The electric bass guitar is larger with a longer neck and scale length than a standard electric guitar
. With only four strings, tuned one octave lower in pitch than the bass strings of an electric guitar, it is played with the fingers by plucking, slapping- even picking. The electric bass guitar relies on the pickup to capture and carry the sound from the guitar to the amplifier. Used in all genres of popular music, the bass guitar is particularly notable as a solo instrument in jazz and blues but plays a large role in rock, pop and metal as well.
Bass guitars can be both fretted or frettless, meaning that some bass guitars have frets, metal bars on the fingerboard, and others do not. The original Fender bass guitar
had 20 frets, but the standard today is 24 or more. The frets of a bass are divided into semitones, with 12 semitones creating one octave. Players use these frets to guide their playing and to create the note that they want. Fretless basses are played by pressing the string directly onto the wood of the fingerboard producing a distinctive sound. The so-called "mwaah" sound is made by the string buzzing or vibrating directly on the fingerboard. A fretless bass
allows musicians the freedom to be more expressive. Although they do not have frets, most of these basses have an inlay marking where the fret would be to help guide the musician's performance.
The electric bass guitar is a solid body instrument, however the electric/acoustic bass guitar has a hollow body. This hollow body allows the vibration from the plucked strings to resonate and create the bass sound. Relying on pickups that carry the sound to the amplifier, just as they do in standard acoustic guitars
, electric/acoustic bass guitars can be played with or without amplification.
Legends in the music industry, there are signature basses by Mark Hoppus, Nikki Sixx and Reggie Hamilton