Locating notes on the neck.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Feda, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I've purchased Ed Friedlands book - Building Walking Bass Lines. I've also, for the first time in my life decided that I'm to transcribe and have encountered a problem.
    How do I know if the note A is to be played on open string, 5th fret on 4th string, 7th on 2nd etc? I actually have this problem with all pitches, but I want to keep it simple so that maybe some of you can easily explain this to me.

    Help is greatly appretiated!

  2. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    That did clear up things yes. But isn't it really hard knowing which one to choose when sight reading? But I quess if I have praticed reading enough that I'm able to sight read well, knowing where to put my fingers wouldnt be a problem any more:)
  3. Where you play any give note really depends on where you played the notes before it. Its really all about minimizing your shifting and movement when you pick the hand position you are gonna use.
  4. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'd say the tone you get from each spot on the neck also plays a major role. Even if it was much easier to finger, I generally wouldn't play a line beyond the 12th fret on the E string, and sometimes about the first 5 frets on the G string might sound a bit weak for what I want to do.
  5. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    PortraitofTracy : good point! So sometimes I have to choose from dynamic/melodic reasons, not just because it's the easiest fingering..?
  6. dTune


    Feb 28, 2004
    The things that matter the most are how easily you can play the note (i.e. after a fast arpeggio it might be easier to play A from the 5th fret of E than just the free A).
    The other thing is that free A has a lot better sustain than 5th of E.
    So, what was said before (after the 12th fret the sound and sustain suffers), is a good advice, but always consider these two conditions.

    Note: I am not an expert bassist, so don't take my advice too seriously. These things work for me... Though I don't think anyone minds if I give an option to try out.
  7. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    dTune : you'r advice is greatly appretiated!
  8. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Well, I always figure that the A that appears on the bottom space on the staff (above the bottom line) is the A that is played at 5th fret of the 4th string / open 3rd string (same note) and that the A that is the top line on the staff is the A that is 2nd fret on the 1st string or 7th fret on the 2nd string. That way the 1st ledger line below the standard bass staff is my low E and the first ledger line above is my high C (my 1st string, 5th fret - a six stringers 1st string) That way, the range of the bass guitar fits on the bass staff pretty nicely. Am I wrong about this guys - is there more flexibility in these things?
  9. I'm basically self-taught. Here's what totally changed my perception of note fingering:

    Root - Fifth - Octave positioning

    This thing is pretty universal as it applies to everything from rock to pop to funk to blues to jazz to country.

    Take, for example, the note "G":


    Your index finger plays the note on the E string (the root), your ring finger plays the note on the A string (the fifth) and your pinky plays the note on the D string (the octave). You don't play a chord (though you can if you want to in the higher frets - this is how you play perfect 5th power chords), but you "keep them handy" in case you play certain intervals.

    This is handy for example if you're familiar with the fret positions on the E string but not on the D string - Just use the "root - fifth - octave" positioning and you instantly can find the octave above note on the D string.

    It's also handy for blues and a lot of rock, where you play root - fourth - fifth positions. since the 4th is just the same fret on the adjacent string to your root, you either move your index finger there or slide your ring finger a couple frets away.

    Practive playing root-fifth-octave notes and you'll develop a way to play your scale in a "box" pattern, which is what guitarists use but for bass it's MUCH easier since all strings are a 4th apart.
  10. Well im also a beginner so I just have a simple question. That whole root- fifth - octave... it only works on the E string right? Is there any other things for the other strings? Thanks a bunch.
  11. No! that's the beauty of it! It works for ALL strings...though if you try it on the D string (on a 4-string bass), you can't hit the octave because there's only one more string left. But you can do a "root-fifth."

    I just used the E string as an example. I figured if you're learning which frets play whichever notes, that you'll start with the E string. Try it on the other strings. You'll get the hang of things quickly.
  12. Thanks so much. I've been really busy lately so I havn't been playing much but I apprecaite the help. Thanks again.