Bass Guitar Lessons

If youíre just learning how to play bass guitar youíve come to the right place.  Weíre going to start you off with some basic knowledge that you need to know before bass guitar lessons will help you learn bass guitar at whatever level you are and hope to be.  Many of the aspects of how to play bass guitar are similar to the six string electric or acoustic guitar, at least in theory.  A bass player has to have a different attitude about the music.  They donít have to be loud and out there like the guitarist.  Bass players help provide a solid rhythmic foundation along with the drummer.  Your success with these bass guitar lessons will determine whether youíre just another garage band, a good band or a great band.

 
Bass guitar - Where to start

Many of the books and instruction for bass players often take a long round about road to actually teaming you up with others and being able to call yourself a band.  If you want to learn how to play bass guitar, a very important part of becoming an accomplished player starts with listening.  When listening to your favorite band or songs, listen to the bass line.  Try to separate it from the rest of the song so that it becomes second nature and easy to pick out.  Train your ears for this task.  Also, play along with the radio or your stereo or better yet a friend who plays rhythm guitar.  You wonít learn bass guitar overnight so be patient and work these practices into your routine.  If you have a passion for bass guitar, it wonít be work, itíll be fun.

 

Bass guitar is a unique instrument and completely different from the six string in many ways.  There are similarities when you learn bass guitar but they are mostly theoretical.  While the six string uses mostly hand shapes and forms like chords, the bass is more patterns of single notes. 

 

For example, lets take the simple C Chord on which you play the root or C note (3rd fret, A String).  The all important lower 5th or G note is right next to the C on the E String while the upper 5th is only 2 frets up on the D String.  The octave C is right next to that on the G String.

 

STRING/FRET

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

G

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

D

 

 

 

 

G

 

 

A

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

E

 

 

G

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is true for all chords up the fretboard.  The upper 5th is 2 up, one string over, the octave is 2 up, two strings over, and the lower 5th is same fret one string lower.  Hereís what it looks like in Eb:

 

STRING/FRET

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eb

 

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bb

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

Eb

 

 

 

E

 

 

 

 

 

Bb

 

 

 

 

Bass Guitar Hand Positioning

A bass players fret hand is almost always in the same position, covering one fret per finger.  You can easily play an entire song without moving your hand but itís more fun when you work up and down the fret board.

 

I canít over emphasize the importance of the bass playerís part in laying down a solid rhythm foundation along with the drums and rhythm guitar.  In most cases the simplest of bass lines will be the most effective.  What do you most want to be?  A garage band?  A good band?  Or ĎA great Bandí?  You can make the difference.

 

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