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How to Play Bass Guitar
If you want to learn how to play bass guitar, there are several things that you
will want to keep in mind before you get started. First, you will need an instrument. Selecting the instrument
you learn how to play bass guitar on can make a big difference in how quickly you progress. This is due to the
fact that each guitar is different. With five primary types of bass guitars available, all of which are played
differently than one another, selecting the easiest one will let you learn faster.
If you choose a more challenging type to learn, you will take longer in progressing. The five types you have to
choose from are the short scale, the medium scale, the long scale, the five string long scale and the six string
long scale bass guitar. Acoustic and electric bass guitars are also available, allowing for even more variety.
When you go to learn how to play bass guitar, you will need to remember that practice is vital. While the
lessons can teach you the basic chords and how to care for your instrument, practicing is what teaches your fingers
to remember the chords. Finger memory is a huge part of playing any instrument.
The better your finger's memory, the better you will be at playing the guitar. Finger memory is part of what is
responsible for letting you read and play music at the same time. If your fingers remember what each chord is, you
will be able to easily play advanced music as you will not have to think about where your fingers are placed on the
In addition to this, the more you practice your bass guitar, the more comfortable you will be with your
instrument. As each instrument is different, intimately knowing you fret board and how your instrument functions
will let you hear when you are off position on the fret board, or when you are out of tune. These are skills that
are vital as you learn how to play bass guitar. If you are out of tune, your music will be less appealing to listen
to. If you do not know how your chords should sound when you are in the correct position on the fret board, you
will not be able to hear when you are off position.
As there is so much involved with learning how to play bass guitar, do not feel that you have to progress
immediately. Learning an instrument takes time. Learning how to play an instrument well takes time and effort. As
long as you are persistent, you will be able to become a better bass player.
History And Use Of The Bass Guitar
The bass guitar has been derived from the double bass, which was used in the late
1950's. Having 4 strings, these instruments add the lower tones to a musical performance. Experimentation with
the bass had started as early as the 1920's. It wasn’t until the 50's however, that a proper bass instrument
In the mid 20th century jazz became popular. As double bass's were used those days, they were often not heard
due to the lack of amplification. The drums, banjos and other instruments in the band drowned out the sound of the
bass. Until the 1950 when the first electric bass came into existence with modern amplification techniques.
The bass guitar is played like all guitars with the player holding it close to his body in a horizontal
position. The strings are plucked with hand or with the plectrum. In the 1970's, the slapping technique became
Today, the bass guitar ranges from 4 strings up to 11 strings. The 5, 6 and 7 strings providing the mid range
while the 11 string starts from a lower than human hearing going up to a very high active. Electric bass guitar
players use various configurations. These changes are made by using preamplifiers and speaker sets. Signal
processors are also varied to provide new soundscapes.
In night clubs, combo amplifiers are used. These amplifiers are fixed with single loud speakers to make them
portable and effective.
The body of the instrument can be of wood or graphite. A wide range of finishing is applied to make it look
good. IT can be colored or simply clear white. The work done on the body is fine engineering and delicate balances
have to be maintained.
A hot debate rages on what to call this instrument. For non musicians, the term bass guitar is common, while
hard core players like to call it electric bass or simple electric bass. Slowly but surely however, this instrument
has gathered a large following which likes to use its own jargon.
The electric bass is a part of modern country music, post 1970 jazz and funk. Used mainly to provide backing, it
adds a depth to the music. This instrument has added a whole new color to our musical pleasure. In sole music
particularly, the bass guitar is effective.
Are sound effects used? Well, yes and no. As the bass guitar sets the tone for the rest of the band, sound
effects are not often used, unlike electric guitars. Modern bands however have started experimenting with
distortion units to add a new flavor to the bass and low key that they provide behind the music.
As we go into a new century, electric bass's become more and more popular. All bands use it today to add a
subtle background. Many groups like U2 even use it to give a haunted feeling increasing emotional attachment with
the music. Newer techniques have made this instrument a crucial part of any musical group today.