Read PDF How To Play Bass Guitar: Your Step By Step Guide To Playing Bass Guitar

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Complete Beginner's Guide to Playing Bass Guitar . The frets divide the neck into half step increments and determine where If you're learning how to play bass guitar for beginners, you will definitely want a fretted bass.
Table of contents

Always keep your nails trimmed short. Your nails will change the sound of the guitar if used against the strings. Pluck using two fingers to increase efficiency. Alternate plucking between your index and middle finger. Pluck the strings closer to the neck for a flat, warm tone. If you pluck nearer to the bridge at the bottom, the strings will give a more percussive sound. When you practice, keep your plucking isolated to a small area without a lot of movement up and down the strings. Pluck the strings by rolling over them with your fingertips.

If you want to increase the volume, turn up your amplifier, not your plucking strength.

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  • Bass First Steps: Notes Lesson.

In order to give a clear sound and avoid muffling the notes you play, it is necessary to mute the strings by resting a finger on them. Keep your thumb as close to the E string as you are able, so that whenever you are not playing it your thumb can rest on it to do the muting. If you have to skip strings to play multiple notes, try using multiple fingers to help with muting.

You can choose to move your thumb off the E string to mute other strings if you are playing higher strings. Learn how to play roots.

How to Play Bass Guitar for Beginners – What You Need to Know

Roots are the main note that a chord is based off of. A chord is playing multiple strings at once, and the root is the note for which the chord is named. Typically, you will start playing the base simply by focusing on playing the roots to chords. Learn how to play octaves. All music is made up of 12 notes, which can be played in higher or lower versions.

The higher or lower version of a single note is called an octave. To play a higher-pitched octave than the note you are currently playing, move two strings up and two frets up. To play a lower-pitched octave than the note you are currently playing, move two strings down and two frets down. You can play a lower octave with your index finger and the corresponding higher octave with your ring finger.

Beginner Bass Guitar Lesson - First Lesson: Absolute Basics

Use your other fingers to help mute the strings that are not being played. Learn how to play roots and fifths together. Once you understand roots, learn how to play fifths as well. A fifth is the note you play five scale tones away from the root. Typically these are played together, to accompany another player on the guitar or piano. Fortunately, finding your fifths is pretty simple.


To play a fifth above, move two frets higher on the next string. To play a fifth below, stay on the same fret and move to one string lower. Keep rhythm while you practice. The most important job of a good bass player is to keep the rhythm of their music. The bass definitely adds great sound to any piece of music, but the vital task is keeping a good beat. Once you get better at plucking and playing the correct notes, spend time working on keeping rhythm. Listen to the bass performances in some of your favorite songs to hear the ways that they keep rhythm.

Buy a metronome to help you practice. Metronomes are small tools that emit a clicking noise at a certain rate, helping you to match the rhythm. You can adjust their speed to practice at a fast or slow pace. Practice on a regular basis. The best advice for anyone learning a new instrument is to practice regularly. Putting in only a few minutes of work each week will make excelling difficult. Giving yourself at least minutes of practice a day will not only help your hands to feel comfortable with the bass, but make your music sound clearer and better over time.

Members practicing this lesson

Tablature is a visual guide that will teach you how to play notes of songs if you don't know how to read music. Since many people don't know how to read music, tablature is becoming increasingly popular. Begin to learn scales. As boring as they sound, scales are actually very important in the development of serious musicians.

Some record producers actually prefer having bass players use a pick because the attack is more even. The pocket depends on you, so learn how to be your own metronome. Fills are the little pieces of ear candy that embellish a solid bass line and help propel a song.

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Listen to how other bass players set up a new section, and shamelessly jack anything that grabs your ear. Playing fills that conclude one section of a song such as a verse and lead into the next such as the chorus is a great way to break monotony in a bass part and set yourself apart from whatever the guitarist is doing. Are you playing in the right register octave? Perhaps that cool part you came up with sounds badass played down low but may be too heavy for the mood of the song. Make sure your note-range choices are right for the situation.

Occasionally playing the third or fifth of the underlying chord instead of its root note can radically change the whole feel of a chord progression, and when done tastefully it can add warmth or tension. This device has been used for centuries by great classical composers like Bach and Beethoven and creates what are known as chord inversions.

Master pop songwriters such as Elton John and Paul McCartney use inversions, via bass line substitutions, to build their chord progressions to a harmonic climax. Realize that the ear reckons harmony from the ground up, so as a bass player you have the power to dictate how the chord is going to sound and fundamentally change its character. FIGURE 6 is an example of a common rock chord progression for which the bass line takes a left turn in bars 2 and 3 to create chord inversions.

In the second and third bars, instead of playing the roots shown in cue-size notes and tab numbers , the third or fifth of the chord are substituted, creating a continually ascending and more melodic bass line in the process.

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With all due respect to hardcore prog-rock bands, for which precision is key, rock and roll has always been more about attitude and spirit. Fret the note, pick it, then quickly slide, hammer on or pull off to another fret and back, as demonstrated in FIGURE 7. Rakes on a bass are executed a bit differently than on guitar: Adjust the sling so that the instrument is suspended at your side in a proper way. Place the playing hand on the strings, and rest the lower part of your arm on the bass.

The next step involves learning the process of plucking the bass. Here, the index and the middle fingers of the playing hand should come in handy for plucking the strings. It is possible to minimize the wrist and the arm movement by isolating the plucking and alternating between middle and index fingers while playing. Switching between one string and another is another practice that one needs to master. Alternatively, pick can also be used to fiddle between the strings.

A heavy gauge guitar pick will be able to solve the purpose.

However, striking the strings with the help of the pick is quite a bit of a task and it needs practice to master the art of using the prick in a proper way. One very important aspect of playing bass guitar is learning the art of muting the strings with each hand. Hence, it is extremely important to mute other strings as you stroke one particular string at any given point in time. This again takes us back to the issue of the right posture, as that will help placing both the hands on the bass and be comfortable with the non-playing hand, as it is turned to the direction of the bass pins that are used for tuning.

When it comes to handling the frets, use the index finger of your playing hand on the first fret, and the other fingers on the adjacent frets. Another technique that you need to master is playing the notes of the first 4 fingers of the uppermost string as well as the loose string note. Here, pressing the strings with the left hand hard enough is particularly essential. This is because on then you will be able to shift the pitch accurately, when you pluck the other hand while playing.

This will also help keeping the sound of the loose fingers of the non-playing hand at bay, thereby making the sound more accurate and distinctive. Using Metronome is another extremely important chapter. The first step is learning to play notes with the use of the open E string on each metronome beat, known as quarter notes.