The truth is you must have seen a bassist play a bass guitar, and you must have counted the number of strings on it. The reason why you are confused might be because you have found or seen another player playing another bass guitar with a different number of strings. Now the question you are left to deal with is how many strings does a bass guitar have? The obvious fact is finding out how many strings a bass guitar comes with isn’t that simple.
The same applies to several curious bass players beginners as they keep asking how many strings does a bass guitar come with. The problem lies in thinking that every bass guitar comes with the same number of strings, but the fact is a standard bass guitar is known to come with four strings. On the other hand, there are bass guitar variants that comes with different number of strings, and this is what we will be addressing in this post.
Comparing the bass guitar to the normal guitar, it is safe to describe the bass guitar as a very young instrument. It was designed just like the standard double bass, and bass guitars were first designed back in 1930. They started gaining a very high popularity in 1950, and they were designed to have four strings. The bass guitars were tuned like the standard double bass, and they were used in jazz and classical music.
They are tuned from the E1, A1, D2, and finally the G2. The pattern they follow in tuning is from the bottom to the highest string, but several things about the bass guitar started changing and time went on. Apart from the fact that bass guitars were designed to have very solid and durable bodies, the acoustic bass guitars were then introduced into the market. The acoustic guitars also came with four strings, but there have been several variants as well.
We are referring to the electric and acoustic bass guitars, but the hollow body guitars come with a separate number of strings even though it is not as popular as you would have imagined. Bearing all of these facts in mind, come with us as we show you more facts about the bass guitar variations that are available today.
The four string guitar is the conventional bass guitar you will come across on the market, and this type of guitar is designed to have magnetic pickups and a very durable body. Acoustic bass guitars on the other hand are known to have four strings in most cases, but they do not come with pickups of any kind. However, they are designed to have a piezoelectric pickup or sensor which also comes with a preamp.
One of the questions you might be asking is why do people consider a four string bass guitar as the standard bass guitar? This is because bass guitars have their roots go back to the double basses, and the fact that it is an accompanying instrument means it might not require the use of additional strings.
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How Many Strings Does A Bass Guitar Have
Five Strings Bass Guitars
Bass players started competing with the acoustic and electric guitar players back in the 70’s, and this was based on the fact that bass players wanted to partake more in playing solo music. The reason for this is so they would not be stuck as being a member of a band alone, but they needed the addition of more strings to the bass guitar for them to be able to achieve this. This is what led to the manufacture of a bass guitar with five strings.
The reason for the fifth string is to provide lower pitches with more ranges, and agreeing that playing with a five string bass guitar is worth it will depend on your playing experience and what you think. A heavy metal player will be pleased with a five string bass guitar as it guarantees the addition of more tones.
Six String Bass Guitars
I am sure that you must have heard something like a six string custom bass guitar lately or a six string fretless bass guitar of late, and this is exactly what these terms means. The world witnessed a transition from bassists to computers back in the 80’s, and this led to the use of more tonal effects from stomp boxes and processors that you would not get from a human bass player.
Reacting to this new development and love for pedals and stompboxes, manufacturers decided to add an extra string to the already six string bass guitar setup. You are correct if you think the addition of a seventh string was to see off the competition the use of stompboxes and pedals created, but do you actually think the competition ended there? Of course not, it didn’t end there.
Seven String Bass Guitars
People like Greg Lake, John Paul Jones, Tom Peterson are some of the popular people that have played the twelve and eight string guitars that have ended up forming an excellent niche for playing bass. The bass guitars that fall under this category are what we refer to as the extended range basses, and trust this basses to have a dynamic build. They are designed to dive deep into the deep cores of bass, exposing tones that you never knew existed.
Trust this type of bass guitar to equip heavy metal music players some more, making them unrivaled even with the use of effects and stompboxes. This type of string bass guitars definitely has some of the best advantages you can think of, but this doesn’t stop them from having their own downsides. The first downside of this type of string guitar is they are very expensive, and you have to end up dealing with several machines to control while playing.
One more downside about this type of bass guitar is they find it difficult to stay in tune, which is something you will not get when playing the four string bass guitar.
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Rounding It Up
Now that you know the details about the bass guitar, which one do you think will be perfect for you? There is no rule regarding which one will be best for you, but the number of bass guitar strings you should go for depends on how many strings you can play skillfully without feeling pressured or losing control. If you are a beginner, you should opt for the two, three, or four string bass guitars.
This is because you will end up playing them comfortably and also get to improve your skills with this type of instruments.
My name is Johnson Lewis and I am a music coach, producer and Blogger. I enjoy writing about music, instruments, music equipments and I love helping people become better singers.