Learn Bass Guitar – a little history lesson…

I guess you can’t wait to get stuck in and start learning how to play bass guitar, but let’s start with a little background and maybe even a bit of the history of the bass guitar. Now try and stay with me on this, some of it is actually quite interesting! For a start, did you know that the first instrument to be thought of as an electric bass was invented in the 1930’s by a man named Paul Tutmarc. His invention was known as the Electric Bass Fiddle and was the first bass instrument designed to be used in the horizontal position – previously the double bass was the standard instrument for playing bass lines, and obviously they are played in the upright position. Turmarc invented the Electric Bass Fiddle in Seattle, Washington, which in more recent musical history is considered to be the birth place of grunge (with the likes of Nirvana and Peal Jam leading the way).

So, when did the bass guitar or ‘electric bass’ as we now know it really start appearing? Well, in the 1950’s, so some time after Paul Tutmarc’s invention, a certain Leo Fender introduced the Precision Bass or ‘P-bass’, which became the first mass-produced electric bass and pretty much became the industry standard. From the 50’s to the present day a number of variations of the bass guitar have been produced, for example you can get fretted and un-fretted basses, headless basses, jazz basses (J-bases), acoustic basses, basses with any number of strings from 4 up to 12 (yes, 12 string bass guitars honestly exist, though any bass with more than 6 strings is known as an ‘extended range bass’). As you have now probably gathered, there is more to the bass guitar than just the standard 4-string, fretted bass that most of us probably have a picture of in our head!

So if you want to learn bass guitar, i suggest you go out there and get one of the 12-string bases and give it a go! Or perhaps not! I think it may be wise to stick to a nice simple 4-string bass as a beginner….