Bass: The Soulful Cornerstone of Bands
The modern bass guitar, also called the electric bass, is a direct descendant of the double bass that dates back to the 17th century. Even though many believe that today’s electric bass guitar was created by Leo Fender, it was actually Paul Tutmarc who created the first electric bass in 1935. It wasn’t until 1951 when Fender would create the Fender Precision Bass and names such as Gibson, Rickenbacker and Hofner would eventually begin manufacturing versions of their own, making the Fender Precision Bass the most copied bass guitar design.
As the popularity of the bass guitar grew it became an important instrument in rock, blues, jazz, funk and reggae music, and various designs and styles of the bass were produced. The most common string count for a bass is four, five or six, but other numbers of strings can, and are, used. The first six string guitar was made in 1959 by Danelectro, and Gibson and Fender used this idea to create the Gibson EB-6 in 1960 and the Fender VI in 1962.
Bass guitars continued to grow in popularity throughout the 1960s and 70s, but did experience a slight decrease during the 80s. Today, the bass guitar has once again increased in popularity thanks to bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and their bassist, Flea, as well as brilliant solo bassists such as Victor Wooten.