What is the big deal about learning the notes on a bass?
Bass 101 say “learn the notes!” period, end of statement. Learning the notes on bass guitar is essential to playing bass, its bass 101! Trying to play the bass without knowing the notes is like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel. Eventually you will crash and burn.
When you are playing in band, you will have to know the chords the guitarist is playing. The job of the bass player is to provide rhythmic support, and provide a foundation for the chords. Let’s face it the reason you are learning bass, is so you can play in a band. It’s hard to sit around a campfire, play bass guitar and sing, it’s just not right.
So you are going to play with other people, that is established. In order to speak the same language as the guitarist and keyboard player you must know the bass string notes. These notes along the fret board are called “root notes”. Like the name says, all chords originate from these notes. As a bass player you can get by just playing the root notes and many bass players do just that. However, if you want to take you’re playing to the next level you will need to throw in some bass chords.
Alright already what are these notes!
Well here they are……………
This is all 48 notes on the bass, and I threw in the 11th fret just to make it 52. So now your saying to yourself, “how will I learn 52 notes?” Well I got news for you, there is more. Most bass’s have 21 – 24 frets, so this can be up to 96 notes!!
Enough! This sounds way to complicated!
Where does the madness end you might say. The madness stops here. You can learn the quickly memorize the notes on bass following some simple rules and throwing on a new product called Axetape.
You just throw this on your Bass and next thing you know all the bass notes pop out at you. (See the picture to the left). Axetape provides a great visual reference to help you memorize the fast!. Check it out at www.axetape.com.
Step 1: Throw on Axetape
Step 2: Start to memorize the notes
To learn the notes on bass guitar break down each note into one day. Take a look at the picture above. There are 7 primary notes in the musical alphabet. A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Look at the picture again and notice that the notes for bass guitar are located on each string. The notes start at the nut (near the head stock). The standard tuning for bass guitars (which you will use 90% of the time) is E, A, D, G. Start with the E string (this is the thickest string and should be the closest to your chin). Follow the A,B,C,D,E,F,G alphabet.