Questions tagged [bass-guitar]

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

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32
votes
17answers
39k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
14k 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?
25
votes
8answers
18k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Very little time to learn pretty complex songs. What should my strategy be?

I got invited to join this band. They've got plenty more experience than I do, but I've been playing with one of the members for quite a while and, I guess, I wasn't doing so bad, since he's now ...
19
votes
6answers
505 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
36k views

When creating a bass line, how do I know what notes I'm allowed to use?

I've been playing bass for about two years now. I've learned plenty of beginner/intermediate songs and play with some friends about once a week. I have no problem playing the songs, but I kinda just ...
14
votes
3answers
7k 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....
14
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
31k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are eighth notes seemingly so important in bass guitar?

In an effort to push through a plateau in my playing, I've started really digging into method books and even getting lessons (I'm mostly self-taught). Quite a few books, and my instructor have all ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Piano questions from a former bass player: Is it better to think in note names or think in intervals?

So I was a (mostly Funk/Jazz) bass player for a long time, and as a bass player, I had a strong understanding of music theory. The reason that I had such a strong practical/intuitive understanding of ...
12
votes
16answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
16k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
841 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the best way to go about re-learning an instrument?

I used to play the electric bass, for about 8 years. I got quite good at it. By the end of my period of playing, I was playing pretty decent stuff, jazz, funk, finger style, slap etc. I had gotten to ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Why can't I hear fret buzz through the amp?

I could hear the fret buzz when playing bass unplugged. But once plugged through the amp. I could not hear the fret buzz anymore. Why are pickups not picking up the fret buzz? Or do I have to crank ...
11
votes
2answers
10k 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
7answers
4k 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
10k views

Can I play a electric guitar through a bass amplifier?

I am a bassist and I am looking for an electric guitar, but I don’t want to buy another amplifier. Can I play the guitar through the bass amplifier?
10
votes
4answers
885 views

Where do the natural harmonics fall on the bass guitar?

Do harmonics work the same on bass guitar as is the case with a regular guitar (Natural harmonics at the 7th and 12th frets) or is it different on the bass?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Music Notation for Bass - Unknown Symbol : Slash with two dots

I have checked through music notation lists and have asked a number of musicians but nobody knows what this symbol is actually supposed to mean. It's from the sheet found here.
10
votes
3answers
737 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
713 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
2k 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?
9
votes
5answers
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
30k views

Bass guitar: how to avoid sound when string hits fret

I picked up the bass a few months ago, and I've noticed that when I'm playing something, the strings make loud clicky sounds when they hit the fret. This happens especially when I'm trying to play ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the technical explanation of the note “A♭” in a F7 chord in the key of C?

I am practicing some blues bass lines and there is a chord progression of C7 | F7 | C7. The notes played during the F7 chord are (the bass plays one per beat): F A A♭ D, followed by the notes G ...
9
votes
5answers
7k 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 it's swinging. It sounds kinda boring and ...
9
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I be worried about buzzing on my bass?

When playing the 4th fret string D there is a buzzing sound. You can't hear the buzzing when the bass is plugged into my amp, only when the bass is alone. Should I be worried about this? Any solutions?...
9
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
14k 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
4answers
6k views

Can a U-BASS be considered a serious bass replacement in a band?

I'm quite taken with the idea of the Kala U-Bass - it's a bass in the form-factor of ukulele using special super-thick rubber strings. They look pretty well-built and the price suggests they are not ...
9
votes
1answer
747 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
10k 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
7answers
3k views

Using a bass guitar on a guitar amplifier through a bass pre-amplifier?

I've read that plugging a bass guitar into a guitar amplifier is not advisable as it can fry the speaker. However, could a pre-amplifier solve this problem (adjusting output power and impedance). I'm ...
8
votes
5answers
7k views

Can I use bass pick as guitar pick?

First of all, I don't really know about the difference between both picks, but as far as I know, the bass pick is slightly wider. Can I use it (the bass pick) as a guitar pick (for guitar, of course)?...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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'...
7
votes
9answers
6k 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
6answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How do (bass) guitar players stop a note?

I don't play (bass) guitar, nor do I have a desire to. However, this question has been bugging me for quite some time now, as I have yet found the answer myself by viewing guitarists playing, mostly ...
7
votes
3answers
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 ...