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!  

How To Start

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by DukeFan33, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. DukeFan33


    Apr 20, 2010
    Hi everyone! I am a beginner bassist, and I am really trying to learn. I've been looking at some stuff posted online and I have been trying to practice some of the things posted in the "Free lessons" thread at the top of this forum.

    I still feel lost though. I'd like to learn a few things before I go out and get an official lesson....do you have any suggestions for a book or a DVD that has good step by step instructions for learning? I have little to no musical experience so I feel lost.

  2. www.studybass.net is a good place to spend some time.

    Learn your fretboard so you know where the notes are.
    You will be playing chord tones (notes of the chord) If the song is in the key of C your chords will probably revolve around the C F and G chords. Find a C note on the A string of your fretboard - hint look at the A string 3rd fret. That should be your C note Where is the F? Where is the G? Yep it's going to be easy.

    Playing chord tones - C scale is made of:
    scale degree 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Scale note....C, D, E, F, G, A, B

    Playing Roots only over the C chord. C is your root. Play R-R-R-R or C-C-C-C.
    Playing Root - 5 over the C chord. Play R-5, R-5, R-5, or C-G, C-G, C-G
    Playing over the C chord a bass line of R-3-5-3 works well. That would be the C-E-G-E notes.
    When the F chord enters the song that same R-3-5-3 will work again. Now that is the F-A-C-A notes.
    When the G chord enters the song that same R-3-5-3 will work again. Now that is the G-B-D-B notes.
    So.... makes since to put that R-3-5-3 to muscle memory. Get your head around that. Place the root and away you go.

    OK helps to know where C's scale degree notes are on your fretboard -- hang on.....

    C is your root or 1. Find it on the 3rd string.
    Where is the 2 or D? Same string up two frets.
    Where is the 3 or E? Up a string and back one fret.
    Where is the 4 or F? Up a string same fret.
    Where is the 5 or G? Up a string and over two frets. Or just below the root note one string down.
    Where is the 6 or A? Up two strings and back one fret - right over the 3.
    Where is the 7 or B? Up two strings and over one.

    That same pattern repeats itself all over your fretboard. The 5th degree of any scale is - from the root up a string and over two frets. Likewise the 3rd degree is up a string and back one fret. Neat thing - if your root is on the 3rd string the 4 is right above the root on the same fret and the 5 is right below the root on the same fret or --- up a string and over two frets. Pay your money and take your choice. Put that to memory and your fretboard will not be a mystery.

    Play with that - get to know your fretboard - find your R-3-5-3 on the I IV & V chords in the following scales. Should explain why I said I IV V and not 1 4 5. Chords are written using Roman numbers. Notes are written using Arabic numbers. Helps us know what we are reading. Chords or notes.
    G scale's notes are G, A, B, C, D, E, F# The chords you will probably run into will be the I (G), IV (C) & V (D) chords.
    D scale's notes are D, E, F#, G, A, B, C# The chords you will probably run into will be the D G & A chords.
    A scale's notes are A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G# The chords you will probably run into will be the A D & E chords.
    E scale's notes are E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D# The chords you will probably run into will be the E A & B chords.

    Find the Root, 3rd, and 5th degree of those scales on your fretboard. That and www.studybass.net should give you a good start for your lessons. What I've given you can be studied with or with out a bass in your hands.

    Have fun. Questions - just ask.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    If you are starting from scratch, then I'd recommend the book "Bass Guitar for Dummies". Dont be put off by the "D" word. It is a great book IMO that covers everything a beginner needs to know to give him/her a good foundation. The first thing I would work on is left and right hand technique.

    If you can afford some lessons from a good teacher, that would be better. That is the best way to get off to a good start.

    Good luck with it. :)
  4. Your public library may have Bass Guitar for Dummies. Yes good selection.
  5. MetroBass


    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    Good references:

    Studybass.net (For Bass, start from the beginning)

    Musictheory.net (For Music Theory)
  6. First, welcome to fat string confraternity.

    Second, +1 to all of the above. I found stuff in the "Dummies" book that I didn't know after 30 years of playing.

    Third, consider starting lessons sooner, not later. Set some goals for yourself and take them to your teacher. I bet you'll find that (with practice) your skills will grow exponentially when you work with a good teacher.

    Fourth, have fun!

    Good luck!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.