The bass guitar is a string instrument that plays low notes. It serves as an accompaniment to the lead guitar in an ensemble or a band. It is usually made with four strings tuned to the keys of E-A-D-G, with G as the highest and E as the lowest key, at 41.3 Hz. A bass guitar with five or six strings is usually added with the low B or high C key. It can have up to 24 frets to achieve at least two octave ranges per string.
Types of Bass Guitars
Kinds of Bass Guitars include the following:
Electric bass guitar
An electric bass guitar is designed to be plugged into a bass amplifier or a powered speaker to produce an audible sound.
It has a solid and heavy body.
It is made of solid and durable hardwood such as maple and rosewood.
It usually has a nickel-plated die cast saddle.
It can have a built-in bass amp or a separate amp.
It is the most common type of bass guitar.
It is popularly used in live musical performances.
Acoustic bass guitar
An acoustic bass guitar has a sound hole (f-hole) and a hollow body that helps create and amplify sound.
When the strings are strummed, the vibrating air produced comes out of the sound hole.
It looks like an acoustic guitar, only larger and longer.
It can be fretted or fretless.
Acoustic-electric bass guitar
An acoustic-electric (or electric-acoustic) bass guitar functions as an acoustic and an electric bass guitar.
It is an acoustic bass guitar by nature.
It can be plugged into a bass amplifier to produce a louder sound.
It combines the features of an acoustic and an electric bass guitar.
It can be fretted or fretless.
The acoustic mode is ideal for live performances held in small venues, while the electric mode is suitable for big venues with large crowds.
Semi-acoustic bass guitar
A semi-acoustic bass guitar has a partially hollow body.
It has an empty center, providing good sound generation even without an amplifier.
Two popular examples are Hofner’s Beatle bass and Paul McCartney’s violin-shaped bass.
Four-string bass guitar
A four-string bass guitars has four strings tuned to the keys of E-A-D-G.
It has an alternate tuning for playing extended low ranges.
It is the most commonly used bass guitar in bands and ensembles.
Five string bass guitar
A five-string bass guitar has five strings tuned to the keys of B-E-A-D-G or sometimes E-A-D-G-C.It has an added lower range.
It can play low notes easily.
It is commonly used in playing semi-heavy metal music where the extended lower range is often used.
Six-string bass guitar
A six-string bass guitar has six strings tuned to the keys of B-E-A-D-G-C.
It is basically a four-string bass guitar with an added high C string and B string.
It is very rare; it is the least used bass guitar.
It is used in playing Latin and jazz music.
Choosing Bass Guitars (Buying tips)
Fingerboard: To get a warm, natural sound, choose a bass guitar with an uncoated fingerboard. On the other hand, choose one with a coated fingerboard if you want to produce and sustain a whining, fretless sound. Materials used: For extended use, choose a bass guitar made of a lightweight wood for easy handling. To get a low mid and punchy tone, look for a bass guitar made of swamp ash wood. If you want to produce a crisper tone, get one made of alder wood.