For questions about the bass guitar, whether acoustic or electric.

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20
votes
5answers
2k views

Boiling/washing used guitar/bass strings - is it worthwhile?

I've read that some people boil their strings from time to time to make them sound again like they were new (and save some money). Is this really worthwhile, or are there any disadvantages to this?
19
votes
11answers
5k views

How often is it recommended to change bass strings?

With the risk of being a duplicate question of How often should I replace the strings on my guitar? I'd like to ask the same thing for bass guitar. Bass strings are pricier than guitar strings, so I ...
15
votes
6answers
290 views

Varying rhythms on bass

I've gotten into something of a bad habit in which I either play things in a steady rhythm, in triplets, or galloping, but without much variation, and I feel like I'm stagnating. What are some good ...
14
votes
4answers
432 views

Why should you begin plucking with the index finger when playing the bass?

According to this question and answer and elsewhere I've seen and read online, you should start the plucking action with your index finger. Naturally, for me, middle then index is more comfortable ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Bass Guitar - Practicing and Improving

I've been playing bass for about four years now. Before that I had some experience with guitar and piano but once I picked up a bass I loved it. I'd consider myself at about an intermediate skill ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

Where to rest your thumb when playing bass: Pickup vs. Strings vs. Thumbrests

I'm a beginning bass player with a couple months' lessons under my belt. I haven't gotten far along enough yet to solidify a playing style, so I'm still able to change my habits if I want to. I was ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Tapewound strings on an electric bass

Recently tried Veillette and Rob Allen basses, both incredible instruments. Unfortunately, they're also incredibly expensive. Part of what I loved was the feel of the tapewound strings. What would ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Learning to play bass guitar: Fretless vs Fretted

I took bass guitar lessons years ago, but decided I was going to start self-teaching again. I have 2 basses, a Squire P-Bass, and a Fender fretless J-Bass. I was thinking about teaching myself to ...
10
votes
1answer
387 views

What is the technical term for Bass 'growl' or 'roar'?

I've been looking everywhere for the past 2 days for the terms of these two awesome electric bass 'techniques' and couldn't find 'em. I want to know their technical or common names.. When you ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

How to hold a bass guitar while playing

During some research I've found out that some guitarists use different position of bass-guitar during play: Play while sitting: Play while standing, high position: Play while standing, medium ...
8
votes
3answers
793 views

How can I 'clean' up my bass fretting?

I find if I'm playing faster riffs - say Hysteria by Muse - I sometimes find that I hear a clunking, metallic sound as I fret. That is, the string hitting the fret. So if I fret at the 7th and then ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the true definition of Drop C tuning?

Since I play bass I will tackle this question from a bass guitar perspective. I've had some musicians state that the following tuning is Drop C tuning (E is dropped to D, and then all strings are ...
8
votes
3answers
336 views

What to do? Programming, bass playing and RSI

I am a full time programmer, part time bass player and have recently started suffering from serious repetitive stress injury in my left wrist. I've adjusted the ergonomics at my work place (and use ...
8
votes
4answers
515 views

Electric fretless bass guitar intonation

Is there a specific way to check the intonation on a fretless bass, i.e. adjusting the string lengths at the bridge, or does it simply not matter, as we're keeping in tune by ear anyhow?
8
votes
3answers
570 views

What sweeping (for bass guitar) techniques are out there?

I've recently started looking at the sweep technique on guitar. How would one go about replicating that on bass? Please keep in mind that I do not use a plectrum, and wouldn't want to sacrifice ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Should my first bass guitar be expensive? [closed]

I want to start learning bass. I'd like to buy an inexpensive bass, because I'm not ready to spend 2000$ on a new guitar. But I often hear opinions that it's better to buy the most expensive ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible for an unamplified acoustic bass guitar to be loud?

One of the groups I play for, a renaissance-faire-friendly folk act, is considering investing in an acoustic bass guitar, for both amplified and unamplified use. However, acoustic bass guitars have a ...
7
votes
4answers
534 views

How do I go about de-fretting a bass guitar?

I would like a fretless bass guitar, and I am considering giving an old bass a new lease of life as a fretless instrument. I would like to know how to go about achieving this at home, by myself, to ...
7
votes
2answers
181 views

What do you use to train your sense of rhythm?

I am a keyboard player and recently decided to study bass guitar playing. I cannot spend much time for practicing - approximately 40 min a day, so the most of that time I am doing "spider exercise". ...
7
votes
3answers
394 views

String configuration on a bass guitar

Having swapped my 4 string bass about 12 years ago,for a 5 string, I'd never go back. Lots of players love them, but some hate them. The advantage for me is having an extra low string, not necessarily ...
7
votes
3answers
153 views

Does anyone know a good site to share guitar and bass tabs? [closed]

I know I can search in Google and get a lot of good tabs but I would like to use some wiki where I can keep the tabs I like and everyone can improve and share the tabs. I searched but did not found ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to start bass-guitar plucking?

I am looking for an online beginner tutorial to bass plucking (fingered) technique, something like the image bellow. Important: I am not looking to learn how to play the notes etc., I would say I ...
5
votes
3answers
177 views

How do I make a song swing?

I've been trying to play some swing bass lines, and while technically I can play the swing feel (the 16th notes with some triplets), it doesn't sound like its swinging. It sounds kinda boring and ...
5
votes
2answers
508 views

Howto: Electric Bass Guitar - Home Recording

My question should be quite clear from the title, but, I want to know what devices should I look to home recording my bass guitar, I've tried connecting my amplifier output to my notebook's microphone ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

right handed bass into left handed bass

I can't easily find a left handed bass guitar. Can I restring the bass to be for a leftie (reverse the ordering of the strings)? I think that you can do this with an electric guitar, for sure with ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Thumb tension while playing bass guitar

I am doing "spider exercise" from JOHN PATITUCCI Bass Workshop 1 3 Left Hand Dexterity Builders chunk 1, After a couple of minutes I start feeling increasing left thumb tension, in 10 minutes it ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

What is a standard order for learning/practicing scales when learning how to play the electric bass (esp. for jazz/blues music)?

I'd like to bring my theoretical knowledge and practical skill for playing jazz/blues scales on the electric bass up to snuff. What is the standard order for learning/practicing jazz/blues scales on ...
5
votes
2answers
652 views

Fixing fret buzz

My bass guitar has had some terrible fret buzz lately. The buzz is coming from the fret itself, not the head or anything. I tried differing the amount of pressure on the left and right hands. It will ...
4
votes
3answers
150 views

What is the purpose of plastic thumb in slapping?

I have in some videos people wear a big plastic thumb when they slap. What is the purpose of that? Here is an example where Buckethead uses it ...
4
votes
2answers
227 views

Learn bass consistently

What would be a consistent way of learning to play the electric bass guitar ? I aim to play jazz/blues and some funk, i would like to be able to do more than just learn tabs which I think I already do ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Can a walking bass line be sufficient percussion for a (guitar) bass-brass-brass trio when playing blues?

We're experimenting as a Brass-Brass-Bass combo, and wondering what we can do to make the bass's job more interesting (besides throwing in more solos). Is it fairly easy to replace substantial ...
4
votes
2answers
625 views

Bass pickup height adjustment

I've recently set up my bass with the help of this youtube video: ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Is loosening the truss rod of a bass the correct thing to do after changing to a lighter string gauge?

I bought some new strings for my bass and was informed that 40 is what you find on most basses when they come out of the factory. I restrung my bass today and the stock strings are actually thicker ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Passive and active pickups for bass guitar

What is the difference in sound quality of active and passive pickups? At first it comes to me that active is best, always, but is that really true? Also, can anyone point me if THIS specific bass ...
3
votes
1answer
727 views

How high can I tune my G string without it breaking?

I've been learning this bass solo by Jean Baudin. And he has an 11 string bass. I have a 4 string. Only at a few parts in the song, he plays notes higher than my highest F on the G string. So my ...
3
votes
3answers
348 views

What are some of the strength building exercises for Bass players?

What are some of the strength building exercises for Bass players, especially for the left palm/fingers?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Bass-guitar online exercises for not-beginner

I'm an intermediate bass guitarist, and I want to improve my left arm fingers work, and improvisation during bass solo. I think I should learn not only by simply remember some tabs by famous bass ...
3
votes
2answers
838 views

Tool to adjust truss rod on a bass guitar

As a follow-up to this question: What tool will I need to adjust the truss rod on a bass guitar? The guitar in question is a Peavey T-40 with too much relief on the neck. While I've found a ...
3
votes
2answers
447 views

What should I look for in a metal bass guitar?

I am playing bass in a humorous metal band. The idea is to make parody out of metal using as many cliches as possible (at the same time respecting the scene and having fun, of course). We have some ...
2
votes
5answers
614 views

How can I learn timing from a guitar tab?

When playing guitar/bass from tabs, I find that I can learn the fingering easily, but the timing is often wrong when I play with a backing track. I'm fairly noobish to music notation/tablature, but I ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

Tips and tools to help transcribing a bass line in tablature

I'd like to transcribe a song that I couldn't find a proper version of on the Internet. Transcribing the guitar and drums (I'm a guitarist and beginner bassist) was not really difficult but I find ...
2
votes
1answer
257 views

Soft sound strings for Fender bass

I'm looking for "soft sounding" strings for my five-string Fender bass (American Deluxe V). Default Fender strings are not for me, unfortunately. What kind of strings can give me this sound?
2
votes
3answers
73 views

How often should I wax my bass?

When I bought my bass, it came with a surface finisher (beeswax). I've been waxing my bass about once every month/month and a half. Why should I wax my bass and how often is it recommended I do it?
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Guidance on buying a bass guitar amp

I'm looking for basic guidance on buying a bass guitar amp. I currently own an Acoustic B200 and I've tried other small learning amps. I would like to find one that matches the sound I'm going for ...
2
votes
2answers
471 views

How to modify Trace-Elliot Velocette amp to make it more suitable for use with bass?

I have a Trace-Elliot Velocette that I'm very satisfied with. This amp works very good also for recording bass, but the low notes will be much less sturdy when recording through this amp than if I ...
2
votes
2answers
306 views

Switching from a short-scale bass to a 'normal' one - Tips please?

I've been playing bass in my bedroom for a while now. I have a pretty but pretty crappy 1970s Yamaha semi-acoustic (SA70, I think). I've been thinking of branching out into some new styles and ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

Connecting Roland vb-99 to Personal Computer (USB)

I have a Roland vb-99 and I'm trying to use its default editor (vb-editor). When I open the program it asks me to perform the midi setup but when I open it I can't find the vb-99 in midi in or out. ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Which is a better Bass? [closed]

I'm looking into getting 1 of these 3 B.C Rich Basses: First - B.C Rich WMD 5 string Widow Second - B.C Rich Virgin 4 Bass Third - B.C Rich Virgo 5 string Bass They all have a sound I really like, ...
1
vote
4answers
407 views

What is the correct way to use your left hand on a fretless bass guitar?

I just recently bought a used fretless bass ($200 for a Schecter Diamond series = can't pass up) and it is the first fretless bass I have ever owned. The neck has fret inlays & markings, so it's ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

How to learn Jazz Bass Guitar?

I have been learning bass guitar for one year. I have the basic in the major and minor scales. Basically, I am able to figure out the bass line of a song I hear, like pop song or rock song. But, when ...