1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Effective ways of learning the notes on the bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by AlexTheInsane, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. AlexTheInsane


    Oct 7, 2010
    I know a lot about technique and everything that comes a long with that, but I skipped over learning the actual notes. So, I am going back to basics.

    I was a brass player before learning to play bass, so I know how to read music and the theory behind it.

    I also have a bass teacher, but he sees me as more of an intermidate player, so we focus more on technique and studio work.

    I want to be able to look at a piece of music and know where the note is exactly on the fretboard, so my question is: What is the most effective way of learning and memorizing the notes on the fretboard?
  2. moka


    Apr 26, 2011
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    just go up and down the fret board on each string and say the notes out loud as you press each note. Do this everyday for a week and you'll have it. Worked for me. After a week, my teacher could randomly point to any note on the fret board and I could name it. Eventually, you'll "see" the notes when you look at your fret board..if that makes sense.
  3. Since you already know how to read standard notation and now just need to know where the notes are on the fretboard. Our 4 string bass has three full octaves if you have 22 frets. Here is a site that will show you where the notes are in each of those three octaves.

    Go here: Bass Clef Fretboard Notes and click on Bass Clef Notes on the Fretboard pdf 545kb

    The three octaves become clear on that last site.

    Go here. Bass Lessons : Reading Music for a complete tutorial on reading standard notation.

    Good luck.
  4. +1

    I call it "Say it and play it" with my students.

    We start with very simple pieces in first position, and as my students play the notes they are reading, they are calling them out by name. It does work. You really need to trick your mind into making the arbitrary connection between the physical note on the instrument, the dot on the staff, and a letter of the alphabet.
  5. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    If you already know how to read music, I would just get some stuff to read and practice it. I generally use Bottesini double bass method with students that already know how to play but want to learn to read, but that's mainly because I have it. You could use a lot of other books, but if you can find it it's pretty good in my opinion. The etudes are not too boring and they're sorted by keys.
  6. rocknrollmouse


    Jan 2, 2012
    I read a Charles Mingus interview where recommended as a practice exercise imagine what the note sounds like before playing it. So read your note, imagine it, play it, correct it. The last step is the vital one, there;s something about correcting things that helps us learn.

    Another exercise I use is to pick a note, and play it where it occurs on the bass (eg bottom A occurs twice). Once you've done this then learn their octaves as well.

  7. Essexbass


    Nov 8, 2003
    Reading, U.K.
    There's a YouTube video by Joe Hubbard (he's on YouTube as JoeHubbardBass) and the name of the video is called Random Note Finder.

    I've been using that (without a metronome) and it's really helped me improve my knowledge of the fingerboard.
  8. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
  9. gleventhal


    Nov 30, 2011
    Here's my take.. Their are only two sets of notes that have no Sharp or Flat note between them... B and C ........and............E and F......... the only letters are ABCDEFG Sharp means the not above, Flat means the note below... G# (sharp) is the note right above G (one fret higher) Gb (flat) is the note right below G, one fret lower. From thickest to thinnest string you have E A D G ... learn to count from the Open E, up to the 11th fret.. At the 12th fret (double dot) it begins over again, it is E, but it is the E one octave higher than the open string... Remember EF and BC no space between, now count up the next on each string... first use Sharp names, then use flat names..

    E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# (E)
    A A# B C .....ETC....


    E F Gb G Ab A Bb B C Db D Eb (E)
  10. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Well ... since you know how to read and you should know by now that your bass is tuned EADG ... the last thing you need to know is that each fret is a half step ...

    hint : the open note and the 5 first frets on the E strings it goes : E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A etc ...
  11. AlexTheInsane


    Oct 7, 2010
    Thank you everyone who replied!
    I really appreciate it.

Share This Page