Be One With Your Bass Guitar Chords
So you think you have it in you to join the ranks of Flea, D’arcy, and George Harrison and play bass? Well, you have a long way to go, so you better start now.
Learning the basics
If you want to go into bass guitar playing, decide which bass you will play. You have a choice – the 4-stringed bass guitar, or five, six, seven, and even more strings. Beginners usually go for the 4-stringed bass guitar. The next step would be choosing the right bass guitar and learning the bass guitar chords.
A bass player who knows his bass guitar chords has an edge. His understanding of chord music theory will enable him to make his bass line definitive and very interesting. He knows the note to play and when to play it. Knowing bass guitar chords entails the mastery of all basic chords with emphasis on the 6th and 7th chords for bass guitar. A bass guitar chords lesson includes the entire basic chords, important 6th and 7th chords, the 12 keys, chord map, charts, and neck patterns. The bass guitar chords are composed of three or more notes played together, and each type of chord has a formula.
He also has to master the 12 different notes: A, B flat, C, D flat up to A flat. Not all songs, however, use these notes because the notes of a song are dictated by the song’s key. Mastery of the musical patterns equips the bass guitarist with the skill to learn songs off record. He will then be able to pinpoint accurately what scales were used and the chord patterns and changes that went with it.
An initiation to bass guitar chords diagrams and notations
There are hundreds of bass guitar chords. There are even more ways to play them. You can play the “happy” notes or the major chords, or sound the minor notes for the “sad” tones. You can jazz up the tones by moving up a half step (augment) or go down a half step (diminish). Playing the bass guitar chords offer endless possibilities of combinations of note chords.
Any beginner will benefit from learning to read bass guitar chords tablature or tab. This is a method of music notation. The illustrations show where to put your fingers, the frets and the strings. They also show horizontal lines, and each string is noted according to its placement. You will also see notations like O and X or a number. An O denotes that you play the string on the chord without depressing it. An X means you don’t play the string at all. A number on a string denotes that the string should be played in the fret specified.
A beginner should be able to memorize the chords and practice playing until he is comfortable with his guitar. Eventually his hand movement will take on the dexterity that marks a great bassist. He will also learn the slaps, riffs, and slides, as well as the use of the pick.
Buying and playing your bass guitar
An electric or acoustic bass guitar should be comfortable to play. You must able to manage its weight, and the neck of the bass guitar should be navigable by your hands. Get the guitar from reputable dealers who can give you a warranty. If you are opting for a used bass guitar, you can be sure it is reliable if it was played for years. However, bear in mind that used guitars do not come with a warranty and these may have unsuitable modifications.
Playing the bass guitar is a physical thing. It is therefore practical to do warm-up exercises before striking the first bass guitar chords. Find a comfortable position that will not strain your hands. Relax, and your bass guitar music will be just as smooth as it is fluid. In time, you’ll be giving Flea a run for his money.