The Different Types of Bass Guitars
Essentially, there are two types of bass guitars: electric, and acoustic. Electric basses need to be plugged into an amplifier, a powered speaker, to be heard. They are solid-bodied, often made out of woods that are conducive to sound vibrations such as alder, mahogany, and maple. Cheaper basses are made of laminated wood or pressed woods. The electric bass and its bass amp go hand-in-hand. Acoustic basses, similar to the acoustic guitar, have a hollow body and a sound hole to let out its sound. Hybrid acoustic-electric have the same body type, but use a pickup to allow it to be amplified once plugged into an amp. Most bass guitars have only 4 strings. This type is good enough to play a variety of musical styles. It is a good place to start of beginners as it is smaller in size, making it easier to handle and learn with. Those with five or six strings give the bass a lower range by adding a lower B string and/or high C string. The additional strings are perfect for bassists who often solo.
The Standard of Iconic Bass Guitars
Some people see the bass guitar as the underrated hero of the rhythm section. Despite its less popularity than the standard electric guitar, people still consider this as one of the important instruments in a four-piece band. This also brought out the different forms of the instrument that most players use today. Fender’s Precision Bass popularized the instrument and remains a go-to workhorse for serious players. The Jazz Bass, also by Fender, has a more asymmetric body which allows for more comfortable handling. It also has a rich, bright tone that is favored in the genres of funk, jazz, R&B, and soul. The Rickenbacker was, arguably, made popular by The Beatles in the 1960’s, and was well-liked for its solid tones with bright treble. There are many things to consider when purchasing a bass guitar, but it is important to note that, although it is pricey, it is ideal to buy the best bass in your price range. A sturdy, versatile instrument is a good investment that will last long after you’ve gotten your money’s worth.
- Pros: This type does not need to be plugged into an amplifier, so it can be played on its own and is more portable. However, for multi-functionality, consider an acoustic-electric bass.
- Cons: The acoustic typically sounds average, unless you purchase a high-end one. The lower the pitch, the larger body required. Also, this is only good for playing in smaller settings.
- User: This is good for those who often play acoustic gigs, or those who are still learning and often play in their room. It takes up very little space, and sounds less disruptive than the electric.
- Pros: Most bands who need bassists require them to own and play electric, so this is a good choice for those who play with other people. Its sound can occupy a large room with the assistance of a good amplifier.
- Cons: It cannot be played without an amplifier, so there is the concern of multi-functionality and portability.
- User: This is the go-to choice for most bass players, as this is the type played in both song recordings and live performances. Get this kind if you are in a band, or plan on playing with other people.