If you wish to learn how to play bass guitar, then you should know the fundamental facts about the bass guitar. A bass guitar is not a flashy work like the lead guitar or the lead singer. The bass guitar only helps in filling out the sounds of the bands with low-end notes to ensure the rhythmic pulse for propelling the whole music forward. However, the bass guitar is one of the most important ingredients to any band. The bass guitar is the glue, which holds the music of the band together. As such, bass guitar players are always in good demand in any band. Still, it takes several years of constant and sincere practice to become an excellent bass guitar player.
Parts of Bass Guitar
The first step in your effort to learn how to play bass guitar is to understand its various parts. The bass is a string instrument and a normal bass would have four strings. Each string is normally tuned to a different note, the standard being E on the thickest string, and A, D, and G in the next three strings. The frets divide the strings into different sections. The frets are just small metal strips arranged from top to bottom. The strings and the frets form a grid type structure. If you keep your finger on a fret situated higher, the note generated would also be higher. In general, each fret is designed to produce a half-step higher note than the previous one. The headstock at the top of the bass guitar contains the four tuning pegs. The tuning pegs assist you in adjusting the pitch of the strings.
When you learn how to play bass guitar, it is advisable to use a proper guitar strap, so that the shoulders and back carry the weight of the bass. This gives the hands very free movement. Keep the bass base near the belly button and keep your back straight. Hold the neck of the bass gently, with the thumb resting without pressure behind the neck. This helps the other fingers to float over the strings without strain. It would be better to trim the fingernails so that they do not interfere when you press down on the strings. You should always press between the frets and not on them. Initially, you might get blisters while starting to learn how to play bass guitar, but after a few days, the fingers would develop thicker skin and become stronger. At the starting, practice the fretting of strings with each finger separately, so that all the fingers are evenly strengthened.
Plucking is the action done at the bottom of the strings to create the sound. While using a metal pick to pluck the strings is easy work, plucking them with the fingers is normally considered ideal. The thump should be just outside the strings, while the index finger should roll over the top portion of the E string and pull the string towards your body before you let go. This plucking becomes perfect only after constant practice. The middle finger should be used for plucking the A string.
Once you had mastered all the above techniques, you would be on your way to learn how to play bass guitar and create various notes in a continuous fashion. In Western music, 12 different notes are normally played. You would be moving along the frets from the bottom to the top to get each note. This might require guidance from a trained person in the initial stages. Still, if you are hard working and persistent, you would easily learn how to play bass guitar and become an expert over time.