The bass guitar is a key instrument in a band. It is responsible for keeping the other players in the band on tempo to adding new levels and depth to the music. Rhythm, harmony, and melody are the three most important parts of music and the bass player creates the foundation as well as provides support to these elements. The bass brings all the music together, and both holds and guides the performance, demonstrating the power of this vital instrument.
Shine Music School offers Bass guitar lessons in Barcelona with qualified music teachers. Bass classes can be held in our studio, one-on-one in a private class or online from the comfort of your home. Classes are fun and our teachers have years of experience sharing their love of music. If you have been thinking of picking up a new hobby or expanding your musical repertoire, then a bass lesson could be for you. Our bass lessons are suitable for both adults and kids, and each lesson is adapted to the student. Our bass classes from Barcelona are affordable and our teachers are able to teach in Spanish, English or Catalan. Check out our price guides, or read on to discover more about the Bass instrument.
The bass guitar, electric bass or simply bass, is a member of the guitar family. It is the lowest pitched instrument of all the guitars and typically has four to six strings. Since the mid-1950s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music. In the 1930s, musician and inventor Paul Tutmarc created the first electric bass guitar as we recognise it today. The bass is a fretted instrument, played horizontally as opposed to upright and standing like the double bass. During the 1950s, Leo Fender and George Fullerton worked on manufacturing this type of electric bass on a large scale. The Fender Bass revolutionised the bass for gigging musicians. In comparison its large and heavy upright cousin, which had been the main bass instrument during the early 20th century, the electric bass guitar could now be easily transported to shows. The addition of frets enabled bassists to play in tune more easily than on fretless acoustic or electric upright basses, and allowed guitarists to transition to the instrument relatively easily. Electric bass guitars are played when plugged into an amplifier.
Why play the Bass?
It makes you a great musician
Like a heartbeat, bass plays the rhythm that we all respond to. This is more often than not the foundation to the harmony of the music. When multiple notes are played the bass rhythm ties them all together in a pleasing way, supporting the harmony. The bass can guide a song giving it both soul or funk and a consistent beat, this is the heartbeat of the band. Essentially the bass is what makes your audience tap their foot, or dance to the music. Learning the bass gives you a perfect in grounding in music as you study how to “feel” the music by playing the beat. It can also help in your composing and arranging, as studying bass gives you good knowledge of how the music works together in a combo.
It’s great for Shy musicians
Bass players are an essential part of the band, and a good bassist is a sought after element in any musical group. Without the added pressure of being the “frontman” they still make up the backbone of the music alongside the drummer, and popular music today would not be able to do without them.
Great Bassists know that their beat punches a powerful beat
But don’t only listen to us! Science can even back up how vital the bass is to any piece of music!
The bass affects listeners and how it helps them perceive the music other instruments play. Studies have indicated that more people respond to the rhythm when it is a lower-pitched instrument that plays it. This is because deeper bass notes have a unique effect on peoples’ minds and bodies. The actual beat of the bass can resonate through our bodies and we can not only hear it, but feel it as well. In fact the bass is what deaf people respond to when music is played to them, as they can feel the rhythm and beat of the music. It has also been shown that your heartbeat can even sync to the deeper bass beat of the music you are listening to.
Its clear that bass is a unique and important instrument and can be a great musical instrument to learn to play.
Music is an important part of the human experience. Be it through song and dance, listening to music in a cafe or at home, going to a concert with your friends, or jamming with your band. People connect through music. Sound and rhythm are learned from early childhood, in fact babies start to hear and feel sound in the womb. Music helps us to develop and learn language as toddlers. It is part of our daily life, through movies, radio, and other places. You can sit on a terraza and buskers may pass you, playing on their instruments or singing. Music is such an integral part of being human.
As a parent you probably want to encourage a love of music, or as an individual maybe it is a hobby you would like to take up. Music can be an interesting career, with many aspects. From music production to teaching and performing. As a music school we understand the benefits of studying music and creating an environment where we can enjoy learning.
But studying music can also be daunting for a beginner, and without expert advice, it can be expensive and at worst, not a positive experience! With so many health benefits, from improving your cognitive abilities to actually being a physical workout and a stress reliever, studying music or learning an instrument should not be scary.
One vital aspect is your instrument! At Shine we offer fantastic rental instruments from our instrument rental department.
Imagine that your child wishes to start playing a musical instrument, or it’s been your dream to take a guitar class, but you just don’t know where to start. Perhaps you are spending a semester in Spain and don’t want to stop playing music, but shipping or flying with your instrument is not an option. Whatever situation you find yourself in, playing an instrument can be an expensive and often confusing endeavour as any professional musician will tell you.
This makes so much sense!
Test & Try
Hiring a musical instrument instead of buying one is an option that just adds up for multitude reasons. Not only can you try and test out a variety of instruments, but you also don’t have to make a huge investment in an instrument without some musical knowledge and know-how.
Grow with your Instrument
This is especially relevant when looking into instruments for children. More often than not, the instrument has to grow with your child. This can mean buying numerous instruments as your child requires a bigger size. A disaster if your kids decide they don’t want to play anymore, and also extra work if you have to keep buying and selling instruments.
Unfortunately as you will quickly discover, cheap instruments are difficult to play, tricky to tune, often sound bad, and in the end a cheap instrument regularly results in the player getting frustrated and not wanting to play. What a lost opportunity for musical discovery!
All your questions answered!
Long-term instrument rental is an affordable and flexible way to play an instrument. Hiring a digital piano or cello to play at home makes practice easy and practical. If you happen to move, you don’t have to lug a heavy or expensive instrument with you! You find that your musical experience will improve when you don’t have to worry about your instrument. If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch with us or head directly over to our website, where you can hire your instrument online through a few easy steps!
We have a wide array of instruments from quality brands, from beginner instruments to advanced instruments.
* What was the first thing that made you interested in music?
Music has always represented a fundamental factor in my personal training since I was little. The search for new albums and artists meant broadening my horizons as a person and as an artist. Learning how to play was a natural consequence of my interests.
* Who inspired you to make music? Any famous musician or idol that you admire?
I started with English rock and my first reference artists were Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and I soon discovered Jazz with artists like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Always in search of something new, I discovered through a friend some songs by Paco de Lucía and since then I have always devoted myself more intensely to Flamenco that fascinated me so much.
* Where does your passion for flamenco come from?
As one of my teachers said: Flamenco “has land”. It is a music that has its history and its geography, its sounds so peculiar and unique. Its harmonies and rhythms are not only the expression of a culture, but they are almost unique within the western music scene. For a guitarist it is a visceral challenge.
* Who did you study with?
I started studying flamenco in Lisbon and Paris with private teachers, and after a few years I traveled to Jerez de la Frontera and Seville where I was able to study with great names in flamenco such as Manuel Valencia, Augustin De la Fuente, Antonio Rey, Niño de Pura , Eduardo Rebollar, Pedro Sierra, Rafael Riqueni and many more.
I studied at the Christina Heeren Flamenco Foundation in Seville, and did the Master in flamenco guitar interpretation at the Esmuc in Barcelona with Rafael Cañizares.
* What is your favorite flamenco guitar piece?
I don’t usually have favorite pieces, nevertheless “Orate” by Diego del Morao and “Tauromagia” by Manolo Sanlúcar are among the records that have fascinated me the most.
* Where to see the best flamenco in Barcelona and (Spain)?
Here in Barcelona there are many quality tablaos but also a more “underground” world, highly developed.
* How would you describe the music you usually do?
I work especially with traditional flamenco and Argentine tango. Lately I am dedicating myself a lot to popular music, thanks to another band that I have in Italy and I also do some “experimental research”.
* How is your creative process?
I work a lot analyzing topics that I like to understand and be able to reproduce the elements that are most interesting to me to feed and structure what comes from inspiration.
* How has been your experience as a guitar teacher at Shine?
Since I started working at Shine I have grown a lot as an artist and as a person. Students give me an opportunity to see the many faces of music and how it moves each one. The environment in the School is also very pleasant and favorable to the exchange of knowledge between students and teachers.
* What do you think has been the greatest contribution you have made to the students you have worked with over the years?
It is very difficult to answer this question, it would be interesting to know the response of the students … I would say that my classes have the purpose of getting students closer to the music that they like the most through the guitar, and of course of working to be autonomous in understanding their favourite themes and be able to interpret them.
*Photography: Fabio Toschi
* How do you think the Internet has impacted the music industry?
It has made it possible for many to come into contact with new music and meet distant artists with relative ease.
On the other hand, music streaming platforms have made it more complex for an artist to earn their salary from recordings. It is a complex problem where costs and benefits must be considered. Something that I really do not share in the contemporary situation is the excessive attention of the public and of the musicians to the social networks that turn the love for music into a phenomenon of Voyeurism (for the public) and of exhibitionism (for the artist). Many times musical success no longer depends on the quality of the content but on the way in which one manages to teach it.
* If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
In general, I think the most urgent thing is to resolve the artist’s constant precarious situation. I think it is a priority to reconsider the salaries for artistic services (classes, concerts and bowling) and also that the value of an artist is measured in its real production and musical quality and not so much in the number of followers.
* What upcoming musical projects do you have in mind?
I’m in a new stage of composition with my Italian band “Rayuela” with which we create “new popular music” and I’m also gathering ideas for a more Jazz-Rock project without any rules, we’ll see …
* Any advice or tips for those who want to study the guitar and enter the world of music?
I would say that it is important to lose your fear of studying music, students who do not doubt their possibilities are those who tend to advance more and with more serenity. Do not think that it is something unattainable at any age. Knowing that time spent on music is quality time that you spend on yourself.
The guitar is a very versatile instrument, with which you can play songs from different musical genres. Flamenco, which is very popular in Spain and throughout the world, is one of them and flamenco guitar is one of the most popular varieties of Spanish guitar.
The origin of the word “flamenco” is inexact. It is believed to come from the cultural tradition that gypsies introduced to Spain during Arab domination since before the 15th century. However, it was during the 18th century when flamenco was recognized as a musical genre and elevated its artistic expression from the cultural fusion of Muslims, Gypsies, Spaniards, Africans and Caribbean that at that time coexisted in Andalusia.
The first historically documented flamenco guitarist dates from the year 1850 known as Francisco Rodríguez “El Murciano”. However, the oldest record of flamenco music dates from 1774 in the book Las Cartas Marruecas by José Cadalso.
In general, when we talk about flamenco we refer to the result of a harmonic mix of different cultures and musical styles that has an artistic expression of deep feeling through cante (singing), dancing and toque (the way the guitarist plays the flamenco guitar). Over time, other instruments such as the flute, cajon, and violin have enriched this music, which has allowed it to renew melodies and shape the flamenco that we know today.
The flamenco guitar is similar to a classical guitar but with thinner parts and less internal reinforcements. It usually has nylon strings and is used in toque.
This instrument is often equipped with a kick plate (pickguard), commonly made of plastic, whose function is to protect the guitar body from rhythmic beats.
Flamenco guitars are normally made of cypress wood, a material that brightens the sound and adapts very well to the characteristics of this musical style. In addition, it has a narrower box so that the sound is smaller and does not overshadow the singer’s voice.
Perhaps the main difference between a classical guitar and a flamenco guitar is that in the last one, the harmonic bars are located in a different way, which generates a more percussive and brilliant sound.
Regarding posture, the flamenco guitarist often crosses his legs and supports the guitar he is highest on, while the neck keeps it almost horizontal with respect to the ground.
Since 2010, flamenco has been considered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
Some of our teachers offer recommendations for those who are interested in studying flamenco guitar:
César Munuera, graduated in flamenco guitar from the Conservatori del Liceu, assures:
“Paco de Lucía is the benchmark for any flamenco, but then there are Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Núñez, Tomatito, etc., who are from a later generation but equally great.
In my opinion, in flamenco there are no specific works that are essential … the most important thing, beyond listening to guitarists, is listening to cante and the more traditional flamenco to understand the rhythm and singularities of each palo. You have to listen to a lot and, above all, study a lot of technique in the most meticulous way possible … Since this genre develops specific guitar techniques that do not exist in any other style. “
The director of the Shine School of Music and expert in classical guitar, Milos Sajin, mentions some important works:
Our music school is located in Barcelona, a place historically recognized for being one of the first spaces where flamenco flourished in Spain between the 19th and 20th centuries.
Have fun studying music with us! The classes we offer are personalized and for all ages. Although you are a beginner or already have a more advanced level, do not worry, our music courses will always be adapted to your needs and interests.
Each year the Shine School of Music in Barcelona hosts a concert. It’s a unique opportunity for students to perform for a live audience, and get a taste or experience of performing for a crowd and certainly a chance to show off what they have accomplished with their teachers.
Our concerts have grown, from one small concert once a year to now a series of concerts during the year, and each one just gets better and better! As we get ready for our first online music concert, we want to take a look back at some of our student’s and teacher’s performances over the years.
We hope that you tune in with us for the concert this year. It will be a first for us, in that it will be streamed online. We really look forward to what our talented students and teachers have put together.