Electric Bass History

NMA-WP-2015-BassLike its counterpart, the guitar, the electric bass guitar was developed in the 1930s to allow bass players to amplify their instruments. It also provided a much more portable version of the enormous double bass. Initially, musicians played the electric bass in the same style as the double bass but that soon changed once it became clear that the electric instruments provided more possibilities. In 1957, it was considered that the use of a Fender Precision Bass on Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock was highly controversial but the electric bass was to take on an identity of its own, and it still plays a huge part in the development of modern music.

Our bass teacher, Darren King, is an experienced bass player who has toured Europe as a playing musician, composed music for several albums, and is an advanced student of the instrument. Bass lessons cost £12 for a 1/2-hour lesson. If you fancy learning bass guitar then please feel free to contact us. Our electric bass teacher is Darren King.

Fender P Bass Since the early days, the role of a bass guitar within the band has been developed to levels that are way beyond it’s original function. Paul McCartney was a pioneer of so-called ‘melodic’ bass lines, Chris Squire of the progressive rock band, Yes, took the idea even further and also developed a distinctive bright sound using his Rickenbacker 4001 bass.

RickenbackerIn the world of rock music, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath, Geddy Lee of Rush and Steve Harris of Iron Maiden played their way to legend status, composing bass lines that are now standard must-learns. In the ’70s, disco and funk players like Bernard Edwards of Chic and Rocco Prestia of Tower of Power wrote an played bass parts that could fill a dance floor in seconds.

Fender JazzIn the late ’70s, Punk Rock brought an aggressive sound to the electric bass with players like JJ Burnel and Bruce Foxton setting a new trend, and in the ’80s, virtuoso Billy Sheehan moved the bar even higher.

Most electric basses are strung with the traditional four strings; E, A, D and G but 5-string basses have become really popular over the last 2 decades and allow the player to extend notes downwards by having a low B string. A good quality beginner’s instrument will cost around £150 but you’ll also need an amplifier and cable. Packs with all that you need are available from around £200.