Well before we proceed let’s clear up one nagging issue…the electric bass is not a guitar! You don’t strum chords on it by a camp fire singing Polly Wolly Doodle. The electric bass was invented by Leo Fender as an electric, fretted and solid body alternative to the acoustic bass. For many years it was referred to as the “Fender Bass” and was written on music ‘charts’ for years when an arranger wanted that sound.
Now it is true that the electric bass looks more like an electric guitar than an acoustic bass but then the electric guitar looks more like a electric bass than it does an acoustic guitar.
How does this
Now the case can be made that, because they are so different from each other in how they look, how we play them, what we can and cannot do on one verses the other and the styles of music associated with either, that they aren’t the same instrument. But to call one a guitar because it kinda looks like one would lead us down the slippery slope to calling mandolins, banjos and uke’s guitars as well.
Now to make it all more confusing we have acoustic bodied basses. These things look like they should be called Acoustic Bass Guitars but it only has four strings so why not call it a bass Ukulele?
Is this an acoustic bass guitar?
How many strings does your bass have?
We also have basses with more than 4 strings with 5 being almost common.
And to make it all more confusing there actually is an instrument call the bass guitar. It is a six string instrument that is tuned like a guitar (as opposed to a bass tuning) but an octave down. They were popular on 50’s surf music recordings.
So for now it seems that (at least to me) the best name stands as electric bass.
Either way enjoy making music on what ever you want to call it.
If you have any questions about bthe bass, bass lessons or music classes in general feel free to contact us anytime.
River Heights School of Music
2025 Corydon Ave. #202