How to Play Bass Guitar Like a Pro!! ( Newbie Guide)

Learning to play any musical instrument brings with it a feeling of satisfaction. It is a lifelong adventure that makes you feel complete, fun, and fulfilled.

The love of music is nothing compared with being part of the music team. When you see people enjoy what you are offering, it makes you enjoy and understand music more. 

Although beginners are advised to start their guitar lessons with acoustic guitar, you can decide to take it a notch higher.

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Bass guitar provides rhythm, low end, drive, punch, and groove in different music genres. He is the second person in the 'rhythm section' apart from the drummer. This makes him a very important member of any music team. 

Although all guitars have strings, the best bass guitar strings are a bit different. Bass guitar has four strings that have different notes.

The strings have no difference with the tuning of the lower four strings of a normal guitar. For that reason, the first lesson you need to learn if you want to be a bass guitarist is the notes of the strings. They are named as follows:

  • The 4th string is the thickest, and it is tuned to E. This is usually referred to as the 'low E String,’ and it is the lowest or the deepest bass note that can be played. 
  • Guitarists refer to the ‘A string’ as the 3rd string, which is tuned to A. 
  • The 2nd string is as well identified as the ‘D string’ as it is tuned at D. The 1st string is the thinnest and is also known as the ‘G string’ as it is usually tuned at G.

Although the strings are very much the same as those of an ordinary guitar, their octave is a bit lower. In simple terms, these notes sound lower and deeper and hence the bass sound. 

NB: As a beginner, you are advised to start first by playing the 4th or the E string. Once you familiarize yourself with it, you can drop down to the 3rd, then to the second, and finally to the 1st. However, first, stick to the E string until you are comfortable with making further progress. 

Tuning your guitar

Once you have learnt the different notes on a bass guitar, the second step will be learning how to tune it. Tuning a bass guitar is not very easy for a beginner; however, with much practice, it will become easier. When playing with other musicians, it is very important to tune your guitar to produce better results. 

Tuning a guitar is not only beneficial for the audience and other bandmates but also to you as an individual. This is because; it enhances your learning process. The pitching of a bass guitar is usually an octave lower than that of an ordinary guitar. The tuning is, however, the same with the 4 lower strings of a standard guitar (E, A, D, and G).

If you are playing with other guitarists who are already in tune, tuning your own will be much easier. All you need to do is to request them to play the lower 4 strings then listen to them. slowly turn the tuning pegs of your guitar and match their pitch. 

If you are playing with a pianist, they will also come in handy. All that you’ll need to do is to request them to juggle with the tuning notes. Once you’ve got the tune, turn your tuning pegs until the two agree. Alternatively, you can download several available Smartphone apps that assist in guitar tuning. 

How to read bass tabs

This is another way of moving from a beginner to an advanced bass guitar player. The bass tab or bass tablature is a music notation that simplifies the learning of playing bass guitar. This is available through bass magazines, books, and various online websites. 

Although reading the bass tabs is not a major part of a beginner learning to play bass guitar, it comes in handy for advanced guitarists. This is the easiest and fast way of learning how to play different songs.

The bass tab shows the strings found on a bass guitar, and the notes are indicated as fret numbers on strings. Most bass guitars have between 20 to 24 frets. Hence, the fret numbers usually start from 0 to 24. 

Mastering the notes and how the frets are played might be a big challenge for beginners. However, it is the greatest and the best option for advanced guitarists who want to know how to play different songs using a bass guitar. 

Tips of practicing to play bass guitar

  • Practice daily and not for less than 30 minutes. 
  • Find some private time without any distractions.
  • Technique exercises should be the priority.
  • Find a rhythm device that you can practice with like; play-along recording, a drum machine, or a metronome.
  • Start slowly and speed up the tempo with time.
  • Have a practice log for keeping track of your progress.

Conclusion

Nothing good comes easy. Therefore, once you set your mind to taking the lessons in bass guitar playing, be vigilant and hard working. Don’t allow anything to distract your concentration, and no matter how difficult it seems, don’t give a bow. 

Learning to play any musical instrument and becoming a pro can bring a great change for the rest of your life. This can become your career moving from one country to the other playing in gigs and for different musicians.

At the same time, you can decide to become a trainer teaching other people to sharpen their skills in guitar playing. Therefore, if you have a passion for playing bass guitar or any other musical instrument, don’t hesitate to begin. 

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  • Chase
  • Updated 3 weeks ago
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