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General Questions About Playing Notes on Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by nycdweller, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. nycdweller


    Mar 9, 2006
    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this forum and I'm interested in learning how to play the bass guitar. I have almost no knowledge of string instruments so please excuse my questions. I understand slightly the mechanics of playing a piano because as a child I took lessons for a very brief period of time. I understand that the notes are created on the left hand of a right handed guitar and the right hand plays the notes. Are notes created on a bass guitar with one finger or a couple of fingers on the left hand? I ask this question because I have seen pics of people holding the bass and it is hard to determine if they are pressing down on one string or a numbers of strings. As for the right hand, what string or strings are being plucked or strummed while the left hand is created the notes? Once again I have never held or played a bass guitar before so I apologize if my questions come across as naive. Thanks for your help.

  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
  3. nycdweller


    Mar 9, 2006
    Hi Xgabriel,

    I'm unable to view the link that you posted. All I see is a blank page. I've even tried copying and pasting it into the url without any results.
  4. There are many variations, subtleties, and nuances. And if you hang around here long enough, you will learn that anything stated as a "fact" will be disputed by someone!

    But from a very basic point of view (using a right handed approach):

    The fingers of the right hand are used to pluck the strings. Usually the index and middle fingers are used, although some players use a pick (or plectrum.)

    Typically the fingers pluck only one string at a time. Although chords can and are played on the bass, typically only one note sounds at a time.

    These same fingers, or others, can also be used to stop the strings from vibrating after they have been plucked. This shortens the duration of the note.

    The fingers of the left hand are used to depress the strings. The string is stopped at the fret where it is pressed, so essentially the string is made shorter when a note is fretted. This controls the pitch of the note that is heard.

    Typically one finger is used to depress the string - which one depends primarily on what notes preceed and follow the one being played. The other fingers of the left hand may contribute by muting the strings which are not being played at the moment.

    Of course there are exceptions to all this - these are not "rules" but just a description of what happens "most of the time."
  5. nycdweller


    Mar 9, 2006
    Thanks alot Cristo. I appreciate your help. Your commentary was very helpful.
  6. Torch7


    May 7, 2005
    Austin, Texas
  7. nycdweller


    Mar 9, 2006
    Thank you Torch7. I appreciate you. You guys are wonderful. This is a great forum.
  8. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    Print this out and hang it on the wall in your practice area...

    Fretboard Diagram

    Use 8 1/2 by 14 inch paper if you can. I created this large so that is can be seen clearly.
  9. Torch7


    May 7, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    No problem...