Talk:Bass guitar

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Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 19 January 2022 and 4 May 2022. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Elimanning2012. Peer reviewers: Bulaaf, Pedroc02.

Split into separate instrument and technique articles[edit]

This article has become too long to read comfortably and maintain. Propose to split it into two articles:

  • Bass guitar – focus on the instrument itself (history, design, types, pickups, etc.)
  • Bass guitar techniques – focus on the playing aspects (picking, fretting, soloing, training, etc.)

This would effectively split the article at the current "Performance techniques" section, with sections 1–4 remaining in the "Bass guitar" article and sections 5–7 forming a new "Bass guitar techniques" article. Hopefully, this will make it easier for readers to focus on sections and add reliable sources to a vastly unreferenced topic. —Ojorojo (talk) 16:24, 19 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oppose. Almost nothing in the article is appropriately sourced, and consists of reams of original research. Instead of splitting all this into two articles, it really ought to be properly rewritten and sourced, which would likely result in cutting lots of bloat. Popcornduff (talk) 22:31, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ceramic magnets vs. ceramic and steel magnets[edit]

In the section "Pickups and amplification" part "Magnetic pickups," it says "Dual coil pickups come in two main varieties; ceramic or ceramic and steel. Ceramic-only magnets have a relatively "harsher" sound than their ceramic and steel counterparts, and are thus used more commonly in heavier rock styles (heavy metal music, hardcore punk, etc.)." Is this even accurate? Why isn't anything like that in other articles like "Humbucker" and "Pickup (music technology)"? Aren't the two chief magnets used in electric guitars alnico and ferrite? Maybe "ceramic" is ferrite and "steel" is alnico, IDK... WorldQuestioneer (talk) 23:23, 18 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@WorldQuestioneer: Many WP music instrument and related articles contain personal opinion/commentary that is not backed up by reliable sources (note the "multiple issues" box at the top of the article that have been in place for years). When you see questionable material without any inline citations, I suggest you correct it with proper references or remove it. Some article topics may already have separate articles (such as tuning, pickups, amplification, and effects) that deal with the subject in more detail. This article should only provide an overview of those areas and leave the finer points to the other articles. In your example, ceramic vs. other is excessive detail for a general article about the instrument, especially when the existing pickup article is linked.—Ojorojo (talk) 14:42, 19 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 30 September 2020[edit]

In the 1970s section the article states “In the mid-1970s, Alembic and other high-end manufacturers, such as Tobias, began offering five-string basses, with a very low "B" string.” Note: Tobias was founded in 1977. This article would not be complete without mentioning Carl Thompson’s five string bass, featuring a low “B”, completed in May of 1976. Source:

Otherwise the article is misleading by skipping what may have been the first five string with a Low “B”. (talk) 20:49, 30 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Melmann 11:10, 1 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So many citations needed[edit]

This page is surprisingly messy for what I'd think is not a minor article. I'm going to have a go at sourcing citations and tidying up. Please do revert any changes if not up to standard and feed back. Jesuschristposed (talk) 21:03, 31 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Jesuschristposed: It's good to see that there is some interest in bringing this article up to encyclopedic standards. However, I noticed that a couple of the linked sourced you added are not considered reliable by WP. It may be helpful to review WP:Reliable sources and WP:Verifiability, particularly the sections WP:AFFILIATE and WP:SELFPUBLISH. I replaced the current retail-type sources for McCartney's use of a Hofner using an existing source. Also, wasn't the first Gibson originally identified as just "EB" or "electric bass", with "EB-1" later added to distinguish it from the EB-2? —Ojorojo (talk) 18:30, 4 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the help @Ojorojo! I've mostly looked at vandalised articles and tidied smaller local ones before, not really something like this. I'll read up and hopefully improve this article. Your feedback is much appreciated Jesuschristposed (talk) 21:31, 4 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, thank you for helping improve this article. You might find the list of sources at WP:RSINSTRUMENT useful too. Popcornfud (talk) 21:34, 4 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jesuschristposed: and other user-generated/forum/blog-type sources as well as retailers ( are not considered reliable sources for WP articles. Rather than add more "citation needed" tags, I've removed the unsourced material. Googlebook searches list sources for electric bass[1] and bass guitar.[2] Not all are RS (see WP:Identifying Reliable Sources), but should give you an idea (along with those linked by Popcornfud). —Ojorojo (talk) 15:16, 4 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Grove on tuning - apostrophes?[edit]

In the #Terminology section, we quote Grove saying "tuned E1'–A1'–D2–G2".

What do the apostrophes mean? Without them, it's normal scientific pitch notation. That article talks about using primes instead of numbers, but not with them (and apostrophes aren't primes). So what is this intending to say, and why can't it just be E1–A1–D2–G2 ? -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 12:08, 13 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Finlay McWalter Hello, it seems it's using both scientific pitch notation and Helmholtz pitch notation. Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Stringed instrument tunings#Listing strings in text, it should use one or the other and explain it. (Edit: I also don't think this needs to be a referenced quote. It's pretty obvious what a bass is.) Why? I Ask (talk) 13:09, 13 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's what I was thinking it meant (but it should still be primes and not apostrophes, and D2 and G2 would need double primes). In that case, I think we can source it from Grove without quoting Grove, as you suggest. -- Finlay McWalter··–·Talk 13:40, 13 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]