Electric Bass Vs Upright Bass Guitar [Difference & Which is Better]

You have heard it right that the electric bass and upright bass are two different guitars. If you are a player of electric bass and want to switch to upright bass some consequences would follow your decision.

How come you play electric bass and don’t know an upright bass is a different type of guitar? Well, many people are unaware of it. So, we brought about a comparison between electric bass vs upright bass in case you don’t know their significant differences.

The Primal Difference in Short –

If you are wondering how an upright bass is different than an electric bass then concentrate on their frets. While the latter carries frets, the former has no fret. So, a little bit of trouble begins here. What is more important is that upright bass is bigger and has larger strings than electric bass. That too should be your concern while finding their differences.

Electric Bass Vs Upright Bass

However, this quick difference is not enough if you are a pro. You might want to learn more and that’s why we organized our latter segments of upright bass vs electric bass comparison. Let’s start with a comparison table.

Comparison Table:

Feature:Electric Bass –Upright Bass –
Size CompactBigger
Strings Hard (4/6)Harder (4)
Frets HasDoesn’t have
Method PluckingBowing and plucking
Amp RequiresDoesn’t require
String size RegularLarger
Price AffordableBit pricy

Electric Bass and Upright Bass Review:

There is not only one kind of bass. Because the music industry is now expanding with positive energy, you will find different types and categories of musical instruments. The same with electric bass and upright bass. Their distinctive characteristics will reveal about these guitars more.

What is an Electric Bass?

What is an Electric Bass of Guitar

The electric bass is simply known as bass guitar or just bass. This electric bass guitar is supposed to be held horizontally and then play the strings. It is just a smaller and, to some extent, an alternative version to an upright guitar.

Also, this guitar is almost similar to an acoustic guitar as they both have frets. But an electric bass has a longer neck and its strings are longer too. You can find an electric bass that comes with 4 strings as well as 6 strings. The primal way to play an electric bass is to pluck its string and not strum them.

This electric bass is greatly responsible for replacing the double bass in the music industry. Especially, the four-string-based electric guitars give off the same sound as double bass when it is tuned properly. But of course, their sound requires amplification by adding an external amplifier.


  • It comes with a handy figure so you can hold them horizontally flat to your body and comfortably play it
  • A magnetic pickup is conducted on the strings so you can get the authentic bass sound
  • You will face a comparatively less physical challenge while playing electric bass as is a usual fact about any bass guitar
  • Their price range is comparatively affordable to other types of bass guitars


  • The normal volume is barely audible. So, they require an external amp to amplify the sound.

What is an Upright Bass?

Upright Bass Guitar

The upright bass is the bigger version of the electric bass to some extent. People also recognize this as bass, contrabass, or double bass. There is no bigger guitar than a double bass so far. With longer strings, longer scales, and high pitch, it is a little bit hard to cope with the instrument.

Besides, an upright bass does not come with frets, unlike other ordinary guitars. You will find the same situation with a violin. Another similarity of this instrument to the violin is that you can play it using a bow. Plucking is also the right way to play the double bass which is termed“pizzicato” in the case of an upright bass.

However, the instrument comes with a total of four strings. You might have to struggle hard with the tuner to tune the strings because they are harder. Because the bass line produces a strong, and loud sound, you will not need any extra amp. Also, to master this instrument your muscle memory and tuned ear are what it requires.

Advantages / Pros:

  • The versatile strong personality of the instrument will blow your mind
  • It gives utmost pleasure when you master the art of playing the double bass
  • Comes with an enormous possibility to improve the sound quality of your song
  • The plucking of the guitar is amazing for creating sounds for jazz music

Disadvantages / Cons:

  • Extremely tough to handle such a bigger version of a violin or an electric bass
  • Because it has no fret, you might face trouble recognizing the notes

Read Also: Steel Guitar Vs Slide Guitar [What is the Difference]

Difference Between Electric Bass Vs Upright Bass Guitar-

There are many similarities between electric bass and upright bass. You can already tell by seeing their structure. Besides, when you tune them, they produce the same types of sounds. And the strings are almost the same in both cases. Yet some dissimilarities will differ one instrument from another to a great extent.

a) Structural Differences –

Structural Differences

The evident difference between electric bass and upright bass is their structure. You cannot deny seeing from their outer look that the upright bass is excessively bigger than an electric guitar. Starting from the fingerboard to its strings, everything is larger in double bass.

Besides, the fingerboard is curved in this instrument while the fretboard is straight in electric bass. You will also not find the f-shaped hollow cave in the electric bass but the double bass carries it. Moreover, the electric bass comes with a truss rod in the fretboard but the double bass is relieved from it.

b) Strings –

There is not so much difference in the strings yet the slightest difference matters. In the case of upright bass, the strings are larger and harder to pull as well. Conversely, an electric bass carries comparatively fewer hard strings.

Another fact is that there are four strings in an upright bass while the electric bass either comes with four strings or with six strings.

c) Frets –


Frets help you to keep up with the right chord. But in the case of double bass, you will not get the advantage of having frets. Only a fingerboard like a violin is available there. On the other hand, you will get a fretboard in electric bass, so things will be easier in this case.

d) Way of Playing –

playing upright guitar bass plucking

Both double bass and electric bass require plucking and no strumming. One has to use a magnetic pick to pluck the strings of an electric bass. However, using a bow to play the double bass is also a means of playing the instrument.

e) Holding Style –

Because an electric bass is smaller than an upright bass, you can hold it horizontally. Positioning it flat to your body, you can comfortably pluck your electric bass. But in the case of upright bass, you need to hold it vertically placing the bottom of the guitar on the ground and then playing it.

f) Need of an Amp –

It is needless to say that double bass comes with a louder sound than electric bass. The former does not require any extra amplifier but the latter comes with poor volume. So, to heighten the sound, an electric bass needs an amp.

Price –

It is evident that double bass requires more money. Conversely, an electric bass comes in an affordable price range.

So, which Type of Guitar is better?

Both have their own distinctive high-quality. The rest depends on your desire and skill of performance. Besides, you can play both electric bass and double bass guitar according to your desire.

FAQs –

Question: Is electric bass the same as upright bass?

Answer: There are many differences between electric bass and an upright bass just like an electric upright bass is different from an upright bass. The electric bass looks more like a flat regular version of an acoustic guitar.

Conversely, the upright bass is bigger in size. But the best electric upright bass comes with a skeleton body totally opposite to the shape of an upright bass.

Question: Can electric bass players play upright bass?

Answer: It is easier for the players to play upright bass who also plays electric bass. But because an upright bass is fretless, it requires some time to master the art.

Question: Is bass easier than electric?

Answer: Bass is definitely hard to play because it requires some muscle memory skill which is not regular. An electric is, on the other hand, comes with regular ways of playing guitar.

Last Updated on January 13, 2023 by Perry Garner

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