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Part One: The Bass Guitar. America’s Invention. Dieter Mr. Albert Iannuccilli. Back in the Day…. Leo Fender created the first electric bass in 1951. Inspired to make solid-body instruments in contrast to Les Paul’s hollow-body guitars. Called the first bass the “Precision Bass”.

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Part One: The Bass Guitar

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part one the bass guitar

Part One: The Bass Guitar

America’s Invention


Mr. Albert Iannuccilli

back in the day
Back in the Day…
  • Leo Fender created the first electric bass in 1951.
  • Inspired to make solid-body instruments in contrast to Les Paul’s hollow-body guitars.
  • Called the first bass the “Precision Bass”.
  • Use of metal frets, and electro-magnetic pickup revolutionized the concept of instrument making.
51 p bass
’51 P Bass
  • The advent of the precision bass changed music forever.
  • Its main features included a solid alder body, maple neck and fingerboard, stainless steel frets, and a magnetic pickup with volume and tone control.
  • This bass became the standard for the design of future basses.
a new standard
A New Standard
  • Fender’s next bass in production was the “Jazz Bass”.
  • It featured a slightly longer width between frets in an attempt to persuade upright bassists to convert to electric.
  • Two single coil pickups were used also
  • This allowed for more tonal possibilities.
age of chrome
Age of Chrome
  • Around in the early 1960’s both model basses received a facelift.
  • The P Bass now featured a “split” pickup.
  • New colors of paint were used.
  • Chrome hardware was installed to give the basses a hip look. This was taken directly from the design of cars.
  • Later the chrome hardware was removed leaving the traditional appearance of each of these instruments.
part two

Part Two

The German Innovation

ned steinberger
Ned Steinberger
  • In the 1970’s Steinberger created several new bass designs.
  • These designs included carbon graphite necks and bodies, headless basses, and use of new pickups.
  • Although these basses were cutting edge they did not gain popularity until the 1980’s when other luthiers copied Steinberger’s concepts.
emg pickups
EMG Pickups
  • EMG pickups are an alternative to standard alnico magnet pickups.
  • Ceramic magnets are used in place of the more common alnico type.
  • Different gauges, heights, and shapes of copper wire are used
  • The results create a more wider possibility for tone.
warwick basses
Warwick Basses
  • The first Warwick bass was crafted by Hans Peter Wilfer in 1980 and was inspired by Nobby Miedel, and the Washburn “Bantam” Bass design.
  • New body woods and complex lamination processes set this bass apart for its predecessors.
  • Wenge necks were used for increased stability, becoming a mainstay in the Warwick Design
  • Increased neck length resulted in more frets and extended instrument range.
dolphin bass
Dolphin Bass
  • Odd body shape is claimed to be more comfortable to play.
  • Features 26 frets and ovangkol wood.
  • This design is the basis for other manufacturers.
infinity nt
Infinity NT
  • Hollow body design uses ovangkol with a maple top.
  • The combination of humbucking pickups, wood choice, and hollow body design create a sound similar to an upright bass.
marleux bass guitars
Marleux Bass Guitars
  • Small shop based in Clausthal-Zellerfeld run by Gerald Marleux, and Tilman Antons.
  • Basses influenced by Leo Fender, and Hans Peter Wilfer.
  • Use woods specific to the Black Forest
  • Developed a new style of electronic circuitry which preserves each instrument’s unique character.
marleux bass guitars19
Marleux Bass Guitars
  • Marleux features 5 different body styles with a wide variety of options.
  • Consat models show direct influence from the Warwick “Dolphin” bass.
  • Mbass models are a unique design developed by Marleux and Antons.
  • JB and Roots basses are Fender bass “clones”.
  • The newest in the series, Marleux-Pagelli is a truly original fretless bass.
  • Founded by Jens Ritter, who began crafting basses at age 16
  • Created his first handmade bass at age 19
  • “…what I make with my hands should be the best possible.”
innovation is the sister of invention
Innovation is the sister of Invention
  • Using rare earth magnets and a hybrid “active/passive” design, Jens created his own style of pickups.
  • Switches are placed in the circuitry for each pickup creating a “Triplebucker” pickup.
  • Powerful balanced tone is the result.
neck joints
Neck Joints
  • "The Neck Joint is a very special and mostly totally neglected sound influencing element. It is responsible for the dynamic and speed (Attack) of the bass and also for the string amplitude power consumption (Sustain).”
  • Ritter uses at least 10 bolts per neck joint.
  • Models include the “Classic”, “Roya”, “Jupiter”, “Raptor”, “Okon”, and “Seal”.
  • All models are similar in specifications but with very dynamic body shapes.
  • Jens Ritter is continuing to innovate new designs in basses.
the german stradivarius
“…The German Stradivarius.”
  • Jens received most of his craftsman skills from his grandfather and father.
  • Resides in Deidesheim, a small wine-growing town.
  • Transcends music, woodworking and art in his instruments.
  • Newest basses seen as art pieces rather than instruments.