Classification...guitar, bass, cello, bass-guitar

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jiro, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Jiro


    Mar 15, 2004
    I remember watching School of Rock and and there was a young girl who, in the school band, played the cello. Later Jet Black, the "teacher", gave the little girl a bass and said something on the lines of "Its like the cello, just tip it on the side and play it like this". At the end of the movie I heard a cool guitar solo, piano solo, a drum solo, and just as I was expecting a bass solo, there was none. This is an outrage :mad:

    Bass Guitar? What is a guitar? Is a Bass a guitar? What makes the bass a guitar? How the hell is the cello related to bass?

    I am totally mad about how so many people are so blissfully uneducated about the bass. Just if they knew, they would have a greater appreciation about music as a whole. Once i heard from somewhere that the bassist was a shadow.... i dunno where i got that from .

    Ya, any fresh new ideas or images about the difference, the discrimation, or anything that can help with my college essay, that could be classifcation comparison contrast or defintion, would be inspirating hahaha....
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Not really a Basses thread... let's try Miscellaneous.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    First of all, the string bass was called the double bass, because in the Baroque period, the cello was the bass, and it mostly doubled those parts, hence doubled bass. The electric bass was designed to replace the double bass in the studio. This is the most direct explination I can think of.

    You're right, the general public is uneducated about bass.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Leo took the range of the Upright bass and made an electric geetar that could fill it's shoes. Made it all Precision like with frets for geetarists could pick it.

    I play an electric bass guitar :bassist:
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Me too.
  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    The bass guitar, like the upright or double bass, is tuned in fourths. Cellos, like viols, violas, and violins, are tuned in fifths.

    But you can tune a bass guitar (or any guitar) in fifths if you want. Just be prepared to change positions a lot on bass, which is why it wasn't used for double bass.

    But Anthony Jackson is correct in saying that an electric bass is a guitar, not a real relative of the double bass, putting aside the Clevingers, Steinberger uprights, etc.
  7. This is just one of those things that is never, ever gonna be resolved. The instrument is the lowest-tuned member of the guitar family, yet the nomenclature (ooh, a vocab word) is such that referring to it simply as a "guitar" isn't quite correct.. because if it is a "guitar", then what is the small EADGBE 6 string guitar? A tenor guitar? It should probably be called this but it isn't, and thus we are back to where we started.

    There's no point of being mad about it, it's like throwing stones at a giant. Just practice until you get bada$$ chops and then go out and gig, and show people what the instrument can do in capable hands. That will speak for itself.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the bass guitar is a member of the lute family, the upright bass is a member of the viol family
    both just happen to be tuned the same
    doing some google searches can give you exhaustive histories of both families and reveal all sorts of stringed instruments (especially in the lute family) that extended into the range of the bass guitar.
    The bass guitar essentially has to be electric because even the bodies of the largest acoustic bass guitars are inadequate to produce the low notes of the instrument. Even the double bass is barely big enough to do so.
    Fascinating stuff.
  9. I play electric bass guitar, but the guitar makes me laugh, since it's so tiny looking and sounding, and the upright bass scares me, because it's bigger and taller than I am.

    That's the difference. :p

    The electric bass guitar, as its name seems to indicate, is a member of the guitar family, like it or not. Or you could say it's a double bass shaped like a guitar, hence it's association with both. Now get over it.
  10. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Yeah, the instrument seems to get lost among laypeople. Before I started playing, I just thought a bass was a big guitar.

    I was rehearsing at a well-known studio once and the manager, who should know better, pointed to an upright blocking hallway and asked "Who's 'cello is this?" :rolleyes:

    Naming difficulties don't just extend to bass guitar or bass violin. Cor anglais =/= English horn. The three members of the conga family are not all called "congas". And a lot of people know what a cello is but not a violoncello.