Types of Bass Instruments

There are two types of bass instruments, based on the playing method required to play them. E1, A1, D2, and G2 are the most common bass string pitches.

  • The upright bass is held upright.
  • There are horizontal bass guitars.

There are multiple subcategories within each of these categories. Let’s take a look at some of the more well-known examples.

Sturdy bass guitars

Upright basses come in both acoustic and electric varieties. Any upright acoustic bass (or “double bass”) can be amplified by installing a “pickup.” A lack of suitable retrofit pickups in the early days of electronic instruments helped create the electric bass guitar. However, things have gotten a lot better. Orchestras typically feature the upright acoustic bass, which has been around for centuries. Both plucked and bowed (arco) are acceptable playing methods (pizzicato). The fingerboard is devoid of frets. Four strings are the most usual, but five isn’t unheard of.

Many acoustic upright basses have a fingerboard extension that allows the low string to be tuned to C or B instead of E. Using this feature; basses can be equipped with attachments after they’ve been made.

Carved or laminated, these instruments are further subdivided into categories (i.e., plywood). As time has passed, the laminate basses have progressed and are now on par with some of the best-carved basses available.

The acoustic bass is most commonly used in classical music, jazz, country, blues, rockabilly, folk, and other Latin and other world forms.

This type of folk instrument is a long stick, rope, and the metal basin of a washtub. In most cases, only one strand can be pried apart.

Electric upright basses were first made available to musicians in the 1930s. Smaller and lighter than acoustic instruments, their design is focused on amplifying their sound (which they require). They can be made from wood or synthetic materials (such as graphite and carbon fibre).

Bass-guitar-style instruments

Bass guitars, too, come in a wide range of designs. In the 1930s, Paul Tutmarc constructed a four-string instrument widely credited to him, and Leo Fender introduced the guitar to a wider audience back in the 1950s.

A 4-string fretted fingerboard with a solid body is the most prevalent type. However, there are available 5-string and 6-string guitars with fretted or fretless fingerboards. Some rare instruments have seven, eight, ten, or twelve strings, and tuning for the 8-, 10-, and 12-string models are identical to that of a mandolin. There are also guitar/bass hybrid instruments with four bass strings and six guitar strings on the same device.

Flat-wound and round-wound strings are available on electric bass guitars, and Flat-wound lines are less prone to damage the fingerboard than round wound strings, and Round-wound strings have a brighter sound. Both the tone and basic hand feel of each instrument are unique to that instrument’s articulation.

Four-stringed acoustic bass guitars have hollow bodies and are generally fretted. These are most commonly used in folk and world music, particularly Mexico. Because they can be played horizontally, guitarists who want to play bass can easily make the switch. Moreover, they are the most portable of the bass choices, as they are compact and do not necessitate an additional amplifier, though they are often outfitted with one.