How to play a bass guitar

How to play a bass guitar

There is an opinion that only those musicians who lack the perseverance and talent to master a “normal” instrument play the bass guitar. However, do not believe the jokes. Virtuoso playing the bass guitar, like any other instrument, requires incredible effort, patience and time. At the same time, the basics of playing the bass are comprehended in a relatively short time – but the same can be said about other instruments.

So where did the myth about the ease of playing the bass come from? Of the features of the design and purpose:

  • four strings instead of six – it is easier for a bass player to hit the strings;
  • simple rhythm part – play yourself repetitive riffs, but don’t blow your mustache;
  • low volume of the bass part – even if you play it at a concert, no one will notice it.

But a myth is a myth in order to refute it:

  • a small number of strings does not make playing so easy, but their thickness requires strong and, at the same time, dexterous hands;
  • the rhythm part sets the dynamics and tempo of the piece of music, the rest of the musicians adjust to it;
  • the rhythm part sets the dynamics and tempo of the piece of music, the rest of the musicians adjust to it;

If you dream of starting a hall, sharing energy with the audience and not afraid to be in the shadow of solo guitarists, then you have no other choice but to play bass.

How to learn to play the bass guitar on your own

The disadvantage of studying how to learn to play guitar without a teacher is that there is no one to control the correctness of the playing technique. But retraining is many times more difficult than learning from scratch! Therefore, the answer to the question “how to play the bass guitar” for beginners first of all implies the correct position of the guitar and the placement of the hands of the guitarist.

Since the bass guitar is a heavy instrument, it is better to start learning while sitting. You will have to put a stand under your left leg, and put the guitar in such a way that the body is located between the legs, and the weight falls on the left thigh. The top of the body will touch your chest, and the headstock will be flush with your head. This landing is convenient because the guitar does not need to be supported by the left hand – it is already stable.

Now about the position of the hands. For the left hand, the same rules are suitable as for the acoustic guitar: the nails are cut short, the fingers, holding the string, are perpendicular to the neck, the hand is relaxed. With the right hand it is more difficult, since there are relatively many sound extraction techniques. Let’s briefly list:

  • playing with a support: the thumb of the right hand rests on the upper string or on the pickup;
  • playing without support: the forearm lies on the deck, the fingers are bent perpendicular to the strings;
  • playing with two fingers: the index and middle fingers are involved in sound production, constantly alternating with each other;
  • playing with three fingers: the ring finger is also involved in the game;
  • playing with a mediator: the sound is extracted not with a finger, but with a mediator;
  • slapping: powerful thumb strikes on the strings.

So how do you play bass guitar with your right hand? For a beginner, a two-finger method based on a pickup is better suited. The support will allow a beginner player to feel the position of the strings, and the alternation of fingers will help develop the sense of rhythm that a bass player needs.

Let’s write down how to learn to play the bass using the two-finger method:

  • place your forearm on the body of the instrument in the middle of its length (in the correct position, you will reach each string without moving your forearm);
  • hold the brush so that it resembles a dome;
  • rest your thumb on the pickup, opposing the rest;
  • extract the sound by alternately pulling the string with the pads of the index and middle fingers (the main thing is not to touch the string with your fingernail);
  • after extracting the sound, stop the movement of your finger, resting on the string located above.

If the description does not make it clear to you how to play the bass guitar, video tutorials will help you!

What to play for a beginner bass player

On the Internet, it is easy to find exercises for playing the bass guitar – both for the right hand and for the left. It is recommended to perform them at different speeds and under a metronome in order to learn how to keep the rhythm. At the same time, do not forget about the purity of the sound! If you hear a scraping sound while playing, your left hand isn’t pressing the string hard enough against the fretboard, and an unexpected sharp sound means you accidentally hit it with your fingernail. To get rid of these shortcomings of the game, practice doing the same exercise in a slow, gradually increasing pace.

If playing the bass guitar has captivated you so much that you dream of participating in concerts, knowledge of musical theory is indispensable. To deal with scales, rules for building chords, musical intervals and other things, teachers will help you in bass guitar lessons for beginners.

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