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Also in 1958 Gibson released the maple arched top EB-2 described in the Gibson catalogue as "A hollow-body electric bass that features a Bass/Baritone pushbutton for two different tonal characteristics".
In 1959 these were followed by the more conventional-looking EB-0 Bass.
The four-string bass, by far the most common, is usually tuned the same as the double bass, The bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds.
The electric bass guitar has pickups and needs to be connected to an amplifier and speaker, to make a sound loud enough to compete with other instruments.
The Precision Bass (or "P-bass") evolved from a simple, un-contoured "slab" body design and a single coil pickup similar to that of a Telecaster, to a contoured body design with beveled edges for comfort and a split single coil pickup.
The "Fender Bass" was a revolutionary new instrument for gigging musicians.
In comparison with the large, heavy upright bass, which had been the main bass instrument in popular music, folk and country music from the early 1900s to the 1940s, the Fender bass could be easily transported to shows.
The bass guitar was also less prone to unwanted feedback sounds when amplified, than acoustic bass instruments.
Fender's Fender Precision Bass, which began production in October 1951, became a widely copied industry standard for the instrument.
A number of other companies also began manufacturing bass guitars during the 1950s: Kay in 1952, Hofner and Danelectro in 1956, Rickenbacker in 1957 and Burns/Supersound in 1958.
1956 saw the appearance at the German trade fair "Musikmesse Frankfurt" of the distinctive Höfner 500/1 violin bass made using violin construction techniques by Walter Höfner, a second generation violin luthier.
the first bass to feature a neck-through-body design in which the neck is part of the body wood.
The Fender and Gibson versions used bolt-on and glued-on necks.