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Help Reading Partitions & Tabs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Spx, May 6, 2001.

  1. Which fret to choose?

    1 vote(s)
  2. which string to choose?

    0 vote(s)
  1. Spx


    May 6, 2001

    I am starting to learn bass & I currently have a small difficulty reading part & tabs.

    When I read a part I got the reading but when I have to translate it to the bass I got lost in the
    different possibilities for playing a note.

    For example a D.
    There is differents possibilities if you consider the tab. But whent I read the partition I read always
    the same note. How do I have to do in order to understand which cord & which fret do I have to use?

    Is there some rule or do I choose the D note that is the most easier for me to play??

    Could you give me a hint?
  2. i myself cant read music, but i think i know what your getting at. i say, just use whatever is most comfortable for the riff. the 5th fret on E is the same as an open A, and it goes like that down the bass(which im sure you already knew), so if its easier to just hit the A, do it. but, if its easier to go to the 5th E, do that. whatever works and is easiest to play and most comfortable(and sounds right) is the best IMO.
  3. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Hope this helps. Assuming you are playing a 4 string bass tuned EADG. The lowest D notes are found at: The open D string, A string at 5th fret, E string at 10th fret. This is the same note at the same octave and so you could play it at whatever spot is easiest. If you move higher up the fretboard, D string at 12th fret, A string at 17th fret, E string at 22nd fret (if you have 22frets), or G string at 7th fret, then you are playing a D at one octave higher. G string at 19th fret puts you yet another octave higher. See the relationship? You should learn how to play scales all over the fretboard, and use your ears and you will learn where the notes are. Also, learn to read bass clef.
  4. Spx


    May 6, 2001
    Thanks a lot Mike for your info it makes things clearer,

    If I got everything you said this means that on the neck there will be 3 octaves for a D. Right?
    However I still have a small question when reading a partition in bass clef how do you
    understand by reading that you should play the octave 1 or octave 2 or 3?
    Do you have to trust your ear or is there a precise hint to let you know this?
  5. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    When reading bass clef, one ledger line below the staff is low E on your 4 string bass.

    E --

    So the next E, in the space between D and F is the next octave higher which would be played at the A string 7th fret, D string 2nd fret or E string 12th fret.

    I just looked at the jpeg you posted. The A notes on the example are your lowest A and would be played either open A string or E string at 5th fret.
  6. Ziggy


    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    As an addendum to the previous;

    The 'E' in the last bar would be on the 'A' string at the 7th fret or; depending which is more comfortable and works best, the 2nd fret of the 'G' string.

    The next 'A', 2nd octave, would be located at the very last / top line on your staff.jpg. Notes above that continue up the neck. Also, for easier reading, you may see the designation (8va). Of which indicates the notes are to be played above the octave... or; as you mention, in the 3rd octave. Typically, above and / or around the 12th fret.

    Finally, while an 'A' played on the 'E' string at the 5th fret is 'technically' the same as an open 'A', a closed note is usually cleaner and somewhat smooth sounding than the open 'A'.... ziggy

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