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Pre-Beginning Bass
(By Tyson)

 

 Wassup everybody? I know itís been quite a while since I posted a new lesson and honestly, I donít have much of an excuse aside from laziness and that Iíve been recording an acoustic CD over the past month or so, itís online at http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/massiverock/Company/index.html if you want to hear it.


Now that I finished my free advertisement, Iíll tell you how Iím going to make it up to you. Iíve had several people saying ďwhereís my bass lessonĒ and ďwhy donít I have a bass lesson?Ē and I wasn't prepared to deal with that, so I stopped being so silly. (A little Veggie Tales in there.)  Well, your fervent request will now be paid off with the bass lesson series on my $200 Yamaha 4 stringer.  Iíll go easy on you on your first day at the Christian Guitar Resources academy of bass... really too easy. Iím sure youíll find it in your heart to forgive me.

Introduction To The Bass
The bass guitar in itís present form hasnít been around too long. It is very similar to the guitar except for 2 things. First, itís tuned a whole octave lower, (thatís how they get the word ďbassĒ into it's title. Secondly, there are far fewer strings, (unless you get a 6 or 7 stringer, but Iíll talk about that next time.)
The primary job of the bass is the bridge the gap between the guitar and drums and keep up the low end.


Choosing The Right Bass
There are thousands if not billions of basses out there, so which one is right for you? There are no simple answers, but here are a few tips.
(1.) Get a bass that looks good. To put it simply, you need a bass that you want to play when you see it. It doesnít have to look pretty to everyone, just you.
(2.) Get a bass with good electronics. Twist all the knobs, pull all the levers and push all the buttons and make sure they do something to your sound. If they donít, donít get it.
(3.) Get a bass that wonít buzz. Just pick every string on every fret and make sure it sounds balanced.
(4.) Get a bass with high action. This is really important if you plan on slapping.


If your unsure about what to get, bring a buddy who plays bass to the guitar store with you. Be prepared, they will cost anywhere from $100 to $10,000 and up, so bring your money.


What else you need.
(1.) A case. A gig bag can do the job too, but not as well. You need a case to protect your guitar from the hazards of the road... and little brothers and sisters.
(2.) A pick. Thatís actually optional, some people use a pick to play bass, other people like the sound of a fingered bass, itís your call.
(3.) An amp. You donít really have to have a bass amp, but it projects your sound better. I would advise starting on a 5 or 10 watt practice amp, unless you are going right on stage, because youíll end up needing a portable amplifier anyway.
(4.) A strap. The bass isnít as fun sitting down. Get a strap so you can jump around.
(5.) A cord. To connect to you amp.
(6.) Effects... They can wait.

Okay, get all that stuff and youíll be ready for the next lesson.

 



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