The Electric Bass

The Electric Bass.

This is probably why you're here and the whole reason this website exists.

While still a relatively young instrument, it has garnered a pretty decent and steady following in the just over 50 or so years it has been on this planet.

If you were to stop any bass player today and ask them why they started to play the bass, you would get as many different answers as you would players. For some, they would say that the bass was thrust at them because no one wanted to play bass over guitar. For others, they would tell you that they had an epiphany when they heard a certain player. Others, a bit of both (yours truly).

And yet, isn't it funny that an instrument that people tend to make fun of as being simple and easy is also the one that people tend to fall in love with as soon as they play it a bit?

Most of us bass players wouldn't give up our music unless we had absolutely no other choice. With the unique position and type of work that we are given as musicians, why would we? We hold a very unique and powerful (and rather misunderstood) position in music and the way that it is structured, and most of us are very happy there.

However, a lot of us don't really know a whole lot about how the electric bass works in a scientific and physical way. How do Pickups work? How about the nut? What is so special about the woods that are used in making a bass? Why is one kind of tone prized by some and loathed by others? (that one is more personal than scientific, but I'll try to discuss it anyways). This section actually came about because I was talking to a friend of mine and he was talking about starting to play the guitar. He was asking me all these questions about pickups and strings and necks and frets and I got to wondering if it wouldn't just be easier to do some research and bring the answers to as many people as possible on this site. I wanted it to be easier for you to find this info when you need it.

The Electric Bass

One of the things I get asked by my friends about are the parts of the electric bass. Therefore, I have written a few pages of information on this particular subject. If you're interested in learning about the Body of the Electric Bass, you can check out that page to read my page on bass bodies. If the neck is what tickles your fancy, you can check out my page on the Parts of the Neck.

Another bunch of questions I get are related to pickups and electronics. On my fretless bass, when I gutted the electronics, I found out a lot about how they work when I had to rewire a pair of soapbar pickups in parallel with two volume knobs and a tone knob. Why don't you head on down to my page about Pickups and get a few of your questions answered?

What about Extended Range Basses? Have you ever wondered about why some players decide to play on a bass that has more strings than they have fingers? Or what about a short comparison between Fretted and Fretless Basses? How much do you know about them?

I'm always adding new things, so check back once in a while to find a new answer to a question that I've been asked. If you have a question that you would like to ask, you can contact me by visiting my contact page here.

I want to take the time now to mention that there are a great number of resources out there that deal with the extremely detailed and technical aspects of electronics and measurements for nuts and the like. These pages are meant to be decently thorough answers for some common questions that I think are important for bass players to know the answers to. If you have complex wiring or electronics issues, you may want to seek out some answers from any number of electronics professionals or Luthiers.

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