Why Learn Bass Guitar?

Why learn to play bass guitar? After all, it’s the guitarists who get the admiration and glory, while the lowly bass players stand in the shadows. Can you name six famous bassists? Most people will have difficulty naming more than a couple, but they could probably name several famous guitarists with ease. Read more »

Bass Guitar Effects – Compressors, Limiters and Noise Gates

In this article we take a look at what are not really bass guitar effects, but units that help control your volume. More accurately called dynamic controllers they control the volume under various playing conditions. We will discuss three types of dynamic controllers: compressors, limiters and noise gates. Read more »

How to Memorize Every Note on the Bass Guitar Fretboard Easily

Learning where each note is on the bass guitar fretboard is essential if you want to become more than what I call a parrot player. I am talking about someone who learns the bass line for a song by ear and just plays it like a parrot. He doesn’t know which notes he is playing or what key the song is in. This person is really limited by his lack of knowledge. A good knowledge of the fretboard will make you much more versatile and put you in control of your playing. Read more »

Introduction to Slap Technique

Slap technique, or Slap Bass is a technique that was pioneered by Larry Graham. He was playing bass in his Mother’s band and wanted to add a percussive element to his playing to make up for the band not having a drummer. So Slapping and Popping (or Thumpin’ and Pluckin’ as he called) it was born. The technique was later copied and used by many famous bassists including Stanley Clarke, Les Claypool, Marcus Miller, Bootsy Collins and Flea to name but a few. Read more »

Playing Bass Guitar – 4 Techniques to Help You Sound Like a Pro

When playing bass guitar there are a few techniques you can use to instantly make you sound more professional. Playing the correct notes at the right time is important, but there is more to being a great bass player than just being able to hit the notes. Although not that difficult to do, it is amazing how many bass players don’t employ these techniques in their playing. Adding these skills to your repertoire will help you to begin developing your own unique playing style. Read more »

Bass Guitar Straps – Everything You Need to Know

Sooner or later you are going to need a bass guitar strap, so here are a few hints and tips about choosing and using one. Bass guitars tend to be heavier than regular guitars and you want it to be comfortable. Go for a strap that is at least 2-3 inches wide. This will spread the load over a greater area of your shoulder and will be much more comfortable than a skinny one. Read more »

Changing Bass Guitar Strings – How Often?

Over time, bass guitar strings gradually become dull and lifeless. Sweat and oil from your fingers and general dirt become trapped in the string windings. The acid in your sweat will attack the strings and gradually prevent them from vibrating as well as they did when new. Read more »

Choosing the Best Beginner Bass Guitar – The Perfect Body Part 2

The body is home for several components including the pickups, bridge, scratch plate or pick guard, controls and strap buttons. Read more »

Choosing the Best Beginner Bass Guitar – The Perfect Body Part 1

Just like the human body, the bass guitar body comes in many shapes and sizes. Some built for comfort, others for speed. So before you rush off to the music store to buy your first bass guitar, learn a little more about the body and what to consider when choosing a beginner bass guitar. Read more »

Tuning a Bass Guitar – Part 2 A couple of Methods

There are several methods you can use for tuning a bass guitar. In this first post we discuss two methods: how to tune to a piano and relative tuning. We will also talk about the pros and cons of each method. Read more »

Bass Guitar Effects – Multi-Effects Units

An alternative to the pedal board with several bass guitar effects pedals held on with Velcro is one of the multi-effects units on the market. As the name suggests, these are several, often dozens, of different effects units combined in a single box. Only one power supply needed, programmable patches so you can have a different sound for every song if you like. So are multi-effects units the way of the future? Read more »

Bass Guitar Effects – Modulation

In this article we look at modulation. The effects units in this article modulate or manipulate the original sound in some way to produce a different sound. We will look at the three most common types of effects in this category: Chorus, Phase Shifters and Flangers. Read more »

Bass Guitar Effects – Echo, Delay and Reverb

Echo, delay and reverb are bass guitar effects that when used properly can add a little depth and interest to your sound. These types of effects are probably more suited to recording than for live performances. In rooms with poor acoustics, you will be trying your hardest to reduce echo and reverb, not add to it. However, these effects units do have their place in a bass player’s box of tricks and so lets take a little look at what they do. Read more »

Bass Guitar Effects – An Introduction

If you have been playing bass guitar for a while, you may be thinking about spicing up your sound. The easiest way to do this is by using bass guitar effects. Although effects units can be rack-mounted, the most popular ones are pedals or Stomp Boxes. They have the advantage for live playing as you can switch them on and off with your feet while playing. Apart from helping to shape your sound and make it distinctive, you will also improve your tap-dancing skills. Read more »

Choosing Your First Bass Guitar Amplifier

If you have a solid-bodied bass guitar you are going to need an amplifier. As usual, there are a few choices to be made such as tube or solid state, combo or separate components, power output, speaker size. To help you make your decision, this article describes which options you should consider before purchasing your bass guitar amplifier. Read more »

Bass Guitar Lessons – Funky Chops

Bass guitar lessons available on the Internet are growing in popularity for a number of reasons:

  • there may not be a suitable teacher in your area;
  • your schedule may make it difficult to make appointments at a set time;
  • private tuition can be very expensive.

Consequently, there are a growing number of instructional videos, CDs, and books now available on the Internet. Unfortunately, these products are not all created equal and while some are great, others are not worth bothering with. Read more »

Bass Guitar Practice Tips

Bass guitar practice may not be something that you look forward to, but the only way to get better at anything is to practice. It doesn’t matter how expensive your equipment is, if you don’t practice, you will not improve. The skills you do have will deteriorate. Now I know that the thought of practicing scales for hours at a time doesn’t make you want to rush over and pick up your bass, does it. Well practice needn’t be dull and boring, and shouldn’t be. Read more »

Bass Guitar Maintenance – The Neck and Fretboard

Cleaning the neck and fretboard is a part of bass guitar maintenance that needs doing periodically. If it is lacquered, the back of the neck can be cleaned with guitar polish. Just spray a little on a soft cloth and give the neck a good wipe. If it is not lacquered an application of beeswax will keep it in good condition. Read more »

Which Bass Guitar Strings Are Best For Me?

Choosing bass guitar strings can be a daunting experience. There are many different types available and although the perfect strings for you are out there somewhere, finding them is not always easy. Bass guitar strings are quite expensive, so you do not want to be wasting your hard-earned money on the wrong choices. Read more »

Tuning a Bass Guitar – Part 1 The Basics

You have brought your shiny new bass guitar home and the first thing you should learn is how to tune it. Even if it was tuned perfectly before you left the music store, chances are it will be out of tune slightly by the time you get it home. Tuning will be affected by many things such as temperature, humidity and the chances are that sliding it in and out of the case or gig bag will disturb one or more of the tuning pegs. Read more »

Choosing the Best Beginner Bass Guitar – The Neck

The bass guitar neck is a vital part of the instrument and should be chosen with care. Get it right and playing your new bass will be an enjoyable experience. Get it wrong and you may find yourself fighting with the instrument and it will hinder your progress. A little neck knowledge will help you make a better decision when choosing a beginner bass guitar. Read more »

Do You Want to Know How to Play Bass?

Do you watch your favorite band and wish you could play as well as their bass player? Well you can if you are really determined. It will take a lot of hard work and lots of practice, but you can learn how to play bass guitar. It is important to get on the correct path as soon as possible and there is no better way than to benefit from the experience of an expert. Read more »

Choosing the Best Beginner Bass Guitar – How many strings?

There was a time when bass guitars came with only 4 strings and choosing a new beginner bass guitar was relatively simple. Now 5 and 6 string instruments are commonplace and the choice is not as easy. Here are several points to consider before buying your first bass guitar. Read more »

Before You Begin to Learn Bass Guitar…

Just as with learning any new skill, learning bass guitar requires some preparation. Obviously you will need a bass guitar and amplifier, but there are a few other points to consider. Sure, you are itching to start playing, but before you begin to learn bass guitar take a little time now to read about 4 small things that you can do that will make your progress faster and smoother. Read more »

Tuning a Bass Guitar – Part 3 Using Harmonics.

Continuing our discussion of the various methods of tuning a bass guitar, this post talks about an advanced method involving the use of harmonics. At several points along the strings, it is possible to produce bell-like sounds known as harmonics. These harmonics can be used to tune to a high degree of accuracy. Read more »

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