This post will introduce you to the bass guitar, touch on its history, its evolution and mention some of the amazing bass players that have graced the instrument. Read on to learn more about the electric bass guitar.
Welcome to the world of the low frequencies; if you’re reading this then you’ve taken an interest in the electric bass and have decided to pursue it further. Maybe this post will reaffirm your decision to play the bass, or perhaps it will be the final argument for you to start playing it now.
It’s a pretty cool instrument. It may not be as flashy as a drum kit, or command as much attention as a pimped out electric guitar, but it has a subdued, laid-back vibe all its own. A standard bass guitar has four strings and is tuned E-A-D-G; an octave below the lowest strings on a guitar to provide a sonic foundation for the melody to build upon.
While you may give up the fame and glory of the spotlight when you choose to become a bass player, you gain full control of the key of the music, and full dominion over the bass frequencies.
Bass Guitar Frequencies Move People
This is almost a mystical power that most people won’t even realize that you have. Many won’t even realize that it is the bass player and the way he chooses to play certain notes, leave others out, and the space and rhythms in between these that are hypnotizing them into dancing. It is a great responsibility that you take on – called the groove – without it; any music you play will be lame.
So besides this, why take on the bass guitar? What is it about the electric bass that is cool, or should be attractive to someone just starting out that just wants to play SOMETHING?
Well, getting up and running with a bass is much easier than most other instruments. You don’t have to have four-way independence as with drums, you don’t have to memorize all the chord fingering patterns like you would with a guitar, and you don’t have to spend years to get a sound that doesn’t sound like a cat being tortured as you would with a violin. By comparison, you can pick up just about any bass guitar and start playing bass lines almost immediately – the good news is that the easier it is to play an instrument along to music you like when you’re starting out, the more likely you’ll stay with the instrument for good.
Another great reason why the electric bass is cool is that EVERYONE needs a bass player. You make the other band members sound good, and there are many styles of music out there that use the acoustic bass or electric versions. That means that if you’re a good bass player, you’re willing to work hard, learn and you have a great attitude -you’re going to have many more job opportunities than many other musicians would have.
Being a bassist is as much a state of mind as it is a position in the band. You need to put the song and the other musicians before yourself. You are the glue between the rhythm and the melody – you straddle the line between the drummer and the guitarist, giving the music that third dimension that makes music so exciting. If you’re willing to put your ego on the back burner, you can become a truly great bassist that is in demand.
Is playing the bass guitar easier than most instruments? Yes it is, but to master any instrument is virtually impossible. Playing the electric bass is initially much easier than guitar; you can outline chords one finger at a time as opposed to learning the fingerings for each chord. You also have fewer strings to change than the guitarist, but keep in mind that bass strings are thicker – so in some ways, playing high tempo music on them is more difficult because you need to play just as fast as the guitarists but with thicker strings. This means that you’re moving more mass in the same amount of time or energy.