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

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25
votes
6answers
4k 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?
23
votes
13answers
9k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
340 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
836 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
882 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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
16answers
1k views

How to tune a guitar/bass without a tuner?

When I'm trying to tune my guitar/bass without a tuner, if a single string is in tune, I can tune the rest of the strings based on the tuned one, using the harmonics over the 5th and 7th frets. But ...
10
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Finger Picking vs. using a Pick on Bass Guitar

Before I played bass I played guitar, so when I started to play bass I naturally used a pick. Eventually I learned how to finger pick and now typically use both picking techniques interchangeably as a ...
10
votes
5answers
1k 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?
10
votes
1answer
504 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 slide ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Fingertip care for guitarists

I have built up calluses enough to avoid most fingertip pain from playing guitar and bass, but I have rough and slightly cracked fingertips. My fretting hand isn’t bad, but my right hand is very rough ...
9
votes
3answers
961 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
889 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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
380 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 ...
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
2answers
466 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
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Exercising fingerstyle bass technique

I'm looking to improve my fingerstyle technique on the bass guitar. I'd like to develop good habits, especially regarding alternating my fingers, as I currently tend to overuse my index finger and ...
6
votes
3answers
611 views

Expand Bass Guitar Playing Beyond Root Notes

I am fairly new to the bass guitar and I'm in a band. So far, I almost always just play the root note of the chord. I sometimes hold it until a new chord and sometimes repeatedly play this same ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
138 views

Intonation problems with a low b string

I just got a Warwick Thumb NT 6 and my b string is still sharp on the 12 and 24th fret but I cant tighten the screw anymore. What should i do? is it normal for the top few frets to be really out?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Bass pickup height adjustment

I've recently set up my bass with the help of this youtube video: ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
873 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
3k 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
4answers
344 views

How important is string-muting when playing the bass?

I'm mainly an acoustic guitar player, branching out into electric guitar and (a bit) bass guitar. I don't know much of anything about bass technique - I just have one lying around and muck about on ...
5
votes
1answer
381 views

Strap button repair

One of the strap buttons on my bass is stripped. I’ve seen several methods for repairing this, all of which involved filling the hole with some bits of wood. Insert matchsticks, toothpicks, or a ...
5
votes
2answers
799 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
298 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
574 views

What is a “flat wrist”?

Bass legend Carol Kaye writes that she uses a "flat wrist" technique when playing bass with a pick. What does she mean by this?
5
votes
2answers
475 views

Achieve samplepad/keyboard synth sound with a bass guitar for playing live?

I play bass in a pop band and for a new song we want to add a synth bass similar to the one in this song: ...
5
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
442 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
4answers
915 views

Any heads-up tips for recording bass guitars?

I'm getting myself into recording (bought several equipment already) and I'm really having fun! I've only tried the drums yet and it goes well so far. I want to move on to the bass guitar next. ...
4
votes
4answers
84 views

Alternating fingers or direction?

In typical fingerstyle bass technique, you alternate between two fingers, always pulling the strings in the same direction, up toward your hand. In contrast, with picked bass you alternate pick ...
4
votes
2answers
312 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
4answers
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
646 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
115 views

What are some good suggestions for a bass player's plucking fingers?

As a bass player I have run into situations where my fingers feel dry or sweaty and it ends up affecting my playing. When the fingers are dry, I end up getting a lot more friction, which has caused ...
4
votes
2answers
170 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 ...