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The Electric Bass Pt. 1

Where Would Music be Without the Electric Bass


Here at Badaxe Boutique, while we are proud of our wide selection of boutique guitars, we are equally as proud of our electric basses. Music, as we know it today, would not have been possible without the invention of the electric bass. The bass is the soul of the band. The bassist, along with the drummer, are essential in keeping the rhythm of the band in sync. In today’s post, to pay homage to this wonderful musical instrument, we are going to go into a little bit of detail about the early days of the electric bass and how it has transformed into the instrument that we know today.


Early Electric Basses Were…Awkward


For centuries, the bass had been a purely acoustic instrument. Most people are familiar with the standup bass (you know, that big violin looking thing?), but as music began to evolve in the early 20th century, people quickly found that the basses of old just weren’t getting the job done like they used to. The development of the electric bass coincided with the introduction of electronics and amplifiers in guitars. As the guitars grew louder, the need for a louder bass also become a priority. Early attempts at electric basses were awkward to say the least. In the 1930s, Vega Electric introduced the Bass Viol, Regal introduced the Electrified Double Bass, and Rickenbacker, not to be outdone, introduced the Electro Bass-Viol. These early basses were essentially made of the center part of an upright bass (the neck, essentially) and came with an amplifier to translate and produce sound. These early basses were large, awkward, and ugly and it wasn’t until Fender came along that the bass began to take shape.


Fender, Once Again, Saves the Day


While Gibson tried to step into the bass game in 1938 with their Electric Bass Guitar (essentially an upright bass with a hollow body that featured a magnetic pickup), it wasn’t until 1951 that the bass guitar would truly take shape. It was this year that saw the introduction of the Fender Precision Bass. Considering the design of its competitors, the Precision base seemed like a gift from the gods. For centuries, bass players had been forced to carry around bulky basses that took up a lot of room and were not very travel-friendly. The Precision Bass did away with the endpin completely, and borrowed heavily from the design of the Telecaster. Fender had originally hoped that the Precision Bass would be as popular in the country music scene as the Telecaster; however, while one of the first Fender Precision basses was used in the 1952 Grand Ol Opery, the electric bass found its true home with jazz musicians.


Join us again next time as we continue to go over the history of the electric bass and, as always, if you are in the market for a boutique guitar, electric bass, effects pedal, or any other guitar accessory, visit or contact BadAxe Boutique today. We offer a wide selection of quality instruments that are sure to meet the needs of any style of musician.