20 votes

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

I got 2 weeks to learn 7 finger-burning songs on bass. Any ideas on what should my strategy be? Tough challenge based on how you're framing it up: Their songs are way more complex than pretty much ...
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  • 6,713
20 votes
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Low Eb on electric bass

There's plenty of 5-string basses out there. I'd just write it. You can give a 4-string player a get-out like this. But he'd do it anyway.
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19 votes
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Where do the natural harmonics fall on the bass guitar?

It's the same as on a guitar. Harmonics occur at equal divisions of the string length. Half the string is the location of the 12th fret. This produces a harmonic at twice the frequency of the open ...
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  • 4,700
19 votes

Am I going to be handicapped for attempting to study theory with a monophonic instrument?

You've expressed an accurate sense of why there is a theory advantage with the piano, but since you also very clearly are drawn to the bass, a couple of comments: Particularly if you play jazz or ...
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  • 56.6k
17 votes
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Why are eighth notes seemingly so important in bass guitar?

They're a staple of rock, and as bass guitar is often used as a rock instrument, they are seen as one of the basic techniques of bass playing. With many rock rhythms, quarter notes are too slow and ...
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17 votes
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Very little time to learn pretty complex songs. What should my strategy be?

I'm going to assume the usual way I get given new material to learn, as I don't read... so I get some recordings & have to figure it out from that. Edit This method is definitely intended to ...
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  • 22.9k
16 votes
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Expand Bass Guitar Playing Beyond Root Notes

There are many different ways to approach playing bass and depending on what style you are trying to go for it may be all you need to fill the sound. I'll explain a few simple styles and techniques ...
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  • 46.2k
15 votes
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When creating a bass line, how do I know what notes I'm allowed to use?

Where my confusion really comes in is that if the song is in the key of G does that mean I'm only allowed to play the notes in that scale (G,A,B,C,D,E, F#)? The key of a song does not determine ...
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  • 6,713
15 votes

Low Eb on electric bass

There is a big difference in the sound of the lowest Eb on a 4 string bass and an Eb an octave lower so if that is the sound you want go after it. As a bassist if I know someone wants that note or any ...
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15 votes
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Could someone explain slapping?

Fretless and fretted basses are to a degree rather different animals.There are things one can do on one that aren't so effective on the other. So it is with slapping and popping. The lack of fretwires ...
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  • 174k
14 votes
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Music Notation for Bass - Unknown Symbol : Slash with two dots

It's a simile. There are a few different types of similes and this one means "play the last notated measure again". So in this piece you will end up playing the measure before the simile marks 3 ...
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  • 46.2k
14 votes

Calluses - are they really a necessity for guitarists?

I don’t have full calluses, but my fingertips are definitely harder when I play regularly than when I go for a couple of months without playing. I find the harder skin really helps hammer-ons be ...
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  • 36.3k
14 votes

Do electric bass players commonly play the notes of the current chord?

Do electric bass players commonly play the notes of the current chord? Yes they do, by definition of what is the de-facto actual current sounding chord. Whatever the bass players plays, defines the ...
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13 votes
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Finger Picking vs. using a Pick on Bass Guitar

+ Pick Perhaps the most relevant advantage of a pick is that you can do palm mute, which is pretty useful on bass (in fact rather more useful than on guitar). IMO that's about it, though! As far as ...
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13 votes

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

There are many different ways to approach the bass and the approach that you take may depend on what styles/genres of music you are playing. The first thing that you want to do is understand the ...
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  • 7,399
13 votes

Calluses - are they really a necessity for guitarists?

I'm a full time guitarist. When I was young I couldn't afford good instruments, so my guitars fought me all the time, and I had really thick calluses - if I tapped my fingertips against a glass you ...
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  • 4,737
13 votes
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How to write down slap bass on score?

The standard way to do notate slaps and pops is to use a letter above or below the note to specify the technique and a standard or "x" note head to specify whether the note is sounded or ...
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  • 56.6k
12 votes

Should I be worried about buzzing on my bass?

In general, it's fairly common for a bass set up with a reasonably low action to have a few rattles and buzzes here and there and not something to worry about. However, if it's bothering you at all, ...
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12 votes

Can I play a electric guitar through a bass amplifier?

Bass amps have been used by guitarists for many decades. In some instances, they work better for guitarists than other amps designed for guitars, especially the speakers. If you are going to use ...
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  • 174k
12 votes

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

All good advice in the other answers. The thing I’d add is, have a reason to play regularly. What that reason is will be down to you. Join a band, go to a regular jam session, be working towards ...
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12 votes

Is the main role of the bass guitar to give a pitch to the kick drum?

The main role of a Bass is going to be different depending on the style. My answer is going to relate to Pop/rock. Rhythm: The Bass guitar is part of the rhythm section. Obviously the drums are also ...
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  • 7,030
12 votes
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Is it common for a 5 string bass to have a high B?

Not that common. Normally 5-string basses will have a low B. Giving B E A D G. The other option is to have a high C. Working on the premise that every string is a P4 from the next. Giving E A D G C. ...
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  • 174k
11 votes
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Any heads-up tips for recording bass guitars?

With bass guitar, you can often have a lot of success skipping the amp altogether and running the bass through a DI box directly into the mixing board. Or you can take a hybrid approach, where you ...
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  • 20.7k
11 votes
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Strap button repair

I have had to do this with 3 of my guitars, and by far my best results have been from filling the hole with wood glue and then pushing 3 matchsticks in. Once the glue dries, I use a new screw - same ...
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  • 36.3k
11 votes

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

Electric bass strings are much thicker, hence heavier, than electric guitar strings - this allows them to sound at a much lower frequency without needing double the length. (Guitars have scale ...
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  • 2,145
11 votes
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How do (bass) guitar players stop a note?

It can be done with either the fretting hand or the picking hand and there are several methods that can be used such as: The fretting hand can lift up slightly to mute a note that was just being ...
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  • 2,568
11 votes

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

The basic problem with a bass guitar in a guitar amp is that speaker and cabinet are not built for the low frequencies of the bass guitar. That means that at the low notes, the speaker will convert ...
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  • 111
10 votes
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Exercising fingerstyle bass technique

You can't go wrong practicing scales, so I'd definitely start there. But for string skipping and thumb muting, here's an exercise I like, called "the spider". You can do this anywhere on the neck that'...
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  • 20.7k
10 votes
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String ordering - Top vs bottom?

Yes, by convention when schematically drawing the strings of an instrument, the strings are drawn ordered top-down from the higher pitched to the lower pitched. So, in a drawing, the 1st string of an ...
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  • 4,186

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