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Who made the First Electric?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brendan, Sep 17, 2000.


  1. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    This came up in my "3000" post. So, who, what, when was the first Electric bass? And, was it P or J? I'm in need of a history lesson here...
     
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the first electric bass "guitar" was a fender p-bass, the old style body that got subsequently rereleased as the "telecaster bass".

    rickenbacker and other companies made electric upright basses before the first fender, though.
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Leo Fender may have succesfully marketed the first <b>solid-body</b> bass guitar, he wasn't the first...The first Fender bass was already called Precision bass, I think, but looked more like a Fender Tele-/Broadcaster guitar and didn't yet have the typical split pickup you see on a P bass - it looked more like a Telecaster pickup. First experiments were made in the thirties by Tutmarc and others in relative obscurity, so it's hard to determine who was first. BTW: Ampeg was founded by one of those guys, who build an acoustic (double) bass with an <B>amp</b>lified <b>peg</b> - hence the brand name Ampeg...

    Perhaps others know more about this topic...
     
  4. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Just to add to what John said.....it was in 1951. And music hasn't been the same since...:)
     
  5. My first bass guitar which I still own was a 1951 fender "P" bass. I also had an ampeg bass endpin on my Kay bass in the 1950s or early 60s. These had a chrystal microphone mounted in the end pin, it came up to the middle of the bass somewere below the bridge on the inside of the bass, the electeical connection was the no longer used screw on miccrophone connector.
     
  6. jcadmus

    jcadmus

    Apr 2, 2000
    About once every 18 months, Bass Player magazine will publish an article on the "real" first electric bass guitar -- usually something along the lines of "It's now been learned that Irwin Smegma originated a bass guitar in 1911, pre-dating Leo Fender by 40 years!! The Smegma Bass-o-Matic was made from an iron skillet, piano wire, the workings of a Derringer pistol (.38 caliber), and a broom handle. More than four were sold and they were used to accompany Czecho-Canadian Polka music, which was popular in portions of Wisconsin at the time."

    Despite such "discoveries," Mr. Fender's creation was the first such instrument to become commercially and musically viable and provides the foundation for the instruments all electric bass guitarists play today.
     
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I think nobody denies that...;)
     
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    dude, that is TOO funny :D i want a Smegma Bass-o-matic!
     
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I wonder if you guys know what smegma means in German...:D :D :D

    ...oh, it's the same in English, too :D

    [Edited by JMX on 09-17-2000 at 04:59 PM]
     
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    probably the same thing it means in english :D
     
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  12. I don't know if it was the first electric bass guitar, but Paul Tutmarc made a 4 string electric bass guitar under the "Audiovox" name back in the 1930s. It was never commercially successful, but it was real, and it did predate Leo Fender's efforts by 15-20 years.
     
  13. jcadmus

    jcadmus

    Apr 2, 2000
    dude, that is TOO funny :D i want a Smegma Bass-o-matic! [/B][/QUOTE]

    Shouldn't be too tough to find one -- more than four were sold. :D