Bass Guitar Video For Beginners
If you are a beginning bass player, there are various things you can do to instruct yourself in the bass learning process. Besides studying some theory on bass scale and practicing your slap, pop, string bending and sliding; a good way to learn the variety of sounds and licks you can generate with your instrument is to familiarize yourself with some classic base lines. By learning different licks, it becomes easier to get used to the ample bass fret board, as well as the vast selection of sounds and techniques that can be applied during play.
Drum samplers are also a popular aid for beginning bass players; thus are recommended by most established bassists as an important resource for improvement. By utilizing a percussive foundation to create your own riffs, or to simply play along a song, you will be guided by the drums through the licks’ order, and rhythm. While there is plenty of drum sampling software out there that you can buy for a reasonable price (i.e. QuickBeat), and high-tech drum machines with endless assortments of drum samples; online you can find many drum recordings for free to help you in your practice. Some of these include SuperDrumFX v1.3 and Drum Station v1.09 which can be found in various download servers and music sites alike.
In today’s video, Tony will play a few classic licks for you to learn and practice some basic – and not so basic – bass riffs. The 7 base lines will be played in order of difficulty from the following songs:
1- Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin (70’s heavy metal, blues, blues-rock)
2- New Year’s Day – U2 (Rock, pop-rock)
3- Radar Love – Golden Earring
4- Money – Pink Floyd (70’s blues, blues-rock)
5- Our House – Madness (80’s rock)
6- Tubular Bells Part 2 – Mike Oldfield (70’s blues, blues-rock)
7- Tony’s Own – Bass Slap Technique Sample*
*To play the slap bass technique properly it takes a good amount of practice. To slap a bass note, strike the string with your thumb placed, either completely parallel, or completely perpendicular to the string, always making sure to slap the string off of the fretboard. Remember, it takes some work to get it down, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t nail the technique in the first 10 tries.
While you watch the video lesson, I suggest you take a look at the bass tabs below to guide your fingers on the fretboard. Don’t know how to read tabs yet? Not to worry, it’s a fairly simple thing; take a look at our Fast Tab Reading Guide and get started!
Fast Tab Reading Guide
A Tab or Tablature is a form of music notation generally used for fretted stringed instruments, such as bass and guitar. The tab indicates the player what string to sound and where to place their fingers on the fretboard -as opposed to signifying the pitch like it’s the case in standard musical notation.
Since tabs give no suggestions of rhythm or tempo in their notation, their use of is always paired with a musical representation of the original tune- be it a drum sample, a lead guitar track, or simply your mental reproduction of the song. If you plan to use tabs to learn popular songs, make sure to have access to those songs so you can figure out the tempo and rhythm of the track and how long to hold down each note.
Here’s a sample bass tab:
G|——0—–| ß 1st string
E|——0—–|ß 4th string
Each line represents each string, and each number indicates the fret you need to press down on. When the number is 0 (zero) it represents an open string.
In the sample above, the strings are to be played simultaneously.
In the sample below, each string is to be played individually.
Tablatures also give indicatives on what techniques to apply while you play. The reference list below will help you identify each notation symbol:
(v) or (~): Vibrato
(x): Muted String
(h) Hammer on: represented by an h in between the original note and the hammered on note. Ie. 3h4
(p) Pull off: indicated by a p in between the original note and the pulled off note. Ie. 2p4
(b) String Bending: represented by a b in between the original fret and the bent fret. Sometimes added in between parentheses. Ie. 2b3 or 2b(3)
(r) Return Bent Note: when the tab tells you to return your bent note to its original fretting position it is represented by an r in between the bent note and the original note. Ie. 3r2
(/) Ascending Slide: represented by a / in between original fret and slide fret. If you were to play on the 4th fret and slide up to the 1st it would be indicated as 4/1*
(\) Descending slide: represented by a \ in between the original fret and the slide fret. If you were to play on the 1st fret and slide down to the 4th, it would be indicated as 1/4.*
*Sometimes you can encounter longer slide references such as: 4/2\3. This would simply mean to press down on the 4nd fret, slide up to the 2nd fret, and slide down to the 3rd. Apply the same rules to even longer slide references.