There’s a long-held belief that guitar players get all the girls and all the glory. This may or may not be true, but one thing’s for certain, bass guitar is the glue that holds it all together. Bass guitar is the bridge between the drummer and the rest of the band.
There are lots of bass lesson available for you to take, depending on what your level of skill is. A beginner will want to focus on rhythm and keeping time while a more advanced player might want to pursue a study of the theory of how notes relate to one another or different playing techniques. Whatever level you’re playing at, there are bass lessons available to help you polish your skills in that area.
The first thing a beginning bass player will want to do is get familiar with the instrument. This means learning the parts of the bass and how to care for the instrument as well as how to tune it and how to replace strings. You’ll also want to know how to tune your bass. The strings of your bass are tuned just like the lower four strings on a guitar. They are the same notes, just one octave lower.
Next, if you plan to learn to read music, whether you want to read standard music notation or bass TAB, get familiar with the notes on your bass guitar and where those notes are located on the music or TAB staff. See the illustration below to understand the range of the bass and how to locate the notes in written music. This example shows both standard notation and tablature for bass.
Start with the major and minor scale and find their positions on your bass. Like guitar players, a knowledge of at least the major and minor scale forms on your instrument will be a big help when it comes to playing with others and choosing the right notes. The blues and pentatonic scales are also essential. While all of these scales are slightly altered forms of the major or minor scale, their arrangement of tones and half-tones give them a decidedly unique sound. Playing them not only trains your ear to hear the “sounds” of these chords but it will help build finger strength, dexterity, and speed.
When you think of bass, you may not immediately think of chords, but a bass player can play chords too. Bass chords not used often, and they involve less notes, but learning a few of them can be helpful. Bas chords are built from scale degrees the same as guitar chords but often use only the first and third degrees of the scale or the first and fifth.
That’s the basics of playing bass. The more advanced you become, the more you’ll want to seek out bass lessons focusing on specialized playing techniques.