Why are bass guitars so ugly? Are there any reasons why almost all bass guitars have ugly designs? Are there any good-looking bass guitars on the market? What are the design trends for bass guitars nowadays? If you own a bass guitar or are looking for one, then maybe you have observed that many bass guitars are really ugly, so we need to find out the reason for this.
So, when was the bass guitar first invented? It was in the 1930s when the first bass guitar was designed. Paul Tutmarc, an American musician and inventor, was the inventor of the electric bass guitar, and he named the first prototype “Model 736 Bass Fiddle.” That bass guitar had a short-scale neck and a solid body and was equipped with an electromagnetic pickup.
The two most popular bass guitars in its history are Fender Precision Bass and Fender Jazz Bass. Both bass guitars have really impressive aesthetics. They have a pleasing look to watch, so they are the most sought-after bass guitars in the world. There are still many bass guitars with beautiful designs, but I believe that most of the bass guitars really have ugly designs.
Deciding whether a bass guitar is ugly or not is really a personal opinion and preference, but there are already many bass guitar owners and players having the same notion that there are more ugly bass guitars than beautiful bass guitars existing in the market. Manufacturing companies for bass guitars may need to review their designs, or things could get uglier in the future.
My Top Seven Ugliest Bass Guitars
I know that we have different tastes for bass guitars, but these are the top seven ugliest bass guitars that I have seen. I know that there are more ugly bass guitars out there, but I need to thin down my list, or else it would look like I am already making a book of the ugliest bass guitars that ever existed.
The Dearmond Ashybury is a fretless bass guitar introduced in 1986. This bass guitar is made purposely for traveling as it has a very body, which is pretty easy to bring anywhere. The scale of this bass guitar is only more than half of a standard-sized bass guitar, and it uses silicone rubber for its strings.
My problem with the design of DeArmond Ashbury is that the size of its headstock is almost the same as its body. I understand that this is a bass guitar made for traveling, but there is really no reason to make its body size very small. Playing it looks like you are holding an ugly ukulele and not a bass guitar.
The Danelectro Longhorn Bass was first introduced in 1958 and used in many recordings. Although this bass guitar has a very ugly look, it does not mean that it does not sound good. It has a warm and smooth low sound that many bassists really love.
Its so-called “Longhorn Double Cut” body shape really looks like an ancient and ugly string instrument. It has symmetrical, very longhorns on both sides and a very wide body for a bass guitar, which can be uncomfortable for any bassist with shorter hands. Its headstock is tiny, which is opposite to the size of its body, making it really an ugly-looking bass guitar.
Gibson Les Paul Bass Guitar
I am sure you are already familiar with the Gibson Les Paul, but in 1969, the company decided to produce a bass guitar version of the legendary electric guitar, the Gibson Les Paul Bass Guitar. In one look, you can tell that the difference between the two is that one is an electric guitar, and one is a bass guitar.
This is my problem with this bass guitar. It looks like that the company just got tired of thinking of new designs and decided just to copy the Gibson Les Paul design and make a bass guitar out of it. Although the Les Paul guitar really looks cool, its bass version does not carry the same feel after looking at it.
Gibson Explorer Bass Guitar
Like the Gibson Les Paul Bass Guitar, the Gibson Explorer Bass Guitar is also a bass guitar version of the legendary Gibson Explorer Electric Guitar. The Gibson Explorer Bass Guitar was introduced in 1984 but never really got the attention similar to what the electric guitar version received.
The Gibson company really got lazy by trying to transform its electric guitars into bass guitars. The Gibson Explorer has a reversed body which is really expected, as its aesthetics are great for rock and heavy metal music. My issue is that the design is not really great for bass guitars, as its pointy edges and tiny headstocks are really uncomfortable to look at.
Ovation is known for its acoustic guitars, but in 1978, they tried their luck and produced a bass guitar known as the Ovation Magnum. They are great-sounding bass guitars as they are made in the USA; sadly, their aesthetics are just that bad.
The Ovation Magnum has a very weird shape as it has a double-cutaway design but has a very short horn on one side and a longhorn on the other side. The pickups are also placed very far from each other, which is really ugly to look at. It also uses headstocks from its acoustic guitars, which are not really good for a bass guitar.
Musicvox Spacerange Bass Guitar
The Musicvox Spaceranger has a classic sci-fi design that looks like a bass guitar within a gun. It has a single-cutaway design, but its horn is really huge and weird, which is ugly. It is also matched with an oddly-shaped headstock which adds to its ugliness overall. Fortunately, this bass guitar sounds good, which is great if you do not care about its aesthetics.
EGC Wedge Bass Guitar
The Electric Guitar Company, also known as EGC, is known for its wedge guitars. They have also made wedge-shaped bass guitars. These bass guitars are really lightweight and sound really great. The problem is that it really looks awful, and the wedge design does not really suit bass guitars.
The EGC Wedge bass guitar really looks like a broom because of its body shape. Its headstock also looks weird, as it has an elongated hole in the middle. It is really hard to imagine how designers were able to come up with this very ugly design. It is uncomfortable for bigger bass guitar players, as they have a very small body for a bass guitar.
Overall, it is tough to conclude why bass guitars are so ugly. Some companies try to make ridiculous changes to its physical features, which is why it gives a very weird look to the bass guitar. Sometimes, they also integrate the designs of their guitars and use them for their bass guitars, which is a pretty lazy move for me.
If you are still looking for a bass guitar that sounds great but also has great aesthetics, do not worry, as there are still many that you can choose from. If you are looking for a classic design, you should look into either a Fender Precision Bass or Jazz Bass, as they are really the standard for the bass guitar’s aesthetics.