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Back to Bassics | A Bit of Bass Trivia You Ought to Know

Published: Mon March 05, 2012  News Feed

Back to Bassics!

You can't argue to be the best Bassist in Britain unless you can answer the following questions...what a better way to kick off our bass week with a little bit of trivia to get you up to scratch with some of the basic, and most important bass facts!

Who invented the first bass guitar? It comes to light that the general scope out there is that Leo Fender created the bass. Wrong! Theoretically Paul Tutmarc developed the first electric string bass in the 1930's. Though it was designed to play horizontally, his “Model 736 Bass Fiddle” was a four-stringed, solid-bodied, fretted electric bass instrument with a 30.5-inch scale length, holding many of the characteristics of a modern bass guitar. Why didn't I know that? Only 100 of these bass guitars were made, and unfortunately never made a great succe

Leo Fender: Leo Fender created the first mass-produced bass guitar in the 1950's, the Fender Precision Bass (or P-Bass to you and I). Its body design was similar to a Telecaster's and it held a single-pickup until the Split pickup was introduced in the late 1950's.

The first bass player to tour with a bass guitar: Monk Montgomery

The Gibson Bass Guitar: Born in 1958 was the EB-1. Gibson quickly began to develop their bass guitar range and soon released the EB-2 and EB-0 bass in 1959. The benefit of a Gibson bass to a Fender was its sleeker and smaller design with a “mini-humbucker” at the bridge pocket (1961).

What is a fretless bass? A fretless bass has a much more distinctive sound, more similar to a double bass. Players must press the string down directly onto the wood of the fingerboard

How many strings are on a bass guitar? The most common electric guitars come with 6-strings. Bass guitars however are usually four, though five strings are increasingly popular. You can also find six-string, seven string through to 121string basses (Extended Range Basses)

What's the scale length of a bass guitar? Bass guitars are long-scale instruments and between 30-34 inches. If you're a beginner or a student, you can get yourself a short-scale bass, but beware that there is a tonal difference. Short-scale bass guitars usually have a slightly heavier string gauge, which makes a thicker and more bass-heavy tone than long-scale basses. But, the likes of Paul McCartney, Gary Mounfield (Stone Roses, Primal Scream) and Mikey Way (My Chemical Romance) use a short-scale bass!

What are the different pickups on a bass guitar and what are the differences?: Precision pickups, Jazz pickups, humbucker (dual coil) pickups, soapbar pickups, piezo pickups and optical pickups! Pickups are quite a long and complicated story! There are now so many different types of pickups in each Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez and any other major bass brand range. We'll be explaining in full detail this week the different types of pickups and what exactly the differences are in them!

Who are the most popular bass guitar brands? Our best selling bass guitar makers in no particular order include: Fender, Ibanez, Yamaha, Gibson, Squier by Fender, Rickenbacker and Dean. However, amplifier brands and bass gear brands are also extremely popular from the likes of; Ashdown, Orange, Boss, Roland, Line-6, Laney, Hartke and Vox. We'll be covering all of our favourite and best-selling gear this week so you know which gear you need in your rig and what your favourite artists are using!

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