Showing posts with label Bass Guitar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bass Guitar. Show all posts

Thursday, November 9, 2017

History And Use Of The BASS GUITAR

Ibanez Roadgear 600
Photo  by MaQPhoto 
The bass guitar has been derived from the double bass, which was used in the late 1950's. Having 4 strings, these instruments add the lower tones to a musical performance. Experimentation with the bass had started as early as the 1920's. It wasn’t until the 50's however, that a proper bass instrument was formed. 

In the mid 20th century jazz became popular. As double bass was used those days, they were often not heard due to the lack of amplification. The drums, banjos and other instruments in the band drowned out the sound of the bass. Until 1950 when the first electric bass came into existence with modern amplification techniques.

The bass guitar is played like all guitars with the player holding it close to his body in a horizontal position. The strings are plucked by hand or with the plectrum. In the 1970's, the slapping technique became popular.

Today, the bass guitar ranges from 4 strings up to 11 strings. The 5, 6 and 7 strings providing the mid range while the 11 string starts from a lower than human hearing going up to a very high activity. Electric bass guitar players use various configurations. These changes are made by using preamplifiers and speaker sets. Signal processors are also varied to provide new soundscapes.
In nightclubs, combo amplifiers are used. These amplifiers are fixed with single loudspeakers to make them portable and effective.

The body of the instrument can be of wood or graphite. A wide range of finishing is applied to make it look good. IT can be colored or simply clear white. The work done on the body is fine engineering and delicate balances have to be maintained.

A hot debate rages on what to call this instrument. For nonmusicians, the term bass guitar is common, while hardcore players like to call it electric bass or simple electric bass. Slowly but surely, however, this instrument has gathered a large following which likes to use its own jargon.

The electric bass is a part of the modern country music, post-1970 jazz, and funk. Used mainly to provide backing, it adds a depth to the music. This instrument has added a whole new color to our musical pleasure. Insole music particularly, the bass guitar is effective.


Are sound effects used? Well, yes and no. As the bass guitar sets the tone for the rest of the band, sound effects are not often used, unlike electric guitars. Modern bands, however, have started experimenting with distortion units to add a new flavor to the bass and low key that they provide behind the music.

As we go into a new century, the electric bass's become more and more popular. All bands use it today to add a subtle background. Many groups like U2 even use it to give a haunted feeling increasing emotional attachment to the music. Newer techniques have made this instrument a crucial part of any musical group today.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How to Play BASS Fast

Learning how to play bass fast is not as hard as it may seem. Having the ability to play bass fast has many advantages. You will be able to play anything thrown at you and your musical ideas will not be limited by your speed. Unfortunately, most people try to play fast without proper preparation. I am going to show you exactly how to build speed in a way that will give you excellent technique!

English: Victor Wooten playing his bass guitar...
ictor Wooten playing his bass guitar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When practicing bass, you should always play along with a metronome. A metronome will help you develop natural time, which is very important to speed. You can get one at a music store for as little as $10.

To practice speed, we are going to be playing sixteenth notes. A sixteenth note is a division of a beat by four. That means that every beat your metronome gives you, you should play four notes. Just find a pattern that you like to play. A simple scale will work fine. Find a speed on your metronome that you find comfortable and play along with it for a few minutes. Then up the speed by ten BPM (beats per minute). Play with this new speed until it becomes comfortable.

Continue in this fashion until the speed is just too much for you to keep up with. Once you identify your speed limit, try to play at ten BPM faster than your limit. It will be way too fast for you to play with but try it a few times anyway. Then back the metronome back ten BPM. You will find that now you can play at a speed that you could not before.

An important thing to building speed is to practice in this fashion every day. Even if you just practice ten minutes a day, it will do wonders for building speed!

They have a great bass player that I know you can learn a lot from! Watching great bass players will help you a lot so take the time to do so!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Playing BASS GUITAR Solos

A Rickenbacker 4001 bass.
A Rickenbacker 4001 bass.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
In 1965 British rock group, The Who released a song called My Generation. Apart from its claim to fame as a rock anthem it also contains the most instantly recognizable bass guitar solo in rock and roll. This iconic solo by John Entwistle is typical of the bass solo modeled on similar solo breaks played on double bass and bass guitar in jazz music. This type of bass guitar solo is in the form of a question and answer sequence often found in blues music. The Who's solo also imitates jazz bass solos in that it is played without other instruments behind it. In jazz such solos are played unaccompanied because other instruments tend to drown out the bass.

There have been many bass solos included in rock, funk and jazz but only in pop music has the bass guitar solo stood alone as a piece of music. The first pop musician in England to own and play an electric bass guitar was Jet Harris. He found fame and fortune with The Shadows, Cliff Richard's backing group who were trying to make their own way in pop music as a vocal and instrumental group. Harris played on the band's early instrumental hits featuring the lead guitar of Hank Marvin but decided to try to make it as a soloist like America's Duane Eddy. 

Jet Harris' first big hit as a solo guitarist was in 1962 with his rendition of the 1940 song Besame Mucho. The throbbing notes of the six string bass turned a poignant love song into an instrumental work full of menace. Probably inspired by their former band member's success, The Shadows released another six string bass solo called Stingray as a single in 1965.

Meanwhile in America in 1963 a young composer and arranger named Jack Nitzsche made a lush orchestral single called The Lonely Surfer. The orchestra was merely the backdrop for a simple melody played on the bass guitar. The Lonely Surfer never climbed higher than number thirty-nine on the charts, but that is pretty good for a bass guitar solo! 

These days the bass guitar is an important part of any band. It was actually born in the nineteen thirties but met with very little success until it was adopted by the early rock and roll groups of the nineteen fifties. The bass guitar is of course descended from the double bass which has always been a solo instrument in orchestral music and was often used for solo work in jazz.

If you want to play bass guitar, you might want to consider learning to play a regular guitar first. It is not absolutely necessary  to become a lead or rhythm guitarist before playing bass but it seems to be the way that bass guitar players come into the world. To begin your career as a bass guitarist you can try playing through the bass tabs available on the internet. There are also some lessons available for free plus you can view heaps of bass solos and bass guitar lessons on the various video sites.



Once you have some practice on the bass guitar under your belt there is blinding variety of bass guitar techniques to try before you begin seriously to play solos. You can employ a wide range of plectrums or choose from the many techniques which involve plucking, popping and slapping the bass with the fingers. To some people this might sound like hard work but hopefully you will regard it as a labor of love.




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BASS GUITAR PLAYERS Who Changed The World

Suzi Quatro, wearing black leather, plays a ba...
Suzi Quatro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some people think that if you want to change the world you don't become a bass player, but go into something more challenging and stimulating like the Post Office. But does this myth portray how bass players really are? Let's step back from our habitual way of seeing bass guitar players as necessary but boring members of the group. Like accountants. 

Sure we acknowledge the fine contribution they make to their bands by supplying the bass lines and paying for the beer, but do they actually do anything really creative? This brief listing of some prominent men (and woman) of bass will allow you to see that this apparently self effacing member of a musical group could be the creative powerhouse.

Let's start with the leather jacketed but overpoweringly feminine Suzi Quatro. A vocalist and bass player who had a bunch of hits in Australia and Europe in the early seventies, her popularity in the USA stemmed from her role as Leather Tuscadero in Happy Days.

John Entwistle pioneered the use of the electric bass guitar as an instrument for soloists. His aggressive approach to the bass guitar influenced many other bassists.

Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers impressed a lot of musicians with his popping and slapping technique which was originally invented by Larry Graham of Sly And The Family Stone. Flea's innovative use of effects pedals has also influenced many bass players.

Jack Bruce wrote most of supergroup Cream's hit songs. Among his other achievements are fighting constantly with Cream's drummer, Ginger Baker and surviving a liver transplant.

Greg Lake is another artist of the early seventies who played with a number of innovators from the glam rock era. Lake is best known for his vocals, bass and guitar work with Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Rob Bailey is a bassist who plays loud and aggressive. His bass playing is an important element in the music of AC/DC.

Benny Rietveld, a Dutch musician who went to college in Hawaii, is admired for his musical and individualistic style of playing. He worked with Barney Kessell, Sheila E, Huey Lewis and Miles Davis. He has also made an album featuring Carlos Santana. Talk about diverse.

Paul McCartney performs in Dublin, Ireland on ...
Paul McCartney  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Paul McCartney played bass with The Beatles. Many bass players say he's quite good, but he changed the world with his romantic song lyrics.

Considered by some to be the king of bass players, Stanley Clarke employs a variation of the pop and slap technique to produce some truly innovative bass guitar music. His 1976 album, School Days, is acclaimed by many critics as one of the greatest bass albums ever.

A true bass lead guitar player, Billy Sheehan has won Guitar Player Magazine's "Best Rock Bass Player" readers' poll five times. Why a "bass lead guitar player"? Because Billy plays bass as if he were playing lead.

So if you are not familiar with bass guitar players I hope this article has whetted your appetite. Why not spend your next rainy Sunday watching some of their work on YouTube?




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Development Of The Electric BASS GUITAR

Although the concept of a bass guitar was first developed in the 1930s, it wasn't until the 1950s that mass production met with popularity and the concept of an electric bass guitar became mainstream. Once the idea of an electric bass guitar took hold, and was used widely in groups and bands performing across the world, many companies began developing new styles and methods to create some fantastic ideas for the instrument, and help its popularity grow. Today the electric bass guitar has stepped forwards from the dark shadows of the back of the stage to take a much more prominent position at the front - and has become known as a very popular and stylish instrument to play. Not forgetting, of course, that the quality of sound and versatility have come a long way too.

7-saitiger HeKe E-Bass "Goliath"
7-saitiger HeKe E-Bass "Goliath" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since it took about twenty years for the idea of an electric bass guitar to become a mainstream popular idea, it is unsurprising perhaps that it took another twenty years for the next big jump in design and innovation. It was in the 1970s that the company known as Music Man was founded by Leo Fender. It was this company that designed and created the StingRay, which was the first bass guitar to include active electronics. Although these active electronics can sound quite complex, the simple effect was to increase the range of high and low notes, and enhance the crispness of each.

In the early seventies a company called Alembic created the basic design for the high end bass guitars, known as boutique guitars. These were crafted using the highest degree of expertise, with the most highly skilled craftsmen using the finest quality materials. With unique, custom designs, the most premium woods available and some of the most innovative electronic gadgetry included, these boutique bass guitars became well known as the top guitar to have - and brought bass guitars from the back of the stage to the very front - an equal to the standard electric guitar.

Over the next thirty years the designs of electric bass guitars have varied, with new innovations, odd and unusual features and designs, including a headless bass by Ned Steinberger, who also introduced the Trans-Trem tremolo bar. A few years later the Guild Guitar Corporation introduced the astonishing fretless bass, known as the Ashbory. Quite how a guitar would work without frets would challenge any sane thinker - but the Ashbory used silicone rubber strings, with a piezoelectric pickup. The result of this was a sound more like a double bass than an electric guitar.


It was in the nineties that five string basses became popular, and prices began to reduce quite significantly, seeing pre-amplifiers built in to most bass guitars - previously something reserved for the higher end guitar. Today we see electric bass guitars include digital modelling circuits actually built in to the guitar - almost like having a computer built in to the body of the guitar, and able to enhance, distort, amplify and altar the voice of the guitar in such a way that it is possible to program the guitar to sound like any of the well known types of guitar available previously.


    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, keyboards, sheet music, guitar tab, and home theater audio.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

BASS GUITAR Tabs And Their Place In The Circle Of Life


Bass guitar tab is an extremely popular way of writing bass guitar music. If you are interested in becoming a bass guitarist you need to get familiar with bass guitar music by playing the bass lines of some of your favorite songs before you let your inner bass player off the chain. Utilizing this handy tool you can learn how to be the bass player in a band quickly without getting too much into boring theory.

Tapping on a bass guitar
Tapping on a bass guitar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bass player's job is simply to keep time. Nothing could be easier. Until you try to do it. So what is actually involved? The bass guitar player keeps time by playing a 'bassline' which is usually a rhythmic' sequence of notes. The bass player brings together the rhythmic playing of the drummer with the melodies and chords played by the lead guitarist. Do  you need to be a talented musician to do this? Yes you do. The bass guitar player is the guy who switches off his brain and becomes one with the flow of the music. He then switches his brain back on and become the designated driver for the rest of the band.

A novice bass guitarist may not immediately be able to follow (or lead) the rest of the band right from the start. You might need some material to work with while you ease into the job. Bass guitar tab gives the guitar player written directions on what to play to give the bass line to a song. Tablature is a written representation of the strings of the guitar using numbers to show the frets. If you want to learn the bass guitar quickly tab will help you.  It is easy to pick up and to remember, and it enables you to learn the riffs and phrases you need to give structure to your band's music.

A bass guitar tab is a picture of the fret board which can be drawn using Notepad on your computer or, if you like, by hand. The frets are numbered on lines representing the guitar strings. If you have a four string bass, the upper string is the G string, next the D string, the A string, and the E string. The numbers below the lines are the frets where the notes are played. If there is zero below the line it means the open string is played. A chord is represented in bass guitar tabs by two numbers, one above the other. Most bass guitar tabs contain a legend which explains any unfamiliar terms.



With the history of rock music going back for generations tabs are available for any song you can think of. The internet is by far the best source for bass guitar tabs. Just do a Google search and you will have more material than you will ever need. All you have to do is learn and practice. Learn and practice your favorite songs first. Bass guitar is not a musical instrument you can approach without passion. Bass guitar riffs can be learnt from tab books but should be played from the heart.