#1
First you need to be able to read tab and understand it. Tab is
short for tablature. It?s easy once you get the hang of it. Here?s
how standard tab is written:

G|----------------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------|

Each line is a string on the bass neck.
The letters at the beginning of the line are just the notes of
the strings. Forget them for a moment and look at it like this:

Thinnest |--------------------------------------|
2nd thinnest |--------------------------------------|
2nd thickest |--------------------------------------|
Thickest |--------------------------------------|

So basically, when you?re standing up with the bass round your
neck with the strap on, the thickest string (E) is at the top and
is usually the hardest to play. The thinnest string (G) is at
the bottom and is the easiest to play.
There are numbers written on the tab bar and these are the frets
you play. Bass is usually played on one string and is very rarely
played on more than one string. If there was a 0 on and line then
you play and open string. In other words you don?t put your finger
down on any fret. Frets are those funny metal lines on the neck
of the bass.

G|-0-----------0-----------0--------------------|
D|---0-------0---0-------0----------------------|
A|-----0---0-------0---0------------------------|
E|-------0-----------0--------------------------|

Practise that so you get the hang of playing the strings. With
bass you can use a plectrum (pick) of you can use your fingers.
Some people think it sounds better if you use your fingers but
that?s just their opinion. If you don?t want to use your fingers
then use a pick. Just see how fast you can play that, it might also
help build up speed because at first it will be really hard to
play fast. Or even at all.
If there were a 1 on a line then you would put whatever finger felt
more comfortable just in front of the first fret on the bass.
If you put you finger on the fret then a buzzing sound might be
made so you?ll need to be careful with that. Or if you put your finger too far back it will make the same buzzing sound.

G|-1-----------1-----------1----------------------|
D|---1-------1---1-------1------------------------|
A|-----1---1-------1---1--------------------------|
E|-------1-----------1----------------------------|

It?s not just numbers that appear on these lines though. X?s can
appear on the lines. If you do find an X, then you rest your finger
on string so it?s muted. You don?t press down on the string and
it doesn?t matter where on the string you rest you finger. It
would appear like this

G|--X-----------X-----------X-----------------|
D|----X-------X---X-------X-------------------|
A|------X---X-------X---X---------------------|
E|--------X-----------X-----------------------|

Practise that and you?ll soon get the hang of muted notes.

There?s also h?s and p?s. They mean Hammer on?s and Pull off?s.
To do a hammer on (h), hold a finger of a fret and strike the note or
play an open string, and then without striking again, you put
a finger quickly on a fret. It?s difficult at first but so is everything.

A pull off (p) is where you put two fingers on different frets on the
same string, and you strike the first note, again without striking the second note, you pull your finger off, leaving the second finger that was on the lower fret on, and it should produce the same kind of sound as if you?ve just played that note.
Practise and you?ll get the hang of it.

G|-1h2---------------------1h2----------------|
D|-----1h2-------------1h2--------------------|
A|---------1h2-----1h2------------------------|
E|-------------1h2----------------------------|

Try playing that and building up your speed then play this:

G|-2p1---------------------2p1------------------|
D|-----2p1-------------2p1----------------------|
A|---------2p1-----2p1--------------------------|
E|-------------2p1------------------------------|

Again practise, build up speed. It worked for me.

There?s also harmonics. There?s many different signs for this
though and everyone should tell you if they have used harmonics
and what symbol they have used. I usually use a star (*). To produce
a harmonic, place your finger over a fret and play (it works best
with the frets 7, 9, 12 and 19). It should produce a bell kind of
sound. If not then practise a bit more. Try playing these.

G|-----------7*----------9*-------------12*-------------19*-|
D|--------7*----------9*------------12*-------------19*-----|
A|-----7*----------9*-----------12*-------------19*---------|
E|--7*----------9*----------12*-------------19*-------------|

And lastly, theres some slashes. / and \ mean slides. / is
the most common and thats just slide from one note to another
but if its just a slide then the slash will tell you weather to
slide up or down the neck. / means slide up. e.g. from 3rd fret
up to 12th fret. \ means down. e.g. from 12th fret to 3rd fret.
try these

G|-3/7---------------------6\5-----------|
D|-----7\3-------------1/9-----12\-------|
A|---------7\3-----5/9-------------3/----|
E|-------------3/6-----------------------|

To get better at playing and to play faster, i useually get one
of my friends to write numbers from 1-10 on 4 different lines
and use that as tab. When you get better you could go from 1-15
and then 1-20. It's fun once you get into it.
If you find any problems, of just want
to ask any more questions email me Danielle_1391@hotmail.co.uk,


does anyone think that is a good lesson?
Last edited by skater-monkey at Aug 9, 2006,
#2
fairly bass-ic (im so sorry :P). you covered pretty much everything. you might want to put it in the lessons as opposed to the forum.
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#4
Quote by Tok
fairly bass-ic (im so sorry :P)


I burst out laughing when you said that, I'm not sure why.

Yeah, its basic. You covered string muting twice. You also need to proofread, like you have "Or" for "of" and little things like that, can get confusing.