Vail Jazz column: It’s all about that bass: A brief history of bass groove

By Krista Driscoll

Once sound amplification started to take hold in jazz, the acoustic (upright) bass started losing ground to the other instruments in the band. While most instruments could be effectively amplified, not so with the bass. When amplified, the bass produced sound that was distorted with undesirable “feedback” and produced “muddy” sounds without distinctive pitch. So during the 1930s and 1940s, while the bass was present, establishing the beat, you really couldn’t make out what it was playing. It was being felt, but not really heard. Bass Guitar is bornIn the 1930s, Paul Tutmarc, a musician and inventor, tackled some of …

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