BASS GUITAR LESSONS

Hello and welcome to our bass guitar instruction. If you are here, you must be one of the millions of individuals who would love to learn how to play the bass guitar or enhance your playing ability more than it already is. If this sounds like you, then this is the right place to begin. It must be understood right from the start that learning to play the bass guitar is an ongoing process and one which does not happen overnight. Do not be discouraged by this because, we are offering the best lessons to get you going through the learning process to playing some jamming tunes on the bass guitar. These next 30 lessons are complete and ready for you to begin. As a bonus, there are an additional ten lessons to take you a step further in being the best bass player you can be with more techniques and information. Working with us will be like having a private tutor showing you every step you need to take in order to become the best. You will find that learning to play the bass guitar is better when you can take the time to learn at your own pace. Each lesson is designed to take you step by step until you have mastered the lesson and are ready to move on to the next. Each expert lesson will break down the specifics and give you the ability to learn at your own speed and at your own skill level. The first few lessons will consist of the basics of the bass guitar and familiarizing yourself with it. You can't play something you do not know. Once you are familiar with how your bass guitar works, the remaining 27 lessons will be devoted to showing you how to play and become the best at this amazing instrument. With some practice you will be able to master the bass guitar in no time and be jamming out with your friends to some good music.

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Bass Guitar Anatomy Holding the Bass and Tuning, Plucking, String Names Reading Bass Notes Rest, Music Symbols and Tablature The 12 Major Scales Practice Finger Strength Sharps, Flats and Keys The 12 Minor Scales Beginner Rhythms Being Under-rated and the Foundation Following Chord Progression Respect Muting Right Hand Technique Slap Bass Technique Octaves Pentatonic and the Blues Scale Odd Meter Major Chords and Arpeggios Minor Chords and Arpeggios

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Playing Over Chords Playing Together Ohms, Watts? Bass Blues Bass Solo Quality Over Quantity Modes Using Modes Harmonics

BASIC BASS GUITAR LESSONS
Bass Chromatics Lesson Alternate Tuning History of the Bass Guitar Bass Practicing Tips Bilingual Musicians Choosing the Right Bass Guitar Muting or Playing Clean Right Hand Technique Slap that Bass Walking Bass Lines

Bass Lesson 01 - Bass Guitar Anatomy
To many guitar enthusiasts, guitar anatomy is something we do not think of as important when learning the basics. As far as music theory is concerned, you will not need to know the instrument parts. However, in order to fully understand some of the following lessons and articles, you will need to know the parts of a guitar and where they are located on your guitar in particular.

Starting from the top of the guitar is the headstock. The headstock contains the tuning pegs, the nut, and usually the logo of your guitar. The headstock is made of the same material as the neck since most of the time they are the same piece. The machine heads, or tuning pegs are contained by the headstock. The tuning pegs are a very important part of your guitar and every guitar has them. The tuning pegs hold the strings at a certain tension and can be turned clockwise or counterclockwise to change the pitch of each individual string. Depending on how your guitar is strung, turning the peg clockwise could make the pitch of the respective string go up or down. The next item down is the truss rod cover. Often overlooked because of it is not frequently used, the truss rod cover hides the end of the truss rod in your guitar neck. The truss rod is usually metal or graphite but could be any strong material. Since your strings are wound very tightly they produce a great deal of tension, which is put on the neck. You can think of the guitar as a bow and arrow if that illustration helps. The truss rod is a rod that is inside of your guitar neck in order to take stress off of the neck. Truss rods are used in all steel or high tension instruments, like electric basses. They can be tightened or loosened to raise or lower the distance between your strings and frets. The nut is what the strings are resting on before they go through the machine heads. The nut helps set the length of the open strings, along with the bridge saddles. It also provides a smooth path for the strings to go into the machine heads so they do not get caught on

anything or severely bent. Finally, the nut sets the distance between strings at the lower frets. The fretboard and frets are used together to change the vibrating length of the string. The frets, which can vary in size, are pushed into the fretboard and are made of metal, specifically steel. Both the fretboard and the frets are glued to the guitar neck. The neck is connected to the guitar’s body and contains the frets and the fretboard. The neck can be bolted or glued to the guitar’s body, or it can be one piece with the guitar’s body.

The body of the guitar is what holds the electronics, pickups, and bridge. It may be made of various types of solid wood, or it may be hollow or semi-hollow.

The pickups are made of 43guage wire and magnets. The magnets are wrapped with the wire and “pick up” the frequency of the vibrating strings, converting the frequency into a signal that can be read by amplifiers and other guitar gear. The bridge of the guitar holds the strings for the tuning pegs. The bridge also sets the intonation of the instrument, the string height, and the distance between strings. Bridges come in many different styles. Bass guitars do not usually have a whammy bar, but it is not unheard of. The knobs on a guitar control the volume and tone of your guitar. There are many different arrangements of knobs. Some guitars have a volume and tone control for each pickup, whereas some have two tones and one volume. Some basses may even have a 3-band equalizer onboard! Bass guitars also have an output jack. Like any other electric instrument, the output jack is where you plug your cable into your guitar, while the other end goes into your amplifier.

Bass Lesson 02 - Holding the Bass and Tuning, Plucking, String Names
After you successfully know and understand the parts of your guitar, you can continue on to holding your bass properly, tuning it up, and plucking a bit. That is exactly what this article will be covering. So, you have your new or used bass: first things first – if it is in a package, take it out! Be careful not to scratch or drop it. If you have an amplifier, you will need to plug your bass into it. Your bass will have an output jack on it, somewhere near the knobs and bridge, maybe even on the side of your guitar. You will need a ¼ inch cable to plug your guitar into your amp, which your salesman should have provided for you. Now, turn on your amplifier

and crank up the volume on your guitar and amp. You can play around with the other knobs to get a sound that you like, but for the most part any tone will be sufficient.

Now that you are hooked up and have some sound coming out of your amp, you are ready to embrace your guitar and tune it up. To hold your guitar on your leg, simply put the curved part of the guitar’s body on your right leg (if you are right handed) or on the left (if you are left handed). The knobs should be closest to the ground. If you are using a strap, you will wear it so that the strap goes under your right arm, over your left arm, and behind your neck. Depending on what bass you have purchased, the headstock may fall to the ground if you take your hands off, but most basses are built so that if you are not holding them, they will stay somewhat level with the ground. Now, on to the strings! Each string, when plucked at an open position (meaning you are not adjusting the note by fretting), will play a different note. Whatever notes your strings play when they are plucked open is the tuning you will use. The picture shows a 5 string bass with the number of the string and the note labeling each string. If you have a 4 string bass, you will only have strings 1-4. The standard four string bass is tuned to E A D G, with E being the biggest string, closest to your chin (or B if you have a 5th string).

So, in order to tune your strings, you will have to turn the tuning pegs accordingly. One direction will make the string pitch go up, and the other direction will obviously go down. Which direction does what? It depends on who last strung your guitar; just pluck the string with your finger and turn the peg a quarter turn either direction to determine whether it goes up or down in pitch. With that in mind, pick up an electric tuner. Using an electric tuner is highly recommend for your first month or two, at least until you can tell note from note with ease. Otherwise tuning will be very frustrating for you and may discourage your practice habits. There are two modes on electric tuners, manual and automatic. Manual mode will tell you which note you are closest to. Automatic mode lets you select which string you are tuning. Most tuners have a button to push so that you can select which string you are tuning; after you make your selection, you will then pluck the respective string on your guitar. Plugging your guitar directly into the tuner will significantly help with both accuracy and ease of use. After you pluck the note, the tuner will say that you are either sharp or flat. Sharp is shown as # and flat is shown as a lower case “b.”

Flat means you are below the correct pitch, while sharp is just the opposite. If your E string is flat or sharp, you will need to turn your tuning peg until it is at the correct pitch. Most tuners have a gauge that is easily read. You will need to tune each string individually and make sure that you are turning the correct tuning peg and plucking the correct string – otherwise bad things could happen! Once you have all of these concepts down, check out Lesson 3!

Bass Lesson 03 - Reading Bass Notes
To get into playing as quickly as possible, you must first learn how to read music. Without written music, musicians would not be able to remember all of their songs for long periods of time. They would also not be able to share their music as easily with other people. So, this article looks at what music encompasses.

At its most basic level, music is a series of symbols and lines that, when read correctly, tells a musician what notes to play and how to play them, allowing anyone to reproduce a musical tune. So, the first things you need to cover are clefs and time signatures. As a bassist, you will use the bass clef; this means that all of the notes on your bass music will be bass notes found on the bass clef. Music for a traditional guitar is in treble clef. The bass clef looks like a backwards “C” with a colon “:” on the right side. The treble clef looks like a really fancy “G”. There are other clefs, but this article focuses on the bass clef. The bass clef is also called the “F” clef and assigns where the note “F” is located on the 5 lines. Now, there is only one type of bass clef used where the “F” note is located on the second to the top line. You are probably wondering where the note “F” is actually located.

This note is an F note. Any note that lies on this line is also an F. Because this line is between the two dots on the bass clef symbol, this is the line that will contain notes in the pitch of F. The lines of bass clef music will contain the notes G B D F A from the lowest line to the top. The spaces from bottom to top will contain the notes A C E G B. Tip: Treble clef music has different notes for each line, so make sure you are reading the right

kind of music. If you start from the lowest space and go to the highest line, then notes will be as follows: A B C D E F G A, the notes that make up the A minor scale. Now you already know your first scale – A minor! It is imperative that in your practice habits you learn where each note is, and you are able to name it on the spot without delay. This will help you immensely when you are sight- reading music, or playing it for the first time.

Now that you know pitches, you can cover note lengths as well. Music is important in that it tells what pitches to play, but even more important in bass music, it tells how long to play each note and when not to play. The lengths or notes, together with the tempo (or speed) of the song make up its rhythm. The first things you need to know are the time signature and the tempo. The tempo sets the speed of the music. Tempo is measured in beats per minute and is exactly that – how many beats per minute there are. The tempo will be displayed at the top of the page with a quarter note equaling some number above 0 and usually below 60. The time signature tells how many beats are in each measure of music. A measure of music is defined by thin vertical bars on the sheet music. Between each pair of vertical lines is a measure. The first note of each measure is slightly accented or weighted to help mark chord progressions and repeated rhythmic patterns. In order to find out what time signature you should be playing in, look at the first measure. Just before the first measure, there should be a fraction. Most often it will say 4/4 or have a “C” for common time, which is the same as 4/4. Now, the bottom note tells us what note gets th measure and the top number says how many of those notes are in the measure. So, 4/4 means that there are 4 notes in each measure, and that you can fit in four quarter notes. If the music were in 3/8 there would be 3 eighth notes in every measure (or the equivalent). Now, we can talk notes.

To keep things simple for the first few lessons, assume that you are in 4/4 time. A whole note gets 4 beats; since the quarter note is the beat, a whole note will have 4 quarter notes. Measure 1 contains one whole note. A half note gets two beats, so each whole note is equivalent to two quarter notes. Measure 2 contains 2 half notes. A quarter note in 4/4 time gets one beat. Measure 3 has 4 quarter notes. Measure 4 is made up of 8 eighth notes. Eighth notes are half as long as quarter notes; because of this they are played twice as fast. Measure 5 is 16 sixteenth notes. Each note gets ¼ of a beat and is played twice as fast as an eighth note. There are 4 per beat, or per quarter note. If you notice, the total value of all the notes in one measure is always 4. This has to be true for the music to be played if you are in 4/4 time. If you have two quarters and a half note in a measure, it is fine, but three half notes in one measure are not ok unless you change the time signature, which will be covered in a future lesson. This concludes the lesson about notation notes and fundamental rhythms. Later articles will talk about mixing up the eighth notes and quarter notes and starting to groove. When you feel you have perfected everything in this lesson, then move on to the next!

Bass Lesson 04 - Rest, Music Symbols and Tablature
After learning the basic notes and note lengths of music, we need to learn about rests and all the other symbols we will find in music. So, in order for us to get the best idea of these examples, we will use the following sample piece of music. This example was not created to sound remarkable but to include most of the common musical symbols.

At first you may notice the items you have already covered in the past lesson. These items include the time signature, bass clef, and tempo. You will notice each measure is numbered; these numbers are called measure numbers. In the first measure there is a 4 beat rest, or a whole rest. This means you will not play anything in this measure.

Measure 2 contains, in this order, a half rest for 2 beats, a quarter rest for one beat, an eighth rest for ½ of a beat, and two sixteenth rests, both for ¼ of a beat. If you add the respective values for each rest, you will get 4, which means you do not play for 4 beats (or the whole measure). In music, you will not see rests arranged in this manner; instead, you will see just another whole rest, but they have been included this way in the example so that you can see what each looks like. Measure 3 has a few odd symbols. The first beat is a quarter note with a dot next to it. This dot means to add half of that note to the total value. Since half of a quarter note is an eighth note, you add the value of the eighth note to that quarter note, so the total value would be three eighth notes, or one quarter note and one eighth note. You will notice that the dotted quarter note has a curved line connecting it to the next note. This symbol, referred to as a tie, means that you will add the values of both notes together and play them as one note without stopping. A dotted quarter tied to an eighth note has the same length as a half note. After the tie, there is a cluster of three notes grouped with a “3.” This means that regardless of what value an eighth note takes, you are going to play 3 eighth notes in this beat. These notes are called triplets and are a great way to grab the audience’s attention. The second note of our triplet has a small dot above the note; this does not mean to add half of the original note’s value. Instead, it means to play it “short and detached,” or staccato. This means the note will have space around it to make the note sound shorter than it really is. Audio clip of staccato playing. Measure 4 has a vibrato symbol on the 4 note, or the upbeat of beat 3. The vibrato symbol is a small, bold, wavy line above the music. Vibrato means you wiggle the string back and forth to rapidly raise and lower the pitch of the note; oftentimes, this will help to sound more in tune, but can take away from or add to the feeling of music if used. Too much vibrato can sound unpleasant, but just enough can really add to a song. The next symbol looks like a slash (/) and is called a slide. A slide is performed by plucking a note and sliding your finger up (/) or down (\) the fretboard. The bottom half of the example is called tablature. It consists of 6 lines, one for each string of your guitar, and has numbers on each line. These numbers show which fret to play. If numbers are stacked, they are chords. Tablature has many downfalls. Since every other instrument uses regular notation music, it is difficult and sometimes impossible for a guitarist to communicate with a flute or piano player. Tab is a quick way out, and because of that a lot of guitarists only know how to read tablature. Tab has its own symbols as well, but for the most part they are self-explanatory. If there are any confusing symbols used in further lessons, they will be explained.

Good luck with reading music! Digging some old sheet music out of your piano bench and trying to identify the different notes, lines, and symbols can only help you, so try your hand at reading music!

Bass Lesson 05 - The 12 Major Scales
Scales are the base of music theory. After you learn scales, you can more fully understand chord structures, arpeggios, improvisation and other countless concepts. Scales are a series of notes (usually 8 notes) that when played together produce a certain feel or mood. This article focuses on creating major scales. The first thing you need to know is how many notes there are to choose from in order to make your major scale. There are 12 different notes in music. When you play all of these notes one after another, you have what is called the chromatic scale. From one tone to another tone on the chromatic scale is called a semi tone, or half step. If you take one tone and add two tones, it is a full step. So, to create major scales, you follow the pattern: full, full, half, full, full, full, half. Look at the following illustration to get a better idea of what that means.

The top line is the C chromatic scale, while the bottom line is the C major scale. The distance between each note in the chromatic scale is a semi tone or half step. As you can see, the bottom scale doesn't have any sharps or flats; this makes C major an easy scale to play and learn. The bottom scale follows the major scale pattern discussed before: full, full, half, full, full, full, half. If you want to find the A major scale, then you write out the A chromatic scale and follow the pattern in the above picture to figure out what notes are in A major. So, how does this fit on a fretboard? To play the C major scale, follow along with the tablature and video closely. You will need to know that the strings are named E A D G sequentially, and each fret toward the bridge of the guitar will increase the pitch by one semi tone. First, take a look at this illustration to see how the notes lie on the fretboard.

Once you can play the Cmaj scale, take the pattern that you just played and move each note up by one fret, or one semitone. Now you have the C#maj scale, or the Dbmaj scale; they contain the same notes, just with different names. We will talk more about the nature of sharps and flats in the next lesson. The point is that you can move the pattern anywhere on the bass neck and have a major scale. To figure out what key the major scale is in, simply figure out the first note you are starting on; this is called the root. So, if you start on the 4th fret on the E string, you will have an Ab as your root note and follow the full, full, half, full, full, full, half pattern from that Ab to play the Abmaj scale. If you haven't quiet grasped the concept of patterns, imagine playing the Cmaj scale you just learned, and forget what fret you are on. Move your hand up or down and play the same pattern as if you were starting on the C note. The great thing about guitars is that you can physically play all of the major scales using the same scale pattern. The Emaj scale will feel and look the same as the Amaj scale, the only difference is what it sounds like and what fret you start on.

I recommend that you follow through with the video. As it is probably the first video you will watch to get started playing bass, it contains very valuable audible and visual information that you may miss out on if you skip it. And I also recommend you have fun!

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