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Beginning Bass
(By Tyson)

  Alright, you've got a bass.  Me too.  What are you going to do with it?

I apologize to the seasoned veterans of the bass world, but I choose to start with the basics.  If you think your too good to start here... just... um... go away and check back later because I'll try to work up to more advanced topics.

Your still here?  Good.  Now that you've admitted that you're terrible at the bass it's time to learn about it.

Now, imagine that this is your bass:

*Note- this is just for visual effect... if this really is your bass I need to see you about a loan.  :0)

"Yeah, that's a bass... so what?" you say, well I'm going to tell you the "technical terms" for all the parts.  These are the parts your bass should have.  Memorize their names and location because I'll probably refer to them allot in the upcoming lessons.

In the bass lessons there will be only 1 type of illustration to guide you along.  It's called a bass tab and it looks a little like this:


Are you lost yet?  If not you may want to move on to a more difficult lesson.  The letters G, D, A and E are your strings as shown in the picture below, (going from your highest string to the lowest, sonically speaking)

ugly low res photo

Now, it's possible that your bass has 5, 6 or even 7 strings... if that's the case here are your string names (from low to high.)

5 String Bass 6 String Bass 7 String Bass




Now, back to the tab.  If you'll look at it, you'll see some numbers on the same line as the string names.  Those numbers are the frets you play on the sting in the order the tab demands

IMPORTANT!  Make sure you play between the frets and not on them.  This will save you from having to hear a terrible muted blank noise.  There are generally between 20 and 24 frets on a bass.  When a tab says to play on 0 you don't have to put your left finger, (right if your playing a left-handed bass) on any fret at all.  Otherwise, when it says


for example, you would put your finger where the red dot is:

The dot on your guitar... not on the computer silly!  Alright, I think you know enough to try to do a little Relient K.  Here's their bass intro to Hello McFly:


I'm going to write out the scales, which basically just bass roadmaps to keep you in key pretty much the same way.  The only difference is that you don't have to play them in any order... their just non-random random notes, (confused yet.)  Here's the major scale as an example.


It's pretty self explanatory if you've really learned to read tab.

Well, I think I'll leave you hanging there because my fingers are starting to hurt from typing and because it's kind of dramatic to stop before I've taught you hardly anything.  So enjoy.


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