Electric Bass Guitar

ih-lek-trik bas guh-tar
The electric bass guitar is a string instrument of the guitar family of instruments. This chordophone can feature four to six strings and is often tuned an octave below the standard tuning of an acoustic guitar. The electric bass guitar is one of the most commonly found instruments in many forms of popular music including: pop, rock, jazz, blues, indie and funk.
History of the Electric Bass Guitar
The history of the electric bass guitar begins in the early 20th century and with new technological developments in electronics and amplification. Before this time, instruments like the double bass (contrabass), mandobass and even bass banjo had to be very large in order to carry the resonance of a very low register. We see this in brass instruments even today. It is believed that Paul Tutmarc of Seattle, Washington in the United States was the first to issue what is recognisably an electric bass guitar in 1935, though this was named a “bass fiddle” and was intended for playing upright. In the 1950s, Leo Fender of American guitar manufacturer recognised a need for a low range electric guitar and the company issued the first mass-produced electric bass guitar with the precision bass, sometimes referred to as a p-bass in 1951. This model is still sold around the world today. Several companies like Gibson and Höfner followed in the 1950s and these instruments experienced a meteoric rise in sales in the 1960s as rock ‘n’ roll and pop music exploded in popularity. The electric bass guitar is still one of the world’s most common musical instruments in many genres of pop, rock, funk and blues music, with many varying designs in body shape, tuning and number of strings.
Inventor: Paul Tutmarc

Where to Buy

£120 - £4,000

Hear the Electric Bass Guitar

Audio of the Electric Bass Guitar is Coming Soon

How to Play

A guitar with four or more strings, typically played with a pick or fingers, used primarily to provide bass rhythms.

In Popular Music

The electric bass guitar is one of the most popular instruments in modern pop and rock music recording. Famous players like Paul McCartney of The Beatles, John Entwhistle of The Who and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads recorded nearly every one of their songs on the instrument

Famous Players

Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, Flea

Close Relations

Electric Guitar, Acoustic Bass Guitar
Video Credit: Davie504
Understanding the Electric Bass Guitar


United States








Instruments of Music

Copyright © 2023 Instruments of Music. All Rights Reserved.