Bass Guitar – Learning This Fundamental Instrument
For centuries, the double bass has been a fixture in concert halls and classical music around the world. But by the mid-20th century, bass players had new instruments to play. Designers shrunk and flipped the bass for a more convenient instrument to travel around. This version, also known as electric bass guitar, expanded into new genres like pop, hip-hop, jazz, rock, R & B and even old ones like classical music. While the best bassists don’t always come to mind, they remain the unsung heroes of rhythm.
What is a Bass Guitar?
This string instrument, built in an electric guitar’s style, produces lower frequencies when plucked. You’ll often hear a sound when a metal bass string vibrates with one or more magnetic pickups. The pickup then sends a signal to the amplifier over the instrument cable. The amplifier can hear the bass at a wide range of volumes.
How Many Strings Are There on a Bass Guitar?
Most of these guitars have four strings, but some players prefer the 5, 6, 7, and 8, string models. Traditionally, musicians tune the 4-string bass in quarters (very similar to guitar strings), and the specific tunings are:
- The highest (or first) string adjusted with G2 and known as G string.
- The second string adjusted to D2 and known as D string.
- The third-string adjusted to A1 and known as A string.
- The lowest (or fourth) string adjusted to E1 and known as E string.
- If your bass has the 5th string, you usually need to add a low note, and adjusted to B0.
- If the bass has the 6th string, it’s usually higher and adjusted to C3.
Bass Guitar Types
Similar to a guitar, you’ll also come across an acoustic bass. There’s a large hollow body and a hole through which vibrating air (sound) comes out. A hole is sometimes called an “f-hole” if it is shaped like an F.
The electric bass is the most commonly played. It has a solid body and typically four strings. To hear it, you need to connect your electric bass to your bass amp. Bass amplifiers function as powered speakers for your instrument to play louder volumes.
- Acoustic Electrics
This bass is similar to the acoustic and connected to an amp for better hearing in larger venues.
Almost like a violin-shaped guitar, this bass is partially hollow. Hofner’s Beetle Bass is a good example. Paul McCartney often plays semi-acoustic bass.
How Do You Play the Bass Guitar?
If you are already a guitarist, playing bass can come very fast. Both guitar and bass are traditionally grouped into the band’s rhythm section, but the guitar focuses on chord harmony while the bass syncs with the band’s drummer with an emphasis on basic sounds. That doesn’t mean you can’t be creative when playing bass. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Most bass players play the strings with their fingers (especially the index and middle fingers), but some, like guitarists, use picks.
- The notes on a 4-string electric bass are the same as the 4th string under an electric guitar but are expressed an octave lower, and the bass scale is longer.
- The walking baseline is pinned around the root notes in the code progression, but players can connect those routes.
The best way to learn this is from a teacher or trainer. Some teachers who offer guitar lessons also offer bass lessons, so it’s worth investigating. The good teachers can educate you on reading music, music theory and composition.
Written By: Anonymous Gooroo Blogger