So let's discuss the main differences between the acoustic bass and the electric bass.


First off the musics that are most commonly associated with the acoustic, double or upright bass are Jazz, Classical, Avant-Garde and sometimes 'Rock-A-Billy'. The electric bass (sometimes mistakenly call the bass guitar)  CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH EVERY KNID OF MUSIC except classical.

The Acoustic bass is a member of the string family with violin, viola and cello while the electric bass is more a member of the lute (fretted) family with guitars, mandolins and banjos. Although there are fretless versions of electric basses. 

With the acoustic bass we can play music either by bowing (which we do the majority of the time in classical music) or pizzicato (which jazz bass players do mostly). I am told that to have great intonation on the upright bass, solid bowing technique is a must. Even if you plan on only playing jazz music. 

We can't bow on an electric but, because most electric basses have frets, we don't have to worry too much about intonation except as it applies to our bridge. We can play more simultaneous notes, double stops and even chords on the electric bass. We also have the unique concept of 'thumbing, slapping and popping' available to electric players. And you can always go fretless.


The Acoustic bass has 4 strings and that is that. You can get an extension on the bottom string so your E note goes to a D note but that is the end of variety. With electrics you can have 4, 5, 6, up to 10 strings. You can go fretless or have fan frets. Unlimited body shapes and styles.


But nothing sound and looks as cool as an Upright Bass it is almost the poste child for cool.

Winnipeg Music Lessons
River Heights School of Music
2nd Floor of the Tuxedo Park Shopping Center (Safeway, Starbucks)
202-2025 Corydon Ave
Winnipeg, Manitoba.
R3N 0P5