Talk:Bass guitar/Archive 5

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Bass guitar?

Shouldn't this article be under 'Electic_bass' or 'Bass_(instrument)'? 063006 06:52, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

why? is the term "electric bass" more common or technically correct? "bass" is not the proper name of any instrument that i know of and is extremely inappropiate for this article. 23:08, 8 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The full name of the instrument is "electric bass guitar." "Bass" is not complete enough because there are several instruments called "bass," and "electric bass" is a vernacular name that doesn't describe its shape. Since so few people spell out "electric bass guitar," "bass guitar" was arrived at as the most common, descriptive shorthand name of the instrument, as a bass instrument modeled on the shape of the guitar (though this article focuses primarily on its electric rather than the acoustic version). Badagnani 10:08, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is it really necessary to have the guitar tag? I mean when someone says 'Electric bass' do they mean anything else besides an instrument based on what Fender designed in the 1950's? After all, it is not a type of guitar (compared to Electric guitar and Acoustic guitar). I could also argue that few people spell out John of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden but the article is there although I don't advocate renaming the article 'Electic bass guitar' because that would be redundant. 063006 23:57, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I play an electric bass. Its an upright stick bass (EUB) that has the same scale as a BG. But its not a BG. Its electric - its a bass. Its not a bass guitar. OK?--Light current 00:26, 22 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, it's not "electric bass guitar," it's electric bass. A bass guitar is not actuaally a guitar, it is a viol. This article should be named Electric Bass. Or, if that is too vague, Electric Double Bass. Gopherbassist 17:50, 27 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
it most definitely is not a "viol" or a "double bass". if it were an electric double bass, it would be six feet tall and played vertically. a bass guitar is an electric guitar with four strings that are tuned lower. it has absolutely nothing in common with those instruments you mentioned. 23:05, 8 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AGAIN? Well, at least you're adding the new angle of claiming it's a viol... Since two of the defining features of the viol are that it is played upright (like a cello) and that it is usually (or at least often) played with a bow, this assertion is clearly false. The instrument described on this page is shaped in a way that makes both of those very awkward. It is shaped like a guitar, constructed like a guitar, held or worn with a strap like a guitar, played with fingers or picks like a guitar, but is longer and plays an octave lower. Hence, "bass guitar". As for "electric double bass", that's a different instrument, see the wiki article on Electric upright bass.
It is a viol. Saying that two things are the same because they use similar technology is false logic. That is like saying a clock and a toy car are the same thing because they both have gears and springs, and must be would up to function in the intended way. Electric basses are used to replace standing double basses because they used to be hard to amplify and are hard to transport. Instruments, as far as I can tell, are not grouped into the family of what other instruments they are most like, but the ones they are intended to replace or evolve from. Gopherbassist 02:33, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would indeed be false logic, so it's a good thing I didn't say that; my point was that except for their size, they're virtually identical. That's clearly not true of clocks and cars, so that's not a great analogy. I note as well that you have not responded to the point that two crucial parts of the definition of "viol" do not apply to this instrument. And your last statement shows that you haven't studied this subject at all. Instruments are classified, at least in traditional western musicology, by how they are constructed and how they produce sound, not what they "replace". You can replace a string bass with a synthesizer. Would you say that the synthesizer is a bass? (More on that below.) I'll also point out that the bass guitar clearly did evolve from the electric guitar, so even if your last statement were true, "electric bass guitar" would still be a legitimate term. (If you're going to re-write the rules of musicology, at least be consistent.) 05:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was made to replace the double bass, but don't forget that its similarity in design to the guitar facilitated its adoption by guitarists who couldn't necessarily play the double bass. It's a hybrid. Badagnani 03:08, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was NOT made to replace a Double Bass, but an alternative instrument for bass players. I don't see too many string sections of orchestras with electric basses instead of double basses. Plenty of jazz combos, folk, blues, country and bluegrass bands can happily include both EB and DB options. And then came along the Electric Upright Bass - another alternative for BASSISTS. Convergent design does not make the electric bass a guitar - whether or not guitarists found an Electric Bass easier to play than a Double Bass. Consider this - BASSISTS also found the EB easier to play. Who determined it was a hybrid? Please cite your sources. The original manufacturers (ref. Tutmarc, Kaufman, Fullerton/Fender) all labelled the instrument an electric bass. The form of the instrument does not change its function, role or voice. In the same way that double basses over the centuries have sometimes taken the form of a large violin rather than viol, I find the "look" or "shape" argument baseless. A barnacle may look like a mollusc in its sedentary protective exterior - but it is still a crustacean. Likewise the electric bass and the electric upright bass are not guitars nor a version of a stick guitar. Or should we be calling the stick and travel guitars "soprano six string basses" because many of us were aware of the stick bass before the travel guitar and we don't play guitar anyway? The origin of the vernacular term "bass guitar" did not come from bassists or the major manufacturers. There are plenty of retailers and non-bassists and non-musicians that use the term because of what they see but have not studied nor fully appreciate the instrument's role. Ozbass 12:48, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The instrument's "role" is completely irrelevant to naming it. Instruments are not named by their "role", they are named by the range and/or key they play in, and how they are constructed and how they produce sound. A drum that plays in the bass range is called a "bass drum". A trombone that plays in the bass range is a "bass trombone". A saxophone that plays in the bass range is a "bass saxophone". So why is an electric guitar that plays in the bass range some sort of exeception to this? (Hint: it isn't.) Again, I'll ask about the synthesizer. It can produce almost exactly the same sound and serve in the same role as a bass viol, but you wouldn't say that it is one, would you? Of course not, no one would, because it's constructed differently and produces sound in a different way, and that's how instruments are named and classified. "Role" doesn't enter into it. Bass drums and snare drums serve very different roles, and have very different playing techniques, but they are both drums because of their shared structure and operating principles. The same is true for the "bass" version of any instrument. This one is no different, however offensive you may find that idea.
Further, if you insist that you play not an "electric bass guitar" but an "electric bass", I have to ask, "electric bass what"? "Bass" as a noun by itself is ambiguous; in context, it can be understood to mean a bass viol, a tuba, a bass drum, or even a bass vocalist. They are all often called simply as "the bass", but that is only casual usage. Strictly speaking "bass" is a range, not an instrument, which is why all of those have a full name used when clarification is necessary. So... you play an electric bass what?
Your arguments on bass trombone, bass saxophone and so on would suggest that the role is very important. An electric guitar playing in the bass range is an electric baritone guitar (six strings usually) isn't it? But different role and voice.
Bass by itself does cover a range of instruments with overlapping roles between instruments. Guitar and bass viol can both be important for rhythm along with a brass section and drums. So why discount the role? Look at the whole picture - design, function, voice and role. I don't think anyone would confuse an electric bass (or even double bass) with a keyboard bass, synthesizer, lower register of a piano forte, tuba, bass drum or basso bufo or basso profundo. Electronic drums are so named. Having double basses and electric basses in the one room and on the one stage has never confused anyone I have ever met. What I do to get avoid possible confusion in that situation is use the full name of the instrument. I am sure many other bassists do the same. I have never had to resort to saying "bass guitar" because no-one understood electric bass versus double bass. In calling myself a bass player - no one has ever asked me "bass what" thinking of a tuba, synthesizer, drum or vocalist.
The first instrument produced as an electric bass is the subject of this article. Conventions of nomenclature would recognise that. Ozbass 03:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One last point: your analogy with the barnacle is off the mark. There are a number of significant anatomical and physiological differences between barnacles and mollusks. The only inherent physical difference between an electric guitar and an electric bass guitar is the size. In the world of musical instrument nomenclature, that isn't enough. 05:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And inherent physical differences do not include size, strings and other design specifications? By which authority does the role, voice and function of an instrument not matter in the "world of musical instrument nomenclature" Ozbass 03:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of the earliest models made by the major manufacturers were indeed marketed as "bass guitar" and sources showing very early promotional material with this name have been provided for this in earlier discussion; did you not click through to look at those at the time? This is one of them. And this one and this one. I should have said "replace the double bass for popular and country bands who chose not to use the double bass," as it's clear it wasn't intended to replace the double bass in all instances. It's also clear that its strong modeling on the electric guitar is no accident, thus opening up the instrument to musicians (including guitarists) who were not previously double bassists. Badagnani 13:04, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did you not click through the links? Where is the promotional material or marketing evidence you refer to? You have linked to one patent registered by a trained accountant / self-taught electrical engineer. This man could not play bass, could not play guitar, could not read a note of music and did not design the body or shape of the instrument. The patent refers to "bass guitar" on one page and on another simply "guitar" (not even bass!). Either way it is irrelevant because the patent is NOT a MARKETING document as you claim. It is not a tag, not a label and not a manual. The instrument described in that patent was MANUFACTURED, LABELLED and MARKETED as an Electric Bass. I own two Fender basses and another two electric basses(Danelectro and Kasuga) with original documentation - nowhere is the term "bass guitar" used! Ozbass 13:46, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, not very relevant. The vibrato arm has been MANUFACTURED, LABELLED and MARKETED as a "tremolo arm". That doesn't prove it produces tremolo, does it? 05:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply] are you claiming the tremolo (AKA vibrato/whammy/Bigsby) bar is a musical instrument provided for "tremolo" players as an electric alternative to their "acoustic tremolo"? It may be an interesting discussion on the implication of different brands of accessories or effects and whether they actually produce pulsating notes or variations in pitch whether it be very fast (vibrato) or not (shaky or tremulous - tremolo) - but not here. The point I am making is that the correct term used should match the whole equation - the design intent as an instrument for bassists, not guitarists, as well as the voice, function and role rather than a name suggested by superficial aspects of the form only. Hold a cello sideways and play it that way. Is that now an acoustic bass guitar? Try changing the tuning to fourths - is it an acoustic bass guitar yet? Easier yet - get a double bass on its side. Is that an acoustic bass guitar? If the standard three-quarter double bass is difficult to play on it's side - get a half or quarter size double bass. Using the "bass guitar" argument that is now an ABG (with a deep body for that full bass sound). Have you ever seen country fiddlers pluck intervals and chords on their violins held at the waist? It that instrument now a piccolo 4 string guitar? Your tremolo reference is confusing - Are you proposing that the instrument should be called a bass guitar because when played it "doesn't prove it produces" bass but instead fulfills the role of a guitar? Ozbass 03:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it should be Bass guitar. A quick search on google reveals there are 2.270.000 hits for "bass guitar", but only 1.790.000 for the term "electric bass" and 317.000 for "electric bass guitar" Furthermore, most bass players refer to it as bass guitar, as does John Entwistle an many others for whom I have no references. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 13 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So you proved a lot of people get it wrong - including some bass players and contributors to this discussion, but mainly non-musicians, guitarists who think they can play bass, & music store sales people. Carol Kay and Jaco Pastorius called it an electric bass as well as every professional bassist I know. So where does that argument get us? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:28, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I tried reading all of the above, but it got too convoluted. I'm fairly sure that ELECTRIC BASS : STRING BASS / DOUBLE BASS :: ELECTRIC GUITAR : GUITAR, while BASS GUITAR : GUITAR :: BASS TROMBONE : TROMBONE :: BASS TRUMPET : TRUMPET :: BASS SAX : SAX. Unless the title of the article is just reflecting common usage as practice, I don't think the incorrect terminology should be followed. (I might try to find sources, but it appears as though many are listed above). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 5 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is a guitar, and it plays in the bass range. It is a bass guitar. You can't just call it "bass" because bass isn't an instrument, it's not an "electric bass" because an "electric bass" isn't an instrument (as someone before said, electric bass WHAT?) It's incredibly obvious the instrument was designed to emulate a guitar. Why anyone would actually have to argue over the NAME of it blows my mind. Wikipedia is very silly sometimes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:47, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It would appear that Fender company does not agree with you - read the headstock label on this instrument It is a bass (typically 4 strings, not 6 like the typical guitar, tuned an octave below a guitar that is used to provide the basslines in an arrangement) with electric pick-ups, hence electric bass.
"Electric bass what"? Do you really think this causes confusion? This has been addressed before, but here's an example of how to tell the difference between electric instruments: it's not an electric bass DRUM because you do not hit a skin or pad with a stick to generate the signal from the attached electric pickups. --Ozbass (talk) 09:56, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You guys are ignoring the simple basic fact that bass players are the coolest musicians and the term bass guitar does not sound as cool as bass or electric bass and the term bass guitarist does not sound anywhere near as cool as bassist or bass player. End of discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

bass players are the coolest musicians. As a bass player, I have to agree! But putting vanity aside, maybe your point is a bassist playing a bass is not a guitarist no matter what some may call the instrument. There are many musicians who started on Double Bass, picked up Electric Bass and never learnt guitar. Obviously the bass "guitarist" label misrepresents the musician, his role and the instrument. --Ozbass (talk) 10:22, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bass players are, of course, cool. And I refer to myself as a bass player or bassist. I see no conflict with this statement and calling one of the several bass instruments I play a bass guitar. Although I'm considering refering to them as 'full size' or 'full strength' guitars. The background and self identification of the player is important - for example in other contexts there is the difference between a violin and a fiddle - a difference which is almost entirely to do with the way the instrument is played. However, in the absence of other context the instrument as a physical object is a violin. A bass guitar is still a bass guitar, even if the player refers to it as an axe. Dinobass (talk) 11:08, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a "fiddle" is still a violin, a guitarist's "axe" is still a guitar, a "bull fiddle" or "slapper" is a double bass, an electric bass is still an electric bass even if the player or anyone else refers to it as a "guitar". I certainly have seen plenty of guitarists play bass badly and I'll be curious to see "bass guitars" played as guitars (rhythm and lead) with any sense of accomplishment and successful musicianship. --Ozbass (talk) 12:35, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The bass is not a guitar

This article has a misleading title. The proper name is bass, not 'bass guitar,' therefore this article should be renamed. 17:59, 12 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this your opinion? Or do you have a source to back up your assertion that "bass guitar" is not a proper term? --The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 18:27, 12 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It´s called a bass guitar, just listen to John Entwistle, who was one of the greatest bassists of all time. "He was lightyears ahead of anybody", as said by Jeff Baxter. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:54, 13 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe that the original poster is right. I've read that the correct name is "electric bass" and that "bass guitar" is a misnomer. I read it in one of my guitar books, but don't know where. Bubba73 (talk), 23:07, 2 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Calling the instrument a 'bass', as the original poster suggested, is incorrect - bass is a modifier for an instrument family name, such as 'bass clarinet' - on its own 'bass' is meaningless. 'Electric bass' is better, as most people will understand what is meant, but it is still ambiguous - 'Electric bass' what?
The correct term should probably be 'bass electric guitar' as this clearly indicates that it is part of the electric guitar family and indicates its evolutionary path (directly from electric guitar). As a horizontally played fretted instrument originally designed guitar makers, bass guitar or electric bass guitar are the commonly used names which make most sense.
Regardless of the ambiguity surrounding the name, bass guitar and electric bass are commonly recognised names for the instrument, so the original posters premise that the article title is misleading is incorrect. Dinobass 23:39, 2 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The acoustic version of the instrument, the acoustic bass guitar, has "guitar" in its name and is abbreviated "ABG." The first ABG was modeled on the Mexican guitarrón, as the first electric bass guitars were modeled on electric guitars. Badagnani 23:43, 2 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've got a reference now: The Guitar Book, by Tom Wheeler calls them "electric bass". On page 73 It talks about the Gibson EB-1 (Electric Bass) introduced in 1953. On page 101-2, it talks about the P-bass "... and he developed an electric bass (often misamed 'bass guitar') ... ". So there's a source for the correct name being "electric bass". Bubba73 (talk), 22:14, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of the earliest models made by the major manufacturers were indeed marketed as "bass guitar" and sources showing very early promotional material with this name have been provided for this in earlier discussion. This is one of them. And this one and this one. It clear that the solid-body electric bass guitar's strong modeling on the electric guitar is no accident, thus opening up the instrument to musicians (including guitarists) who were not previously double bassists. Badagnani 22:20, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also Bass Guitar Magazine. Badagnani 22:23, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The book above clearly states that "bass guitar" is a misnomer. Bubba73 (talk), 22:47, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fender's bass guitar was a year earlier, in 1952. Badagnani 22:54, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Image: 1952 Fender advertisement notes the instrument's guitar shape and repeatedly refers to the instrument's similarity in shape and playing technique to a guitar (evidently appealing to musicians who already played the guitar). Badagnani 22:58, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The text of the ad is hard for me to read, but I don't see "bass guitar" in there anywhere. Anyhow, the issue is not what it is commonly called. I started playing the instrument in 1970 and sometimes I call it "bass guitar". The issue is what is the correct term, and the book clearly states that it is "electric bass" instead of "bass guitar". Bubba73 (talk), 01:44, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The changes just implemented were made without consensus (and against evidence presented above), and are POV, favoring the work of only one author as "the truth." Please discuss and develop consensus before implementing such controversial changes. Badagnani 02:15, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The changes are referenced to a Reliable source, and are definitely not POV. Another reference is Guitars, by Tom and Mary Anne Evans, page 342. And "what evidence presented above"? You say that it is similar to a guitar - no one disputes that. Bubba73 (talk), 02:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are really overstating your case and willfully ignoring the evidence from sources other than the ones you seem to favor. We've seen this mode of editing here before, if you will read through the earlier comments. The instrument, as shown in the 1952 patents, was called a guitar, modeled on the pre-existing solid-body electric guitar (shape exactly like a Fender electric guitar), contemporaneous sources show it was described as just like a guitar in shape and playing technique, could easily be picked up by guitarists, etc. I.e., an "electric bass guitar." "Electric bass," though the term should be mentioned in the article, does not specify electric bass *what* and thus does not merit use as the article's title. At the same time, "bass guitar" is very clearly not a "misnomer" in any way. Badagnani 02:33, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. Finding a single published book which states a particular point of view does not make that point of view correct - especially when so many other published sources disagree. For example, in "How the Fender Bass changed the World" by Jim Roberts, probably the most definitive history of the instrument so far, the term 'bass guitar' is used throughout the book from the first page onwards. Dinobass 03:07, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are more than a single source for this. And read the last paragraph of the article under "1950s-

1960s". The cited source specifically says "misnamed". To me that is the same thing as a "misnomer", but I'll change it. Bubba73 (talk), 03:14, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is the first sentence in the Grove Dictionary of Music (the most reputable general musical resource in the English-speaking world), "online" version, under the entry "Electric Bass Guitar":
"An Electric guitar, usually with four heavy strings tuned E'–A'–D–G."
So Grove 1) calls the instrument an electric bass guitar and then 2) defines it as a kind of electric guitar . That would seem to me to settle the matter. TheScotch (talk) 09:13, 6 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the other hand, the oft-quoted "How The Fender Bass Changed The World" (page 16 or 17) says that electric instrument is an the "electric bass" (no "guitar"), and is part of the "bass guitar" family. Bubba73 (talk), 15:38, 6 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would be page 17, Chapter 1, which starts "We think of the bass guitar as a new instrument...". Throughout the book Jim uses the terms 'electric bass' and 'bass guitar' synonymously (for example, the first paragraph of chapter 1 uses each twice), he does however seem to use 'bass guitar' slightly more often. Both terms are in common use and the main wiki article reflects that correctly. The forward to Jim Robert's book by Marcus Miller captures the issue well by explaining how when he was young he 'called it "bass" not "bass guitar", because-to be honest-we didn't know any other kind of bass existed' and then ends the forward with "Check out the story of the bass guitar, the coolest instrument in the band". Dinobass (talk) 21:00, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A bass drum is a drum. A bass clarinet is a clarinet. A "bass guitar" is not a guitar. As Fender said in their early advertisements, it is held similarly to a guitar and played similarly to a guitar. But Fender named it the "Precision Bass" so bass players could play with precision (due to the frets). In the family tree of musical instruments, it is descended from the upright bass, not the guitar. Bubba73 (talk), 13:14, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using your logic, bass clarinets are not clarinets either. They are very similar to each other...but bass clarinets have different keys and need a different air flow. Therefore, they are played similarly to a clarinet and called clarinets because a clarinetist could easily figure out what the differences are and how to play it. Also, if the bass is a descendant of the double bass, then why can't you use a bow on it? It wouldn't have been too hard to create an electric bass instrument with frets that could be bowed. In fact, some exist and the only thing they have in common with the bass guitar is the tuning arrangement and that they're both string instruments. Bass guitars are called bass guitars because they are a bass version of a guitar- they are shaped the same way and you strum or pluck (not bow) the strings to get a sound. The main differences between the two being it's not as easy to play chords on a bass guitar and there's (usually) only four strings...but those changes aren't major enough for it to not be related to the guitar. DiscordantNoteCntrbtns 01:17, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "On the other hand, the oft-quoted 'How The Fender Bass Changed The World'....":

Sorry, "Bubba", this piece of pop ephemera is not in any way comparable to Grove. There is no "other hand" here. TheScotch (talk) 08:11, 11 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "In the family tree of musical instruments, it is descended from the upright bass, not the guitar.":

As if Fender had been known for its bass violins rather than its electric guitars, I suppose. No, "Bubba", the bass guitar has a function analogous to that of the bass violin in jazz, rock, and pop, but it "descended from" the (and is a kind of) electric guitar. TheScotch (talk) 08:17, 11 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As I stated above, Carol Kaye (bassist and very good jazz guitarist as well) and Jaco Pastorius always called it an electric bass - go to their albums and books to verify this.
Bass guitar makes no sense - a guitar is a guitar and a bass (double or electric) is a bass. They are different instruments.
If you refer to early marketing material please link to them. You linked to patent designs for a 4 stringed "Guitar" that once produced was marketed as an electric bass.
Just goes to show that lots of people get it wrong and others, such as this magazine publisher, will cash in on a popular term. This is not restricted to music. Have you ever seen a magazine with CAR in the title? but what is the correct name for that vehicle?
Fender never produced a Bass Guitar. Read the labels and manuals (not sales catalogues) they have always been electric basses.
Yes, That settles it it - The Grove Dictionary of Music is not infallible. They should go back to the manufacturers' labels and manuals before comitting erroneous definitions like that to paper and publishing. There was a time when everyone thought the earth was flat and the sun rotated around the earth. It was in all the reputable reference texts in the English (and Latin) speaking world.
Says who? Certainly not Fender or Fullarton, Kaufman or Gibson because they all labelled it an electric bass. I have original labels and manuals - no bass guitar mentioned at all. So using TheScotch logic - therefore the electric guitar is descended from (and "is" a kind of) electric bass.
This debate is about the correct term for the instrument. No one is disputing that people commonly call it other things, or that companies have marketed the instrument as other things. This does not change the correct name for the instrument - after all, even though many people call their guitar or bass their 'axe' the instrument does not miraculously become a suitable tool for chopping wood. The pitch changing arm on guitars has been manufactured, labelled and marketed as a "tremolo arm" even though what it does is create a vibrato effect - vibrato controls on amplifiers are similarly mislabelled. As has been pointed out far too many times "Electric Bass" is not the 'correct name' for the instrument as "Bass" is not a type or family of instrument. Bass is a modifier used in conjunction with an instrument family name.

Dinobass (talk) 22:44, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "So using TheScotch logic - therefore the electric guitar is descended from (and "is" a kind of) electric bass.":

Please don't put words in my mouth. This is your "logic" and no one else's. "Using [my] logic", the electric guitar was invented well before the bass guitar--and I think I've made this very clear. (I've taken the liberty of putting your remarks where they belong in the discussion chronologically. Please do not interpolate them--especially if you can't be bothered to sign in.) TheScotch (talk) 04:53, 11 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am not sure to what TheScotch refers by "interpolation" but to understand their context the above comments (signed or unsigned) requires the reader go into the history section and retrieve 10 April 2008. I question any individual's assumption of authority to move other people's comments around to suit one's own POV. I recommend theScotch put the comments back (where they belong) so this increasingly vibrant discussion does not get overly confusing. Ozbass (talk) 11:13, 18 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dinobass, you are presenting an argument that the correct name is therefore "Electric Double Bass", or Tutmarc's original label "Electric Bass Fiddle"! Ozbass (talk) 11:21, 18 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I'm am presenting an argument that the name of instrument is 'electric bass guitar' or possibly 'bass electric guitar'. Regardless of whether or not Tutmarc called his invention an electronic bass fiddle, that would not be an appropriate for a whole raft of reasons - not least of which being that it has no relation to the 'fiddle' or 'violin' whatsoever. Plenty of people call their upright basses bass fiddles - that doesn't make them fiddles. Electric double bass, or electric upright bass, refers to another instrument entirely - an instrument that predates the electric bass guitar by a fair margin. Dinobass (talk) 03:11, 19 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "I am not sure to what TheScotch refers by "interpolation" but to understand their context the above comments (signed or unsigned) requires the reader go into the history section and retrieve 10 April 2008. I question any individual's assumption of authority to move other people's comments around to suit one's own POV.":

Interspersing comments within a section distorts and does violence to the remarks already made. It is effectively rewriting the remarks of others. This obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with my "POV". It is the writer's responsibility to establish his context without disrupting the flow of discussion. TheScotch (talk) 05:03, 20 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You guys are ignoring the simple basic fact that bass players are the coolest musicians and the term bass guitar does not sound as cool as bass or electric bass and the term bass guitarist does not sound anywhere near as cool as bassist or bass player. End of discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My vote for "Electric Bass"

Isn't it interesting that users of the term "bass guitar" will also say "Bassist" ?

Wouldn't a true bass guitar have 6 strings as opposed to most basses having 4 ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes it would - and probably would be a detuned baritone guitar. I think all people who insist on the term "bass guitar" and play the instrument should also call themselve "bass guitarists" and definitely not bassists. For added clarification they should state if they are "rhythm bass guitarists" or "lead bass guitarists". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In this context, the term bass is quite obviously an abbreviation of bass guitar. (In other contexts, it can be short for double bass or even bass clarinet. Trumpet players commonly

call piccolo trumpets pics. In context there is no confusion with the instrument flautists typically double on.) No, a "true bass guitar" would not need to have six strings--for the simple and obvious reason that the vast majority of "true" bass guitars have four strings only and always have had four strings only. TheScotch (talk) 05:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As for the section title: Wikipedia is not governed by "votes". Edits backed up by reputable sources eventually win out. Again, the most reputable music source in the English-speaking world is the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and it's worth quoting it again (this time at greater length) here:

"Electric bass guitar [bass guitar].

An Electric guitar, usually with four heavy strings tuned E'–A'–D–G. The electric bass guitar was invented by Leo Fender and was first marketed as the Fender Precision Bass in 1951 (see Fender). The instrument was introduced to meet the needs of musicians playing the bass part in small dance bands in the USA: they wanted not only a more easily portable instrument than the double bass, but one that could match the volume of the increasingly popular solid-bodied electric guitar, and could be played with greater precision than their large, fretless, acoustic instruments. Fender's electric bass guitar answered all these requirements. It was based on his already successful Broadcaster (later named Telecaster) six-string electric guitar, with a similar solid body of ash and neck of maple. The four strings were tuned to the same notes as the double bass (an octave below the bottom four of the six-string electric guitar), and a single pickup fed controls for volume and tone; the fretted fingerboard offered players the precision they wanted." TheScotch (talk) 08:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By the way, in regard to my first point above, here is how Grove defines the term bass:
"Bass (iv).
A contraction of Double bass or Electric bass guitar." TheScotch (talk) 09:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

TheScotch has provided irrefutable proof that the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is flawed and cannot be regarded as a reputable source.

1. Leo Fender did not invent anything - he was a self-taught audio electrician who could not play a musical instrument and relied on luthiers & musicians in his team to fashion music instruments.

2. The solid body, fretted, electric 4 string bass instrument held horizontally was first designed (or invented) by Paul Tutmarc many years before Fender's team first designed and issued the Precision Bass. Go to the Experience Music Project in Seattle for proof. You will note that this instrument was designed as an electric version of the "Bass Fiddle" - a popular term for Double Bass and not guitar.

3. The Fender musical instrument company (in all its versions) has never made an "electric bass guitar", they have always manufactured and sold electric basses. Go to their website and download the manuals. This is consistent with every other leading "reputable" instrument manufacturer. Gibson, Rickenbacker, Washburn, Hofner, G&L and every leading instrument maker of USA, Europe, Japan and Australia I have researched all made electric basses and electric guitars and never "electric bass guitars" The definition offered by the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians can only be viewed as a perpetuation of the mythology surrounding Leo Fender combined with lazy scholarship relying on anecdote and vernacular rather than research and the original terminology as is academic practice.

TheScotch also incorrectly assumes his opinion is "obvious" to support his argument for "bass guitar". Why is "bass".. "obviously a contraction for bass guitar". Certainly not in the professional music community within which I have worked. Depending on your milieu and instrument at hand, "bass" could refer to an electric bass or double bass - but never a "bass guitar".

As a University post-graduate trained in research and the principle to differentiate opinion from facts, I must repeat my conclusion that Wikipedia is definitely not an encylopedia. It is a collection of opinions with the most persistent & ferocious editors winning by a war of attrition.

Every point I have made above can be verified by independent research. I suggest every visitor to this article do their own research by going to original sources as I have done. Ozbass (talk) 10:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re:" TheScotch has provided irrefutable proof that the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is flawed and cannot be regarded as a reputable source.":
It is not necessary that you like everything Grove says; it is only necessary that you recognize that your disliking what it says invalidates neither the dictionary nor any of its contents.
Re: "1. Leo Fender did not invent anything....":
Whether Mr. Fender invented the bass guitar single-handedly and whether Grove means to differentiate the man himself and his company is obviously quite irrelevant to the argument, and your bringing this matter up here is a red herring--a diversionary attempt at obfuscation.
Re: "2. The solid body, fretted, electric 4 string bass instrument held horizontally was first designed (or invented) by Paul Tutmarc....":
Another diversionary attempt at obfuscation. Tutmarc's instrument did not catch on. The bass guitar as we know it was invented and first manufactured and sold by Fender and the Fender company.
Re: "3. The Fender musical instrument company (in all its versions) has never made an "electric bass guitar", they have always manufactured and sold electric basses.":
You'd might as well maintain that it never made an electric guitar on the ground that the name "Stratocaster" doesn't include the phrase electric guitar.
Re: " TheScotch also incorrectly assumes his opinion is "obvious" to support his argument for 'bass guitar'.:
It isn't "[my] opinion", and it should be obvious to every impartial native speaker of English who bothers to give the matter a moment's honest consideration.
Re: "Why is 'bass'.. 'obviously a contraction for bass guitar'.":
It's obviously an abbreviation of bass guitar in this context. In other contexts it can be an abbreviation of bass clarinet, bass saxophone, bass trombone, bass violin, bass recorder, bass singer--and so on--, or it can modify the noun clef. The term bass is an adjective, and it means low. The obvious question is "low what"?
Re: "Certainly not in the professional music community within which I have worked. Depending on your milieu and instrument at hand, 'bass' could refer to an electric bass or double bass - but never a 'bass guitar'.":
Do you really expect anyone here to believe that you've never heard the term bass guitar and you don't know to what it refers and that no one with whom you hang about has or does either? In any case, the term electric bass is itself an abbreviation of electric bass guitar--or at least we can reasonably assume this is what you mean by the term here: There are also electric double basses with just as much right to call themselves "electric basses" as the bass guitar. It is important that this article be immediately clear about which instrument it purports to discuss.
Re: "As a University post-graduate trained in research and the principle to differentiate opinion from facts...":
Were you sufficiently "trained" you might appreciate that argumentum ex cathedra is a material fallacy of presumption and that Wikipedia is not one jot interested in your self-valuation. In future please don't waste our time with such irrelevancies.
Re: "I must repeat my conclusion that Wikipedia is definitely not an encylopedia. It is a collection of opinions with the most persistent & ferocious editors winning by a war of attrition.":
The difference between Wikipedia and an encyclopedia (or "dictionary" as it calls itself) like Grove is that Wikipedia tolerates persons such as yourself. The hope is that the truth will nevertheless eventually out. The hope is that you will eventually either come to respect reputable sources and logical argument or else simply leave.TheScotch (talk) 14:01, 18 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See Bass Guitar Magazine. Badagnani (talk) 04:27, 19 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re: this claim: "3. The Fender musical instrument company (in all its versions) has never made an 'electric bass guitar'," here are Fender's patents:
Badagnani (talk) 04:28, 19 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
None of the patents are "electric bass guitar", nor were any of the instruments manufactured ever labeled or sold or described in any accompanying documentation such as the manuals as an "electric bass guitar" they were always an "electric bass". Ozbass (talk) 03:35, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whoah--what does it say here, in blue? Badagnani (talk) 03:53, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I see the artwork, but I will bet that the graphic artist is not the manufacturer and this is not the label or documentation accompanying the instrument. No-one has ever argued that the term "bass guitar" is not used in vernacular, and commonly appears in advertising and music shop catalogues, it is whether it is the correct term or not.Ozbass (talk) 04:40, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And here is a quote from Encyclopedia Britannica, its "Fender, Leo" entry: "Clarence Leo Fender American inventor and manufacturer of electronic musical instruments....In 1951 the Fender Precision Bass, the world's first electric bass guitar [my emphasis], was unveiled...." TheScotch (talk) 07:12, 19 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The term "electric bass" is presented as an alternate name in the very first sentence of this article. Should we put in bold or italics (or a different color) to make it stand out even more? Badagnani (talk) 05:01, 20 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The facts of history have invalidated both references provided by TheScotch and again prove that good scholarship and independent research will allow the truth to be discovered and revealed. Refer to the arguments presented as historical fact and if you disagree prove their non-existence. Clinging to other references against the irrefutable presence of an earlier electric bass than that offered by Fender and the documentation provided by Fender and other major companies only adds weight to the necessity that any reference proclaiming to be an encyclopedia or dictionary needs to update and correct its entries in the same way a medical text of 50 years ago would differ from a recent release based on the latest scientific discoveries. It has been noted elsewhere that the common wisdom was that the earth was flat and the center of the universe. I am sure no-one agrees with the "reputable sources" that once published those "facts".
I suggest that contributors to this discussion do not confuse historical fact with TheScotch' attempt to discredit by citing of argumentum ex cathedra. Facts are facts and a conclusion with the disclaimer of being personal opinion challenging Wikipedia's claim to be an authoritative encyclopedia is just that - a personal conclusion, in this case on a discussion page and not in the article itself.
Contributors are also encouraged to understand ad hominem arguments and attacks and decide if TheScotch' response and tenor of his language falls within that category.Ozbass (talk) 04:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "Clinging to other references against the irrefutable presence of an earlier electric bass than that offered by Fender and the documentation provided by Fender":

I don't know how many times it has to be pointed out that Tutmarc's instrument is an obscure footnote to history that made not a dent in historical continuity before it sinks into your head, but, in any case, he didn't call it an "electric bass"; he called it an "electronic bass fiddle". Is that what you want this article to call the bass guitar? You don't seem to.

The only "documentation provided by Fender" anyone's actually cited here as far as I can make out are Fender's patents, which clearly show he considered the instrument a kind of guitar and called it a bass guitar. (Grove and Britannica clearly know about the Precision Bass and refer to it by name. Presumably they understand "Precision Bass" as the name of a particular model of electric bass guitar just as you presumably understand "Stratocaster" as the name of a particular model of electric guitar. I've said this before, and I shouldn't have to continue to repeat it.)

Let's sum up the case:

I. Reputable sources: 1) The 2001 edition of the most prestigious and reputable music source in the English-speaking world says that the instrument is a kind of guitar, is properly called a bass guitar or electric bass guitar, and that the term bass used alone in this sense is an abbreviation of bass guitar or electric bass guitar. 2) The most recent edition of the most famous and prestigious general encyclopedia in the English-speaking world concurs: The instrument is properly called an electric bass guitar and is a kind of guitar. 3) The patents of the inventor of the instrument clearly refer to it as a kind of guitar and as a "bass guitar".

II. Language and linguistic logic: 1) The term bass is an adjective meaning low which modifies a noun (expressed or understood). Hence bass trombone, bass clarinet, bass drum, bass saxophone, bass recorder, bass singer, bass violin, bass clef, bass guitar. 2) The instrument has been commonly called a bass guitar throughout its history, more commonly than any other name and is still commonly called a bass guitar, still more commonly than any other name.

How do you respond? You respond by disparaging Grove, by disparaging Encyclopedia Britannica, by disparaging Leo Fender (and this, by the way, is argumentum ad hominem), by disparaging Wikipedia, by alluding vaguely to "facts" you never cite and "research" you urge us to undertake on your behalf, and by comparing yourself to Copernicus. I don't call that an argument; I call it a waste of Wikipedia's time and memory storage. TheScotch (talk) 05:24, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This argument tries to create confusion where none exists. When referring to a double bass, I don't think I would expect the question "Double Bass what?"Ozbass (talk) 04:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I have stated previously, buy a Fender (or Gibson, Rickenbacker or other leading manufacturer's electric bass) or go to their website and download the manual. Ignoring these documents does not advance your argument. I have directed readers to a surviving example of the original electric bass, and maybe "Electric Bass Fiddle" is probably more correct than "bass guitar". The inconsistent nomenclature of the Fender patents is self-evident, is outside the argument of the labels, manuals and documentation accompanying the instrument once manufactured and is not related to the original electric bass. Go back through the discussion and note this has been dealt with.
A challenge to convention or common belief and citing facts that any reader can source and verify themselves is not disparaging and occurs regularly in the advancement of knowledge. The existing example of Tutmarc's bass and catalogue have been overlooked in your quoted sources and therefore the sources need updating, no matter what reputation they may enjoy.
At no time has Fender (the man or company) been disparaged but the mythology surrounding the man has been debunked citing facts and existing evidence from leading manufacturers and on public (and internet) display at the Experience Music Project, Seattle. The rebuttable of mythology and challenge to unsubstantiated novel re-interpretations of history are definitely not ad hominem.
I referred to belief in a "flat earth" and don't recall a comparison with Copernicus (I would not necessarily call that an ad hominem accusation from TheScotch, more a diversionary distortion), but I can appreciate in a small way what Copernicus must have experienced! Ozbass (talk) 07:09, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "When referring to a double bass, I don't think I would expect the question 'Double Bass what?' "

Whether or not you would expect the question, the answer is "violin".

Re: "...go to their website and download the manual...":

No. You cite here what you think in the manual is relevant to the argument. If you can't do that, we can reasonably assume you to be blowing smoke.

Re: "maybe "Electric Bass Fiddle" is probably more correct than "bass guitar".:

It's electronic bass fiddle, and don't "maybe" us. Either advocate electronic bass fiddle and leave off with the "electric bass" or else drop Tutmarc already.

Re: "The existing example of Tutmarc's bass and catalogue have been overlooked in your quoted sources and therefore the sources need updating, no matter what reputation they may enjoy.":

It has not been overlooked; it has been and is judged insignificant.

Re: "At no time has Fender (the man or company) been disparaged....":

These are your words verbatim:

"You have linked to one patent registered by a trained accountant / self-taught electrical engineer. This man could not play bass, could not play guitar, could not read a note of music...."

None of this has any bearing on the argument and all of it is ad hominem.

Re: "I can appreciate in a small way what Copernicus must have experienced!":

From the Wikipedia "Crank" article: "The second book of the philosopher and popular author Martin Gardner was a study of crank beliefs, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. More recently, the mathematician Underwood Dudley has written a series of books on mathematical cranks, including The Trisectors, Mathematical Cranks, and Numerology: Or, What Pythagoras Wrought. And in a 1998 UseNet post, the mathematician John Baez humorously proposed a "checklist", the Crackpot index, intended to "diagnose" cranky beliefs regarding contemporary physics.

According to these authors, virtually universal characteristics of cranks include:

1. Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts....

In addition, many cranks....

3. compare themselves with Galileo or Copernicus, implying that the mere unpopularity of some belief is in itself evidence of plausibility...."TheScotch (talk) 09:06, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Double Bass what?' The answer is not simply "violin". The Double Bass is an hybrid of violin in construction elements and viole (particularly violone) in its sloping shoulders. Either way it is not guitar, and as such its electric alternatives, the electric bass and electric upright bass (or stick bass), are not guitars.
Manual: Electric guitars and basses - no "bass guitars"
also Gibson: no "bass guitars" in their product list. Even Hofner,shop.category/category_id,10/ refer to a semi-acoustic bass or violin bass, but never bass guitar.
Electric Bass Fiddle: article and photos here:
and Click on the image of the electric bass fiddle (third from left), click on gallery and read the original advertisement from Paul Tutmarc Studios. Therefore Electric NOT Electronic, and furthermore fiddle would therefore be more correct than guitar. As always, I urge contributors to a so-called encylopedia to go back to the earliest source as possible. With regard to the instrument category that is now commonplace, the custom of all the leading manufacturers from the early 50's to today is to call it an Electric Bass no matter what currency the term Bass Guitar may have.
A statement of facts is not ad hominem. I don't regard formal training in accounting or achievement resulting from self-education disparaging, nor is it disparaging to acknowledge an inability to be able to read or play music. Diversionary attempts to distort or obfuscate or even shoot the messenger will not remove historical fact.
A reference to, or appreciation of, an historical figure is a long stretch from personal comparison. TheScotch raised Copernicus, not I, and now he brings in Galileo. If I refer to the well established and universally accepted system of taxonomy will TheScotch then accuse me of comparing myself to Carl Linnaeus? Go to Wikipedia's Talk Page Guidelines , ref: Behaviour that is unacceptable - Misrepresentation
TheScotch has provided the humourous Cranks definition and "Crackpot Index". While entertaining, TheScotch unfortunately does not connect this directly to arguments presented in this discussion page.
Readers may note TheScotch' actions in re-arranging other's contributions taking them out of context, presenting personal opinions as fact such as "it has been and is judged insignificant.", incorrect accusations of ad hominem arguments, accusations of personal comparisons where none exist, and the use of language and phrases such as "...or else simply leave...", "...before it sinks into your head" and "...we can reasonably assume you to be blowing smoke".
Readers and would-be contributors may also care to compare this style of response with the characteristic of "overestimat(ing) their own knowledge and ability" from the Cranks and Crackpot definitions TheScotch has provided, as well as how this fits with Wikipedia's Talk Page Guidelines, and definitions of civility and harassment. Ozbass (talk) 11:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The sites you give above call the instrument an "electric bass guitar." It's clear that we can't discuss rationally with you because you selectively disregard any source that gives this name--even if it's a source you yourself provide. Badagnani (talk) 14:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Up until this point in this discussion the position held by 'Ozbass' has been that Fender and Gibson refer to the instrument as 'electric bass'. The two examples given both use the term 'bass' and 'guitar', but not 'electric bass'. As far as I can tell neither Fender or Gibson have ever used the term 'electric bass' in their patents or product descriptions. Fender has consistently used bass guitar or bass and most commonly in the early days 'Fender Bass'. I'm sure no one, including Fender, would suggest that the proper generic name for the instrument should be 'Fender Bass'.
It should be noted that the full title of the Gibson site described above is 'Gibson Guitar: Electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, baldwin pianos and slingerland drums, online lesson, stories and news'. To navigate to the page cited by Ozbass one follows the links 'Guitars->Electric Guitars' - it's quite clear that 'bass' is used here in the context of 'guitars'. If one goes to the front page of the Fender website and clicks on 'basses' in the navigation the title graphic clearly says 'Fender Bass Guitars'. So, it seems all the evidence provided by people on both side of this debate demonstrates that the largest manufacturers and purveyors of bass guitars clearly consider them to be guitars. Dinobass (talk) 22:51, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's get some points absolutely clear. We are arguing over the correct term for the instrument. I have never denied the popularity of the term "bass guitar", nor its use in marketing in retail sales catalogues and websites. A website would include a popular term for search engine optimisation hence the appearance of this term in the upper levels of the websites linked. But then you selectively ignore the manufacturer's actual category the instrument falls within and the accompanying documentation. There is no mention of "Bass Guitar" in the list of models. I provided links to documentation that accompanies the instrument. They refer to electric guitars and basses (no bass guitars). The adjective "electric" applies to basses as well as guitars. I do not see guitars applying to basses otherwise it would be "guitars basses"

I am not alone in thinking the correct term is Electric Bass. refer to volumes such as

Victor Wooten Style Electric Bass,

Electric Bass - Flea on Funk,

Harmonics for Electric Bass by Adam Novick,

Dan Dean - Electric Bass (six book series),

Jaco Pastorius - Modern Electric Bass,

Electric Bass by John Patitucci,

Carol Kaye's series on Electric Bass, and I quote from the liner of her DVD course: "Carole Kaye, legendary pioneer Studio Elec. Bassist and Educator." BTW - Carole Kaye is accomplished on jazz guitar so she has every right to use the term "guitarist" as well.

and to FINALLY dispel ANY argument that Fender never used the term ELECTRIC BASS please look closely at this image, right next to the Fender Logo and below JAZZ BASS [[1]]

So rationally, the onus is now on Badagnani, Dinobass and TheScotch to explain why so many leading practioners past and present of the electric bass call it so, and more importantly find a headstock from a leading manufacturer with the label "Bass Guitar" or "Electric Bass Guitar" as well as a manual included with such an instrument using either of these phrases. Otherwise accept the popular vernacular for what it is, recognition by retailers and marketing people of its popularity only, and by convention use the leading manufacturers' term for the correct decription Ozbass (talk) 08:58, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "A statement of facts is not ad hominem. I don't regard formal training in accounting or achievement resulting from self-education disparaging, nor is it disparaging to acknowledge an inability to be able to read or play music.":
It makes no difference whether the "statement" is "fact" or innuendo. You stated these putative "facts" (having to do with the man, homo, not the argument) with the obvious intention of disparaging and thus (illogically) discrediting the evidence in Fender's patent applications.
Re: "TheScotch has provided the humourous Cranks definition and "Crackpot Index". While entertaining, TheScotch unfortunately does not connect this directly to arguments presented in this discussion page.":
The argument was over long ago: you lost it. The relevance of your repeatedly (three times) comparing yourself to such persons as Copernicus--or Columbus, if you prefer--has to do with your response to evidence.
Re: "So rationally, the onus is now on Badagnani, Dinobass and TheScotch to explain why so many leading practioners past and present of the electric bass call it so":
Of course it is not. We are arguing that "electric bass" is not, as you maintain, the one true and proper name for the instrument, not that no one has ever called it this. I (possibly B. and D. as well, but I don't want to presume to speak for them) am arguing, in addition, that the instrument derived from the electric guitar and is, in fact, a kind of guitar. The onus on me was only to provide at least one reputable source for this, and I have done so long, long ago. The sources I have provided are the best possible sources (although B.'s patent applications are very good too), and they say this clearly and unequivocally. That ought to be the end of it. You need to cease ranting and find a more productive use for your time.
In any case, it seems to me quite obvious that most persons using the term "electric bass" are simply abbreviating. It's possible, I suppose, that at least one person is using the term as a euphemism because he has some sort of wierd psychological hang-up about the instrument's association with the guitar, but this is only speculation, and I only proffer it because you've pressed me to. As far as the argument goes, and as far as this article goes, it doesn't matter. TheScotch (talk) 18:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The instrument was quickly picked up by musicians in the 1950s, particularly by session musicians in Nashville, New York, L.A., etc. because it is so convenient to play and transport, because its design was modeled on the guitar rather than the double bass (with the difference in the number of strings). The fact that it looks almost exactly like a solid-body Fender electric guitar (though a few inches longer and a bit heavier) should be a tip-off. This even allowed session guitarists to double on the instrument with little difficulty. The vernacular/shorthand term "electric bass" seems to be mentioned not only in the first paragraph of our article, but in the first sentence. Might I ask again, should we put that name in a different color, or perhaps flashing, so that readers might see it more clearly? Badagnani (talk) 18:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re: Fender headstock with 'electric bass'. So, it seems there is finally some evidence that Fender actually used the term electric bass at one point in time - this doesn't, of course, change the correct name for the instrument. After all, the absence or presence of the word 'guitar' on a stratocaster doesn't make it anything other than an electric guitar. Furthermore their brief flirtation with and then abandonment of the term tends to weaken the already poor argument that 'electric bass' is the correct name for the instrument.
In the 1950's Fender patents designs marked 'guitar' (original precision bass) and 'bass guitar' (version 2 precision bass). At this point it is clear that Fender considered the instrument to be a 'bass guitar' and used that term, or the contraction 'bass' in its promotion. Searching for Fender Bass headstocks shows that the early 1960's models of the jazz bass had 'electric bass' on the headstock. From the late 1960's onwards the term 'electric bass' no longer appears on jazz bass headstocks. Consider how Fender describe their current American Deluxe Jazz Bass: 'Our upgraded American Deluxe Jazz Bass guitar captures the spirit of Fender innovation...'. In fact, the descriptions of every jazz or precision bass on their website uses the term 'bass guitar' or 'guitar' in the description - usually in the first sentence. eg. American Standard: 'Fender hit a giant bass home run in 1960 by introducing its deluxe-model four-string instrument—the Jazz Bass guitar. ' Here, from the description of the american standard bass V: 'Fender invented the electric bass guitar, introducing the Precision Bass in 1951.' So. It seems that although Fender briefly used the marketing term 'Electric Bass' in the mid 1960's they currently align themselves to the terms 'bass guitar' and 'electric bass guitar'. At no point has anyone argued that 'electric bass' is not a term in common usage - showing that the term has been used does not, therefore, demonstrate that it is the correct name for the instrument. Dinobass (talk) 00:01, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And now COLUMBUS (!) and "...he has some sort of wierd psychological hang-up..." The thread is quite clear on who raised the comparisons, continues with ad hominen attacks, and who sticks to the arguments based on fact. The reputable sources TheScotch quoted have been shown to be fallible. There is no proof that "Electric Bass" is an abbreviataion, because no one has provided proof of one instrument labeled an "electric bass guitar". On the contrary, proof of an instrument labeled "ELECTRIC BASS" has been provided and so far selectively disregarded by the "bass guitar" protagonists.

The "names" on the patent applications are inconsistent within themselves ("guitar", "bass guitar" but no "electric" or "electronic" anything.) Besides, the purpose of patents is to document unique design features, in this case of what was finally brought to market as an "electric bass" - an easily portable, amplifiable alternative to the double bass. The electric bass certainly shares many construction elements with a solid body electric guitar, which is most likely why the popular term of "bass guitar" arose - people confusing morphology over lineage, function, voice and purpose. This was a common mistake within Geographic Societies and scientific communities up until the early 20th century. In taxonomy, nomenclature based on morphology is universally discredited.

The bonus for session guitarists to double on bass, assuming they understand the approach to playing good bass lines (and I have heard some bad bass playing from good guitarists) is an irrelevant diversion. The same inference applies to a violinist being able to play a mandolin easily - it does not make a violin a mandolin or vice versa, even if violins and mandolins along with most stringed instruments share many similar construction and design elements.

Fender (the man or company) clearly moved on after lodging the patents - note the headstock clearly stating "ELECTRIC BASS" in the linked image. [[2]]This name on the headstock and documents accompanying the instrument is why bassists have used the term Electric Bass for over half a century. Refer to my list of bassists above. Anyone who disagrees, please provide a headstock or manual, or instrument catalogue from the 50's or 60's to prove one model was labeled an "electric bass guitar" or "bass guitar". Gibson, consistently used model series codes based on full descriptive terms. ES for Electro-Spanish, SG for Solid Guitar and EB for Electric Bass. Contrary to what some have presented here, it is the term "bass guitar" has increased in popularity since the 70's and particularly over the last decade.

I agree with Badagnani that the term Electric Bass be put in bold as one step towards recognition of the use of this term even if we disagree on which is the correct term. An early reference in the article to the controversy over the name would be salient as well. Further, I would appreciate it if B. please fix the "electronic bass fiddle" & "electronic bass" references.

The claim that "electric bass" replaced "Fender bass" in the late 60's is deceptive. Electric Bass was there from the beginning and references to "Fender bass" have simply fallen out of fashion. In the late 60's the Musicians' Union reverting to listing "Electric Bass" was recognition that "Fender Bass" was a popular term due to the dominence of that brand in studios and the market and not a true generic label for the instrument. If musicians (especially bassists) thought it was a "bass guitar" why wasn't that term used by their union? In the late 60's to early 70's Fender Bass was still the popular term in studios to distinguish the electric instrument from a traditional acoustic (double) bass. This is very similar to a popular term in the Netherlands for instant coffee being "Nescafe", or the French refering to a ballpoint pen as a "Bic", and now "Google" is used for web-search. Everyone understands the terms, but that does not make them correct.

Dinobass, the term Electric Bass is hardly a brief flirtation, it was in the manuals and stamped on the instrument! I purchased a new Fender Jazz Bass in 1974 (my third electric bass). I still have the tags - no mention of bass guitar at all. The descriptions that have entered the Fender website recently - and by that I mean within the past months (not years) only support the increasing popularity of the term "bass guitar" - not its original usage. This also underlines my consistent recognition that the term "bass guitar" is often used in retail. But to advance your argument please provide the headstock and manual (or tags) that clearly state "bass guitar" or "electric bass guitar". You will note that the owners manual linked on the retail description page does not mention "bass guitar" or "electric bass guitar".

It is "bass guitar" that is replacing "electric bass" in vernacular and has less validity in describing this category of instrument than "Fender bass". Ozbass (talk) 03:28, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If the instrument weren't actually a guitar, or called as such by the companies from the early 1950s on, the above would have some validity. Nevertheless, the alternate vernacular name is mentioned in the lead. Badagnani (talk) 07:10, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are relying on an assumption to deny validity of an opposing argument. Where is the proof such as headstock stating "bass guitar", owners manual refering to "bass guitar" or even a label or swing tag displaying "bass guitar"? The only proof provided so far of an actual instrument as manufactured is the Fender Jazz Bass headstock clearly stating ELECTRIC BASS (which you immediately deleted from the article).
Also please respond to Removals 2 (above) Ozbass (talk) 08:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's a little thought experiment for us all. How many guitars - electric, acoustic, bass, baritone, actually have the word 'guitar' on the headstock? I've got something like 11 stringed instruments within easy reach, ranging from mandolins to electric upright bass. Not one of them has the family name of the instrument on the headstock. I've also scoured the interwebs for Fender headstocks - their electric guitars say things like 'Fender Stratocaster' and 'Fender Telecaster', their basses say "Precision Bass" and "Jazz Bass" and "Coronado Bass II". The one exception seems to be Fender Jazz Basses from the mid 1960's which also say 'Electric Bass'. It's pretty clear to anyone who's played an instrument that they very rarely have the name of the instrument printed on them anywhere. Do any of those instruments somehow stop being whatever they are due to the presence or absence of the instrument family name? Do we see a clarinet and say "Oh, that can't be a clarinet, it doesn't say clarinet anywhere on it!" Of course not. So why should this be the case for the bass guitar? Dinobass (talk) 11:49, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The edits contained the change of several mentions of the instrument to the vernacular name "electric bass" against consensus, as well as a deletion of a reference to the instrument being modeled with guitar features, thus the edits needed to be reverted. It's clear given the current discussion that changes should be made in a less sweeping manner, and that such edits as I describe not be attempted to be interspersed among many other uncontroversial edits. Badagnani (talk) 23:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The changes proffered to the Wikipedia community steer the article towards Neutral Point of View (NPOV). There is no consensus on which term is vernacular but both sides agree that "Electric Bass" is usable as either an abbreviation or the correct term. I have established the terminology of Tumarc's "electronic" bass was incorrect. The Gibson bass requires a citation from the designers and manufacturers before the claim "relied heavily on existing guitar design" can be made - hence the change to "sharing similar design" - again NPOV.
Dinobass has an interesting point with some merit. My double basses do not have "double bass" on the label stuck inside the body, the violins don't say "violin" but refer to the style of manufacture such as Antonius Stradovarius Cremonenfis Fieca bad Anno 1713. My Gibson ES-135 has no guitar on the headstock or label stuck inside. However, the documentation does refer to the instrument. The paperwork with the Double Bass certainly refers to model & 3/4 Double Bass and the Gibson definitely is accompanied with paperwork stating electric guitar. So in this "bass" context what do we see - electric bass or bass guitar?. The Fender bass is accompanied by an owner's manual with "electric" describing "bass" but no "bass" describing "guitar". The Gibson EB series is short for Electric Bass and no G for Guitar. One clear sign is Fender printing Electric Bass on the headstock of at least one series of its basses. Most importantly though, in going through my collection of bits and pieces I found a copy of the Fender Electrics Price List Summer 2005 (a total of 14 pages). Two categories from page 2 - 9 Electric Guitars, and at the top of page 10 is the next category Fender® Electric Basses ( a scan for your reference here [[3]] ). Definitely no mention of bass guitars in the category or the list of models. Gibson's current price list has a category of "Bass Series" and Epiphone "Bass" which includes the EB series and "El Segundo IV Acoustic/Electric Bass". The word guitar is completely absent in the list of basses. So as well as prominent bassists from the early 50's to present using the term "Electric Bass", we have proof that Fender used the term from at least the early 60's to this decade and once in production "bass guitar" has only been used by their retailers and advertising copywriters in more recent years. Is anyone still claiming Electric Bass has never been used by leading manufacturers or that it was just a brief flirtation? Ozbass (talk) 03:38, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to say I find it astonishing that someone can look at a Fender Telecaster and look at a 1951 Fender Precision and have any doubt whatsoever that the two instruments are related, and that they share clear design features in common. Similarly, can anyone in all honesty look at a Gibson SG 6 string guitar and an EB-0 bass guitar and not see that the similarity in design? An EB-1 , with the strange pull out upright bass like end pin is a little less clear cut, as are the two 1930's 'electric bass guitars' Gibson build - which, despite the name had more in common with electric upright basses than with guitars - but the original precision is clearly related by design to the telecaster - and the EB-1 to the gibson SG. This is trivially obvious to the most casual of observer - and this is also evident from the patent applications for 'guitar' and 'bass guitar' by Fender. It seems to me that the only reason that there is any controversy over this at all is that many bass players over the years have consistently chosen to dissociate themselves from guitarists. Now, this is quite interesting in its own right, and perhaps even deserves a section in the main article - but doesn't change the fact that the instrument evolved from the electric guitar and has more in common with the electric guitar than any other instrument. If the bass guitar is truly not a guitar, what, then are the essential differences that make it something other than a guitar? In the end the differences are number of strings and range. Range is covered by the modifier 'bass' and it is common for stringed instruments within a family to have different numbers of strings from each other and throughout time. The upright bass viol is a case in point, having commonly had between 3 and 5 strings over the last few centuries. As far as I can tell the only practical point of difference is that many bass players, including myself, like to distance ourselves from our thin string picking cousins. Yes, 'Electric Bass' is an important term commonly used to describe the instrument, and if it wasn't referenced in the article as such I'd be arguing strongly that it should. However, the instrument is a guitar, and it's only a familial schism that makes us argue so strongly that it is not - in the same way that fiddle players will argue strongly that they aren't violinists and vice versa even though the instruments are often indistinguishable and interchangeable. Dinobass (talk) 06:17, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Design features in common - yes, absolutely, no argument, and see my earlier comments on morphology confusing lineage, function, voice and purpose, as well as convergent evolution and long established conventions of taxonomy. The "bass guitar" argument is based solely on it looks like a big guitar so therefore it is a guitar. I've seen ukeleles that look like a small Flying V guitar, so is the Flying V now a big ukelele with six strings, or the uke is now a small 4 string guitar? Delving further, I think another sticking point is the assumption that the electric bass was inspired by guitars rather than the necessity for a portable, amplifiable alternative to the Double Bass. This is where Tutmarc was the pioneer and called it an electric bass fiddle, and probably why Leo Fender never continued with "bass guitar" past the patent because the playable electric instrument was designed by his musicians and luthiers for bassists, not guitarists. Speculation only but the luthiers and musicians working with the electrician may have reached a consensus to go with "electric bass". (...can we achieve that here?) And it is not just a matter of dissociation of bassists from guitarists. Essential differences? - more than just size, range and number of strings (on a standard bass) which are at least 3 differences to start with but also the function, purpose, approach and voice is not that of a guitar. One wag suggested above that "bass guitarists" should declare if they were the "lead bass guitarist" or "rhythm bass guitarist". That kind of illustrates my point. The bottom line is the instrument was brought to market as an "electric bass" which is why that original term should be acknowledged as correct and "bass guitar" as vernacular. "Electric Bass (a.k.a. Bass Guitar)" should be the title of the article. Ozbass (talk) 09:45, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your argument regarding similarity of morphology makes no sense, at least not to anyone who has studied either taxonomy or evolution. This is not a case of convergent evolution, this is a clear case of common parentage. If one was to invoke a phylogenetic/cladistic taxanomic approach, and in fact I urge that you do, it would be clear and unquestionable that the bass guitar is, indeed, a bass guitar. These are not features that are merely similar, they are design features which were developed by the same people using the same tools, techniques and principles in the same factory. There is no confusion of lineage. The scale length that Leo Fender and his helpers settled on is one which fits perfectly with their other guitars - a Fender Precision bass from the fifth fret up is exactly the same fret spacings as a strat - this would allow them to use the same fret templates across their entire range - this seems rather more than coincidental (a 35" or 33" scale length would not give this result). This puts the Fender bass scale length clearly in the guitar family. Upright bass scales are much longer and fit more closely with the viola de gamba family. The use of frets and a high radius (nearly flat) fingerboard are further guitar features. A different 'voice' in a taxanomic context certainly would not in any way change the family classification of an organism - the niches and behaviour of Lions, Tigers, Serval and domestic cat are quite different, as are the sizes of these animals - and yet they are closely related and share common ancestors. In taxanomic terms the role or niche which an organism inhabits are unimportant - it is the common ancestry and common inherited features that are important. In this case there is not one feature of the electric bass guitar that has not been inherited directly from its electric guitar parents. The lack of a couple of strings would not cause a taxonomist any grief whatsover - reduction of digits and limbs being commonplace among descendants. To use another musical example, a mandolin and a mandobass are undisputed members of the same family of instruments. The mandobass is significantly larger, has four single courses of strings (rather than the paired courses of the rest of the family) is usually tuned in fourths (rather than fifths for other mandolins). The arguments used above to try and cleave the electric bass guitar from its family connections would all apply more strongly to the mandobass - and yet the mandobass is unquestionably a mandolin. The mandobass was invented by mandolin makers specifically to fill the bass role in mandolin orchestras - and here lies the only essential difference between the subsequent histories of the mandobass and the bass guitar - the marketing strategy. Mandobasses were aimed clearly at a specific niche, whereas bass guitars were intended to fill a bass role in a wide variety of ensembles - and in that context marketing the bass guitar as simply 'Fender Bass' made a lot of sense. It allowed Fender to sell to both out of work guitarists ("See the beginning of chapter 3 of Jim Roberts Book, you have got that book? If not why not?") and to (eventually) upright bass players. It is pretty clear from the literature that Leo Fender intended his instrument to appeal particularly to guitarists, who had specifically stated that they needed such an instrument, and also to upright bassists, who initially resisted (and many still do). Electric bass seems to have come later as a marketing term - and no one is disputing that it is in common usage or has been used by companies in their marketing.
The bottom line is that the instrument is a bass guitar, developed quite intentionally using entirely techniques and features inherited from its electric guitar parents. It has been marketed as 'electric bass', 'bass' and these terms are in common usage - which is what the article name and opening paragraph (currently and correctly) make clear. Furthermore, it is pretty clear that the common popular usage is leaning towards 'bass guitar'. To propose 'electric bass' as the 'correct' name for the instrument in 2008 would seem antediluvian as well as pedantically incorrect. Dinobass (talk) 22:20, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dinobass raised it, and urged me to invoke this approach so I offer the following. And before anyone jumps in, this is not an argumentum ex cathedra opinion expressed as fact but measured argument for discussion. So here goes and hopefully it is more than an entertaining diversion.
The design of the electric bass is clearly convergent evolution. Dinobass' argument would define instruments from the same designers, factory, tools, techniques and even source materials such as Gibson's range of banjo, mandolin and guitar as the same instrument. This argument runs counter to standard taxonomic approach. Take Dinobass argument to extremes: All life on earth is based on carbon molecules. We find one factory - Earth, the same designer - insert your own version of natural selection or intelligent design (I'm not touching that one, especially here), the same tools (solar and electromagnetic energy), the same materials (principally molecules of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen) and the same motivating necessity to fill changing environmental pressures and niches. Conclusion: there are no different kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus or species of plants and animals, just words used as different adjectives for arrangements of carbon molecules based on the morphology of the total mass.
On the other hand, stringed instruments can be viewed as related at a class or order or family level. The genus and species level would split them further.
The references to cat family (Felidae) would parallel the family of mandolins, banjos and guitars. We even see hybrids (Liger and banjolin). Within the genus of guitars, using dichotomous keys to distinguish species, we may find Spanish, classical, parlour, jumbo, folk and Dreadnought and perhaps 12 string and 7 string subspecies. Regarding reduction of digits, vestigial organs or bones are important identifiers of lineage. In the electric alternative to the double bass there were no intermediary or vestigial 5th and 6th strings. The designers, Tutmarc before Fender company, went straight from double bass (4 strings) to electric bass (4 strings). Tailoring of dimensions to suit a factory (environmental pressures) is irrelevant to the lineage. The result parallels convergent evolution in different orders, perhaps even a different classes. For example, in spite of its morphology and habitat a porpoise is a mammal and not a large fish like a "whale shark" (Rhincodon typus). Regarding the latter, note the confusion of the common term combining a mammal with a fish based purely on morphology and size. Not dissimilar to "bass guitar". Here's a thought: As the whale shark achieves a higher profile and results in more people thinking it is a whale, should an encyclopedia accept is is actually a whale and present that as fact?
No-one is disputing marketing or spotting a way of making money, such as selling more units to guitarists as well as bassists. However, can someone provide some document from the early 50's marketing an instrument model listed in the manufacturers category of "bass guitar" to guitarists - perhaps an advertisment with a famous guitarist declaring his purchase of a "bass guitar" because this instrument was designed for guitarists and now enables him/her to double on bass in dance bands or small orchestras, removing the need for a bass player. The Wikipedia article and other articles all state the intention was to provide an amplifiable bass alternative for bassists. We have seen historical proof of the category "Electric Bass" and the instrument labelled thus. Please provide corporate documentation dating back to the early 50's from leading manufacturers that listed a range of models offered to the market under the category "Bass Guitar"?
With regard to the fashion in 2008 vs antediluvian, "electric bass" has been championed for more than a few months. Wikipedia claims to be an encylopedia so attention to detail and historical accuracy (pedantic maybe) is important. Ozbass (talk) 03:25, 1 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Taxonomy is all about inheritance, features that have been inherited from the parent family. If we break this down to first principles there are two relevant families of stringed instruments to be considered. The bowed violin/viol/viola de gamba family and the oud/lute/guitar family. There are features common to both families - strings, some form of sound box, some form of bridge, a neck and tuning pegs - convergent evolution if you like - however the two families have followed quite different paths. The earliest bowed strings originate from China and the forerunners of the guitar from europe and the middle east. Violin family instruments all have a rounded fingerboard and narrow cutaway waist to facilitate bowing, gambas and other family members were often partially fretted, with curved usually gut frets, but frets had been abandoned by upright bass players centuries ago. Violin family instruments also generally have high floating bridges held in place by string tension and also curved to further facilitate bowing. Larger members of the violin family usually also have some kind of end pin to facilitate upright playing. These are features that have been fairly standard for centuries. Oud/lute/guitar/mandolin family instruments on the other hand have fingerboards which are flat or almost flat, bridges which are typically glued to the flat top. Strings may be attached directly to the bridge assembly or to a tail piece - but in most cases string tension is not required to hold the bridge in place. Although the Oud was and is a fretless instrument, the development of lutes and guitars in Europe involves frets - originally gut but later brass. Guitars have been less clearly standardised than violin family instruments, but these features are extremely common. Carved top acoustic guitars did already exist in the 1950's - but they still have the flattened fretted fingerboard - and even those with floating bridges have much lower and flatter bridges than violin style instruments. There are also internal construction differences between violin and guitar family instruments that are quite distinctively different, but we can ignore those in a discussion of solid bodied electric guitars.
So, what features have bass guitars - and most importantly the first examples - inherited from the upright bass? As far as I can tell, nothing. There is no curved fingerboard to facilitate bowing, no narrow waist, no end pin. The essential defining characteristics of violin family instruments are completely missing from both Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender's first bass guitars. It is important to note, at this point, that "all" these features are present in the clear electric descendant of the viol family - the electric upright bass - a class of instrument which has existed since the early 1930's and which both Tutmarc and Fender were fully aware of.
So, what features have bass guitars got in common with other guitars. Let us consider the electric guitar first, lest anyone claim that it isn't a descendant of earlier acoustic guitars. The solid bodied electric guitar inherits the flat body, flattened fretted neck and shallow bridge solidly attached to the body - in the case of the telecaster this was a crudely adjustable compensating bridge - something that doesn't exist in the violin family. I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that an electric guitar such as a telecaster is not related to a spanish style acoustic guitar. So. Now we've demonstrated that the features are indicative and uncontroversial, let us consider the bass guitar. The vast majority of electric bass guitars, and most tellingly both Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender's original designs, also exhibit these features. Most importantly both Paul and Leo's designs are clearly scaled up versions of their guitars - the shapes are the same, the bridge designs are the same, the fingerboards bridges and pickups are just slightly larger versions of the kind used on their guitars. Take a look at these two patents. and Really, how can there be any doubt whatsoever that these are related instruments? Heck, they both say 'guitar' at the top.
Finally, you assert that Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender both went straight from upright bass to electric bass. There is no evidence that either designer modelled their instruments on the upright bass. Both designers were fully aware of full sized fretless electric upright basses with features clearly inherited from the double bass. These had been manufactured by Rickenbacker, Regal, Vega and Paul Tutmarc himself produced a bowable electric upright bass before he decided to try a guitar based approach. Leo Fender, as far as anyone can tell, never attempted to construct an electric upright bass of any kind - and went straight from treble guitar to bass guitar. It is clear that both designers consciously chose to abandon the fretless upright bass approach and follow a guitar centric solution to the issue of affordable transportable stringed bass. Yes, their clear and stated intention was to produce a replacement for the upright bass - as I've demonstrated this instrument was clearly and deliberately derived from the electric guitars both designers had already built. Dinobass (talk) 06:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good observations. Two corrections: bowed instruments probably arose among the horse cultures of Central Asia (traveling east into China and west into Europe and Africa), and the viol family derived, in the 15th century, from the plucked vihuela de mano of Spain (a new sort of bridge and cutaway waists to facilitate bowing). Badagnani (talk) 06:31, 1 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "guitar" argument always avoids the most obvious. Lets compare guitar with double bass: The bass is larger, has four strings and a different range. Same with electric guitar and electric bass. Some more indicators: Paul Tutmarc named his electric bass a fiddle. The Fender company brought the instrument to market as an Electric Bass. They even labeled the Jazz Bass headstock as such and listed the models in that category (as have other manufacturers).
Full size upright (3/4 or 4/4?) vs horizontal solid body: The imperative behind the design has always been recognised to provide a smaller portable alternative to the double bass and NOT a heavy 5 or 6 foot long instrument. Why would Tutmarc, the team at Fender or any other manufacturer defeat the most important design specification by creating an unwieldy instrument twice the size required? Yet the "bass guitar" argument jumps straight to "derived from electric guitar" with no hard evidence supplied and on the assumption of shared common design elements. It is in the article - accept they recognised the need for an instrument for bassists and produced a bass instrument that met those needs. It doesn't matter if they used existing technologies and efficiencies at hand. I am sure you can think of luthiers that make a range of instruments - violins, guitars, mandolins, banjos and more all with the same tools and skills in the same factory. We already have agreed that common construction elements are shared across a wide range of instruments, not just guitars and basses, and the ukelele / guitar comparison has not been addressed.
The bowing & curved fretboard argument is irrelevant because that relates to the electric upright alternative designed and built for that purpose, and would then lead into why aren't basses used as rhythm bass guitars strumming six note chords and slap and pop techniques frequently used on treble electric guitars. Heck, Jimmy Page proved treble electric guitars can be used with a bow. I don't think anyone confused his Les Paul with a 6 string electric violin at the time.
Patents - take your argument to the logical end. Apparently, there is only one manufacturer / one person this debate appears hinge on. (Not a point I agree with). The original patent for the original models from the Fender company were labeled "guitar". Therefore there is no such thing as an electric bass, bass guitar, electric bass guitar, or electric guitar. Every other term is vernacular. The obligation now for "bass guitar" protagonists is to update the disambiguation page to explain no such instrument as a bass guitar or electric bass guitar truly exists, and shift the article to a chapter under guitar. I wonder what every other manufacturer that has produced electric basses thinks of that! Ozbass (talk) 03:31, 2 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 'bass guitar' argument is simple and clear. It is based on the many obvious features that the bass guitar has in common with other members of the guitar family (I'm not going to list them again as it is such a long list), and the complete lack of indicative common features shared with the upright bass family alone. Furthermore the defining characteristics of the viol family (fingerboard shape, body shape, type of bridge, fretless fingerboard) are completely absent.
The 'bass guitar' argument does not avoid anything, far from it. In fact it is the 'bass is not a guitar' argument that ignores the clear and obvious points in common with the guitar and focusses on the most trivial similarity between the bass guitar and the upright bass - the number of strings. Yes, they both typically have four strings - this is a number which is shared with other totally unrelated stringed bass instruments such as the mandobass, the gehu (bass erhu), bass tambura and the fretted upright bass like instrument from eastern europe the name of which I can never remember. For whatever reason stringed basses which don't have four strings are the unusual ones (bass balalaika, bajo sexto). So, if many clearly unrelated bass instruments also possess four strings and similar pitch ranges, these two features alone cannot sensibly be used to imply a family relationship between any two bass instruments.
Certainly both Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender (that's two designers, count them - the arguments apply equally well to both - so regardless of whether one considers it more important to be first, or more important to be successful the arguments still hold) had an intention to provide a portable bass instrument and hoped this would appeal to upright bass players - it doesn't follow that the replacement is, as a direct consequence, related to any instrument it replaces. After all, even though the steam tractor was designed to replace the heavy horse in agriculture no one in their right mind would call it an animal. A transistor is not a kind of a valve because it replaces valves in electronic applications. A whale is not a fish simply because it swims, a bat is not a bird merely because it flies. Birds have completely replaced the pterosaurs and their ilk - that doesn't make them reptiles. This is a completely spurious argument.
In the remaining thrust of your argument you suggest that the dramatic change to a horizontal fretted guitar format is somehow inevitable to satisfy the goal of portability. Consider this. Before he designed his bass guitar Paul Tutmarc had already created an electric upright bass which is described as 'cello sized'. This would make it about the same size as a modern Dean Pace. Modern cello sized electric upright basses (Dean Pace, Kydd) are extremely portable - perhaps even more so than a bass guitar. So, portability can and has been achieved without abandoning the defining features of an upright bass. Furthermore Paul had already demonstrated this and felt the need for completely different approach. A horizontal fretted bass guitar is not an inevitable consequence of adapting the electric upright for portability, it can only have arisen by the designer deliberately and consciously created a bass instrument with those features. Considering every aspect of both Tutmarc's and Fender's instruments are directly taken from their guitars the intent is clear.
As for the patent argument, what are you saying here? I truly don't understand. The patent argument is simple. Leo Fender, a purveyor of fine electric guitars, patented a new kind of guitar tuned in the bass register. I really can't see why this is a problem or why the disambiguation page or article needs changing because of it. In fact, having checked to see how bass members of other instrument families are handled (e.g. bass_clarinet) the opening of the bass guitar article should say 'The Bass Guitar is a musical instrument of the guitar family'. Dinobass (talk) 06:44, 2 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dinobass, I admire your tenacity, but I have to disagree with every conclusion or assumption you make. You are still ignoring the facts of the same tuning, role, voice and function, and that the instrument was brought to market as an Electric Bass, for over 50 years was identified in price lists and catalogues as Electric Bass, even had Electric Bass on the headstock ( No one has provided a label, manual or price list from the 50's through to the turn of the century with Electric Bass Guitar noted. By contrast, I have provided evidence for Electric Bass up to and including Fender Electrics Price List Summer 2005.
We went through the evolution and taxonomy argument - now you are contradicting yourself. Yes, a whale is a mammal and a whale shark is a fish, but they both swim in the ocean. A bat is mammal not a bird, but they both flap wings and fly. Why - because of their convergent evolution and not superficial morphology! You are getting the morphology of electric guitars and electric basses mixed up and ignoring convergent design. The tractor reference is way off - A tractor is something that "pulls" - its FUNCTION. This can be be a horse and cart or internal combustion machine, and I don't need to be transported by a tractor to eat at a trattoria. Or do we have to change the name of a Trattoria now if I happen to walk there or go by bike without a towbar? A transistor is the equivalent of an electronic valve - so? It is not an electric analogue valve, in the same way an electric bass is not an electronic bass - a very important distinction. One has strings and pick-ups, the other doesn't.
Portability - and a 1/8th size double bass is more portable than a 4/4 sized bass or 4/4 cello. Again, so? You said it yourself - "designing a bass instrument". The electric bass was designed for more than just portability. The frets were for precise intonation on an electric string bass instrument with a solid body to reduce feedback. Frets are not just for guitars. Frets appear on a range of stringed instrument banjos, mandolins and from memory, in the early 1800's there was an example of a fretted upright bass. The intent? You ignore what Tutmark and Fender actually called the finished instrument. Tutmark called his an Electric Bass Fiddle, and the Fender company went so far as stick Electric Bass on the headstock! No mention of guitar on the actual instrument or accompanying documentation. What more proof of intent do you need?
Patent - this has been covered too. Fender, the electrical engineer known for his design of amplifiers, speakers and electric pick-ups before venturing with his team into electric guitars registered a couple of pages for a solid body electric string bass using similar technology to that of Tutmark's electric bass fiddle and electric guitars. One says "Bass Guitar" and the other "Guitar". Both illustrate clearly the instrument Fender brought to market as an "Electric Bass". Why the change? Keep in mind Leo Fender was not a musician and by his own admission could not play a note. I cannot communicate with CLF's spirit to ask him directly, I can only assume it is either because the luthiers and musicians he worked with who designed the actual playable bass instrument disagreed with the "guitar" description and Fender agreed with the consensus of opinion, or he arrived at the more accurate term by himself. It does not surprise me that he would accept the expert opinion of his musician colleagues, any reasonable person would. Not that it matters, the historical fact is the instrument came into existence as an Electric Bass. --Ozbass (talk) 14:49, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Never marketed as “bass guitars”? Really?

Fender is using “bass guitar” in their current catalog (no, not just the artwork – try actually reading the text):

And it’s not just Fender. That Other Guitar Company is at it, too:

Is this embrace of the term “bass guitar” a new thing? Not exactly. Leo’s original patents have already been discussed, and dismissed because they are not marketing materials (and with an ad hominem attack on Leo). If you want marketing materials...

Here’s a Gibson ad from 1954. The instrument is called an “electric bass”, but note how the player in the photo is identified:

From Guild, 1965:

Selmer (representing Gibson, Hagstrom & Hofner) 1968:

Here’s a Fender Precision ad from 1974 that uses the dreaded “G word”:

A Gibson ad from 1972:

G&L, 1981 (Leo still hadn’t gotten the memo, apparently:)

Here’s a page from from Rickenbacker’s 1975 catalog. Note the description of the model 4000:

By 1981, the term also appeared in the description for the 4001:

Rickenbacker again, 1984:

“Electric bass” is more commonly used, no argument, but people who insist that the manufacturers never used the term “bass guitar” in their marketing are mistaken, and should actually do some research instead of making assumptions. I found the above material in just a few minutes using Google, so there’s really no excuse. (talk) 21:55, 21 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've been away for well over a year and find it interesting that the relentless denial and distortion of contributions in this article continues. The debate has been on the correct name for the instrument, not the vernacular, whether it be "bass guitar", "Fender bass" or "Bass Fiddle". I don't know of any instance in this discussion where the usage or popularity of any term has been denied in general sales and marketing materials. I don't think anyone would challenge that fact that advertising copy often relies on the vernacular or dialect or street-talk when it would connect with their target demographic.
The accurate appraisal of Leo Fender's qualifications is erroneously labelled an "ad hominem" attack. Anonymous of should do some research and understand what "ad hominem" actually means. It is quite the opposite of listing the considerable achievements, educational qualifications and training, and quoting the persons' self-professed skills and abilities.
Don't confuse copy in marketing materials and references by sites other than the manufacturers' with the documented facts of history, such as labels as applied by the manufacturers when the instruments were first brought to market and the manufacturers' product lists and manuals. NOTE: An image of the original headstock of the Jazz Bass stating Electric Bass was provided, as well as scans from catalogues and manuals all stating Electric Bass. Oddly these references kept getting removed and deleted.
Here's one for the relentless Electric Bass denialists -Try removing this The decal being applied to a Jazz Bass headstock. It appears appears even Fender company called it an Electric Bass, and right on the instrument itself!
Interesting that Vintage Guitars uses the term Electric Bass in the links provided by Anonymous of Likewise I quote from the Precision Bass ad you have linked to: "... and 9 out of 10 times the electric bass is a Fender".
"I found the above material in just a few minutes using Google, so there’s really no excuse." Not only selective quotes but just a few minutes "research" - hardly the basis for an entry in a so-called encyclopedia. This only emphasises why Wikipedia is not a respected reference in academia. Read this article from and research Maurice Jarre and Shane Fitzgerald, a student at the University College Dublin (2009) for a recent example of how easily Wikipedia can falsely influence the mainstream.
A final word to those who believe everything in Wikipedia and do not apply any semblance of independent research - "Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ozbass (talkcontribs) 09:08, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I find interesting is that you are responding to comments that are 18 months old. As far as I can tell this discussion has been moribund for a very long time. There is no relentless denial or distortion - on the contrary until today everyone seemed to have completely forgotten about this issue. Your latest posts add nothing to the earlier discussion and further rehashing of what seems to have been accepted as concensus by just about everyone else seems counter productive at this juncture. I for one have little interest in responding to comments I made in the middle of 2008. Dinobass (talk) 23:11, 31 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
you are responding to comments that are 18 months old As I said, I've been away for well over a year. What I find interesting is the denial by both diversion and lack of acknowledgement of the actual label on the headstock of the Fender Jazz Bass, not to mention Vintage Guitars uses the term Electric Bass. What difference does it make to the FACTS that substantiate a response whether that response were made in 18 hours or 18 months?
There is no relentless denial or distortion. Oh Really? Then please fix the references to Tutmark's Electric Bass Fiddle - not electronic, and not a bass guitar. When I provided a link to a scan of the original advertisement and I corrected the description it was reverted - twice - within minutes. No distortion? What about this unsubstantiated opinion: The term "electric bass" began replacing "Fender bass" in the late 1960s. The term Electric Bass was around since Fender first released the Precision Bass (and refer to the 1954 Gibson ad). Fender Bass simply fell out of fashion. Carol Kaye's book used the term used by manufacturers, session bassists and other professionals such as those noted eleswhere on this page. This is reinforced by the adoption of Electric Bass by the Musican's Union in their listing of musician categories. Another example of a biased entry in the article: As with Fender's designs, Gibson relied heavily upon an existing guitar design - proof please, particularly the "relied heavily" qualification. Again, when these were corrected to NPOV wording, such as "shared design elements" it was reverted within minutes. Similarly obliterated was noting the Gibson instrument labelling system of EB = Electric Bass, in line with ES = Electro Spanish, SG = Solid Guitar. Can anyone see a pattern emerging here? I could go with many, many more examples. Do you still claim no relentless denial or distortion?
Let me get this straight. You argument appears to be that the electric bass guitar is not a guitar because headstocks and labelling by various manufacturers don't actually bother printing the word 'guitar'. Consider this. They don't tend to use the word 'guitar' on their six string guitars either. As you point out gibson only use the word 'guitar' to refer to the SG=solid guitar - presumably because using S on its own wouldn't have been consistent with the other two character codes. Are the other gibson guitars somehow not guitars because this is not explicitly stated? Of course not. Fender don't generally put 'guitar' on their stratocaster/telecaster/broadcaster lead/rhythm guitar headstocks. The word guitar is generally absent from guitar headstocks - therefore why would you expect it to be printed on bass guitar headstocks? This makes no sense. Dinobass (talk) 22:42, 2 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your argument has been rejected before when I provided links and scans of pricelists and accompanying documentation for electric guitars and electric basses. ONE argument is that Electric Bass was printed on the headstocks, just ONE SOLID FACT OF MANY to support my argument. No one is expecting it to be printed universally, but you cannot deny its existence. The labels (or lack of) printed on electric guitars do not deny the existence of the Electric Bass label and usage of term. Your whole premise does not make sense. Also, please do not make false claims. I never said Gibson "only use the word guitar to refer to the SG". Revisit my comment about distortion. You are still not addressing the fact that this instrument was actually designed for bassists as an alternative to a double bass, and you consistently avoid addressing the function, role and voice of the instrument. --Ozbass (talk) 07:00, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm denying nothing, and although it was 18 months ago, I'm pretty sure I have addressed, repeatedly, the issue of function, role and voice.
We have an instrument, designed by a guitar maker, using design features that are identical to those of their guitars, using scale lengths and dimensions that are informed wholly by their guitar range, and which have no features whatsoever inherited from the upright bass. The instrument is clearly described as a 'guitar' in the original patent applications. No one is denying that the bass guitar was designed by two different designers to fill the functional role and voice at the time occupied by a range of unrelated and cumbersome acoustic stringed bass instruments - the most popular of which being the upright bass viol. However range and intended function does not make one thing another thing. More importantly, and this is something that really cannot be ignored, the bass guitar has no unique features in common with the upright bass. In fact the only feature it does have in common is the default tuning - and this is a feature it shares with several other similar instruments (eg. mandobass, bass banjo and even the bass balalaika). The bass guitar is, in fact, missing all of the family features which would make it an electric double bass - particularly the low radius fingerboard and narrow waist which allow the instrument to be played with a bow. Yes, the instrument has been called an 'electric bass' - no one is denying this. To argue that the primary name of the instrument should be 'electric bass' requires that one ignores all the clear features in common with other members of the guitar family, and to ignore the fact that the instrument is missing the most important defining characteristics of the upright bass/viol family (fretless, bowable fingerboard). Dinobass (talk) 10:01, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More misrepresentation - We have an instrument designed by many instrument makers who all brought the instrument to market as an Electric Bass. The BG camp is still clinging to one patent registration by one electrical engineer and ignoring the facts of the name that his company actually used when the instrument was finished, and the name stuck on the headstock and listed in their documentation. Please provide all the patent applications from all the major manufacturers you refer to. Come up with something new or move on, please!
And the "bowing " diversion again. O.K. one more time. Following Dinobass logic the Gibson Les Paul Custom is actually a 6 string electric violin or electric cello and nobody realised it until Jimmy Page came along ... and then he put the bow down and what happened? Is it still an electric violin or cello because it LOOKED LIKE ONE WHEN IT WAS BEING BOWED? Have you never seen intervals on a violin played pizzicato? Or does that make a violin a 4 string guitar now - especially if it is an electric violin that shares design features and construction techniques of an electric guitar and it sure LOOKED LIKE A GUITAR WHEN STRUMMED? And I even seen some strummed at waist level! Again, please come up with something new that actually progresses your argument.
Just to make this completely clear. This has nothing to do with whether or not a bass, be it bass guitar or bass viol, is physically bowed by anyone at any point. The shape of the bridge, fingerboard and body on an upright bass are a physical design feature which is present in all members of the viol/violin/gamba families. It is absent in members of the guitar family - including the bass guitar. In the same way that an upright bass or violin when played pizz remains an upright bass or violin (and in the case of the upright bass, many players only ever play pizz), a bass guitar or treble guitar does not become an upright bass or cello if played with a bow. To suggest this is simply absurd and, dare I say, diversionary. Oh, and if you can suggest Jimmy Page, or anyone else for that matter, looks like they are playing a cello when they are bowing a guitar, then I can only assume you've never actually seen this done, or tried to do it yourself. Dinobass (talk) 00:13, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dinobass argument dictates that the fretted double bass, bass viol and viola da gamba were all actually bass guitars when played pizzicato. (History homework: Research fretted bass-viol 4 to 6 strings, or the viola da gamba with movable gut frets.) For the Evolution and taxonomy students: photo of fretted electric double bass - 1935 Rickenbacker Flat fretted fingerboard, violin style body, note no sloping shoulders. Sorry Dinobass, it isn't called be an upright bass guitar. --Ozbass (talk) 13:27, 4 February 2010 (UTC) Maybe we have to re-define the double bass when Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass and some rock bassists never use a bow on this big "guitar" and sometimes play intervals. Fretless, low radius fingerboard and narrow waist? Irrelevant, the simple fact is the design specifications for providing an electric alternative to the double bass obviated the need for a bow, and amplification accentuated poor intonation which was rectified with frets. Convergent design, or adopting design features do not mean you rename an instrument purely because you think it looks like another instrument. You keep ignoring the fact that these instruments were brought to market and named Electric Bass in their price lists and manuals by every major manufacturer. Documentation for this has been provided. Further I refer you to Written by Paul H "Bud" Tutmarc, a witness to the creation by his father of electric basses. "The cello sized bass was too heavy and not really accomplishing what he set out to do: wanting to create an instrument, small and light-weight, yet capable of producing more sound than several upright, acoustic basses." So what was designed and finished in 1937? Answer: an ELECTRIC BASS. Read the article, the phrase "bass guitar" is not there.Reply[reply]
I'll raise it again here for those that missed it a couple of years ago. Ask this of a "bass guitarist". Do you play 4 (or 5 or 6) note chords throughout the song as Rhythm Bass Guitarist? Or maybe you go flying around the upper register for those scorching Lead Bass Guitar solos while the rhythm bass guitarist punches out the chords and treble guitarist sits on solid single note lines holding the beat down with the drummer? Taken to its logical conclusion the bass guitar term is a mockery of the intended design specifications, roles, voice, place and function of both guitar and bass as well as the musicians that master those instruments. --Ozbass (talk) 12:18, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ozbass, there is only one person here who is arguing that the way an instrument is played dictates what it is and that is yourself. I have never argued that a double bass or viola de gamba should be called bass guitars - and frankly I find it hard to see how you can suggest that I do. This argument that the approach a player takes to an instrument changes what it is is entirely yours - and it is something I do not agree with. The way an instrument is played in any given moment, or the approach or mindset of the player, does not change what the proper name of the instrument is. The proper name of an instrument is entirely to do with family relationships. A bass clarinet does not stop being a clarinet if the player is following a tuba score, or if the player takes the instrument apart in performance and makes music by scraping it across the floor (and I have seen both of these done). A bass guitar does not stop being a bass guitar simply because the player does not consider themselves a guitarist, or plays it by laying it on the floor and hitting it with drumsticks, or with a bow, or an electric toothbrush or by drilling holes in it with power tools (all techniques I have used myself in performance).
You keep referring to convergent design as an explanation for the similarities between a bass guitar and a guitar. Please explain in what way this is convergent design? Convergent design would be where two completely different designers came up independently with the same realisation of their goals. A mandobass and a bass balalaika have many features in common and this is an example of convergence - they also have features that are not common and which they have inherited from smaller members of their instrument family - the most obvious being shape. In the case of the bass guitar, both Tutmarc and Fender have produced bass instruments which are scaled up versions of their guitars - using all of the same components and design features as the smaller instrument, and including no other features from any other instrument or source. This is not convergence - this is simply the same design - you have repeatedly skirted this issue. The only notable difference between either Fender or Tutmarc's bass instrument and their treble instrument is the number of strings. Bass register versions of other instruments also often have a different number of keys or valves to their smaller cousins. Such trivial differences are not uncommon between members of the same family. The instruments in both cases are trivially and clearly different versions of the same instrument. We have an instrument designed by a guitar maker, patented as a guitar, which is clearly a scaled up version of their smaller guitars (check out tutmarc's original catalogue, or Fender's patent application for the broadcaster and the precision). In what way, taxonomically, is this instrument not a guitar? The argument you use is that it is not played like a guitar. Point 1) - well, trivially, it is played like a guitar. Point 2) as you yourself state, the way an instrument is played does not change what it is - after all if a guitar is not played at all, although this is sad, it does not change the fact that the guitar is a guitar. You also use the argument that it is marketed and referred to as 'electric bass' or simply 'bass'. And yet you agree that a fiddle is still a violin regardless of the fact that people call it a fiddle. I feel almost sure you are only arguing for the sake of argument as you wilfully disregard clear an obvious facts, and contradict yourself at every turn. Dinobass (talk) 21:51, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
::: Dinobass - Please do not distort and misrepresent the argument. I point out your contradictions and you claim they are mine! Don't confuse the key role, voice, function and place with the WAY and instrument can possibly be played. I used examples that demonstrate the WAY an instrument is played does NOT determine the correct name to rebutt your bowing argument. Even if the WAY it is played argument had merit, "Bass Guitar" is still wrong until we see a band including Rhythm Bass Guitar & Lead Bass Guitar plus Treble Guitar to prove otherwise. Regarding DB and Viola da Gamba - go back to your number of strings, frets and bowing argument. These are inconsistencies and contradictions in your argument not mine. If you don't accept a double bass should be called a bass guitar, then drop the whole common features the BG shares with an EG line. The common design features between many stringed instruments undermine your argument. The convergent design and Double Bass heritage has been documented on these pages a number of times over the past few years (Tutmarc, Rickenbaker, Fender, Gibson, Hofner) but you continue to disregard that evidence. You incorrectly cite or deny Fender and Tutmarc materials and certainly deny the documentation produced by those and other designers and companies by dismissing their products as "scaled up versions of their guitars". A look at the 1935 Rickenbacker fretted electric upright bass (flat fretboard, not bowed)is an example of another team of designers accommodating the evolving needs of Double Bass players. This is an extant example of the link between Double Bass and the modern Electric Bass. You keep repeating the following unsubstantiated opinion as if it is fact: "We have an instrument designed by a guitar maker...". Again NO! CLF did not design the instrument, he designed the electrics for the instrument. Luthiers and musicians were involved and luthiers make more than just guitars. The evidence is clear that throughout the 30's and 40's the electric bass evolved from the culmination of designs from many luthiers and their teams, not just one electrical engineer who headed a manufacturing company producing a range of amplifiers, P.A. systems and instruments. More distortion and obfuscation: What's the connection between marketing and fiddles? I have never seen an advertisement marketing "fiddles" and never claimed to have seen one. If I had it wouldn't change my opinion of the correct term. This appears to be an attempt at confusing the issue and is irrelevant. There is no contradiction or change in my argument which remains the electric bass was designed for bassists as an alternative for the double bass and was named an electric bass by every major designer and manufacturer. On the other side, your argument is "bass guitar is a popular term and the instrument looks like a big guitar so it must be one", ignoring what the manufacturers' and designers' motivation, purpose and nomenclature as well as the heritage and important differences such as number of strings, register, key role, voice and function of the instrument. --Ozbass (talk) 04:30, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ozbass, you have repeatedly claimed that documentation of convergent evolution has been provided. This is not the case. The only evolution that has, and indeed can, be documented clearly shows a direct evolutionary relationship between the 'treble' guitar and the bass guitar. You have repeatedly failed to demonstrate even one aspect of the bass guitar that is not directly taken from the electric guitar. Consider the bass guitars of Tutmarc, Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker. Every physical aspect of the instrument except number of strings is identical. In each case either an individual luthier or team of luthiers has simply scaled up their electric guitar designs - even the scale lengths chosen by the different companies is a direct extension of the scale length of their guitars (Fender guitars have longer scale lengths than most other luthiers, it is no coincidence that their bass guitars have an equivalently longer scale). The original patent document for the Fender Precision clearly states that the instrument is a guitar - the patent application for the updated precision shape clearly states that it is a bass guitar - how you can repeatedly ignore this particularly telling fact is beyond me. If the bass guitar is anything other than a guitar please show the major feature that is not inherited from the guitars designed by any and all of those luthiers. Repeatedly you return to some weird idea that because the bass guitar was intended to fill the same musical role as the upright bass it somehow miraculously takes on the mantle and family of the double bass. The bass guitar has not one feature in common with the double bass that it does not also have in common with any number of bass stringed instruments (they all have between 3 and 5 single courses of strings) and, more tellingly, does not include the features which everyone else in the world recognises as key features. It has inherited nothing uniquely - or in fact at all - from the double bass. The heritage of the bass guitar is, clearly and demonstrably, that of member of the guitar family. Dinobass (talk) 05:21, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dinobass - Please provide something new, this has all been addressed before. Try Bud Tutmarc's first hand witness testimony to history of the electric bass and look at the 1935 Rickenbacker electric bass for evidence of convergent design and Double Bass parentage. You dismiss the features that make the electric bass different to an electric guitar and continue with only the similarities. You mention similarities with other stringed bass instruments which works against your own argument. The whole class of guitar would have to be thrown out and all violins, mandolins and guitars would be variations of a lute because they are designed and made by luthiers or is it that luthiers only make guitars so mandolins and violins are variations of guitars? That argument does not work here. Your revision of history misrepresents the designers and luthiers. Repeatedly you still cling to ONE design patent that when realised was called an Electric Bass by the company that lodged the patent..... Let's repeat that because it keeps seeming to get ignored - tellingly the company that lodged the patent called it an Electric Bass in their price lists, catalogues and manuals. Leading musicians and the USA Musician Union called it an Electric Bass. How about every other manufacturer that produced electric basses? Were they all wrong as well? So you are going with one early patent application versus the company's final label and the rest of the industry. We get it. You only see a big guitar with 4 strings and you think the manufacturers and leading musicians and the union are wrong. I expect most people would regard that as a weak position, but you are entitled to your opinion. Fortunately those coming here for facts can research what the actual designers had to say and not accept novel POV historical interpretation. --Ozbass (talk) 11:38, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your latest posts add nothing - except 1. a rebuttal of the rehashed and flawed arguments from the BG camp, 2. a new link to an image of a Jazz Bass Electric Bass headstock and 3. a response to selective extracts from links provided by Anonymous of who started by implying an argument over marketing that never existed. What you may assume to be accepted by consensus is more likely to be simply those presenting facts to substantiate an opposing view to yours as not having visited this site or perhaps just not bothering given that the "bass guitar" protagonists steadfastly refuse to acknowledge undeniable proof of the useage of "Electric Bass" (such as the actual label on the headstock of a Fender bass and scans from Electric Bass price lists). It is only counter productive for whom - the "bass guitar" camp?. The only valid response is to accept that Electric Bass was actually the term used by the manufacturers, professional bassists and the USA musicians union over the past 50+ years. They at least understood the importance of the role, voice, purpose and function of this instrument when they named and referred to this instrument as an electric bass. --Ozbass (talk) 09:40, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Misnomer in Article title

Calling it a bass guitar is a misnomer. It should be referred to as an Electric Bass. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is the name of the instrument - there is no misnomer. Please read the extensive discussions at various places on this page. Dinobass (talk) 10:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Electric bass" is one of the instrument's names and I believe it's given in the article's first sentence. Isn't it? Please check again. Badagnani (talk) 07:17, 22 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes but no. You can upright double bases, which have pickups. These are technically electric basses, but thats not what this article is about, hence the term electric bass guitar

The last unsigned entry - Are you confusing an Electric Bass with an Electric Upright Bass or a Double Bass with a pick-up attached to the bridge or peg, or perhaps an Electro-Acoustic Bass? I have never heard "Electric Bass Guitar" in conversation, a term way too cumbersome and totally unnecessary, especially to those that regard the instrument as a bass and not guitar. Even those that disagree with the correctness of the shorter term Bass Guitar still understand what what people are referring to. Hence my opinion is the article title should be Electric Bass (a.k.a. Bass Guitar) --Ozbass (talk) 10:14, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No way. The article title should be Electric bass alone, with Bass guitar redirecting to it. It should not have both terms in the title, nor should it be Electric bass guitar, a term little used in speech. Binksternet (talk) 12:56, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support Binksternet in that Bass Guitar should re-direct to Electric Bass as the article title. Much more accurate and in line with the history of catalogues and price lists from major manufacturers and pioneering designers of the instrument. Of course, if "(a.k.a. Bass Guitar)" is not in the title then acknowledgment of the widespread use and popular understanding of Bass Guitar needs to appear very early in the article if not in the title as I proposed earlier. Give it a go if the title has not been locked by the BG camp, and it would be interesting to see how long it lasts! --Ozbass (talk) 04:15, 2 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The situation at the moment is that the article is named correctly, and the redirect from Electric Bass recognises the minority status of that alternative name. Bass Guitar is the correct term both taxonomically (instrument family relationships) and descriptively (electric bass is ambiguous). Furthermore it is the term most people use. If one looks at the wikipedia viewing stats for 'Electric Bass' for december 2009 the number of views is 1830 - - if you look at the stats for Bass Guitar the number of views is 98966 - - even after taking the 1830 views redirected from electric bass that is an order of magnitude greater. I've sampled several months of data using the site and this disparity is consistent. The only argument for the term 'electric bass' as the instrument name appears to be "That's the name I used when I first got one, and sometimes manufacturers used it in catalogues". Indeed, when I first got a bass guitar that was what I called it myself. However, it is just one of many pseudonyms for the instrument and is no more the 'correct' name for the instrument than 'harp' is the correct name for a harmonica. In fact, the blues harp article is a good example to follow. Although I've never heard anyone in the wild refer to their instrument as a 'richter tuned harmonica', or seen that in a catalogue or price list, that is the correct name for the instrument. If you enter 'blues harp' in wikipedia you will be redirected there. Dinobass (talk) 21:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dinobass, you are presenting opinion as fact and grossly misrepresenting and distorting the case for Electric Bass while ignoring the documented facts. Your flawed taxonomy argument has been rebutted every time you have raised it and your ambiguity claim is, to put it politely, unbelieveable and patently unsubstantiated. Popularity of a term has never been disputed and popularity is not necessarily correct. By your own harp / richter tuned harmonica example, the most popular term is not the correct term. This underscores the irrelevance of the statistics you quote. Even those that consider Elctric Bass to be the correct term will use the term Bass Guitar in a search because they know that is the locked title, a redirect is pointless or another search engine has directed them there. Your conclusions are biased. Please provide facts and argument with some scolastic merit. --Ozbass (talk) 13:07, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your comments make no sense. How can people know a title is 'locked' until they have searched? More people are searching for bass guitar because, quite simply, that is the term most people, both players and lay people, use. As for my taxonomy argument being flawed - once again you assert this without any evidence. I, and others, have repeatedly shown evidence for a taxanomic relationship between both Fender and Tutmarc's electrics guitars and their electric bass guitars. You have yet to provide a taxonomic argument for any other origin or relationship that would take the bass guitar out of the guitar family. Please provide such an example. You agree with my harp/harmonica example and that even the most popular term is not the correct term. In this case, 'electric bass' isn't even close to being the most popular term by nearly 2 orders of magnitude. Dinobass (talk) 22:17, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could this be another example of relentless denial and distortions? Search - I mentioned 3 scenarios, not just one. If a person cannot work out how someone revisiting Wikipedia would know the title is locked, I am afraid I cannot explain it without being impolite. Taxonomy argument provided 1 May, 2008. look it up on this discussion page as well as evidence provided within the past few days. Your taxonomy argument is based on ingoring convention, denying parentage as quoted by manufacturers and designers, instead quoting your unsubstantiated opinion as parentage, looking only at morphology to justify that opinion and misrepresenting luthiers and all instrument manufacturers as simply "Guitar" makers. In contrast, I have provided links to a photo of the 1935 Rickenbacker electric bass, the actual label "Electric Bass" on the Fender headstock, scans of documentation such as Fender pricelists and quoted Rickenbacker & Tutmarc's motivation behind the design - undenial links from Double Bass To Electric Bass! Yet you still ignore the nomenclature used by the designers and manufacturers. I am not going to bother doing it all again because you simply deny the recorded, independently verifiable facts. It is all here for EVERYBODY to see. --Ozbass (talk) 10:20, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And how many people, pray tell, revisit a given wikipedia page? A number of editors do - but the vast majority of visitors come once, read what they think they need to know and probably never visit again. I also have no real idea what you mean by 'locked' in this context. The name of the article is the name of the article, there is no 'locked'. On 1 May 2008 you did not refute the clear taxonomic argument demonstrating that the bass guitar is an instrument in the guitar family. What you did was demonstrate a lack of understanding of taxonomy - what you also did was yet again deny any and all pieces of evidence that don't fit into your own personal notion - such as the lack of low radius fingerboard and the presence of clear legal documentation stating that the instrument designed and patented by Leo Fender was a guitar. All the features of the bass guitar are common with the treble guitar - defining characteristics of the double bass are missing and we have a statement from the parents of the creature that it is a guitar. The gun has smoke coming from it. The only person denying the clear and obvious here is yourself. There is no misrepresentation of luthiers - only a clear recognition that the model they used, of all the models available to them, is that of the guitar. Every feature of the electric bass guitar is in common with the electric guitar - this is not true of any other stringed instrument family. This is what they call a slam dunk. You have yet to provide a single characteristic of the bass guitar that it has in common with the upright bass that it does not also have in common with just about every other bass stringed instrument. The bass guitar quite simply is not in any way a descendant of the upright bass. Dinobass (talk) 11:34, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1. Locked: In this context most people would understand that to mean cannot be changed without some degree of difficulty or access. 2. Understanding of Taxonomy: I really did not want to go down this path but my education includes not only arts and music performance but a B.Sc majoring in biology and M.Sc in Botany. One of my masters papers was an exercise which reviewed an impact on plant taxonomy of different theories on plate tectonics and the expanding earth theory. Additionally my field and laboratory research lead to the need to create a new genus (not just species) mainly based on my histology of the fruiting bodies of a Rhodophyte (red alga). By all means try and find holes in my argument and state your own opinion and why you disagree, but please don't insinuate I do not understand the principles of evolution and taxonomy. That is getting dangerously close to an ad hominem attack. The evolution and taxonomy argument you champion is based on what I consider a false assumption, your assertion that the designers went straight from guitar to bass. I have provided evidence as to why this is not so. 3. The low radius fingerboard was covered with the fretted fingerboard examples and photograph of the 1935 Rickenbacker and dismissed. 4. The "clear legal documentation" has never been denied, it is noted as a curious and entertaining footnote in electric bass history and has been dealt with every time you raise it. Moreover it was dealt with in 1952 by the Fender Company itself and possibly the man who drafted the patent application when the instrument was manufactured and supplied with accompanying distribution documentation and user manuals which all said Electric Bass. It was undeniably dealt with when the Electric Bass label was applied to the headstock of Jazz Basses. 5. I am glad you recognise the instrument as being a creation of luthiers rather than simply "guitar makers". 6. I have repeatedly stated the features an electric bass shares with a double bass. Read the discussion and you will find them. Maybe before that you can count the strings on the standard electric bass, note the standard tuning and the music played and that the musicians playing the instrument are bassists. Compare that with a Double Bass. Maybe you are right, not a single characteristic - there's four right there. --Ozbass (talk) 12:39, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is quite interesting. You claim to understand taxonomy (I also have a degree in geological sciences) and yet, when given an example where every feature is inherited from a known parent, you choose to classify the bass guitar as being a member of a completely different family with which it has little in common. If this were a fossil, would you classify it in this way? More importantly, would you put a animal into a different classification based on enviroment alone? A whale is not a fish simply because it lives in the sea. It is not a giant marine reptile simply because it inhabits the niche they previously lived in. Similary, a bass guitar does not stop being a guitar based on the music people choose to play on it or the musical role they use it in. As I have pointed out, all bass stringed instruments have between 3 and 5 strings - and this is and example of convergent evolution. In the same way that whales and sharks have dorsal fins all bass stringed instruments seem to converge on this one point. Would you classify a whale as a kind of shark based on that one common feature? Of course not - or at least I hope you wouldn't. Convergent evolution explains why two similar looking creatures are not related, you appear to be trying to argue the opposite, that because the bass guitar shares one convergent characteristic in common with the double bass, and often shares a niche with the double bass then it is a double bass. Dinobass (talk) 22:30, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Known parent" is your opinion expressed as fact and, as stated before, is the basic assumption behind your argument and why your whole argument is fawed. (more comment in the family relationships section below). Convergent evolution explains why two similar looking creatures are not related. and that concurs with why the electric bass may look like a big electric guitar but it is still actually an electric bass. This is but one consistent element of my argument the whole time. Please do not apply your incorrect basic assumption to the EB argument to conjure up inconsistencies or contradictions that never existed. --Ozbass (talk) 06:56, 6 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Me I just call it a bass. If someone asks me to bring one along, there's a need to clarify. I have a double, a Jazz and an acoustic guitar-style bass. Each has pickups for amplification purposes, which work by that there new-fangled electricity. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go; the electric telephone is ringing; it may be a call to a gig to which I will have to go in the internal-combustion-engine-automobile.
It would perhaps be more effective for you to raise a request for comment on the name of the article, or suggest a move rather than continue on the talk page; more people may notice it.   pablohablo. 23:40, 2 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Junior School Project

If only as much effort had been put into the main page as into the discussion page, perhaps it would look less like a 3rd Grade School Project on "What My Dad Does In The Garage". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:09, 28 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good point! There was a lot of effort based on sound academic research that contrinbuted to the main page 2 to 4 years ago, with rare historical & other images relevant to the article submitted under fair use, trying to improve the accuracy of this article and maintain NPOV only to be continually deleted or re-edited by those pushing a certain POV. Have a good read over these sections and I am sure you will be able to ascertain who asserts ownership and the history will reveal certain contributors who instantly reverted edits claiming "no consensus". I suggest you start at this section
Contributors are reminded that Wikipedia has guidelines on overzealous deletions, wikibullying, and being civil. --Ozbass (talk) 12:07, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Added an external link

Hi, It sure is hard to find an external link for bass where the page/article is not trying to sell something! Most links have information on the bass, but the website is also hawking DVDs, instruments, and CDs. After a big Google search, I finally found a quality PDF file on the bass--a fingering chart, which shows which fingering positions go with which note on the staff. Yes, the page is from a music publishing company (Alfred Music), but the page itself is "clean" never mentions the company, plugs the company, or anything. There is not even a printed URL on the page (in in "for more information on basses, come to"). I don't think merely the fact that a page is HOUSED on a company website can be used to disqualify an external link.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 23:48, 18 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

bass guitar

I have been beating my head off the wall for a month what kind of bass did gary ryan play when he was with the black harts in the 80s it was a bass guitar with a stand up bass scroll head I want one bad please help — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:BC7F:A920:9DD8:6D0D:E55C:B6D (talk) 09:27, 7 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This really isn't the appropriate place for such questions. alt.guitar.bass or any number of bass guitar discussion forums would be more useful places for this question. However, from your description I would suggest googling for ampeg scroll bass. Dinobass (talk) 02:06, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]