The bass guitar is a stringed instrument among many other types of instruments like the banjo and violin. You can play the bass guitar either standing or in a sitting position. The bass guitar has various parts including the strings, the frets, amplifier, the headstock, neck and body. The bass guitar can be either an acoustic guitar or electric guitar.
When learning how to play the guitar the first thing you should know is how to hold the instrument. Many people would think that holding the guitar is no big deal. However, such an attitude has led to long term injury of the back and shoulder for many people. When playing the bass guitar always use the guitar strap. This will ensure that the weight of the guitar is transferred from your hands to the shoulders. The ideal positioning of the guitar should be around the chest area. Also, avoid slouching when playing the instrument. Maintain a straight back always.
After learning how to hold the guitar, we now move on to performance techniques. Performance techniques are in three forms. These are fretting, plucking and picking. Firstly, ensure that your fingernails are well trimmed before you start. Long fingernails hamper your ability to play effectively. When fretting, ensure that you hold down the string and not the frets.
Also, use a finger pad rather than the tip of your finger. The pad is more effective in holding down the strings. You will also notice that at the beginning that the act of holding down the bass strings may be difficult and even painful. This is especially the case with the thick strings. However, with time, your fingers are strengthened and you are able to hold the string down firmly without any problem.
The next lesson that you need to learn is how to identify the playing notes. The first thing you ought to do is to practice your plucking movements on the upper most string closest to your chest. The note that you hear from this action is the E note. Move down the strings playing gently all the time. The note that will sound is the A note. The other two will produce note D and G respectively.
We now move on to learning how to play the scales. The scale is a group of individual musical notes that produce a distinct sound. Scales help to organize concepts in music and provide the benchmarks for music composition and innovation. We have three types of scales. One of them is chromatic scale. This scale is the most popular for western music. It moves in a series of half steps from one note to the other. It also incorporates all the twelve notes in the spectrum. The other significant note is the major scale. It uses seven notes and produces high quality tones.
The next stage is learning how to play the patterns. This is a significant stage for the learner. The bass guitar player provides the basic harmonic support for the chords that the rest of the band is playing. It is therefore imperative that the bass guitar player has a sound understanding of the chords and the root notes. Consequently, the beginner has to learn how to distinguish rhythm. This is achievable through listening to music and joining a group. With consistent practice you will be on your way to becoming an accomplished bass guitarist.