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The Basics About the Bass Guitar

Bass guitars are often the backbone of a band. They carry the foundation for the entire music and bring a sense of depth to the sound. While most bass guitars look the same, there are two types: the acoustic bass and the electric bass.

The acoustic bass guitar can be heard in jazz and blues music because of its unique sound. The electric bass is used in many other styles of music including rock, jazz, pop, funk, disco, ska, punk, metal, reggae, gospel, and blues.

In some rock, metal, and pop bands and in jazz fusion groups, the bass line outlines the harmony of the music being performed, while in funk, hip-hop, and other popular genres, the bass line is used as a rhythmic and/or melodic tool.

In traditional music such as country music, folk rock, and related styles, the bass guitar often plays the dominant role in a bands musical texture. It is also used in most other genres of music, whether symphonic.

Download bass guitar sheet music and printable PDF score suitable for acoustic and electric bass guitars

What is the bass guitar?

The bass guitar is a stringed instrument that is very similar to the guitar, but instead of six strings it has four. It is often called a "Bass Guitar" and is tuned in fifths, like an acoustic guitar.

The scale length of the bass guitar is almost exactly the same as that of the acoustic guitar. But the higher tension set-up leads to a much faster playing style with simpler fingering and fewer frets.

Often the first guitar is available in a shorter scale length, such as with the Yamaha RBX170 Bass. Most basses have an extended scale to be able to play lower notes without having to press down as hard, but this makes their action uncom fortably high.

The O3 bridges the gap, keeping your action low for solid, reliable performance even at the lowest notes!

Bass guitars are often used to provide the low-end of the sound spectrum for an ensemble. These instruments are usually played in a standing position by using either a strap or a neck-and-guitar.

This is due to the fact that on a standard double bass, it is hard to pick up or drop down to the low range of the instrument in a playing position.

Though there are many options for 5-string extension pieces that turn an E-string into a low B-string, they generally result in significantly increased string lengths, causing intonation problems and added strain on the instrument.

The low B-string is too heavy to sound good on a steel-string acoustic. Shortening the scale of an acoustic guitar by roughly 17% will result in increased string tension, higher string stress and more relief in the top.

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Related terms:

Bass guitar chords - Bass guitar sheet music - Bass Guitar Basics for Beginners: The Basics Behind the Acoustic Bass and Electric Bass Guitar