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Cheat Sheet

Bass Guitar Exercises For Dummies

From Bass Guitar Exercises For Dummies by Patrick Pfeiffer

Playing bass guitar well, much like playing any other musical instrument, requires practice. And how do you practice? You play exercises, often over and over, until you master them. Fun, no? You'll have an easier time mastering bass guitar exercises if you understand how to read music and tablature and have a basic understanding of common bass grooves.

Bass Guitar Common Groove Skeleton, Groove Apex, and Groove Tail Placements

Playing the bass guitar well means playing grooves. Everyone loves groovy bass rhythms. Using the following figures (and lots of practice), you can play a perfectly authentic groove in just about any of the main musical genres. Best of all, you can do so using the same set of notes for each of the grooves. These grooves fit over any major, minor, or dominant chord. One size fits all.

Grooves for multiple music genres.
Grooves for multiple music genres.

Ambiguous Harmony Box for major, minor, and dominant chords.
Ambiguous Harmony Box for major, minor, and dominant chords.

Tablature for notes.
Tablature for notes.

Click here to download and print this article's exercises and diagrams.

Bass Guitar Music: Note Names and Values

Knowing how to read music really helps if you want to play bass guitar. The following figures present your main rhythms (with rest symbols included free of charge) and the note names on the fingerboard of your bass. You also see how the notes correspond to written music and tablature. With these figures, you now have the tools to start reading music, literally becoming literate — on bass, that is.

Note values and corresponding rests.
Note values and corresponding rests.

Notes on the bass fingerboard.
Notes on the bass fingerboard.

How musical notes correspond to tablature.
How musical notes correspond to tablature.

Click here to download and print this tablature and fingerboard diagram.

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