The different types of bass guitars exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they are often a bigger, longer version of an electric guitar with four or five thick strings.
The bass guitar is an essential instrument in the majority of musical genres and bands. They may play various roles, but the key to becoming a great bassist is consistency and timing.
The primary function of bass is to keep the low-end in the mix and the band performing in a tight rhythmic pattern.
Below are the different types of bass guitars.
1. Solid-body Electric Bass Guitar
One of the best different types of bass guitars is the solid body electric bass guitar. It is made up of electric bass with a solid wood body (typically maple or mahogany) and a tiny pre-amp that enhances the signal intensity and turns it into electrical energy for use by an amplifier.
They typically have four strings that are tuned EADGBE from lowest to the highest pitch, while some players tune to DGBE to simulate a double bass.
Some studio musicians in pop music use this instrument since it is lighter and less bulky than a double bass while going from one session to the next.
2. P-bass Electric Bass Guitar
Fender’s Precision Bass was the first electric bass guitar ever produced. On a cutaway body, it often has a split-coil pickup.
P-Bass bass guitars are still popular today owing to their wide price range and sound diversity. The P-Bass is perfect for beginners because it has the majority of the characteristics required to play the instrument. It also has two knobs dedicated to volume and tone.
Aside from that, the P-Bass features bigger frets, making it easier for novices to master. However, the one disadvantage here for novices is the short neck.
It might be difficult to use for people with tiny hands and short fingers. Overall, the P-Bass has a great high and low range.
If you’re searching for a less expensive model, check for a P-Bass with a single-coil pickup. It makes a humming noise, but it’s not too unpleasant for novices.
3. Hollow-bodied Electric Guitar
Hollow-bodied electric guitars, often known as “jazz boxes,” “jazz guitars,” “jazz pickups,” or “jazz basses,” were created in the late 1950s.
They have a hollow wooden body to boost their capacity to generate vibrating sound from the amplified string.
In front of the guitar body, a resonant chamber or well, either empty or partially filled with a cloth or other materials, is usually added to increase resonance and depth of tone.
Semi-hollow guitars have an arched top and back but are solid beneath, whereas fully hollow guitars are open at the bottom with no center block. Due to its ‘breathing’ sound, the latter are frequently louder compared to solid body guitars.
4. Acoustic Bass Guitar
Acoustic bass guitars are acoustic guitars with just 4 or 5 strings. It has the appearance of an acoustic guitar but with a thinner and longer neck.
The advantage of this type of bass is that you can hear the notes even when it is not connected to an amp.
However, some types of acoustic bass guitars include built-in electronics that allow them to be linked to an amplifier.
However, unlike electric bass guitars, semi-acoustic bass guitars use a piezo pickup. This implies that acoustic bass guitars are prone to feedback, gradually adjusting the volume.
Furthermore, while utilizing pedals, you must adjust everything gently since the additional electronics increase the possibility of ear-racking sound.
5. Semi-hollow Guitar
This is one of the best different types of bass guitars. The Semi-Hollow range offers musicians various ways to adapt their instruments to changing musical styles while keeping traditional playing techniques.
As a result, the instrument may be played quasi-acoustic manner or connected to an amplifier for enhanced volume and tone range.
Semi-hollow instruments are popular among jazz players because they are lighter to transport than hollow-bodied basses.
Semi-hollow guitars are popular in the fusion genre because they give the appropriate feedback.
The semi-hollow body electric guitar is nearly identical to the fully hollow body. However, it differs in that it includes a solid block of wood running through the center and hollow wings on each side to support the body against collapse.
Since some artists flipped them over and played them like a frying pan or spin them like a lazy susan, this model became known as the “frying pan” or “lazy Susan.”
This style’s back pickup is less angled than a complete Thinline and generally protrudes somewhat to protect the area surrounding the volume and tone controls.
Although certain types (particularly mass-produced lower-end ones) have a straight front, the front pickup is normally slanted such that it points toward the neck of the guitar.
The early versions had a spinning metal lazy susan, but this has subsequently been replaced by a plastic or metal casing encircling the pickups, with later variants omitting the rotating mechanism entirely. These are sometimes referred to as “Thinline” pickups.
6. Extended Range Bass Guitar
This is among the best different types of bass guitars. Extended range bass guitars often feature four or five strings.
In rare situations, six-string instruments include two additional lower-tuned strings on either side of the standard EADG tuning. You should probably stay with four or five-string bass guitars if you are a novice.
This way, you won’t have to worry about additional strings, which might get in the way when learning to play.
7. Violin Bass Guitar
Violin bass guitars are unique in that they borrow some of the physical characteristics of a violin. Unlike other electric bass guitars, the violin bass guitar has a hollow body that mimics a double bass.
Hofner is a pioneer in the production of this type of electric bass. This instrument has a tone that is comparable to that of an upright double bass. However, it cannot be used in place of a double bass since it lacks the latter’s tonal diversity.
Furthermore, violin bass lacks the punch and “oomph” characteristic required for metal or heavy rock songs.
The Hofner violin bass was initially launched in 1955 and rose to prominence when Paul McCartney adopted it as The Beatles’ primary bass.
Nowadays, band bassists hardly utilize this model since it doesn’t give as much versatility as a P-Bass or a jazz bass guitar.
8. Fretless Bass Guitar
Fretless bass guitars aren’t new, but their market isn’t yet saturated. This bass is designed for the experienced player with a strong ear.
Since there are no frets, the player must have an excellent ear to play correct notes. The best feature of fretless bass guitars is that they allow the musician to create smooth, flowing tones. It resembles a double bass in certain ways but with a modern and versatile touch.
Furthermore, fretless bass guitars allow you to create sliding harmonics, which is a distinct sound. Fretless bass guitars are not for everyone, particularly novices.
Furthermore, fretless bass guitars allow you to create sliding harmonics, which is a distinct sound. Fretless bass may be employed in modern bands since it allows for complete tone control.
Furthermore, if the bassist’s strings get slightly out of tune, they can compensate by moving the playing finger up or down. Again, a good ear is required. Fretless bass guitars are not for everyone, particularly novices.
9. Short-scale Electric Bass
The short-scale bass guitar is one of the best different types of guitars, and it can be either a P-Bass or jazz bass.
The only difference is that the scale, or distance between the bridge and the nut, is shorter. Short-scale bass guitars can range in size from 30 to 32 inches.
In comparison, traditional bass guitars have a scale length of 34 inches, with long-scale models having a scale length of up to 36 inches.
This model of bass guitar is frequently provided to beginners and young musicians. Shorter adult players may also benefit from short-scale bass guitars.
It has fewer frets, so some variety has been sacrificed in favor of the simplicity of usage and reduced weight.
Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can go on to a standard scale if you want to play in a wider tone range.
10. Long-scale Bass Guitar
The scale length is something to consider when purchasing a new bass. The distance between the nut and the bridge is referred to as the scale length.
It is significant because it significantly influences the instrument’s functionality and tone. It has an impact on the quality of the tone produced by the strings; the lower the pitch, the longer the strings.
The standard nowadays is 34”, which is referred to as “long-scale” basses, although there are also short (30-32”), medium (32-34”), and extra-long (36” plus) scales basses.
Not all scale lengths are identical, and there are no set guidelines in place amongst bass and string producers, so it’s something you should be aware of.
Many players struggle with string length selection, which is why you should be aware of your scale length.
The most popular type of bass guitar is one with a long scale. Some of the most well-known bass guitars, such as the Fender Jazz bass, have a scale length of 34”. 34” is an ideal scale length for many players, but you may always try to find the one that works best for you.