The bass is a descendant of the upright bass or double-bass often associated with classical music. The modern electric bass, a four-stringed, fretted instrument designed to be played horizontally instead of vertically, was developed in the 1930s by musician and inventor Paul Tutmarc of Seattle.
However, the instrument didn’t catch on until much later, when Leo Fender developed his version of it in the early 1950s. The Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company began producing the Precision Bass in October 1951.
We’ll approach the bass with a combination of rhythm and harmony training. You’ll learn about chord progressions and how to play the bass confidently. Next, you’ll learn about the foundations of rhythm and how to “play in the pocket,” which means locking in with the drums and being a supporting part of the rhythm section.
Is the bass right for you?
The bass is a laid-back instrument. It’s for the kind of person that likes to just go with the flow. That’s because that is exactly what the bass does. It’s in the back of the music, not calling a lot of attention to itself. But, along with the drums, it creates the groove. And if there’s no groove, people can’t dance! So the bass plays a most-important role in any band, combo or ensemble.
What to expect in your first lesson
In your first lesson, we will start playing the strings right away. The bass is played with the fingers, instead of a pick or plectrum. After you learn to fret your first notes, we will discuss your musical tastes and select your first song. The last step is learning where some of the notes on the bass, are so you can begin practicing your first song right away.
- Press the strings as close to the fret as possible, that way you won’t have to press as hard.
- Avoid hooking your fingers when plucking for a smooth bass tone.