How to Play a Bass Guitar?

How to Play a Bass Guitar?

It’s All in the Basics!

Deciding which instrument to learn how to play is a big decision. If you’ve never played a musical instrument before, you might not have any idea of which you want to go with first, but if you’re already a seasoned player of something else, you might want to choose an instrument which compliments the one you already know.

Complicated, as you can see!

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A good choice is the bass guitar. Every single song you hear has a bassline, either subtle or strong; the bass guitar is what holds the entire production together, the beating heart of the music.

If you take away the bassline, the music is basically soulless in many ways, and that is why learning how to play the bass guitar is something which takes time and a lot of practice.

In order to fully learn how to play a bass guitar you will need:

  • Time
  • Patience
  • Dedication
  • An eagerness to learn
  • Not be put off by mistakes or upsets

Once you can tick all of those attributes, you’re ready to learn.

The next thing is to decide how you’re going to learn, and one of the most popular ways to do that is by combining lessons and online tuition, using sites such as Blues Bass For Guitar Players, for example.

This means you can have the expert knowledge of a teacher, helping you develop good placement and habits, and you can supplement what you’re learning at home, with the advice of online teachers too, as well as a supportive community of fellow students and seasoned players.

The Basics of Learning How to Play a Bass Guitar

Obviously you need an instrument to play on before anything else, and for that you need to shop around. Always hold the instrument in your hands before purchasing one, because you need to feel ‘at one’ with the bass, it needs to be an extension of you.

If the instrument you are holding feels false or unnatural, it’s not the one for you. It might sound ‘out there’, but you ask any professional bass player, and they will tell you the same thing!

Always start with a four string bass guitar, and learn the top two chords before any others. These are easiest to reach, because they are obviously at the top of the fret board, and once you have mastered those, add in the bottom two, to give you the basic range of the notes playable on a four string bass guitar.

Repetition is absolutely everything in order to learn to play properly. If you move on to the next step without really having mastered the step before, you’re not going to get very far, and your playing will not be in the slightest bit high quality. Take your time, don’t rush – this is not a race!

Again, online resources will give you a push to carry on if you begin to feel a little disheartened that your progress is slower than you imagined, check out advice from professionals on Blues Bass For Guitar Players and you’ll see that slowly really is the best option here.

Repetition works by training your brain and fingers where to go instinctively, without really having to think about it. Once the basics are hardwired in your brain, the more complex or even intermediate notes will flow much easier as a result.

Whilst learning chords at first might seem like a, well, chore, you will soon be playing basic songs with the basic notes, and then you will see that you really are making progress.

Having bass guitar lessons really will help you learn how to play a bass guitar in more detail, so it’s always worthwhile having at least a few standard lessons, even if you do most of your teaching via online tuition or through books.

If you start by playing with your hands in the wrong position, but nobody ever tells you, you’re simply going to build on that habit and never get out of it – this will affect the way you play and the way your music sounds.

A professional bass player who teaches you the correct way will give you the basics and a better foundation to progress with, and from there you can use what you see online or in books to push yourself further onwards.

The bottom line in terms of how to play a bass guitar is that you need to have patience and you need to go slow. Dedicate as much time to the cause as you want to, don’t push it too far and allow it to become tiresome – this is something you’re supposed to enjoy!

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