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Learn Your Bass Fretboard With These 6 Tips

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6 Tips to Help You Learn Your Bass Fretboard…

Learning your fretboard is a great way to learn your bass, play confidently in any situation, and be able to identify where different notes are and what they sound like.

I am going to give you some simple tips for learning your fretboard in any tuning that you choose. I am going to have a future video on playing bass in standard tuning so make sure you keep an eye out for that!

In this video, I am playing a 5 string fretted bass. No matter what kind of bass you play you will be able to easily learn how to navigate your fretboard.

TUNINGS

Tunings do matter when it comes to playing your bass. This ensures that the notes sound correct when played whether you are playing to your favorite song, writing a song, or playing with other musicians you want to make sure you are in tune. 

Now for this video, I am going to tune in standard tuning. 

We are starting from the thinnest string further away from you is G. 

The string next to it is D. The string next to D, is A and finally the thickest string closer to you is the E (if playing a 4-string bass). 

If you are playing a 5 string bass, the thickest string next to E is going to be B. 

WHOLE STEPS AND HALF STEPS
These are important because they tell you the distance between notes. 

When we have a half step between frets they are only one fret away whereas a whole step is two frets away.

On the D string, if we are going from the A note (7th fret) to A?/B? (8th fret), that is a half-step away from each other. If you are going from A (7th fret) to B (9th fret) that is a whole step.

OCTAVES
this could arguably be considered the first step in learning your fretboard, but learning your octaves is one of the easiest things to learn. 

Each of your open strings, no matter what tuning you are in, is going to be the same note as your 12th fret.

For example, if you are playing in standard tuning your open D string is going to be the same note as the 12th fret on that string which is also D. This note is just played an octave higher.

Now keeping this in mind, the next note after D is D?/E?. this note is going to be the same distance from the D note since they are only a half-step apart. This means that not only is  D?/E? the first fret on the D string but it is also the 13th fret since they are an octave or 12 notes apart. 

Continue this with the other notes on the strings.

FIFTHS

These are other metrics to make sure that you are in tune and know the notes on your fretboard. The fifth fret on each string is the same note as the string next to it. 

In standard tuning, if I am playing the G (5th fret on the D string), guess what that is the same note and tone as the G string next to it. 

You would do this across all your strings. 

This is great if you think that you might be slightly out of tune, need to make sure your tuning is correct, and are able to decipher the notes that you are hearing. 

DOTTED FRETS

They tell you what each note is on the fretboard. They are distinguished with dots at the following frets: 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th, and 21st 

The A  string has the following dotted frets:

3rd: C
5th: D
7th: E
9th: F?/G?
12th: A
15th:  C
17th: D
19th: E
21st: F?/G?

You can also see the octaves for each dotted fret as well. 

FRET MARKERS

These are little stickers that you can put onto your bass that can help you identify the notes that you are playing visually. I am a visual learner and have found that using stickers specifically made for your fretboard works well for learning.

This is just some of learning your fretboard. It takes time and a lot of practice and persistence to keep learning and understanding your bass. 

There are tons of other articles and videos on Bass Musician Magazine’s website and social media that you should definitely check out. 

Thanks for stopping by!

For more information on music theory check out my e-book and paperback, “No-Nonsense Guide to Music Theory, Scales and More!” available on Amazon

Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I

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Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

Triads & Inversions Part I

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the triads and their inversions.

It is very important for all bassists to understand and master the triads, but it is even more important to understand their different inversions.

In Part I, we are going to learn what the triad is in fundamental position.

The Formula consists of root, third and fifth.

Degrees of the Triad

Major Triad: 1 – 3 – 5
Minor Triad: 1 – b3 – 5
Diminished Triad: 1 – b3 – b5
Augmented Triad: 1 – 3 – #5

Fig.1 – The C, Cm, Cdim & Caug triads
(Fundamental Position)

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I
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Bass Edu

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

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Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice's Bassist Lewis Bridges - From the Album, Grotesque

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

Bassist Lewis Bridges Shares…

“Gruesome’s sparse intro marks a stark contrast from the intensity of the rest of the album.  The original intention was to keep the bass simple but colourful, however as I worked on it, the lines grew more expressive and the more striking flourishes began to emerge.  The intensity builds into a harmonic minor passage that takes us into the drop — a signature death grind cacophony.  This is where Foetal Juice thrives.  You’re getting a full-on right-hand barrage to in the face to take you into a groove-laden mulch-fest.

I owe my throbbing bass tone to the Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal borrowed from our sound engineer, Chris Fielding (ex-Conan), mixed with the clarity of the tried and true Ampeg SVT CL.

As mentioned earlier, colourful basslines are important, especially in a one-guitar band. Chucking some funny intervals and odd flourishes here and there brings life into the brutality. There’s no point sounding brutal if it’s not gonna be fucking evil too!

Recording this playthrough was hard work. This was not the fault of James Goodwin (Necronautical), who was kindly filming and is ace to work with, but because in true Foetal fashion, we had stinking hangovers — and that jam room was hot!”

Follow Online

FB @FoetalJuice
TW @FoetalJuice
IG @foetaljuice
Youtube: @Foetaljuice
Spotify
Foetaljuice.bandcamp.com

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Bass Edu

Bass Lines: The Circle

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jaime Vazquez

Bass Lines: The Circle…

Hello bass players and fans of bass! This month we’re going to study “The Circle.”

The Circle of Fourths can also be called “The Circle of Fifths or just The Circle.

Practicing the scales, chords, and ideas in general via the circle has been a common practice routine for jazz musicians and highly recommended.

It is a disciplined way of working through all twelve keys.

Plus, many bass root movements to jazz and pop songs move through sections of the circle.

Fig. 1 – “The Circle”

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thecircle, #thecircleoffourths, #thecircleoffifths,#scales & #chords.

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5

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James Rosocha

Continuing our lesson of Approach Notes, Part 5…

In continuing with the concept of approach notes being applied to chord tones, this lesson approaches the root, third, fifth, and seventh degree of each arpeggio inversion by incorporating a double chromatic approach from above, and a single chromatic approach from below. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and a single chromatic approach from below -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down.

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above/ single below to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down.

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down. 

This final example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above and below approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, double chromatic from above and below to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down.

Be sure to pace yourself with these lessons to avoid burning out.

Being overly ambitious with your practice schedule can lead to unrealistic expectations. Try learning one approach note concept and one chord type a week. Change your practice routine as necessary and tailor it to your needs as a musician. Good luck!

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES – The Blue Notes (Minor Blues Scale)

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jaime Vazquez

Hello bass players and bass fans! Happy New Year 2024!

In this issue, we are going to study the blue notes.

In blues, jazz, and rock, a blue note is a note that (for expressive purposes) is sung or played at a slightly different pitch from standard. Typically the alteration is between a quartertone and a semitone, but this varies depending on the musical context.

The blue notes are usually said to be the lowered third(b3), lowered fifth(b5) and lowered seventh(b7) scale degrees. The lowered fifth(b5) is also known as the raised fourth(#4). Though the blues scale has “an inherent minor tonality, it is commonly ‘forced’ over major-key chord changes, resulting in a distinctively dissonant conflict of tonalities”.

Blue notes are used in many blues songs, in jazz, rock and in conventional popular songs with a “blue” feeling.

Formula:

The A Minor Blues Scale

1 – b3 – 4 – (#4/b5) – 5 – b7

A – C – D – (D#/Eb) – E – Bb

The grades(blue notes):

b3, (#4/b5), b7

C, (D#/Eb), Bb

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thebluenotes, #minorbluesscale & #bluesscale

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