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Questions tagged [bass-guitar]

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

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15 votes
3 answers
10k 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 note....
bill999's user avatar
  • 267
10 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
Bella's user avatar
  • 8,499
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why does the neck of a bass get wider?

I've noticed in many basses (not sure if this happens in all of them), the top of the neck starts at a certain width and towards the bottom, it is wider. Here is an example: This happens to my double ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Bradd Szonye's user avatar
  • 6,718
3 votes
3 answers
593 views

How to Choose the Best Alternate Tuning

This is essentially a generalized version of this question for fingerstyle guitar, and I'm surprised I can't find it on this website: how do I find the most optimal alternate tuning for a guitar/bass(/...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
  • 14.2k
8 votes
1 answer
2k 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?
slim's user avatar
  • 36.1k
6 votes
4 answers
4k views

Bass line melodies

Can a bassline act as the melody of a song or be the focal point over a melody in a song? Listen to the instrumental below for example. It sounds like the bass-guitar is the lead tune throughout the ...
Bryant Lewis's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
13k views

String ordering - Top vs bottom?

I've always been dyslexic when it comes to this turn of phrasing - Top strings connote the strings at the top of the fret-board in my mind. Even after years of playing, I sometimes have to wrench it ...
Tim Burnett - Bassist's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
495 views

Practice for skill maintenance with busy life

When I was younger I learned piano to grade 6 level, and I also picked up some bass guitar along the way. I enjoy playing music and composing from time to time. But life is busy (PhD thesis/work/etc.) ...
hartacus's user avatar
  • 221
25 votes
8 answers
26k 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 ...
FAE's user avatar
  • 355
12 votes
16 answers
5k 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 ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
6k views

Where should I put my thumb when playing bass guitar?

I just started playing bass guitar one month ago and my bass teacher told me that I should rest my thumb on the pickup. The problem with that is that my thumb slips off the pickup when I play. I find ...
Flogie's user avatar
  • 143
11 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why are bass guitars so much shorter than a double bass?

As electric bass guitars are tuned one octave lower than regular electric guitars, I can't understand why they are only slightly longer. I would think that an octave lower means strings of double ...
ophirgv's user avatar
  • 113
11 votes
7 answers
12k 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 ...
Gabe Willard's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
6k 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 ...
VMAtm's user avatar
  • 514
10 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Bradd Szonye's user avatar
  • 6,718
9 votes
1 answer
891 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 ...
HericDenis's user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
538 views

How do I learn to sight read?

I started my school’s jazz band recently and I really struggle playing with them. It’s just really different to playing by myself alone, where if I make a mistake I can just go back and keep repeating ...
Nia's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
3 answers
7k 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 don'...
Shimmy Weitzhandler's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

Fixing fret buzz on Bass guitar, coming from the fret itself

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 ...
RandomDuck.NET's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
HericDenis's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Julien N's user avatar
  • 1,978
6 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Are there any resources to self-learn the bass guitar for those who already know theory?

I am a Music teacher. I hold a Ph.D. in Music Composition, studied piano for several years, and now I want to play the bass. My concern is that every resource I find to become self-taught ends up ...
SeuMenezes's user avatar
  • 1,698
4 votes
7 answers
11k views

Can you strum a bass guitar?

I always had the idea that you can strum a bass guitar. An idea I got from watching Mark Hoppus play. Recently the bass teacher I know told me that you mostly play lead lines with a bass. I'm not sure ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Walking bass line/chord help

I've been playing bass for about a year, so pardon my question, what is the relation between chords, arpeggios and scales? I always learnt and played scales, but in order to learn this new jazz ...
Jeremiah h's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
22k views

Risks of adjusting a truss rod?

I know that you can break a truss rod by over-tightening it. Repair guides warn not to tighten the rod if you meet excessive resistance or hear squeaking noises. For example, from the Fender Bass ...
Bradd Szonye's user avatar
  • 6,718
4 votes
1 answer
984 views

Alternate picking for fingerstyle bass

I’m familiar with the different approaches to alternate picking with a plectrum, from economy picking to strict alternate picking. I personally prefer to use down-picks for downbeats and up-picks for ...
Bradd Szonye's user avatar
  • 6,718
3 votes
0 answers
247 views

Why do the bass lines of some songs sound sharp to me? [closed]

I'm listening to the radio. Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" came on and I was reminded that every time I hear this song the bass guitar, on the lowest note of the backing lick (or whatever ...
SiHa's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
4 answers
5k views

What are the most common causes of hand cramps on bass?

There are several questions about getting hand cramps while playing guitar, but I didn't find one on bass. My left hand cramped up midway through the gig last night. I have another gig that's twice ...
Duston's user avatar
  • 835
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

How to understand a minor chord using the harmonic series?

I play bass guitar and I have often wondered why a bass note would synchronise well with both major and minor chords of say a piano when we consider the harmonic series. For instance, the C Major is ...
John Subas's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
186 views

Bass-Guitar - How much "Bent Wrist" is still ok?

I'm struggling with a good left hand position, and there are multiple things that I'm not sure about. I will concentrate on one particular element here in this question: What one usually reads (which ...
Quantumwhisp's user avatar