D N A Of The Bass Guitar
March 4, 2019
sound is low range —
You’re of the rhythm…..
Music Fails To Live …
You Love Company
Not Afraid To Be Alone
The Groove Is
Playing It Jazz,
Make It Rock
Punk, Country, Pop,
Heavy Metal,Its Blues
Its All You
Nobody Can Touch You
You Are The Bass
The Bass Guitar
The electric bass guitar (also called electric bass, or simply bass) is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers (either by plucking, slapping, popping, or tapping) or using a pick.
The bass is similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar,
But with a larger body, a longer neck and scale length, and usually four strings tuned to the same pitches as those of the double bass, or one octave lower in pitch than the four lower strings of a guitar (E, A, D, and G).
Since the 1950s, the electric bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music.
The bass guitar provides the low-pitched basslines and bass runs in many different styles of music ranging from rock and metal to blues and jazz.
It is also used as a soloing instrument in jazz, fusion, Latin, funk, and rock styles.
A wide variety of different options are available for the body, neck, pickups, and other features of the bass. Instruments handmade by highly skilled luthiers are becoming increasingly available.Bass bodies are typically made of wood although other materials such as graphite (for example, some of the Steinberger designs) And Aluminum have also been used.
While a wide variety of woods are suitable for use in the body, neck, and fretboard of the bass guitar – the most common type of wood used for the body is alder, for the neck is maple, and for the fretboard is rosewood. Other commonly used woods include mahogany, maple, ash, and poplar for bodies, mahogany for necks, and ebony for fretboards.
The choice of body material and shape can have a significant impact on the timbre of the completed instrument
As well as on aesthetic considerations. Other design options include finishes, such as lacquer, wax and oil; flat and carved designs; Luthier-produced custom-designed instruments; headless basses, which have tuning machines in the bridge of the instrument (e.g.Steinberger and Hohner designs) and several artificial materials such as luthite. The use of artificial materials allows for unique production techniques such as die-casting, to produce complex body shapes.
While most basses have solid bodies,
They can also include hollow chambers to increase the resonance or reduce the weight of the instrument. Some basses are built with entirely hollow bodies, which changes the tone and resonance of the instrument.
Acoustic bass guitars are typically equipped with piezoelectric or magnetic pickups and amplified.
Bass guitar necks, which are longer than regular electric guitar necks, are generally made of maple. More exotic woods include bubinga, wenge, ovangkol, ebony and goncalo alves.
Graphite or carbon fiber are used to make lightweight necks and, in some cases, entire basses.
Exotic woods are used on more expensive instruments: for example, the company ‘Alembic’ is associated with the use of cocobolo as a body material or top layer because of its attractive grain.
Warwick bass guitars are also well-known for exotic hardwoods:
most of the necks are made of ovangkol, and the fingerboards wenge or ebony. Solid bubinga bodies are also used for tonic and aesthetic qualities.
The “long scale” necks used on Leo Fender’s basses, giving a scale length (distance between nut and bridge) of 34″, remain the standard for electric basses. However, 30″ or “short scale” instruments, such as the Höfner Violin Bass, played by Paul McCartney,
And the Fender Mustang Bass are popular, especially for players with smaller hands. While 35″, 35.5″ and 36″ scale lengths were once only available in “boutique” instruments, in the 2000s, many manufacturers have begun offering these lengths, also called an “extra long scale.”
This extra long scale provides a higher string tension, which yields a more defined tone on the low “B” string of 5- and 6-stringed instruments (or detuned 4-string basses).
Strings and tuning
The standard design for the electric bass guitar has four strings, tuned E, A, D and G, in fourths such that the open highest string, G, is an eleventh (an octave and a fourth) below middle C, making the tuning of all four strings the same as that of the double bass.
This tuning is also the same as the standard tuning on the lower four strings on a 6-string guitar, only an octave lower. String types include all-metal strings (roundwound, flatwound, groundwound, or halfwound), metal strings with different coverings,
such as tapewound and plastic-coatings. The variety of materials used in the strings gives bass players a range of tonal options.
In the 1950s, bassists often used flatwound strings with a smooth surface, which had a smooth, damped sound reminiscent of a double bass. In the 1960s and 1970s, roundwound bass strings similar to guitar strings became popular.
Roundwounds have a brighter timbre with greater sustain than flatwounds. Flatwounds are still used by some bassists who want a more ‘vintage’ or Motown-style sound.
A number of other tuning options and bass types have been used to extend the range of the instrument.
The most common are:
Four strings with alternate tunings to obtain an extended lower range.
Five strings usually tuned B-E-A-D-G, which provides the extended lower range of “drop tuning” or other down-tunings. Another common tuning used on early 5 string double basses is E-A-D-G-C, known as “tenor tuning”.
This is still a popular tuning for jazz and solo bass. Other tunings such as C-E-A-D-G are used though rare. The 5th string provides a greater lower or upper range than the 4-string bass, and gives access to more notes for any given hand position.
Six strings are usually tuned B-E-A-D-G-C. The 6-string bass is a 4-string bass with an additional low “B” string and a high “C” string. While much less common than 4- or 5-string basses, they are still used in Latin, jazz, and several other genres, as well as in studio work where a single instrument must be highly versatile.
Alternate tunings for 6-string bass include B-E-A-D-G-B,
Matching the first five strings of an acoustic or electric guitar, and EADGBE, completely matching the tuning of a 6-string guitar but one octave lower allowing the use of guitar chord fingerings.
Rarer but not unheard of are EADGCF and F#BEADG, providing a lower or higher range in a given position while maintaining consistent string intervals.
Detuners, such as the Hipshot, are mechanical devices operated by the right or left-hand thumb that allow one or more strings to be quickly detuned to a pre-set lower pitch. Hipshots are typically used to drop the “E”-string down to “D” on a four string bass.
Most electric bass guitars use magnetic pickups. The vibrations of the instrument’s metal strings within the magnetic field of the permanent magnets in magnetic pickups produce small variations in the magnetic flux threading the coils of the pickups.
This in turn produces small electrical voltages in the coils. These low-level signals are then amplified and played through a speaker. Less commonly, non-magnetic pickups are used, such as piezoelectric pickups which sense the mechanical vibrations of the strings.
Since the 1990s, basses are often available with battery-powered “active” electronics that boost the signal and/or provide equalization controls to boost or cut bass and treble frequencies.
“P-” pickups (the “P” refers to the original Fender Precision Bass) are actually two distinct single-coil halves, wired in opposite direction to reduce hum, each offset a small amount along the length of the body so that each half is underneath two strings.
Less common is the single-coil “P” pickup, used on the 1951 Fender Precision bass
“J-” pickups (referring to the original Fender Jazz Bass) are wider eight-pole pickups which lie underneath all four strings. J pickups are typically single-coil designs, but because one is wired opposite to the other, when used at the same volume they have hum canceling properties.
Humbucker (dual coil) pickups, are found in Gibson, Music Man and other basses. They have two signal producing coils which are reverse wound around opposed polarity magnets.
This significantly reduces noise from interference compared to single coil pickups. Humbuckers also often produce a higher output level than single coil pickups.
“Soapbar” Pickups get their name due to their resemblance to a bar of soap and originally referred to the Gibson P-90 guitar pickup. The term is now also used to describe any pickup with a rectangular shape and no visible pole pieces.
They are commonly found in ERB basses. EMG now makes a Soapbar pickup that has both a single coil and a humbucker in the same pickup. The player switches between the two by pulling or pushing on the volume knob.
Many basses have just one pickup,
typically a “P” or soapbar pickup. Multiple pickups are also quite common, two of the most common configurations being a “P” near the neck and a “J” near the bridge (e.g. Fender Precision Bass Special, Fender Precision Bass Plus), or two “J” pickups (e.g. Fender Jazz).
The placement of the pickup greatly affects the sound, with a pickup near the neck joint thought to sound “fatter” or “warmer” (the bass frequencies being dominant) while a pickup near the bridge is thought to sound “tighter” or “sharper” (providing a larger amount of treble).
Usually basses with multiple pickups allow blending of the output from the pickups, providing for a range of timbres. Sound demos for six variations of P-J pickup settings on the Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass illustrate this concept.
Piezoelectric pickups are non-magnetic pickups that produce a different tone, often similar to that of an acoustic bass, and allow bassists to use non-ferrous strings such as nylon, brass or even silicone rubber. Piezoelectric pickups use a transducer crystal to convert the vibrations of the string into an electrical signal.
Optical pickups are another type of non-magnetic pickup. They use an LED to optically track the movement of the string, which allows them to reproduce low-frequency tones at high volumes without the “hum” or excessive resonance associated with conventional magnetic pickups.
Since optical pickups lack high frequencies, they are commonly paired with piezoelectric pickups to fill in the missing frequencies. The Lightwave company builds basses with optical pickups.
Amplification and effects
Like the electric guitar, the electric bass guitar is always connected to an amplifier for live performances. Electric bassists use either a “combo” amplifier, which combines an amplifier and a speaker in a single cabinet, or an amplifier and a separate speaker cabinet (or cabinets).
In some cases when the bass is being used with large-scale PA amplification, it is plugged into a “DI” or “direct box”, which routes their signal directly into a mixing console, and thence to the main and monitor speakers.
For some recordings, the electric bass is recorded without the use of an amplifier and speakers by connecting the bass with the mixing board using a “DI”, while the musician listens to the sound of the instrument through headphones.
Various electronic bass effects such as preamplifiers, “stomp box”-style pedals and signal processors and the configuration of the amplifier and speaker can be used to alter the basic sound of the instrument.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, signal processors such as equalizers, distortion devices, and compressors or limiters became increasingly popular additions to many electric bass players’ gear.
Sitting or standing