An electric, portable version of the double bass designed in the 1930s and first mass produced in the early 1950s by Fender. Shaped like a guitar but larger, many people mistake the bass as a regular guitar. There are more techniques available to a bassist than a guitarist, like slapping and popping. A bass is often played fingerstyle, like a classical guitar, but some prefer to use a pick for the harder more trebly sound produced.

The bassist's role in a rock or metal band is to provide a rhythmic link between the guitar and drums, creating the foundation for a song. In a lot of avant-garde and jazz genres, the bass is featured as a solo instrument, although rock/metal bassists like Cliff Burton have used the bass in this way. A common misconception of the bass is that guitarists are able to play bass using guitar techniques, but this is untrue. A guitarist using techniques for a guitar would only be able to lay down a very simple bassline. Bassists are often overlooked in a band setting because the guitar has a higher volume and plays the role of the lead instrument in most rock and pop bands.
Some notable bass guitar plays include Jaco Pastorius, Cliff Burton, Alex Webster, and Chris Squire.
by some-random-asshole September 19, 2009
An instrument that is similar to the guitar, but only has four strings. The bass is a much bigger scaled instrument as well and also deeper in sound. For more information visit
Johnny please turn your bass guitar down now, your shaking the house and your dad is trying to sleep.
by The bass Guru March 26, 2009
a four stringed instrument created in the 1950's replacing the upright bass or cello. often overlooked as an instrument, the bass guitar does not get much credit unless the bassist shows true talent such as Thomas Commerford from Rage Against the Machine or Johnny Christ from Avenged sevenfold. In analogies,
Bass is the sperm and the Guitar is the penis

Guitar is the hot chick, and the Bass is the sex

Guitar is the cereal, Bass is the Milk
Bass guitar Rockers!
Thomas Commerford from Rage Against the Machine

Johnny Christ from Avenged sevenfold
by Voorhees11 March 09, 2009
A combination of an upright (or double) bass and an electric guitar. Similar to percussion, the bass guitar is used in almost every type of music in common circulation (the exception being, of course, percussion ensembles). Tuned one octave lower than an average electric guitar, the bass guitar is very easy to pick up and attain instant results, but very hard to master. Prominent styles on the bass guitar include slapping, tapping, and plucking.
Classic bass guitar players include Paul McCartney, Victor Wooten, and Sting.
by Scott P. Tipton October 01, 2007
A four string guitar tuned EADG. Properly played using one's index and middle finger to "pick"(the thumb can also be used the strum), improperly played by dumbass guitarists who use a pick and think they can play bass.
Other playing types include slapping, in which the bassist hits the string with the side of his thumb, and plucking in which the bassist hooks his or her finger underneath the string an pulls.
I play bass guitar.

Les Claypool of Primus is a great bassist.

Cliff Burton is a good bassist.

Krist Novoselic is a terrible bassist.
by Marc December 03, 2005
The lazy man's guitar, exatcly why it is so much better, basslines kick ass.
Alex: "I play Guitar, I am very good"
Mike: "I know you are, I play bass guitar, I am very good, but very lazy"
Alex: "Duh, the lazy man's guitar"
Greg: "I play drums"
*everyone*: "YEAH"
by Miklus May 15, 2006
a guitar with four strings that is easier to play than a regular guitar and makes a low, muffled sound. Great sound and the strings are harder to play due to their size, but due to most bands use of only 1 string at a time, the bass is both overlooked and superbly easy to play.
The bass guitar is cool, but the electric takes more skill to master.
by andrew Dolan October 01, 2005
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