#1
maybe wrong forum, if so please shift and please forgive the real basic nature of this question but I have searched and can't find the answer, maybe it's the question that's the problem.

I awaiting delivery of my bass, let me tell you the wait is killing me, like a school boy all over again on a first date, but have been thinking about this question for some time in the bath, in traffic jams, on the throne etc...everytime I think I understand I seem to loose it again....

Can anyone give me a simple explanation of how a bass's notes are laid out in relation to a keyboard scale which I understand....you know, where is middle C, sharps, flats...is there is a pictogram anywhere I could look at with both overlaid?

I have asked this question of a lovely couple I know, she plays excellent piano so well she can read and play straight off, he plays excellent lead in his own group but can't read music and sort of knows what I'm getting at but find it hard to put into words. Speaking with her she can't get her head around the guitar layout either, and gave up wondering years ago!

It is that there is no real answer, like I said, maybe the question is wrong so there isn't an answer.

My understanding is that all open E, A, D and G strings relate to a 'whole' notes as a start off and if I move up a fret then it's a flat, the next a sharp then the next 3rd fret is another whole note, and the same note can be played on more than one string...but where would a E fretted be equal to an open A...is there an octave between the E and A plus two whole notes....like E open, F, G, A, B, C, D, E,F,G then A or simply E, F, G, A

I've read this thru so many times it's confusing me again and my head hurts....

....like I said it's a real basic question and maybe thinking about thing is a keyboard manner is simply confusing me
#2
i know what you're talking about. i opened paint on my computer and made a picture of what you're talking about, except mine was for guitar but the bass has the same notes on the open strings as 4 of the 6 on a guitar.

i'll see if i can find the picture.

the pic is hard to explain, if i upload it i'll give it a try
#3

Does this help at all? It's for a guitar, so just ignore the high b and e.

Every fret you go up is a half step, and after 5 frets, you reach the same note as the next string; so 5th fret E would be the same as Open A, 5th A would be the Same as Open D, an 5th D would be the same as Open G. Once you've reached the twelfth fret, you've gone a whole octave up, but as you can see in the diagram, there's more than one way to reach an octave (12th fret E = 7th fret A = 2nd Fret D)

Hope that helps
#4
wow

you guys are the dogs danglies, thanks so much.....I'm so glad it wasn't just me!
#5
I just figured it out for myself it goes like this:

start on E two octaves down from middle C.

Then go up 5 keys to A, then 5 more keys to D, then 5 more keys to G.

Basically is 5 half steps (keys) between each bass string. This is true for 5 string basses with the exception of the B string which is only 4 half steps (keys) up from G.

E 5 half steps - A - 5 half steps - D - 5 half steps - G

Using this logic you realize that every bass fret is equal to a piano key, regardless of being black or white.

EDIT:

This :

simply E, F, G, A


But also taking into account sharps and flats.

so E, F, F#,G,G#,A.
This water's dark and coldGod's not where you hopedThis moment come and goneIt's time we all moved on
Last edited by Shredder XXX at Mar 13, 2009,
#6
Quote by Shredder XXX
This is true for 5 string basses with the exception of the B string which is only 4 half steps (keys) up from G.

But 5 stringers have a low B, it's
B - 5 Half steps - E - 5 half steps - A - 5 half steps - D - 5 half steps - G
#7
Great pic, DartS17.
And iconic, never be afraid to post a question. Other people will benefit from this info.
#9
Quote by DartS17
But 5 stringers have a low B, it's
B - 5 Half steps - E - 5 half steps - A - 5 half steps - D - 5 half steps - G



Right you are,

I had a bit of a brain fart there.
This water's dark and coldGod's not where you hopedThis moment come and goneIt's time we all moved on
#11
I sometimes wonder why keys/octaves have been like this for hundreds of years and why a system is used and why don't certain notes have no sharps or flats....although didn't Homer have a group called the B sharps

....why isn't there a B sharp/C flat and E sharp/F flat...?

....maybe we should adopt a metric method based on 10
Last edited by iconic at Mar 13, 2009,
#12
Quote by iconic
I sometimes wonder why keys/octaves have been like this for hundreds of years and why a system is used and why don't certain notes have no sharps or flats....although didn't Homer have a group called the B sharps

....why isn't there a B sharp/C flat and E sharp/F flat...?

....maybe we should adopt a metric method based on 10

B#, Cb, E#, and Fb all exist, it's just that a B# sounds like a C, Cb sounds like a B, E# sounds like an F, and Fb, sounds like an E.

B#'s pitch is slightly lower than Cb's, but our ears can't detect the difference because it's so minimal. These notes are called enharmonic, and are the same notes with different names.

I'll be surprised I can remember all of this of this at 6 am after a night of no sleep, so if i got anything wrong here feel free to correct me
#14
Having started bass after 8 years of piano i wondered this for a while at first but you've got to realise bass is another instrument, your open strings are EADG and every fret up from the open note is a semitone higher. So, 1st fret of the E string is an F (minor 3rd on the pentatonic) and then 2nd fret is F#, this is the same for every string. If you have a 4 stringer and want to replicate a B string, start from the 4th fre tof the G (B) and just pretend that's the B string. So the fourth fret on the G is a b, the 5th fret is a C, or if you had a 5 stringer, it'll be open B is a B and first fret of the B string is a C.

Feel free to ask us stuff.
#15
Quote by iconic
wow

you guys are the dogs danglies, thanks so much.....I'm so glad it wasn't just me!


Well knowing the notes on a bass is actually useful to bassists as well.
Those fretboard diagrams weren't created for the sole purpose of people trying to find the similarities in bass and keyboard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyLPeRZAOho
This should also interest you, it's a 12 string ERB the guy designed and made to play like a piano
#16
Quote by Casketcreep
Well knowing the notes on a bass is actually useful to bassists as well.
Those fretboard diagrams weren't created for the sole purpose of people trying to find the similarities in bass and keyboard.


I agree, most of my ability, and really my only strength, playing the bass is that I know where most of the notes are, so I can figure stuff to play without just making guesses and playing till it sounds right, because I know a little theory and where notes are.

It really is an advantage to learn this early.
I have:
Acoustic B200H+B115 cab, Schecter Stiletto Custom 4, Rondo Fretless, Boss EQ-7.

Some men just want to watch the world burn. And they work at Behringer.
#17
Quote by jimm, ey?
If music was written out like guitar hero, we would all be amazing at our instuments. But thats what tabs are for, hey?
There's a project to make a teaching tool using real instruments with a Guitar Hero-like interface. You score points playing your own guitar.

Check it out: LittleBigStar. It's free and there's a link to demo vids.