by Gord McKenna
The electrical bass guitar might enjoy its 75th birthday in 2010. In 1935, the instrument was born and eventually cause vintage bass guitars, otherwise recognised as the P-bass. This amazing instrument was the key in revolutionizing the music industry.
The initial electrical bass guitar was invented in 1935 by Paul Tutmarc who called his instrument an “electronic bass fiddle.” This instrument was fretted with 4 strings, had a strong body and was crafted to be played horizontally. Unfortunately for Mr. Tutmarc his bass fiddle not did catch on, really wasn’t any rock-n-roll in those days.
In the late 1940s, still, it started to catch on with some jazz and blues players in the south. It was a lot simpler to tune and transport than the big upright bass, which it would later substitute in various music genres.
It was equally louder thus that bassists can keep up, amount wise, with their six-string electrical guitar playing buddies.
Vintage Bass Guitar Heaven – The Early Years
The contemporary era of the electrical bass began in 1951 when Leo Fender came out with his today famous “Precision Bass” commonly well-known as P-bass. Basically it was modeled after his own 6-string “Telecaster” electrical guitar. This vintage bass guitar became thus common that it wasn’t lengthy before musicians all over the nation were abandoning their clunky aged upright bass for the hot lighter P-bass.
Naturally, when somebody invents anything that becomes favored others try to imitate it. Gibson tried to counter Fender’s success when they introduced their violin-shaped EB-1 model. Although it not attained the success of the Fender P-bass it did cause more lucrative Gibson EB models and has become a collector’s item as a result of its famous value.
Some of the alternative collectible vintage bass guitars that came from the 1950s were the Hofner 500/1 which would later become well-known as the “Beatles Bass” as this was the model Paul McCartney utilized in his early Beatle days. Then there was the Danelectro UB2 which was the first 6 string low-octave bass. Rickenbacker came out with all the 4000 in the late 1950s which was the initial electrical bass with through-neck construction.
The 1960s began with Fender producing their “Jazz Bass” or J-bass which was modeled after its Jazzmaster guitar. Gibson offered up its EB-3 in 1961 and followed that up in 1963 with a true vintage Gibson guitar, the “Thunderbird IV,” which was a bass rendition of their favored “Firebird” electrical guitar.
In the 1970s advancements in on-board electronics came into being together with different body designs. Alembic was the forerunner in designing active electronics and, as a consulting fast, installed them in guitars utilized by Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane), to name a limited. Eventually Alembic decided to provide its own electrical bass and introduced the 72-01 in 1972. Music Man came onto the scene in the early 70s and introduced the “StingRay” bass in 1976. This became the initial bass guitar, containing advanced active electronics, which was ever mass yielded.