for amplification became especially popular in the 1980s by MTV's "Unplugged" television show.
Five string basses became more popular, more affordable and more widely available during the 1990s, meaning bass players from numerous genres began to play them for added lower range. Onboard battery powered electronics also became increasingly available despite only being available on boutique, expensive instruments before this point in time.
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Originally posted 2008-11-03 05:42:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter