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Bass Guitar

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Extending Notes with Dots and Ties

All notes have a certain value, indicated by the size and shape of the note, that determines how long a pitch should be held by the voice or an instrument. Sometimes, however, you want to add to the value [more…]

Understanding Simple and Compound Time Signatures

Written music always contains a time signature, which looks like a fraction and is found at the beginning of a piece of music. In the time signature, the upper number represents the number of beats per [more…]

Measuring the Distance between Pitches with Intervals

The distance between two musical pitches is called an interval. Intervals are important to music because they build scales and chords. In other words, music gets its richness from intervals. Composers [more…]

Creating Music with Chord Progressions

A chord progression is a group of chords that you use to create music. Some chord progressions just sound better than others, so it pays to experiment. The following table, which shows commonly used major-key [more…]

Essential Elements of a Successful Bass Guitar Practice Session

Cooking up a successful practice session on your bass guitar requires specific ingredients. Otherwise, you may spend half a day noodling away without making much progress. Here is a list of drills and [more…]

The Cradle of the Bass Groove

When the electric bass guitar became a commercial success with the introduction of Leo Fender's Fender Precision Bass in 1951, musicians were trying hard to find a unique niche for the voice of this revolutionary [more…]

Beatles Bass Guitar Techniques at a Glance

The Beatles hold a special place in music as Sir Paul McCartney forever enhanced the role of the bass guitar in modern songs. When you're in a session or on stage and need to make a snap decision about [more…]

Practicing Bass Guitar with a Phrase Sampler (Looper)

You can buy a multitude of bass guitar gadgets, but the question you always want to ask yourself is, "Will this make me a better bass player?" One gadget that's guaranteed to make you a better player and [more…]

What Are the Parts of a Bass Guitar?

You can call it a bass guitar, an electric bass, an electric bass guitar, or just a bass. All these labels crop up in discussions of music and musical instruments, and you may encounter individuals who [more…]

How to Adjust the Straps on Your Bass Guitar

When you strap on your bass guitar for the first time, sit down to do it. Adjusting the strap is easier this way. Ideally, the strings of the bass should cross over your belly button at a slight angle [more…]

How to Position Your Left-Hand on a Bass Guitar

You want your left hand to cover one fret per finger without causing any undue stress. By using one finger per fret on your bass guitar, you set up your hand to execute almost any musical figure without [more…]

How to Position Your Right Hand on a Bass Guitar for Finger-Style Playing

The name finger-style refers to your striking the strings on your bass guitar with the index and middle fingers of your right hand. You can hear this style in country, rock, jazz, and funk — and just about [more…]

How to Position Your Right Hand on a Bass Guitar for Pick-Style Playing

Some players prefer to use a pick rather than their fingers to produce a note. Because the strings on a bass guitar are much heavier than those on a guitar, your bass pick needs to be heavier as well. [more…]

How to Position Your Right Hand on a Bass Guitar for Slap-Style Playing

The technique of playing slap-style or thumb-styleon a bass guitar is to strike a low string with the side of your thumb, giving it a percussive sound [more…]

Scales and Chords You Need to Know for Playing Bass Guitar

Bass guitarists choose notes from a scale, an orderly ascending or descending sequence of notes, to create their music. The most commonly used scales have seven notes, beginning with the [more…]

How to Find the Notes on the Neck on Your Bass Guitar

Any of your patterns (except for the open E and A scales) work in all keys on the bass guitar. Because you can transpose these patterns to any key, all you have to do is nail the root with the proper finger [more…]

How to Identify Intervals on Your Bass Guitar

An interval is the distance between two notes on a bass guitar. For example, in the scale of C, the distance from the root C up to F is four notes (C, D, E, F), so the interval is called a 4th. When you [more…]

Reference Pitch Sources You Can Use to Tune Your Bass Guitar When Playing Alone

When you're playing alone, it doesn't matter whether you're bass guitar is in tune with the rest of the universe, but you do need to have all your strings in tune with each other if you want your music [more…]

Reference Pitch Sources You Can Use to Tune Your Bass Guitar When Playing with Others

When you play with other musicians, you need to get your bass in tune with their instruments. You can tune all your strings by comparing them individually with the appropriate note of the same pitch from [more…]

How to Tune the Bass Guitar to Itself with the 5th-Fret Tuning Method

The 5th-fret tuning method is the most common method for tuning bass guitars. If you're playing with other people, be sure to get a reference pitch for the E string [more…]

How to Tune the Bass Guitar to Itself with the 7th-Fret Tuning Method

The 7th-fret method is similar to the 5th-fret method for tuning a bass guitar, but it works in reverse (from high to low). You need to tune your G string [more…]

How to Tune the Bass Guitar to Itself with the Harmonics Tuning Method

Harmonics are notes that sound naturally on a string when you lightly touch it at certain points on the bass guitar and then strike it with your right hand. Because the bass strings sound so low, the higher [more…]

How to Warm-Up on the Bass Guitar with Right-Hand Same-String Strokes

When you play notes on the same string of the bass guitar, you need to be able to alternate between your index and middle fingers so you can play notes in rapid succession and with an even tone. The following [more…]

How to Warm-Up on the Bass Guitar with Right-Hand Accents

The following steps take you one step closer to creating music on your bass guitar and introduces accents into your playing. For musicians, accents refer to making some of the notes you play stick out [more…]

How to Warm-Up on the Bass Guitar with Right-Hand String Crossing

The final stage of the right-hand warm-up for the bass guitar is called string crossing. How do you cross the strings? It's really, very straightforward. Just remember the following rules: [more…]

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