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Höfner’s big break came hand-in-hand with the rise to fame of the Beatles and Paul McCartney’s use of the Höfner 500/1 “violin” bass, frequently called the Beatle Bass. Prior to that fortuitous time, Höfner was a much-respected manufacturer of orchestral stringed instruments.
Paul McCartney continues to use Höfner basses to this day, and both George Harrison and John Lennon also played Höfner electric guitars during the Beatles’ reign. In fact, a great many British musicians’ first “good” guitars and basses were Höfners. Though not one of the “big” names in today’s world of bass guitars, they are still popular.
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Musicians Who Have Played the Höfner Bass
Notable Höfner bass players include Peter Tosh, Sum 41’s Cone McCaslin, Christian Wargo and Chris Wood, best known as one-third of the jazz-funk trio, Medeski, Martin & Wood. Master bass session musician, Leland Sklar – who has played on over 2,000 albums – also uses and loves Höfner electric basses.
The Höfner Violin bass remains very popular but other Höfners, such as the Club, Federal and Verythin basses are worthy of consideration for any electric bassist. If you have ever wished for a high-quality electric bass that’s small and light, check out Höfner’s Shorty Bass. A compact body and headstock don’t diminish this bass’ playability, as it has a full 30-inch scale and quality electrics.
A Quick Demo of The Shorty Bass
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