The Valpo Core Reader

Document Type

Comparison and Contrast Essay

Publication Date



In the past fifty years a quiet revolution has taken place in the world of the bassline. It's called the electric bass. Since its invention in 1951 by Leo Fender, it has come to dominate pop and rock music, and, to a lesser extent, jazz and country. The acoustic bass (also known as the upright bass, double bass, and bass fiddle) which it replaced, has faded to the point of being almost a specialty instrument for many bass players. The electric bass (or "bass guitar") is the easier of the two to play and, consequently, many bass players are content to learn it but not bother with the acoustic variety. The two really are quite different in their sounds and, therefore, in the types of music for which they are appropriate. Because of the unwillingness of electric players to learn the more challenging acoustic bass, the electric bass is overused today and played in many situations where it is neither stylistically appropriate nor satisfying to the ear.