For me, and probably for all of us, music plays a tremendously important role in our lives. Can you imagine your life without music? Well, I can’t imagine mine without it, that’s for sure! It makes us happy, it makes us understand different kinds of emotions and many other things I won’t go into right now. But, how many of you actually analyzed a song? I mean…have you ever independently listened to every part? I mean the instruments, their contribution and what they do. We’ve all heard of the guitarist, of the drummer, of the singer (especially of the singer), but few people talk about the bassist. Why is that? With that being asked, today I will talk about the bass guitar and why is it such an important instrument.
Why the bass guitar?
I’ve been playing this beautiful instrument for almost four years and it plays a significant role in my life. To be honest, I can’t imagine my life without it! It is one of the most interesting instruments. It is indeed unique, because, ever since I started playing it, I perceived it as a “bridge” between the guitar and the drums. It’s like the guitar speaks a language, the drums speak another one, but the bass guitar speaks both. Because of this, everything makes sense in a song and there’s a certain harmony.
A little bit of history
Did you know that, after the 1950s, the bass guitar replaced the double bass in genres we’re all familiar with, such as rock, jazz or blues? It is said to have been invented as a “competitor” of the double bass. Why would that be? Well, the bass guitar we all know is more modern and easier to handle. And, if you ask me, this gives some sort of versatility to the instrument, which is amazing.
I will begin with an obvious one and I’m sorry if I may come across as mean, but a lot of people confuse this instrument for a guitar. And when I tell them it’s actually a bass guitar, they think it’s still the same. Well, I don’t condemn them and I understand the confusion. At a glance, those instruments look the same, but there are some main differences. For example, the bass guitar has a longer neck, a bigger body and less strings (a “traditional” guitar has six strings, while a bass guitar has four). Moreover, the sounds made by a bass guitar are an octave lower, so they sound different.
Another misconception that I’ve heard is: The bass guitar isn’t a real instrument and it can easily be replaced with an 8-string guitar. That’s absolutely not true! There are certain techniques you can only perform on a bass guitar! And this shouldn’t be a 2 in 1 thing. This is why bass guitars exist. They have a purpose and you can’t just dismiss them like that. Some people think that anyone can play it, but it’s not true. It’s easy to learn, but it’s difficult to master, as it has a lot of depth and there are a lot of things to learn properly.
I hope this article changed not only the way you view music, but also the way you perceive bassists. They are a relevant part of the band and without them, most music genres would be plain. Every instrument is beautiful and unique in their own way. We shouldn’t discredit an instrument just because it “seems” easy to play. They all have a purpose.
If you want to play a musical instrument and learn more about its benefits, check this out!