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2. Background info on e-basses

Electric basses as we know them today first appeared in the early forties of the last century. The actual originator of the e-bass was probably Audiovox Manufacturing & Co., a tiny company which developed the #736 Electric Bass Fiddle sometime in 1935 or 1936. Unfortunately this invention must have been so far ahed of its time, as only very few instruments were ever sold. The company went bankrupt and soon after no-one remebered anything about it, nor about the inventors or the e-bass itself.

This is why Leo Fender is now generally regarded the father of the modern e-bass. He got things going when he launched the Precision Bass in 1951. Just as had happened some years previously after the e-guitar came to market, the greater opportunities and enormously powerful sound of the e-bass quickly made them a high-status instrument. Over the following years and decades, the bass played a more and more important part within the band structure and finally became the backbone - with the drums - of the nascent rock music movement. The forms were developed and modernized further until 1957. Then, in around 1959, the legendary Jazz Bass with two single coil pickups was developed.

But there are even more features the electrified thin-stringed and thick-stringed instruments share. As is the case with the e-guitars, the design of even the earliest e-basses made complete sense, and so many of the the originally launched models are available to this day - or at least were the models on which newer shapes are based.

Fender Precision Bass
Precision Bass
Fender Jazz-Bass
Jazz Bass

With the increased volume and the ever greater player comfort the basses featured, not only their status changed. Playing techniques and expectations likewise grew constantly. Whereas bass players were happy to use only the eighths of the key notes at first (which need not be a bad thing, of course!!!!), more and more muscians discovered the Bass' potential as a solo instrument over the years. Today, bass players can choose form a wide variety of types: with or without frets, with four, five or six strings, with screwed-on, glued, or through necks, made from traditional or from exotci woods.... the choice is practically unlimited. You will find further information in our online guide to e-basses.

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