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Guide to Bass Guitars

Bass Guitar : What is it?

Bass Guitars

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. 

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Types of Bass Guitars

Bass GuitarsBass Guitars

Kinds of Bass Guitars include the following:

Operation types

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.


String types

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.

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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.

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Banjos
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Congas
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Contrabassoons
Cornets
Cowbells
Crash Cymbals
Crumhorns
Cuatros
Cymbals
Didgeridoos
Digital Pianos
Dizis
Djembes
Double Basses
Drum Machines
Drum Sets
Dulcimers
Electric Guitars
Electric Mandolins
Electric Pianos
Electric Sitars
Electric Violins
English Horns
Erhus
Euphoniums
Flugelhorns
Flutes
French Horns
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Grand Pianos
Guiros
Guitars
Hammered Dulcimers
Handbells
Harmonicas
Harmoniums
Harps
Harpsichords
Highland Bagpipes
Indian Flutes
Irish Bagpipes
Irish Bouzoukis
Kotos
Lutes
Mandocellos
Mandolas
Mandolins
Maracas
Marimbas
Mbiras
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Mellotrons
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Oboes
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Piccolos
Piccolo Trumpets
Rainsticks
Recorders
Samplers
Saxophones
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Shawms
Shekeres
Shofars
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Timpanis
Tin Whistles
Trombones
Trumpets
Tubas
Udu Drums
Ukuleles
Upright Pianos
Vibraphones
Violas
Violins
Washboards
Xylophones
Zithers


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