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Basses

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  1. Fender 1953 Precision Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $18,999.99 Regular Price $19,999.99 On Sale Now!
    Good Condition
  2. Fender 1956 Precison Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $13,999.99 Regular Price $14,999.99 On Sale Now!
    Good Condition
  3. Epiphone 1965 NEWPORT Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $1,169.99 Regular Price $1,599.99 On Sale Now!
    Good Condition
  4. Hagstrom 1960s Swede Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $719.99 Regular Price $799.99 On Sale Now!
    Good Condition
  5. Rickenbacker 1967 4005-OS Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $21,499.99 Regular Price $24,999.99 On Sale Now!
    Good Condition
  6. Dean John Entwistle Hybrid 5-String Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $499.99
    Fair Condition
  7. Washburn Force 4 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $349.99
    Fair Condition
  8. Yamaha RBX170 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $144.99
    Fair Condition
  9. Hamer Sfx Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $199.99
    Fair Condition
  10. Jackson 1990s C4a Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $299.99
    Fair Condition
  11. Fender Modern Player Jazz Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $299.99
    Fair Condition
  12. Sterling by Music Man Sub 4 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $189.99
    Fair Condition
  13. Fender Standard Precision Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $289.99
    Fair Condition
  14. Tobias Toby Deluxe V 5 String Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $179.99
    Fair Condition
  15. Ibanez Gio Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $159.99
    Fair Condition
  16. Ibanez BTB745 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $499.99
    Fair Condition
  17. Epiphone GIBSON Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $199.99
    Fair Condition
  18. Used Carera JBC-32 Black Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $99.99
    Fair Condition
  19. Spector Rebop 5 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $599.99
    Fair Condition
  20. Fender 1974 Precision Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $1,899.99
    Fair Condition
  21. RockBass by Warwick Corvette Basic Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $549.99
    Fair Condition
  22. Ibanez SR300 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $244.99
    Fair Condition
  23. Ibanez Sr875 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $599.99
    Fair Condition
  24. Ibanez ROADSTAR II Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $349.99
    Fair Condition
  25. Sterling by Music Man Sub 4 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $189.99
    Fair Condition
  26. Yamaha RBX260 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $179.99
    Fair Condition
  27. Used Tune Guitars WB4-FM Natural Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $799.99
    Fair Condition
  28. Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $1,449.99
    Fair Condition
  29. Fender 1977 Musicmaster Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $1,099.99
    Fair Condition
  30. Washburn XB400 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $219.99
    Fair Condition
  31. Schecter Guitar Research Studio 4 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $474.99
    Fair Condition
  32. Ken Smith BMT 6 STRING Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $2,999.99
    Fair Condition
  33. Used Frisco P Style Left Handed Black Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $199.99
    Fair Condition
  34. Fender 1998 Standard Jazz Bass 5-String Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $419.99
    Fair Condition
  35. Fullerton P Style Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $199.99
    Fair Condition
  36. Gibson 1972 EB0 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $1,299.99
    Fair Condition
  37. Ibanez EDB700 Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $199.99
    Fair Condition
  38. Alvarez 8EB260WA Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $249.99
    Fair Condition
  39. Fender 1973 AMERICAN JAZZ BASS Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $2,999.99
    Fair Condition
  40. Fender 1992 Jazz Bass Plus Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $799.99
    Fair Condition
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About Bass Guitars

Try to imagine the sound of music with no bass instrument. Without the low throb and pulse building a foundation for everything else, it wouldn’t be compelling. For decades, in jazz and pop, the bottom end came from the upright, double bass. Since the early 1950’s, most of that has shifted to the far more portable bass guitar. From the earliest Fender electric bass to the full gamut of builders today, the choices encompass instruments that fit any style of music and any budget. Musician’s Friend offers a huge selection of bass guitars from makers like Ibanez, Gibson, Spector, Ernie Ball Music Man, G&L, Hofner, Squier, Warwick, Epiphone, Mitchell, Guild, Gretsch, Lakland, Fodera and many others. We also offer a selection of double bass instruments for those who choose to swing that way.

Types of Basses

Electric Basses

Electric basses are available in several different types. While most are solid-body instruments, there are chambered, semi-hollow and full hollowbody versions, both fretted and fretless. Another variation is scale length. Long-scale basses (usually the 34” standard set by Leo Fender with the Precision Bass) have a more piano-like attack and articulation. This is due in large part to the higher string tension. Short-scale basses, like the Fender Mustang and the Hofner violin bass, are more “finger-friendly” with a warmer, somewhat rounder tone. Short-scale instruments are also great for younger players and players with smaller hands.

Extended Range and Multi-scale Basses

These 5, 6, 7 and. 8-string instruments offer several advantages. The additional strings, both low and high, enable a wider range of available notes in a single hand position. They also enable more flexibility in soloing and deliver the thunderous low-frequency sound in demand for modern metal. A recent development has been the multi-scale bass, in which the bridge and nut are slanted such that each string has a different scale length. This has several ergonomic advantages for players, as well as improving intonation.

Acoustic Basses

For centuries, this was the territory of the symphonic double bass. In the early 1970s, perhaps inspired by the Guitarron Mexicano (literally “big Mexican guitar), manufacturers began to make acoustic versions of the 4-string bass guitar. These became increasingly popular thanks to MTV’s Unplugged series, where they were heavily used.

The History of the Bass

The genesis of the bass stringed instrument lies in the mid-16th century in northern Italy where the first versions of what was to become the double bass were crafted. Also known as the contrabass, bass viol, bull fiddle and, in more modern times, doghouse bass, early versions appear to be derived from the 6-string viola da gamba, rather than the violin. While long a staple of the symphony orchestra, in the early 20th century, it began to be used in popular music, most notably replacing the tuba in the new musical style of jazz.

Although the first electric bass guitar was invented in 1936, by Paul Tulmarc, and marketed under the Audiovox brand, it wasn’t widely adopted. We had to wait until 1951 for it to become an integral part of the musical world. That was the year that Leo Fender introduced the world to the Precision Bass. Legend has it that Fender built it to enable guitar players to have an instrument they could double on, as big bands gave way to smaller combos. By the end of the 1950s, the electric bass guitar was surpassing the double bass in numbers, thanks to the explosive popularity of rock and roll. Even jazz players, like Wes Montgomery’s brother Monk, were swapping in their double basses for the convenience and versatility of the bass guitar. By this time, many other manufacturer’s were beginning to add bass guitars to their product lines. This burst of innovation had given us, by the end of the ‘50s, many of the features that carry over too today’s basses. The first thru-neck bass was produced in 1957, for example, and manufacturers like Danelectro, Kay, Burns, Hofner and Gibson offered a variety of scale lengths, pickup configurations and body styles, many of which are still in use today.

Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, the instrument matured, from the introduction of the Fender Jazz Bass in 1960, Gibson’s short-scale EB-3 and long-scale Thunderbird a couple of years later. By the early ’70s, the boutique bass market was beginning to appear, starting with the startlingly advanced based Alembic began building with active electronics and new materials, like carbon graphite prominently features. Music Man, founded by Forrest White, Tom Walker and Leo Fender introduced the Stingray bass in 1973, one of the first regular production basses to feature active electronics. A year previously, George Fullerton, another Fender alumnus had worked with Ernie Ball to develop the Earthwood bass, the first successful acoustic bass guitar, and the connection between former Fender designers and Ernie Ball led the way to today’s Ernie Ball Music Man line, where the Stingray is still available. By the mid-‘70s, we started to see the first 5- and 6-string basses from Alembic, Tobias and other boutique builders and by the end of the decade, this extended range basses were beginning to spill into regular production instruments.

The 1980’s saw Ned Steinberger develop the headless bass and pioneer further use of modern high-tech materials in guitar construction. It was also the birth of new brands like Warwick, Spector, Fodera and many others who pushed forward the evolution of the bass guitar, expanding the choices in body styles, pickups and electronics. The innovation has never stopped since and bass design keeps pushing toward a future and it’s all about that bass. The bass guitar is still a showpiece of how new technologies find their way into instrument design. Every year, there’s some new idea, some clever twist on a previous concept that finds its way into the world of basses, and you’ll always find it here, at Musician’s Friend.

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