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The Bass Book: A Complete Illustrated History of Bass Guitars

Bass cover front

In California in the early ’50s, the Fender company introduced the world’s first electric bass guitar. Fender, a small startup at the time, couldn’t have foreseen the impact that the Precision Bass would have, but the P Bass and the others that followed would help start a revolution in the sound of popular music. This new third edition of The Bass Book explains how that evolution happened and how its reverberations are still felt today.

The lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums that would define pop music found its heart with the Fender bass. The bass guitar provided the solid foundation upon which much modern music is still built. The Bass Book is the first to study its story, with the full low-down of the most important bass players and bass makers. Brands featured in the book include Alembic, Danelectro, Epiphone, Fender, Fodera, Gibson, Hofner, Ibanez, Lakland, Line 6, Music Man, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Sadowsky, Spector, Squier, Steinberger, Warwick, and Yamaha.

Original interviews with makers of bass guitars from the past and present illuminate the book, with the popular establishment of the bass during the ’60s and ’70s examined in detail, along with more recent developments such as the rise of the five-string bass. There is an exclusive interview with Paul McCartney and with other bassists, including Jack Bruce, Stanley Clarke, John Entwistle, James Jamerson, and Jaco Pastorius.

Dozens of unusual, desirable, and rarely seen basses are presented in high-quality photos. A reference section provides a wealth of information on the key makers.

This revised and refreshed third edition of The Bass Book offers all there is to know about the story of the bass guitar in one stylish and up-to-date volume.

The Bass Book

  • $29.99 (US)
  • Inventory #HL 00137902
  • ISBN: 9781495001505
  • Width: 8.5″
  • Length: 11.0″
  • 176 pages

About the Authors:

TONY BACON writes about musical instruments, musicians, and music. He is a co-founder of Backbeat UK and Jawbone Press. Tony’s books include The Ibanez Electric Guitar Book, The Ultimate Guitar Book, History Of The American Guitar, and many others. He lives in Bristol, England.

BARRY MOORHOUSE founded the Bass Center, his specialist bass-guitar retail and distribution operation, in London in 1984. Now in its fourth decade, it continues as a worldwide operation. Through his associate company House Music, Moorhouse represents Brian May guitars in partnership with the Queen legend.

The Bass Book: A Complete Illustrated History of Bass Guitars available at BassBooks.com

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ike

    September 1, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Any ideas how much is new in this edition?

  2. Siobhan

    September 1, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Hello Ike, Siobhan here from the publisher. Like the cover says, this is an Updated edition. The last edition came out in 2008. So the recent story has been brought up to date (Kala uke basses, more retro, Fender’s latest, etc) and the reference section, too, has been updated to reflect recent new models and model histories. There are some new pictures, too. We hope you’ll like it!

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