Learn Bass Guitar: How to Play The Bass Guitar for Beginners

When you see somebody playing the guitar, normally a question comes to mind, “is it hard to play the guitar”? It depends; it can be either easier or hard. Especially, if your interest is to learn bass guitar, it depends upon which musical genre you want to begin with and how hard you want to put your efforts into. Some newbies might pick guitar damn easily. But here, we are talking of two things; guitar and bass. The bass is comparatively a larger instrument and has thicker strings. In bass, it is rather difficult, particularly for the learners, to fret the notes easily and correctly.

How you can learn bass guitar?

Everything, when you start learning, looks strange and as difficult as math. Especially when you start learning the guitar and particularly the bass, you might find it more complicated than anything else. Often people are pessimistic about music and say that only a genius can be a musician. But, be confident that playing bass is more fun, and you can have a great time playing the bass among your friends and admirers. It is only a matter of spending a bit of your time with just one or two fundamental lessons to learn bass guitar, and you will be able to start playing.

One thing that you cannot compromise in learning not only the bass guitar but all that you want to master is your commitment and dedication, and your passion to learn. If you are genuinely passionate about playing the bass guitar, you will definitely put your entire efforts and eventually master it with less time playfully. Therefore, the first thing while you start holding the instrument with a view to learning bass guitar, motivate yourself that it is not a lesson but it is something entertaining or playful a time that you’re going to spend.

Know your bass guitar:

A bass guitar, also popularly known as “electric bass” or just “bass”, is physically exactly like any other guitar with thicker strings and you can play normally with fingers and thumb by slapping, plucking, popping, tapping, strumming, thumping and picking or simply pick. As per the norm, the bass guitar has four strings. However, there are five and six strings bass guitars too, but the basic norm is four-stringed bass. Normally, all bass guitars are electric guitars. Sometimes other guitars come in acoustic or electric or both. You need to know these basics to learn bass guitar.

The bass guitar has a lower pitch in comparison to other guitars. The bass notes match the lower pitch of the sound spectrum. The strings of the bass are placed at equal distances from each other and the sound of each bass string is tuned symmetrically between each other. When you compare a bass with other guitars, you will find the bass is longer than other guitars. It is because of the longer strings. The longer the string is, the lower the pitch is. Similarly, the shorter strings produce higher pitches. You will yourself feel this in the process when you start to learn bass guitar.

The functions of bass guitar:

Bass guitar plays a key role in a musical band. All other musical instruments or musicians in a team often rely on subtle bass. In fact, the bass plays the role of holding the entire instrument in the band together. To start with the functions of bass, it has both the natures of tune and rhythm and so links the chord and rhythm or groove of the concert. This link of chord and groove of the bass makes the music sweeter and makes the listeners feel the music.

Each and every step or line or stanza of a song is based on a specific chord or chord, and the notes involved in that or those chords synchronize with each other. Sometimes, the chords change to different tunes and rhythms in between the song and the entire instruments follow the change and play accordingly. The bass controls the chords, and rhythm and keeps the entire instruments and singer into one tone and one rhythm. Learn bass guitar to play a central role in your musical band.

Keeping time or time management is one of the basic roles or functions of a bass guitar. Of course, rhythm also is based on timings but there are other numerous spaces in a song where rhythm becomes silent. But bass plays a crucial role when everything is silent or is in a jumping stage to other chords or rhythm and keeps the instruments together.

As a whole, bass guitar along with drum provides the lower end pitch, groove, rhythm, drive, and punch in most the genre of music. If you want to learn bass guitar, remember that you are going to carry out an important function in the musical band.

Choose the right bass for learning:

You may have been confused when you go to purchase a bass guitar for the purpose of learning. It is good for you to select a starter guitar or a student guitar to initiate the learning of bass. The starter bass guitar can be comparatively cheaper around 200 USD. There are professional bass guitars costing thousands. It is your preference to choose what the right bass guitar is for you. However, it is better to learn bass guitar with the starter guitar because that is exclusively made for the learners.
Know the parts of your bass:

The bass guitar basically comprises five parts or portions. Know the parts below.

  • Neck: The neck of the bass consists of the headstock, internally based truss rod, and the fretboard.

  • Headstock: The headstock is located at the end of the neck and looks a bit wider. The tuning pegs remain at the headstock.

  • Fretboard: The fretboard is normally made out of maple, rosewood, or ebony. The fretboards are usually arched on both sides this is called the radius.

  • Frets: The metal strips which are embedded on the fretboard are called frets. There are fretless bass guitars but exclusively for the expert professional who can play without frets. You need to focus basically on the frets to learn bass guitar.

  • Truss rod: the truss rod which connects the neck of the bass with the body also protects the neck from twisting. Since the strings of the bass are thicker than the normal guitars, they put a lot of pressure on the neck. If the neck gets twisted, you can adjust the truss rod. You can also adjust the string height by the truss rod.

Tune the bass and start practicing the chords:

Now everything is ready and you can start to learn bass guitar. First, tune your bass guitar. The pitch of the bass is exactly one octave lower in comparison to a guitar. You can tune your bass exactly with the same tune of the 4 lowest guitar strings namely E-A-D and G go the guitar.


Once you finish the tuning, it is now your turn to learn the chords. Practice them endlessly until you master them. To learn the chords, you may have to take the assistance of a coach. You may also search for chord learning from YouTube sessions. The more you practice the more fluency you can master in playing your bass guitar.

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