Bass – what instrument is it?
When it comes to guitars and learning how to play them, most imagine a six-string guitar, acoustic or electronic. At the same time, for some reason, such an important part in the group – and not only rocker one – remains as an instrument like a bass guitar.
The origin of the bass
Where did the bass come from, why is it needed at all and is it difficult to learn to play it? The bass guitar grew out of double bass. He was an integral attribute of jazz ensembles. In the 20-30s of the last century, jazz bands were very popular, and the ever-increasing distribution of vehicles provided them with quite a lot of freedom of movement. As a result, the need for a new instrument that performs the same functions was mainly due to the fact that the double bass lacked mobility. He was too big, heavy, could be used only in a vertical floor position.
The first sample of a bass guitar was released in 1951 by American Leo Fender. It was called “Fender Precision Bass”, popularly just “Precision”. He quickly gained popularity, as, however, the following, more advanced models from Fender and other manufacturers included in the release of bass guitars. In the 60s, the era of rock music began. Bass found its application here. Moreover, during this period new varieties of the instrument appeared, such as acoustic, fretless, with a large number of strings. As a result, the technique of playing on it was modified. Appeared as a technique borrowed from a six-string guitar, and unique.
Thanks to this development, it became possible to play solo parts on bass. But its main functions nevertheless consist in creating the rhythm and harmony of the composition. Therefore, it is not so popular – after all, many want to play music simply “for themselves”, and not in a group. The bass guitar interacts with all other instruments. With drums – to create rhythm. With a solo guitar – to maintain harmony.
Therefore, its role in the ensemble cannot be underestimated. Although for some reason many, especially beginners, believe that the tool is simpler and not there. Often the reason for this relationship is the logical chain “fewer strings – easier to play”. Yes, most bass guitars have only 4 strings. But this is not the limit – there are five-, and six-, and even twelve-string models.
In order to learn how to play – to play fully – on bass, you need to have such qualities as a sense of rhythm and a sense of melody, the ability to hear other members of the ensemble. But if you try, learn techniques and constantly practice them, the bass guitar in your hands will become the true core of the group.