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by Alla Demina

Today there is almost no music genre without bass guitar, which performs riffs in rock, grooves in jazz and blues, and provides the bassline in pop music. Practicing bass is an infinite source of fun and drive; moreover, numerous studies assert that it improves both the physical and mental state. To tame this instrument, you should start with beginners’ classes, where you will learn how to interact with your bass. As you will see from its history, it combines the features and functions of both the guitar and double bass. 

History of bass guitar

The earliest prototype of the bass guitar was the guitarrón, a Latin American stringed bass instrument from the sixteenth century, mainly used in acoustic folk music. However, the idea of the guitarrón emerged in the Northern Hemisphere only in the 1960s, in the beginning of the twentieth century the main bass instrument was still the upright, or double bass. It was large, hard to transport, and could not be amplified without acoustic feedback. There were several attempts to replicate and improve its sound in a more portable form: Lloyd Loar’s upright bass with electrostatic pickups in the 1920s and Paul Tutmarc’s first electric fretted bass instrument in the form of a guitar a decade later. Finally, in the 1950s Leo Fender introduced his revolutionary “Precision Bass”, an electric bass guitar with a slab body and single coil pickup; it could be amplified almost to any volume without feedback. After the success of the P-Bass, numerous variations of bass guitar were produced, and sometimes the design changed significantly to suit all new musical trends and styles (for instance, the headless bass, the acoustic bass and basses with different number of strings).


Beginners bass guitar class

To master the bassline in one of these styles, we recommend starting with the beginners’ bass guitar lessons to cover the fundamentals of this instrument.  During the lessons, students familiarize themselves with the main parts of the bass guitar and their functions (tuning pegs on the head, fretboard on the neck and pickups, bridge and electronics on the body). Special emphasis is given to finding the right position of the bass, which is comfortable for the musician. Students learn main right hand techniques (plucking and fretting), and before playing the instrument, they tune it using different tuning methods. Also, at the beginners’ level, it is essential to study the basics of note reading, understand the time signatures, learn some notes on the frets, play basic chords, and practice some exercises to develop hand dexterity. 

How bass guitar benefits physical and mental health

Learning to play a bass guitar might be challenging, but here is the good news: according to multiple researches, playing music, and bass guitar in particular, benefits both your mind and body. For instance, music practice can be equal to a full body workout: managing a heavy bass guitar will strengthen your torso, boost up your physical stamina, and plucking thick stings will develop fine motor skills. The bass practice engages almost every area of the brain because the bass guitar sets the rhythm pattern with the drums and holds together all the other instruments. Playing bass guitar reduces stress, enhances our memory functions, and enables us to solve problems more effectively and creatively. Based on a study by Cambridge University, a disciplined music practice hones visual, auditory and motor brain functions that can be applied later in other spheres.  

The proven positive influence of bassing is one more reason to start learning to play this instrument.  The key concepts acquired during the beginners’ class will give you a solid start on your way to mastering the low end.

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