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Basses

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  1. 48-Month Financing**
    Squier Affinity PJ Bass Pack with Fender Rumble 15G Amp
    Product Price $329.99
  2. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender Steve Harris Signature Precision Bass Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $1,024.99
    Or $22/month for 48 months
  3. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass V 5-String Maple Fingerboard
    Product Price $2,099.99
    Or as low as $44/month for 48 months
  4. 48-Month Financing**
    Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass Guitar
    Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass Guitar
    Product Price $199.99
  5. 48-Month Financing**
    Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. StingRay5 Maple Fingerboard 5-String Electric Bass
    Product Price $329.99
  6. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender American Original '60s Jazz Bass Rosewood Fingerboard
    Product Price $1,999.99
    Or as low as $42/month for 48 months
    Open Box:
    $1,599.99
  7. 48-Month Financing**
    Ibanez TMB30 Bass
    Ibanez TMB30 Bass
    Product Price $179.99
    Open Box:
    $143.99
  8. 48-Month Financing**
    Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Special HH Maple Fingerboard Electric Bass
    Product Price $2,149.00
    Or as low as $45/month for 48 months
  9. 48-Month Financing**
    Sire Marcus Miller V7 Vintage Swamp Ash 5-String Bass
    Product Price $819.00
    Or as low as $18/month for 48 months
    Open Box:
    $655.20
  10. 48-Month Financing**
    Epiphone Thunderbird Classic-IV PRO Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $549.00
    Or as low as $12/month for 48 months
  11. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender American Professional Precision Bass V Rosewood Fingerboard
    Product Price $1,599.99
    Or as low as $34/month for 48 months
  12. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special, Maple Fingerboard
    Product Price $824.99
    Or $18/month for 48 months
  13. Clearance
    Ibanez Mezzo SRMD200 Electric Bass
    Ibanez Mezzo SRMD200 Electric Bass
    Product Price $249.99 Regular Price $299.99 On Sale Now!
  14. 48-Month Financing**
    Squier Classic Vibe '70s Jazz Bass Maple Fingerboard
    Product Price $399.99
  15. 48-Month Financing**
    Squier Classic Vibe '60s Precision Bass
    Product Price $399.99
  16. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender Justin Meldal-Johnsen Road Worn Mustang Electric Bass
    Product Price $999.99
    Or as low as $21/month for 48 months
  17. 48-Month Financing**
    Yamaha TRBX305 5-String Electric Bass
    Yamaha TRBX305 5-String Electric Bass
    Product Price $399.99
  18. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender American Performer Jazz Bass Maple Fingerboard
    Product Price $1,249.99
    Or as low as $27/month for 48 months
  19. 48-Month Financing**
    Ibanez PNB14E Parlor Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $249.99
  20. Save up to 15%
    Markbass Kimandu 5 Richard Bona Signature 5-String Bass
    Product Price $1,499.00
    Or $32/month for 48 months
  21. Sale
    Rogue LX200BL Left-Handed Series III Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $109.99 Regular Price $179.99 On Sale Now!
  22. 48-Month Financing**
    Sterling by Music Man StingRay Roasted Maple Neck Burl Top Bass
    Product Price $799.99
    Or $17/month for 48 months
  23. Sale
    Schecter Guitar Research Limited-Edition Stiletto Studio-5 Bass
    Product Price $709.00 Regular Price $839.00
    Or $15/month for 48 months
    On Sale Now!
  24. 48-Month Financing**
    Schecter Guitar Research Stiletto Studio 6 Bass
    Product Price $899.00
    Or as low as $19/month for 48 months
  25. 48-Month Financing**
    Sterling by Music Man StingRay5 Roasted Maple Neck Quilt Top 5-String Bass
    Product Price $899.99
    Or as low as $19/month for 48 months
  26. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass
    Fender Duff McKagan Deluxe Precision Bass
    Product Price $1,199.99
    Or as low as $25/month for 48 months
  27. Sale
    Rogue SX100B Series II Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $99.99 Regular Price $149.99 On Sale Now!
  28. 48-Month Financing**
    Gretsch Guitars G2220 Electromatic Junior Jet Bass II Short-Scale Bass
    Product Price $299.99
  29. 48-Month Financing**
    Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. StingRay Maple Fingerboard Electric Bass
    Product Price $299.99
  30. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender American Original '60s Precision Bass Rosewood Fingerboard
    Product Price $1,949.99
    Or as low as $41/month for 48 months
  31. Save up to 15%
    Lakland Darryl Jones Signature Model 5-String Maple Fretboard Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $1,474.00
    Or as low as $31/month for 48 months
    Open Box From:
    $1,179.20
  32. 48-Month Financing**
    Ibanez AEB10E Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar with Onboard Tuner
    Product Price $399.99
  33. 48-Month Financing**
    Ibanez K5 Fieldy Signature 5-String Electric Bass Guitar
    Product Price $899.99
    Or as low as $19/month for 48 months
    Open Box:
    $836.99
  34. Save up to 15%
    Spector NS-5XL USA 5-String Electric Bass
    Spector NS-5XL USA 5-String Electric Bass
    Product Price $6,198.00
    Or $130/month for 48 months
  35. Save up to 15%
    Spector Euro4 LX 4-String Electric Bass
    Spector Euro4 LX 4-String Electric Bass
    Product Price $2,499.99
    Or as low as $53/month for 48 months
  36. 48-Month Financing**
    Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazz Bass
    Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazz Bass
    Product Price $399.99
  37. 48-Month Financing**
    Ibanez SR305E 5-String Electric Bass
    Ibanez SR305E 5-String Electric Bass
    Product Price $399.99
  38. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender Player Precision Bass Pau Ferro Fingerboard
    Product Price $674.99
    Or as low as $15/month for 48 months
  39. 48-Month Financing**
    Fender American Performer Precision Bass Maple Fingerboard
    Product Price $1,249.99
    Or as low as $27/month for 48 months
  40. 48-Month Financing**
    Epiphone Allen Woody Limited Edition Bass
    Epiphone Allen Woody Limited Edition Bass
    Product Price $499.00
    Or $11/month for 48 months
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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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