The Bass Guitar For Beginners

author: LoveThyBass date: 03/21/2009 category: for beginners
rating: 7.1 / votes: 12 
So you wanna learn bass and you just got your first bass guitar. This lesson assumes you just have a standered 4-string bass with 3 control knobs. First most important thing is how to hook up your bass guitar. First you have to plug your amp into an outlet. Next you should take your guitar chord and plug it into the slot that says "input". Now plug the other side into the slot on your bass wich will either be on the very edge uderneath, or on top of the body near the control knobs. Now I'm going to tell you what everything on your bass does. First of all I'm sure youv'e figured out by now that the strings are what you play on. The frets on the neck of your bass guide you to what note your playing. The pegs on your headstock tune your bass. The pickups (the devices on your body underneath your strings) are what pickup the sound from your strings and send it to your amp. They sort of act like tiny microphones that all they can hear are your strings. The control knobs can vary. If you have 3, one of the (most likely the one to the left) is your volume knob. The other two are for tone (bass/lows and treble/highs). Next to pluck you bass you simply just place your thumb on top of one of your pickups and pull on it sort of in the motion like your trying to scratch an itch. Try just plucking your top string a few times. Now try plucking the rest of your strings a few times. Now try plucking your strings with just your middle finger. Now try alternating between the two fingers. Good, now I'm going to show you the interface of your fret board, wich also shows the notes of your bass. The Notes that are played on your strings when your not fretting your bass at all from lowest to highest are E, A, D, and G. On a standered bass you should have about 20 frets, maybe more maybe less. When you read tab the number represents the fret that you should play on wich string. Here's an example.
E-2-4-----------4-2-
A-----2-4---4-2-----
D---------0---------
G-------------------
When you play that you would start on your E string and play the 2nd then 4th frett. Then you would switch to your A string and play the 2nd and 4th fret on that string. Then switch to your D string and play it without freting anything. And then so on. As I said earlier each fret represnts a note that can be played. Before I show you the notes on your neck I'm going to show your everynote that there is. I'll start with A only because it's the first of the alphabet
A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab
after G#/Ab it just goes back to A. Now I'm sure your wondering, what does A#/Bb mean? Well in between some notes there's another note, and it can either be called sharp (#) of the note before it, or flat (b) of the note after it. There are only 2 pairs of notes that don't have any sharps or flats inbetween them. They would be B and C, and E, and F. Now here are all the notes on your bass (Note: I'm only going to type the notes inbetween other notes as sharp, althogh they are still flats of the next note).
Fret #   0|1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 |8 |9 |10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|
String 1 E|F |F#|G |G#|A |A#|B |C |C#|D |D#|E |F |F#|G |G#|A |A#|B |C |C#|D |
String 2 A|A#|B |C |C#|D |D#|E |F |F#|G |G#|A |A#|B |C |C#|D |D#|E |F |F#|G |
String 3 D|D#|E |F |F#|G |G#|A |A#|B |C |C#|D |D#|E |F |F#|G |G#|A |A#|B |C |
String 4 G|G#|A |A#|B |C |C#|D |D#|E |F |F#|G |G#|A |A#|B |C |C#|D |D#|E |F |
Notice How the 5th fret of a string is the same note as the string after it's 0 fret. And also the 7th fret of a string is the same note as the string before it's 0 fret. Now for scales. Notes can be arranged in a certein order to play a scale. Scales are used to find chords that go together or notes that sound good played with chords etc. Here is the tab to a Major scale, in the key of D (D Major).
E------------------------------------
A-5-7-9------------------------9-7-5-
D-------5-7-9------------9-7-5-------
G-------------6-7----7-6-------------
Now here are the notes your playing in this scale in order.
D E F# G A B C# D     D C# B A G F# E D
That pattern can be played starting on any note even on an accidental (sharp/flat). Now read this tab of a scale and try to figure out what notes your playing, and what Major scale your playing (note: to be able to tell what major scale your playing in, just figure out what your first and last note is example: if your first and last notes are F# then your playing F# Major).
E------------------------------------
A-3-5-7------------------------7-5-3-
D-------3-5-7------------7-5-3-------
B-------------4-5----5-4-------------
Don't look down for the answer untill you figure out what notes your playing and what key your playing in!
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Okay so that was in the Key of C Major, and the notes you played were:
C D E F G A B C     C B A G F E D C
I hope you got it right. So that's about it for basic Bass guitar. If you want to learn more I suggest you look for a more advanced lesson on this site, or look for a local bass guitar teacher. Thanx for reading my lesson.
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+ 2 Octave Open Position Major Scales For Bass Guitar Scales 03/26/2009
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